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The price of personal services these days.

Posted by stir_fryi (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 1, 13 at 12:56

I am sure to sound like a crabby, old person but -- I have to comment on the price of personal services now-a-days.

I had a massage today (a gift) that was $70 -- there were many signs telling you that you are expected to tip between 15-25%. I really enjoyed the massage but seriously -- $85 for a one hour service? That is more than many people make (take home) in one day. These are massage therapists, not physical therapists (my PT friend makes about $30/hr).

I got a haircut last week at JCP. They raised their prices to $27 (without tip). She did the usual wash and cut (about 40 minutes) -- did not even include a blow-dry (I could less about a "style"). I found this over-priced. I cannot fathom that people pay for upwards of $40 for a haircut and would feel like real sucker if I did.

I realize the service industry is a tough way to make a living. But maybe if prices were more realistic, these places would be jam-packed and they'd be making all day.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Those are not the prevailing prices in my area.

Places charge what people are willing to pay.
Apparently enough people are willing to pay that much or those places would either lower their prices or not be in business.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

The way you handle those prices is not do business with them. I live in the mid west where prices are know to be less. BUT places like JC Pennys are very high. There is a place a half mile from me that charges $35 for a haircut without styling. I don't do business with them. If I ever saw a sign about tipping that would be another reason not to do business with them. Over the years I have gone to many salons and I get as good a hair cut at places that charge $13.95 for cuts. Can't think of their names one is Master Cuts I think in the mall and Walmart, etc..

This post was edited by EmmaR on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 16:18


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

A stylist friend of mine pays $135 for a pair of Dansko clogs for work, and $1,000 for a pair of high-quality shears, not to mention what they cost to have them sharpened, and all the products she has to stock; so they can have some expenses we don't normally think about. It's not all profit.

She loves her trade, but said the hardest thing is to make ends meet on an irregular income. It doesn't take but a week of bad weather in the winter, and a bunch of canceled appointments, to wreck an entire month.

I can't tell you what the going rate is here because I haven't had a professional cut in at least 12-years and pay myself $20/month to cut my own hair. That's $240/year that goes into the Christmas/Emergency Fund. I find the shops too toxic with chemicals (especially those doing nails as well as hair) to sit there for any length of time before I struggle with breathing problems, so I don't use their services anymore.

Another friend is a massage therapist and she does a lot of barter with other businesses - the vet., dentist, etc., for exchange of services and charges $50 for one hour (in a small Kansas town). She has an enormous laundry bill and has the laundry for her business done professionally, and that's an expense that never goes down. Pays her own health care.... If the cost of one service attached to a business goes up, it affects a whole chain of people, and sooner or later we all pay more.

Even these small independent business have to do a profit - loss analysis to stay lucrative. They can't give their services away.

-Grainlady


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

As far as JC Penny goes, don't worry, at the rate they're crashing (losing money) they'll be out of business sooner than we think. Many financial analysts believe that unless the upcoming CHRISTMAS (yes, I still say Christmas) season is a blockbuster for them, they'll be gone. And Sears/Kmart (they're the same company) is in potential trouble too. One of them may disappear.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

The JCP prices are high because JCP gets X amount per hour plus what the stylist gets. My last stylist was former JCP and quit because JCP had changed so much she couldn't make a living there anymore. I think she said the X amount mentioned above that JCP expects to make per hour was $17 for her store

I'm not into massages. I'd prefer a higher set price with no tip so I didn't have to guess. A sign saying how much I should tip would really rub me the wrong way. I recently had a manicure/pedicure at one of 'nice places' with my dd. The lady stood out in the hallway and complained about the low tips she received to another worker. I was tired of her by the time she was finished with my nails. I tipped her half of what I had originally planned just because of what I had to sit and listen to.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

TIPS... To Insure Prompt Service.

I don't mind tipping, but I dislike being told how much to give. A good server will get a good tip. A great server will get a great tip. And a lousy server will get a lousy tip.

But I drew the line when I saw a tip jar at McDonalds!


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I can't stomach paying someone that much to cut my hair. I used to keep my hair short which required frequent maintenance trims. At $20+ each every 6-8 weeks, expensive! Add another $60 if I decided to color it. I've since let my hair grow long and can trim it myself whenever needed and I cut dh's hair. He wears a hat daily, it doesn't have to look great. My SIL is a hairdresser/stylist/beautician (not sure of the proper title) and used to cut our hair for $5, cut and color mine for $20. I only had her color it if we had a wedding or graduation to attend. Then she bought half of a business and, of course, had to raise her prices. I told her I was sorry, but it just wasn't in our budget. I buy cheap hair dye when we have somewhere nice to go and have her shape up my hair once every couple of years. I invested in a decent pair of scissors (under $20) at Sally's and hair dye is around $3.50. It lasts just as long as any other and I can afford to touch up my roots whenever necessary.

If you have a cosmetology school nearby, it's a great way to get an affordable haircut. We are no longer close enough to one to justify the extra cost of driving.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

The money is going to overhead costs and the owner...not the stylist...or massage therapist - unless she is the owner of the business.

Some of these salons/spa have a really awful commission split - like 70% to the house and 30% to the service worker. The service worker gets to keep 100% of the tip as far as I know.

A hairdresser I knew once at a salon tried to circumvent the owner by charging me WAY below the prevailing price for coloring my hair....in the exchange that I would give a bigger tip than 15% - thereby not having to turn over much to the owner.

They are out of business, now BTW.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Yes, don't forget, your money isn't going into the stylist's pocket. She has to pay her chair rental, if she rents (many do). The owner of the salon has to pay rent, utility bills, cleaning service fees, has to replace equipment (chairs, sinks, washer/dryer etc) and redecorate as needed. There are a lot of supplies involoved. There's the costs of: education, insurance, advertising, the salary of the receptionist and assistants, etc.

Believe me, the stylist isn't making $85/hour plus.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I go to a one woman shop that basically cuts men and boys hair. I go in just before I'm going home, she wets my hair and cuts it (it's fairly short), I go home and style it myself. She charges $10 plus whatever tip I add. A lot of times my husband and I will go in together. It's very reasonable.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

The price of service is one of the reasons I cut my own hair or my husband does. The second reason is because they never cut my hair the way "I" wanted, they cut whatever style most women were wearing that year. Everyone walked out looking the same.

For years I cut, colored, permed my own hair, sometimes with husband's help. Then one day my hair started falling out, now no more coloring/perming, hot rollers work well and God blessed me with a pretty shade of grey hair.

I also cut my husband and sons hair for many years. Only thing my husband now wants the real military haircut and I cannot get it short enough without gaps. He pays $15 for a haircut and is happy even though he complains about the price for so little hair to cut ( fringe of hair). At age 84 he deserves a haircut he likes. He still cuts my hair every other time.

The amount of money saved on hair care helped put 5 children through college.

Krissie


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Remember independent business people have to pay 15% ss tax on top of oridinary income tex.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I agree with you.
I have a Massage therapist friend who complained about a $10 tip for a 30 minute massage. I asked what normal was, and I now know I will never be able to see a massage therapist in my area. I hate the concept of tipping of any kind and to add $30 for a $30 massage is just ridiculous to me.
I only get my hair cut for free (by donating to locks for love) or at a Beauty School where the kids are paying tuition to cover the school charges and so I am only paying about $15 for the cut. And, that is not at the premiere school in the area, just *a* school...

There is a reason it costs more to live in the PNW than TN...


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I think it is ridiculous to tip someone who is doing their job and being paid to do so. I understand waitresses getting tips, but if they didn't get tips the owners of the restaurants would have to pay them regular wages. I don't tip in buffets, because they don't wait on me. I get everything myself. Tipping is getting out of hand. People tip the garbage men, the paper boy, the masseuse, their hair stylists, the mail carrier, the list just goes on and on. I researched this a few years ago and back east the managers of restaurants are take a percentage of the servers tips for the bus boys and themselves.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I tip people who go above and beyond.. and yes, that includes the garbage men and even my mail man. They help in ways that they are not obligated to, and they deserve a little something extra.

I am 'back East" and have not come across managers who take tips.

Waitresses have always had to share with those who bus their tables.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I was told by a postal delivery person they are not suppose to take tips. She was especially nice to me so I gave her a box of chocolates for Christmas.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

They can take tips... you can read about it here.

http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22349/html/cover_025.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Our mail carrier has told us in no uncertain terms he cannot accept cash as a gift or 'tip'. But he loves the Mickey D's cards we started giving him about 5 years ago. We put $20 on it and he treats his kids.

Our carrier is not a regular USPS employee, he's a "contract carrier" who does the route here in VT.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I do tailoring.
I've worked in department stores that charged only a nominal fee to help defray the cost. The money collected was less than my wages each month.

I worked for a bridal chain. Many customers thought our prices were outrageous. They equaled about $60 an hour for each operation done. In theory, we were supposed to make a profit. In reality, many months we didn't even cover payroll. The payroll isn't just the hourly wage we take home, of course: social security taxes, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation insurance must be covered, too. Supplies, or maintenance on the machines must be paid.. In addition, the building has to be heated or cooled, the parking lot plowed, security personnel paid, the plumber paid when the water heater died. There is insurance in case a customer slips and falls. The lights were on, the dresses that the inexperienced seamstresses ruined or that were too shopworn to be sold had to be replaced. The carpet needed to be cleaned. Vacuum cleaners were constantly being replaced. Windows and mirrors were cleaned every night.

There were also a percentage of women who had us spend 30 minutes or an hour to mark a dress, only to call a few days later and tell us they'd found someone else to do the work. Of course, we can pull the pins, but that's and hour spent that didn't earn the store any money. In one store, a bride came in five times (more than an hour each time) to have a seamstress fashion a bustle for her dress. I worked with a bride who had come in twice before, for the same thing. She wanted a bustle "just like the picture" she brought in, but her dress was an entirely different cut and style from the picture she brought in.

I now work for a small tailor shop/ tux rental. There is rent for a convenient intown location. Boss still has the SS tax, unemployment insurance, workers' comp insurance, window washing service. The basic tuxes we rent (our stock) have to be cleaned each wearing. There more stylish ones we rent from other companies. Sometimes people don't bring the tuxes back in time and we are charged for a late return. We could and sometimes do pass it on to the customer, but sometimes, in the name of keeping a good reputation of being easy to deal with, we suck it up and pay anyway.

Tailoring supply companies charge us for supplies, and shipping has gone up a lot in the last few years. Specialty zippers are not hard to do, necessarily, but it's a matter of having the exact item in stock. It may only cost $4-5 for the zipper, but $5 to ship it, as well. The local fabric store doesn't stock the antique brass zipper you want for that leather jacket. It doesn't pay to buy a bunch of things you may or may not use, either.

The iron has a miniature boiler on it to generate dry steam. It's a $400-$500 item. They do depreciate and have to be replaced periodically. Sewing machines that run for eight hours a day and sew through leather start at $800 and go up from there.

There's advertising. Some weeks he spends hours talking with customers who then rent elsewhere.

You'd be amazed at what it takes to run a business,


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

The overhead costs of business have gone up, and differ from one area to another. In my area, real estate costs are extremely high so just the rent on the building costs so much the business has to cover that. Then there is insurance, materials etc.

Massage is something a person can't do 8 hours a day continually, it's a lot of work to give a massage. So the massage therapist needs to make enough from a few hours of work (after overheard) to make a living. The massage therapists in my area are not making a great living, the overhead is high, too.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Mail carriers can accept cash but are supposed to report. Partially so that if anyone complains that money was missing it can be easily checked back with the donor. It is easier for them to give a gift card. You can get prepaid credit cards but I do not know the cost's to purchase. They are not supposed to receive gifts over a certain amount except for special things like retirement.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

So, if hair dressers and masseuses can't make a living at their chosen professions we are suppose to help support them by tipping them???? I have never heard of anyone paying $1000. for a pair of scissors before. Someone is not making wise business decisions. I am going to tell that one to my hair stylist and get her comments about it.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

EmmaR-

They are precision cutting and thinning shears made in Germany, and some that cost $500 (and up) made in Japan. Just because you don't know the facts doesn't make them any less true. Look it up if you don't believe me, and I think you will find it's a fact.

Why is it you always seem to be critical of, or tend to attack, what others post? It really doesn't contribute much to the discussion.

-Grainlady


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I did not say I didn't believe you. The facts are as you said , she paid $1,000. for a pair of shears, not $500. It is my opinion negative or not, if she has trouble making a living it is a bad business decision to make that kind of a purchase. How is that negative, maybe because I disagreed with you to the necessity of such purchase. I am going to ask every stylist if meet how much she pay for her shears. My sis had 4 daughters and always cut their hair with cheap scissors and they had beautiful hair.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

This topic raised an interesting thought for me about two classes of people working: those who pay income tax on all their wages, and those who don't.

It's really not fair. I pay taxes on all my income, and waitresses, masseuses and others who collect tips don't, as long as the tips are cash.

The hairdresser who charged below-market rates to lessen the amount she paid the salon owner: she was basically cheating the salon owner. One sees a similar thing on Ebay; vendors are required to pay Ebay a percentage of the purchase price to fund the site. Once in a while one will see a "widget" priced at one dollar, but "shipping and handling" is $39.95

What kind of a system have we set up that people feel entitled to cheat? Or that they feel they have to to get what they deserve?

O tempora! O mores!

Sadly, hair cutting is a task I took on myself as my own income no longer covered as much as it used to. *sigh* I am of "a certain age" and no matter what magic the stylist performs, frankly, I used to look better.

As a money-saving project, learning to do things for one's self is a worthy use of one's time. You needn't alter your own bridal gown but you could hem your own pants. One doesn't need to hire a plumber to change the faucet on the kitchen sink.

Another thing people don't realize, at least in my line of work: They can buy a dress for $200, and it can cost over $100 to alter it. An awful lot of clothes are made in China. Wages are much lower there. Ready-made clothing is a bargain these days. I can't make clothing cheaper than I can buy it. You might be thinking to yourself that I could make better quality clothing. You would be wrong. The fabric available to the average home sewist in chain stores is dreadful. I can buy better online...and pay about what I would for a good quality ready made garment.

Most people in the American public are far removed from anyone in society who actually makes or produces something with his/her hands. They have no idea why it cost "so much" to do anything.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

evaf555,

I sew - unprofessionally - and I hear what you are saying. When I am approached to sew for someone else I just say no, you couldn't afford me. People expect Walmart prices for custom items.

My DD didn't understand this, and wanted me to do an applique embroidery on a piece of quilting cotton for her friend's mother. They supplied the fabric - unwashed. The embroidery was one I happened to have in my design files already -- otherwise they'd have had to pay about $20 for this particular set. (machine applique embroidery). The woman had seen this blanket on etsy, and wanted something just like it.

So, I tried to talk DD down and tell her no I couldn't do this, explaining why. But she insisted, saying I'd make money, and bless her heart, she is proud of my work. I caved. Now, this is a woman that I had had words with many years ago when the girls were in high school. I think this woman is a b*t*h. I didn't want to do this for her.
The girl came by with the fabric, and said "she will pay you". I told her she needed to have her mother call me so we could discuss, but the woman would not call me. WTH??
They wanted the applique, and the baby's name in a certain "look", so I had to purchase an $11.00 font. I tried to explain to her daughter (my DD's friend) that I would have to wash the cotton, dry, starch, press and get the fabric on grain and then square it up. The embroidery took a while, as you have to remove the hooped fabric many times, and do intricate cutting around all the areas before moving to the next. All in all, I spent about 5 hours on this project from start to finish. I had to work the font to the right size, etc in my software, and ensure the applique part was the right size too.

NOW DD understands what I'm talking about, as she finally saw how much work goes into this sort of thing. When she brought it to them and told them $40, they were very ugly to her. She got upset and left. Then called saying please come back - we don't want a misunderstanding. She went back and when they said they were expecting maybe $10 to $15 -- DD proceeded to reiterate how much work this involved, and that this woman would NEVER call me for me to make this clear. She told them to keep their $10. She is no longer friends with this person.

Sorry for the long story - but just one reason why I would never be in business for myself unless forced. People do not appreciate what it takes to be in business, or to even do what they think should be a one hour job.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

We just put our house on the market and the Real Estate agent reminded us to wash all the windows. He recommended a service who would do this...for $9.00 a window, or about $180. (Plus suggested tip!) You should have seen how fast I got out there with the Windex!

I struggled hard to work my way through college a long time ago - perhaps I should have just become a window washer?


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

It seems that prices vary greatly across the country, and that is reflected in this thread. Have you noticed that there is a lot of talk in the news about business owners making money while their employees barely get by? Some people are of the opinion that if you can't afford to tip, then don't ask for the service. The people who work in the service industry depend on tips, especially because the minimum wage has not increased in years. I am on the east coast in a major metro area. My massages are done by someone with a lot of experience and training. $95 per hour, and I give her a $20 tip. That means she will stay late if necessary to fit me into her schedule. Just pointing out a different viewpoint. Yes, I like to save money, but I don't want to take advantage of anyone, either.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Scarlett you are welcome at my home anytime. I don't do all of my windows especially if I have to put a ladder up over a window well. I would hire you in a minute.

Buuutttt, I don't tip. LOL

This post was edited by EmmaR on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 22:19


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

You're on! I don't know where you live, but will you include my plane fare in the cost? I could use a vacation!


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

I agree southernstitcher, "people do not appreciate what it takes to be in business". And it seems some don't care about that fact either. I have no problem tipping workers, service people that I either seek out their services or do their job well. I don't have to go to them. Tipping for me is just an added Thank You for a job well done. To the service provider I am sure it is more...part of their wage in most cases. And I am another one that believes, "if you can't afford the tip don't ask for the service". I decide how much of a tip to leave (20% + is average, more if the service was above average). No person or sign tells me how much to tip. The only time where posting a sign about tipping may be appropriate is in a resort community. Some of the casual restaurants at the beach post because of the large amount of foreign tourists. Tipping is not the norm for them. Which I have no problem with. But don't say how much to tip. NancyLouise


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Hi Scarlett, sorry I missed your reply. You would not want to be here with me now. I just got back from a bus tour and I have a terrible cold. That is what I get for getting on a bus with 48 people. LOL


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

The biggest insult to me was a tip jar on the counter at a Mc Donalds!


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Have never seen a tip jar at McDonalds. There may be a container for a charity or for a specific child in the area.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Have never seen a tip jar at any of the McD's I've been to either. Fundraising containers yes, tip jar-no. NancyLouise


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

No, this was a jar with a hand scrawled "TIPS" taped to it. And naturally they primed it with some singles and a five.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Report it to corporate McD's, they'll have it out of there in a flash.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Hi Scarlett, vintage 2001

Just think - had you chosen to become a window washer ...

... probably your friends could have accused you of being "all wet" ...

... and., a good bit of the time, have been right!

ole joyful


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

My kids worked in food service during high school and came home every day with horror stories about the gyrations customers would go through to avoid leaving a decent tip. They instilled in me the "if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out" philosophy.

None of the service people who make my life easier and more enjoyable are living high on wages + tips. They're working d*** hard to support themselves and their families. I tip well, whether there's a tip jar or not. To me, it's a few dollars. To them, it could mean a child gets to go on a school field trip or the family has meat on the table an extra time this week.

Sure there are a few who abuse the generosity. But I won't let that few make me cold-hearted.


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Essie that is the way I felt when I visited Africa, I tipped big. A child dressed in his traditional African costume expected a dollar tip for a photo, I gave him $2. until I found out how expensive things were there and what workers got paid. Then I tipped more. He probably made a big part of his family's food money. In this country the habit is becoming tip every one who serves, trash man, masseuse, cable man, postman, the list goes on and on. Anyone should be lucky enough to earn what a post man makes plus his benefits and I don't tip those people because they are being paid wages. Some of the places I eat know me as a regular customer and a couple put on what they know I like when I walk in the door, 3 places have done that. One place will say this is on the house this time. These employees get paid for their work just as if they worked in a book store or clerked in a dept store. Sure they are not living wages, but from my experience they are in temp jobs while they are out of school. I tip in restaurants how much depends on the service I get, especially when I am served with a smile. I do not usually tip in buffets, especially if they all they do is bring me water and ask if I want to order off the menu or have the buffet.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 15:14


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RE: The price of personal services these days.

Try using Groupon and Living Social. They always have discounted services.


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