My lovely wife, Vicky, was a waitress at a popular steak house for more than 30 years. We counted on her tips, combined with my modest salary as a journalist, to keep the home fires burning.
Now that the children are grown, married and gone, she no longer has to serve tables at the steak house. Enough is enough, right? She now spends her time taking care of our home, gardening and practicing her faith. We no longer count on tips to stay above water.
All of this came to mind in reading a recent Consumer Reports (CR) news story that said fewer people tipped during the 2008 holidays than in previous years. CR, basing its projections on surveys this past January and another in October, projects that service providers can expect even less in the way of tips this holiday season.
According to the CR report, here are the most common professions receiving holiday tips — hairdresser (36%), manicurist (33%), newspaper carrier (30%), barber (26%), pet-care provider (26%), child’s teacher (20%), mail carrier (13%), lawn-care crew (18%) and garbage collector (6%).
What caught our eye was the statistic that 18% of respondents said they tipped their “lawn-care crew.” Sounds a bit high to me.
If you’re a lawn care or landscape service provider and usually receive tips (or even cards or small gifts) from customers during the holiday season let us know. — Ron Hall