When staying at a hotel, tip the people who clean up after you

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/08/when-staying-at-a-hotel-tip-t.html


Tipping works best for in-person interactions: for that waiter who was helpful and polite, for the frazzled delivery person who braved the storm or bad neighborhood to bring you that pizza. It leverages the human contact and your gratitude for their service.

Hotel cleaning crews don’t benefit from this: they show up after you’ve left. There is no contact, and I suspect most people prefer it that way. Out of sight: out of mind.

So thanks for improving awareness.


Mrs Johnson insists on this and I never had a problem with it until we went back to our room an hour after supposedly leaving for the day to find some “housekeeping manager” going to each room and taking the tips before the maids got there.
Now I don’t know what to do.

Tangentially related: I used to take my car to this local hand car wash. There was a BIG clear jar at the end of the line where you picked up your car and it was filled with cash.
One day when I tried to put $5 in there, the last guy in line caught my eye and just shook his head a little bit, then looked down and continued to dry off my car.

I went over to him and asked him if the workers got the tips.
Again he shook his head.
“Who gets the tips?” I asked. The worker glanced over at the office and again went back to drying my car.
I went down the line and gave each of the guys working a $5 bill and put nothing in the “tip jar” .


You’re not incorrect. The system is wrong, though.


I’d absolutely pay extra for a hotel room that offered a living wage and full benefits to all service employees: maid service, bell service, valet, general custodial, hostess, kitchen, etc.

IMHO though, I believe there is a large contingent of people who believe they should have the right to control what people earn for service because they feel that without it, there would be no incentive for exceptional service otherwise.


I used to work in a hotel - over 40 years ago - and ever since I’ve tipped when staying in one. Last summer, while working for a week in San Jose, I was delighted to see a big handwritten “thank you!” note when I returned to my room one afternoon. It seemed like a lot of gratitude for my measly 2% tip.


I’m appalled the hotel itself is suggesting their customers leave tips. “Please pay our workers for cleaning up after you because we don’t pay them well ourselves.”


Don’t forget that they also have to deal with one of the highest rates of sexual harassment of any profession.


I always leave something, usually $5, for the cleaning folks.

But I gotta say, there’s something pretty sketchy about a massive corporation needling you to tip its employees when that wouldn’t be necessary if they were paid a living wage in the first place. Of course, lots of folks have written plenty about how grievously stupid and unfair the whole concept of tipping is when it’s expected to form a substantial portion of a person’s income.

I mean, isn’t tipping supposed to be “a little something extra” for going above and beyond? They should already be paid fairly for the work they’re expected to do, to my mind.


Was a maid on a resort town:
1- Asian business men always left a tip on the pillow of the bed they made up. Shoes were in the same place in every room. Every room tidy and spotless.
2- families with children were the f’ing worst. Cereal everywhere, beds never made. Leave a tip!
3- older men leave behind a beaver pelt worth of hair in the bathtub. Leave a tip!
4- I got paid per room- the faster I worked the more I made. Guests staying multiple nights and tipping every day got extra time/cleaning from me. Non tipping parents, I would do the minimum- bed, trash, go. Leave a tip! Even dumping your change out is a gesture I appreciated.
5- being a poor 20 something, I wasn’t too proud to eat left overs left behind… pizza, soda, etc. Air travellers especially have to worry about discarding stuff before leaving. Consider what you are leaving behind and if someone can use it.


Exactly. I’d love it if we could get to a society where wages were enough that tipping wasn’t necessary.


Ah yes, the other golden rule, He Who Has The Gold, Rules


I was thinking this. Why expect customers to pay the cleaning staff? The hotel needs to pay them a living wage


I hate tipping, especially places where there is no customary percentage or amount. And double for the reminder that the staff are probably desperate/illegal and the hotel is stealing the tips anyway…

I do it, but it always makes my experience that much shittier and uncomfortable.


I’ve always noticed that systems rife for abuse will never be defended vigorously by management. /s

That is to say, how do we make it so they DO need to?


I usually have a surplus of bottled water and some snacks when leaving a hotel so I make sure to put them in a prominant place with the tip. No sense in them going to waste!


How many creatures like that do you suppose the are in this world? Good liberals try to tell me there are too many jails, but I don’t think there are enough to house these soulless monsters.


I can think of a few motels I’d sentence them to live in, and call it even.


BlockquoteWhat a classy way to remind a hotel guest of how hard housekeepers work to make a guest’s stay a pleasant one.

Hardly! It is a sleazy way to tell guests that you fail to pay your staff properly. Many hotel guests, if they are businesspeople pay their staffs properly, and are hardly going to see hotel management as professional.


Que up the Mr. Pink rant…

I seldom carry cash so I do feel a little guilty about not tipping. I’ll leave something if I have it but it does feel weird.

I also put the Do Not Disturb sign out the moment I check in and leave it out for my entire stay. I figured the best thing I can do for a harried housekeeper is to reduce the amount of work they have to do (plus I generally hate people in my room when I’m not there).

I don’t need fresh towels everyday and I don’t make my bed at home so why do I need it made when I travel?