What is the customary tip for your luxury high-rise doormen? or for that matter, your super, your porters, and housekeeper? Every other guide simply defers to the non-advice of “it depends.” So we will try to be more concrete. First, check out our guide on how MUCH to tip doormen.
Most people who give will give more than you think
In an infamous and wide-ranging study, Sociology professor Peter Bearman sent students out on a massive crowd-sourced effort to interview doormen everywhere and ask about tipping. He found that most of your neighbors will lie about how much they give – because they actually give more!
What’s the logic?
Some are naturally more generous. Others more frugal. We all lie somewhere on the spectrum, but of course we prefer not to spend more money than we need. Most New York residents aim to be slightly above average tippers in their apartments in Everett WA. So they will tell their neighbors when asked a lower amount.
Perhaps they say they gave each doorman $50, but they did not include the Macy’s Gift Card worth another $50. Or that $50 only went to the least favorite doorman, but others got up to twice as much!
But Many Give Zero!
Ok, maybe not MANY, but a larger percent than most millennials would expect. Unfortunately, you can’t count the cheapskates into your equations. In some ways, it’s better to give nothing at all and have the staff assume you don’t know the culture and tradition. Because if you do tip, and it is far below the typical amounts, you actually end worse than the non-givers.
What actually happens to you when you are a low or zero giver? Don’t expect any over the top service in the future. The next time you have guests coming over or a heavy delivery, the doorman will be very by-the-book. No bending the rules to make life easier. But worst of all, residents have reported that they KNOW when the tip was too low. The staff suddenly stiffens up into a very stoic, almost blatantly obvious cold tone for the next few weeks. Ask yourself, is it really worth saving a few bucks if it means coming home to an awkward building lobby for the entire next year?
If you actually own your unit via a condo or co-op, then going the cheap route is incredibly foolish. Things happen when you live in a building for a long time, and you want the staff that is there day to day to be on your side.
Who To Tip
The luxury high rises, large no-fee doorman buildings, and private social clubs make this easy for you. If you should be giving a tip, or at least the staff expects it, they will send you the classic holiday mailer in late November or early December. For no apparent reason, they think you want a list of the names and sometimes tenure of all the staff members. In some cases, it lists their position, and in all cases will have staff nicknames in case you don’t know their full legal name.
How To Tip
Cash versus gift cards vs check? That’s easy – they don’t like gift cards as much, for the same reason you don’t like gift cards. You need to actually deal with the hassle of spending the cards. Sometimes if you had a personal conversation about liking a particular store or brand, it can be a nice touch to add a gift card – but only in addition to the primary tip.
As for cash versus check, doormen probably prefer cash in all cases. But there is a practical reason to give checks. At least you will know that the correct person received the tip, AND the doormen will also track it properly (yes they do track). Best of all, YOU can track over the years in case you’ve forgotten. And as a practical concern, if you don’t keep the correct hours to see each doorman individually, you might need to drop the checks and cards into the communal box or to the trusted “main” doorman, in which case checks are simply more secure.
When you do the hand-off, you don’t need a long speech. They know the game and have dozens of other residents doing the same thing daily. But thank them for their hard work, wish them happy holidays, offer a firm hand shake, with extended eye contact, and you are done!
Published at Mon, 16 Dec 2019 21:06:41 +0000
Posted on December 15, 2019 12:01 am
Back in 2009, Lawrence and I were speaking with one of our early investors about spam messages. Specifically, Craigslist postings at the time were full of low quality ads, and for anyone with a legitimate apartment, they would find their inboxes quickly filled with unsolicited offers.
“Getting rid of spam is easy!” the investor told us excitedly. “You just need to make sure the spammer doesn’t realize they are banned.” This particular investor knew a lot about spam – he was one of the inventors of modern spam filtering today.
So finding and identifying the spam is not hard. But how do you make a spammer go away? The practice known as “hell banning” or “shadow banning” comes from the old days of dial-up modems and bulletin board systems, but deployed in modern apps such as WeChat, Reddit, and RentHop’s apartment finder and messaging system.
Why Is It Called Ghosting?
The idea is, eventually the problematic or abusive user will see that his or her messages appear to be sent to and seen by everyone else. However, the crowd just ignores them completely; no one even engages with or interacts with the offensive post. The banned person, unable to elicit a reaction from anyone, leaves and brings their toxic attitudes elsewhere.
Perhaps it’s like the classic movie Ghost, when the hero desperately tries to have an impact on the world around him but is unable to do so? Or how about Sixth Sense and the classic quote: ” Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.”
Published at Sun, 15 Dec 2019 05:01:36 +0000