To Tip or Not to Tip

I have no intention of being awake at 8:40 a.m. on the first day of our trip, but you can’t argue with jet lag. Well, I suppose you can try, but the clock tends to be pretty closed off emotionally.

What this has given me is some time to think about two of our interactions with Trump hotel employees last night, both of whom were bringing things to our room.

The first guy had a bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, an extremely thoughtful one-year anniversay gift from my Aunt Lia and Uncle John that was a complete surprise. The second had our room service order, which was necessary after a long trip that ended in a hotel that’s apparently too classy to believe in vending machines.

If I ever go on The Apprentice, The Donald is going to hear about that. That bathroom is ridiculous, though. And you know how I love bathrooms.

Wait, you probably don’t.

Anyway, when each guy went to leave, I was faced with a dilemma: Do I tip you?

My answer both times was “You’re fired.”

That was supposed to be a funny way of saying “No,” but I think it lost something in the translation. What can I say? The power of The Donald is coursing through my veins.

The wine guy had no bill for me to sign, and, as Jenny suggested, he had probably already been taken care of by my aunt and uncle. Plus, he didn’t do that awkward, I’m-waiting-for-my-tip pause before he walked out.

The room service guy, on the other hand, did have a bill for me, but it already had factored in a $3 “in-suite dining” fee as well as a standard 18% gratutity. As I went to sign, he said “There’s a minimum gratuity already included.”

I wish I could italicize on my iPhone because I’m almost positive “minimum” got a little extra oomph. For a split second, it convinced me I should add something more. He was particularly nice, and it was, after all, the minimum.

Then I looked back at the bill. Yes, the chips and salsa did indeed cost $8. Suddenly, a tip that exceeded the universal standard by three percentage points seemed just fine.

Was I right? That’s for history, or maybe even the D.R.O.P. list, to decide. Until then, I’m going back to bed.


  1. Katherine Mackanin

    This tipping thing is just WAY to confusing! Just an FYI for future trips to take away the anxiety/guilty feeling…. Never add an additional tip to a room service order unless they do something amazing or over the top special for you. They already charge you the average US tip plus a delivery fee (it's a union things). Also, when you get a gift/amenity you NEVER have to tip because it is included in the price when it's ordered or the hotel pays the delivery fee (again, union). Basically, the union gets you every time and if you tip again you are over doing it 🙂

  2. Lighter than Muki, but darker than Kris

    Most Hotels arent union – and I'm fairly positive that no Trump Hotels are union at all anymore. There might be a couple outside the NY/NJ area. Sadly those 'overage' costs typically go to the hotel and its admin costs instead of the employees who actually do most of the work. That said, I agree that you should tip (at hotels) based on people's attitude or if someone is obviously trying to be more helpful than necessary.

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