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I'm wondering what opinions are about tipping building staff for repairs. To illustrate, we've had problems with our entry doorknob sticking twice in the last few months. The first time, the building super changed a part and said it was from rough use by the contractor and his staff (who had recently completed our renovation). The super and his assistant mentioned that a locksmith would charge $150 to fix the problem, thereby making it clear to me that they expected a tip. I gave them each $20, and they seemed happy. The second time, this morning, the super said nothing about the contractor (who was recently in to make some repairs). Instead, the super credited a wrong part in installation of the knob. When I asked if I could expect future problems with the knob, he said it was possible. As I was in a hurry out the door, I tipped them both $20 again. Now I'm wondering if I should refrain from the tipping. My husband, who is much stronger-willed than me and conveniently out of town on business, says that this is a building issue covered by our monthly maintenance and therefore shouldn't be tipped. I'm wondering what others think. Thanks.
It always makes sense to tip. Was the second tip necessary? Perhaps not, but cannot hurt. Your husband is absolutely wrong, by the way. While 'technically' these things are 'covered' by the monthly maintenance tipping is the norm for repairs such as this.
From what you have written ( about your recently completed reno) I am assuming you are new to the building. I also assume (and hope) you greased the super well throughout the renovation process. As a new shareholder it behooves you to be generous with the super and staff--you will find they will be much more attentive to you going forward.
Thanks, bramstar. We are indeed new to the building, having moved in in mid-October. We didn't tip the until the holidays, but I think we were quite generous then to both the super and staff. My natural inclination is to tip when in doubt, but my husband's is not to do so for the aformentioned reason. So I'm dealing with my own uncertainty about tipping and resistance from my husband. Because he works long hours and is periodically out of town, I'm the one who sees staff daily, not him.
I'm with your husband on this one. If you tip for the holidays, you shouldn't be tipping for every little thing. Why not just bend over and let him have his way with you while you're at it?
Oh, Matt--here we go again...
This from the guy that tips his garage guy every time he gets his car.
Tipping, again. Deja void.
$5 per trip..
"When I asked if I could expect future problems with the knob, he said it was possible. As I was in a hurry out the door, I tipped them both $20 again."
Possible? At $40 a pop, I'd go with probable.
I don't believe in tipping building staff outside of year-end, when I tip pretty well to all staff regardless of the extent of my interaction with them. The whole point is to avoid tipping at every turn IMO.
inonada, I'm already feeling foolish about tipping for the doorknob again, but it does feel so awkward standing there with an unspoken expectation in the air. I'm just going to have to steel myself, as I'm convinced the super and contractor have it rigged to break every couple of months.
Since when does the Super need an assistant to do such a minor repair?? On the first attempt to fix the lock, I would have tipped $20 to the super and let him decide if he wants to keep it or split it with his assistant. On the second attempt in such a short period, no tip. I generally find that in house staff aren't very good with locks. If the lock is your responsibility get a locksmith, if it's the buildings, insist on a new lock and doornob if it happens again and definitely no tipping.
Good point, RENY. Thank you and agreed.
"If the lock is your responsibility get a locksmith, if it's the buildings, insist on a new lock and doornob if it happens again and definitely no tipping."
And make sure the super doesn't have a copy of the key!
I'd be concerned if my super DIDN'T have a copy of my key...
Our building holds copies of the keys at the front desk, and I've already found the super to be extremely solicitous about requesting permission to enter. That being said, I think I've now been labeled as an easy target for tips. The next time the doorknob breaks, I imagine the entire staff will be up to fix it. The tip drawer is now closed, though.
rpp, agree with husband
Personally, I *love* it when the entire staff immediately shows up to fix something.
I'm also with bramstar in that I'd be concerned if my super *didn't* have my key. We've had a couple of issues that would have been catastrophic had it not been for the super's early recognition and entrance into our place.
If you respect the building staff and they do a great job, I'd tip close to market rate for equivalent work from the outside...