post #61 of 119
3/26/08 at 8:22pm
My wife and I argued about this all week...she kept throwing out the "15-20% rule". Here are some examples:
9 bags checked at the airport, tip $20
$125 airport shuttle to resort and handling bags, tip $20
Three kids in ski school, $5/day/kid
Half Day private lesson for wife and I, $265, tip $40
$90 shuttle between resorts, tip $10 (long story)
3hr Snowmobile jaunt, $500, two guides, tip $40
Six days of great skiing with the wife and family...priceless!
I dont see any trend in any of these examples, but somewhere in there you have to size up the price and value of the experience as a whole, then you provide a tip.
The tip that I feel was most appreciated was by the kid's ski instructor. At the end of the day, the kids had a great time. If each of the kid's parents kick in $5, instructor picks up $35 tax free...that's a good thing. I feel bad that I spent $145 for the day and only tip $5...but I did just drop $450 for the day total...times 5 days...
I can handle the airport and shuttle people, but I am not sure about the guides and instructors. How did I do?
I'm glad to hear that many of the skiing public view ski instructors as proffesionals, like doctors or dentists. Unfortunatly we don't get paid very much and the tips really help. If your lesson was unsatisfactory don't tip. If it was good, or better, tip what you think it was worth. If you don't have cash, it is ussualy possible to leave a tip at the sales desk after the fact. You can even use a credit card, although they will take taxes if you go this route. I preffer cash for this reason. You can also leave feedback at this desk if you would like.
The idea of tipping in cash to avoid taxes bothers me. Pay your taxes. The roads, schools, and museums supported by tax dollars would appreciate it too. I was a waiter and a bartender for 8 years, and claimed 100% of my tips. When I entered the real world after college, I had a paper trail of W2s that strengthened my credit report. Tax evasion penalties should have stronger teeth.
That being said, I tip 20% for waiters. You'd have to be truly awful to get less than 15% from me, but I would tell you that you are truly awful, and that's why you are getting $1. I would have never thought to tip a ski instructor. I just bought some lessons for my gf at Sugarbush for next week, now I'll know to tell her to keep some cash on her.
Gotcha beat - I had one $5 tip in 3 years when I was teaching. ALL DAY KID LESSON. Pretty much babysitting.
$10 twice here - Never once got a tip for the babysitting 14 beginners for 2 hours type lessons.
you must be a democrat right?
I am here to say I continue to not claiming any earned cash because the IRS is an unconstitutional entity. Its is not a federal goverment agency, because you can not sue the IRS like you can any other goverment organizations. The way in how money is collect violates our multiple different constitutional amendments. If your going to write something like the united states constitution you might as well stick to it, right?
"the government does not taxes to get the money that its needs, its needs all the money it can get"
quite possibly the most libertarian president in recent history.
and I would like to add that with 'big government" waste, the money you give them never is enough.
I know the world is not going to change to pay everyone a fair wage, put everything in the quoted price, and eliminate tipping (and room taxes, service fees, airport arrival surcharges on rental cars, etc, etc.) So I grumble (silently) and I tip.
Interesting. I've done both sides of the tipping. The best tip I ever left a group instructor was $40 for a half day (ends up being ~2 hrs) lesson. It was a powder day, I was the only guy standing by the black diamond sign. I got a personal clinic on short turns followed by guiding to the best low angle stashes ( I wasn't able to ski the really serious double black terrain at that time).
Lowest tip I ever left was $10 for a mediocre group lesson. I have never stiffed a ski instructor.
Now I'm an instructor, and the vast majority of customers don't tip. Skiing is a second job for me, so this is generally not a huge problem. For our full-time instructors this makes it very hard to get by in the mountains where cost of living is not exactly low.
I do get a little frustrated when students tell me that this was the best lesson of their life, or they have been struggling and made a major breakthrough during my lesson, but then they part ways with the handshake of death. On those times when I'm able to totally make someones day it is VERY appreciated if they can totally make my day by tipping a few bucks or taking me for a beer.
I have found that advanced skiing parents who have their kids in ski school are my best tippers. They understand that ski instruction is a service industry and they tip for good service. Good service for these parents means a kid who has had fun and an honest assessment of the kid's progress including what he's doing well, what he is working on now, what the next step in his progression is, and which level of lesson to take next time. Many adult beginners simply don't know that ski instructors aren't paid a living wage. At our ski school we're currently asking for a subtle sign at the lessons desk that says something like, "Have a fantastic lesson? Gratuities are greatly appreciated by our staff." The idea is just to plant the seed that you could actually tip your instructor.
There are instructors who feel it's the responsibility of those teaching first timers to plant the seed that this is a service industry and tips are appreciated. I personally have a lot of trouble doing that because the odds are that I make more money at my day job than my clients. So I either do a disservice to the instructors who work with those students later by not mentioning this facet of the resort environment, or I do a disservice to my clients by sounding like I'm begging for their money which I don't really need. It would be easier if they already knew.