Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Do You Give a Holiday Tip to Your City/Public Workers?

December 16th, 2008 · 7 Comments

It’s the gift giving season and if you thought everyone on your list was covered, you might want to think twice. It seems there’s been some talk over on the Brooklynian board about what, if anything, you tip your sanitation workers, postal carriers, supers and even landlords, with many stating that tipping is out of control in this city. We might have to agree, especially in light of the notoriously bad Park slope mail service we endure. One member put it best:

I would never in a million years tip my postal worker considering the crappy job he does! half the time i don’t get mail, the other half the time, we get mail for other people/buildings! Besides myself, i am sure no one else in my building even knows who the mailman is. As for sanitation workers, we live in a small co op building and we have never done that nor have I ever seen any of my neighbors standing outside waiting for the garbage trucks to come by so they could hand someone an envelope. how would you even know if that was your regular garbage people anyway? The only person like that I tip is my UPS man. he has been my UPS man for 3 years and he is just a great guy. Carries things up the stairs for me, will even catch me out on the street to give me a package. Love him!

We seem to hear this same question come up each year, so tell us what you think. Do you give a holiday tip? Feel free to rant or rave about your mail carrier or building super in the comments.
E.C. Stephens

Tags: Holidays · Uncategorized

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 these nuts // Dec 16, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I live paycheck to paycheck but still have been thinking about some people to tip this season, but not the garbage man who doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck.

    I think you need to think about what kind of salary these people are making before you decide. The girl who serves me coffee in the morning who is making $10/hour and is always smiling certainly deserves a tip.

    I know my mailman’s name but for some reason there are three other mailpeople that do my route pretty often too. That’s confusing.

    I don’t have a door man. Or a UPS man. I don’t know, maybe I will hand out a few bottle of cheap vodka to the three drunks on my block and ask them to please think of me when they decide where they are going to throw up, i.e., not on my street.

    I don’t know. I have the giving spirit but it just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense trying to figure out who to give an extra 20 bucks to.

  • 2 pete // Dec 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Should not tip any government worker for it is not legal for them to accept.
    On a smaller scale it is akin to the lobbiest buying influence from legislators.
    Giving a tip is essentially asking above and beyond duty – or giving more to you than someone else. Bribery?

  • 3 Janet // Dec 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Google put an ad for Atlantic Uniform, “Authorized Postal Dealer”, on this post, probably because of the subject matter.

    My “regular” carrier misdelivers the mail regularly and very obviously leaves the magazines for the “relief” person to deliver. He leaves a holiday greeting in my mailbox every year, which is in itself illegal.

    Most of the people in this community are living much more hand-to-mouth than this letter carrier is. Why should I pay him considering that I already pay him?

  • 4 these nuts // Dec 16, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Sometimes i wonder if I am the only person that reads (and comments) GL since it came back up on the internets.

    Is there anybody out there? C’mon, someone wrote an article, posted it and it’s a greater starter for some good conversation.. anyone?

  • 5 anonymous // Dec 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    As miserable as people find the postal service, there really are some diamonds in the rough. At the Ninth St. PO, two of the women who work at the package windows are gems and always have been.
    Treat them nicely and they will treat you in turn.
    Although our “regular” carrier has had a “work related injury” for years, there is a “substitute” carrier who delivers to our home several times a week. She is cheerful, friendly and helpful. She gets a tip and a smile from me. She has saved me countless trips to the PO, making the extra effort to deliver packages and registered mail when other carriers don’t seem to even try to ring the bell, leaving a yellow slip instead.
    And, the Seventh Ave. PO, once home to the most notorious scum of the postal service, now seems to have two window personnel who actually are helpful and smile a bit. The biggest problem with both POs is the fact that nobody replenishes supplies (ie, priority mail and express mail labels, registered and insured mail tags, etc.). In fact, both POs are frequently a disgusting mess.

  • 6 bigmissfrenchie // Dec 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I have to agree with the last comments. I do not even have the same letter carrier everyday, and while I appreciate the job my sanitation guys do (Except when they leave bags that they deem too heavy. Dude, I’m a girl and I carried it to the curb. I think you could throw it into the truck!), I don’t think they should get a tip for doing their jobs. And I have no idea if the same guys come everytime or not.

  • 7 bloomie // Dec 17, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I tip my super, my manicurist and my newspaper delivery guy and I think I’m gonna bake cookies and send them to my exterminator after I had a mouse problem a few months ago and he saved me time and time again.

    But my mailman, you have GOT to be kidding me. I have the worst mailman in the history of the world who never, ever puts any of my magazines in my mailbox (he claims that since it’s not first class mail he doesn’t have to put it int he mailbox which is not true) and never redelivers packages even though the slip says he will. I’ve complained at the 9th ring of hell (aka the 9th st post office) but nothing ever changed and really, it’s kind of scary to complain about your postman since he can fuck you so enormously.