"I typically do not leave a tip"
Oh wait! "Going forward, I will tip..." (This will make more sense in context.) Also, 7 other things worth your time
How much should you tip? I’ve been thinking about this question recently.
As a younger person, I always thought restaurant tips were supposed to be 15%. More recently, it seems that’s increased to 20%. This is fine by me, since it’s easier to calculate 20% anyway.
Hotels are tougher. I tip, of course, but I’ve never understood whether a cash tip left on the last day of a hotel stay goes to the housekeeper who happened to be lucky enough to clean the room last, or whether it’s shared among all housekeeping staff.
Also, I wish more hotels would let you add a tip on your credit card at the end of a stay instead of leaving cash on a nightstand. That seems like common sense in 2021.
Now, I’m going to pick up on this discussion in a second, but I have (ironically) a housekeeping item or two to mention first.
I’m temporarily back home, but I’ll be running Understandably on something of a summer schedule for a bit longer.
For one thing, I have some more short trips coming up, plus I’m taking the time to write a new and improved “uBook” (or should I call these “Ubooks?”). This one will be be free for paid members, at the very least.
Plus, I’m working on a few other “future of Understandably” projects; I think you’ll like what’s coming. Thus, we’ll be continuing this mix of brand new and “greatest hits” content through the day after Labor Day.
With that, let’s pull together the threads of Bill’s work and vacation habits, housekeeping, and tipping.
Two years ago, while I was on another vacation with my family, I wound up (as I always seem to) writing articles, columns, and newsletters in whatever spare minutes I could find.
I remember sitting in our hotel room writing one such article while my wife took a shower and my daughter played with toys. I heard the housekeeping staff vacuuming outside.
His argument was that everyone at Hilton works hard, and that “[r]ather than selectively reward some Team Members, he is focused on providing meaningful economic opportunities for all 400,000 Team Members.”
Still, it’s not a great look, right?
"I typically do not leave a tip," CEO Christopher Nassetta had said at the conference, in response to a question from host Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Now, there’s a great case to be made that tips are an antiquated and unfair way to compensate workers. For one thing, if guests are expected to tip, employers get away with paying less than what would otherwise be the market rate.
Plus, industry workers are subject to the capriciousness or forgetfulness or even trolling of less-generous customers. Or, even worse, they’re left at the mercy of flat-out sexist, racist, or just plain mean people.
That’s how we get things like this:
However, advocating that the system overall should be changed is one thing; lodging a one-person protest against it is another, especially when you're the CEO of a giant hotel chain.
(By the way, the American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests leaving "$1 to $5 a night" for housekeepers.)
Anyway, early on the morning after my article was published, while I think I was walking to get breakfast for my wife and daughter before we headed out to a day at the beach, I heard from someone in the PR department at Hilton.
The next thing I knew, I had a brand-new statement from the Hilton CEO, reading in part:
"Going forward, I will tip when traveling for both work and personal travel. Nothing is more important to me than Hilton's culture and team members, especially our housekeepers, who are central to delivering Hilton hospitality around the world."
Anyway, I’m sure you already do tip, and that you’re generous, patient customers.
With that in mind, I’d be interested to learn in the comments how much you tip, whether you’ve ever worked in jobs where tips are a big part of compensation, and how it affects your thoughts as a customer.
And while we’re at it: Got any other CEO behaviors you want me to write about?
I don’t know if I can take 100% of the credit for the change of heart here ... but it seems as if it can’t hurt!
7 other things worth your time
Striking a defiant tone, President Joe Biden said Monday that he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan as he acknowledged the “gut-wrenching” images coming out of the country after the swift Taliban takeover of the government. (AP)
Kabul’s international airport was in the throes of chaos Monday as desperate Afghans tried to flee on departing US jets, Taliban gunmen roamed the terminals, and US troops killed at least two men. US helicopters hovered low overhead, launching smoke grenades and firing into the air in an attempt to disperse crowds and gain control of the facility, where the US is staging the evacuation of American personnel, thousands of Afghan interpreters, and others who worked for the US and now fear Taliban retribution. (WSJ)
Prescient: When the new version of Toyota’s Land Cruiser went on sale in Japan on Aug. 2, the company required anyone who buys one to sign a contract agreeing not to sell it for at least one year. Why? To try to stem the flow of the Taliban’s favorite vehicle to Afghanistan. (Quartz)
For the first time ever, there’s an official water shortage at the largest reservoir in the US. Today, the US Bureau of Reclamation declared a water shortage at Hoover Dam’s Lake Mead, which 25 million people across the Western US and Mexico rely on for water. (The Verge)
Tesla is under investigation for Autopilot function crashes involving emergency vehicles. (Reuters)
Bob Dylan, now 80 years old, is being accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in 1965, according to a new lawsuit (filed Friday, but noticed yesterday). His representative called the 56-year-old allegations "untrue." (USA Today)
Want to write a book? Read this: Scammers and cyberstalkers are extorting authors by threatening “review bombing” of their work on Goodreads, the 120-million-member book review site that is now “far and away the most popular—and influential—digital book database.” (Time)