Doorman Christmas gifts

Posted by michellekjohnson 
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 18, 2005 11:34PM
What most people say to give is often a vague non-numerical answer: "whatever you feel you should give" or "it depends on your building." I have lived in my co-op for over 5 years, and I still have no idea if I'm giving a suitable amount. Actually, I'm pretty sure I tip adequately, because if you take my tip amount for one of the full-time doormen, and assumed each unit in the building gave the same amount, they would each have $10,000 cash in their pockets (more than I could ever hope to get from my boss!). I know not everyone tips every year and some tip less than me, but I prefer to err on the side of caution and would rather overtip than undertip. I also try and tip consistently year to year. I give a bit more to my super depending on how many things I had him do in my apt, and I give less to the porters and to the part-time doormen. I tip each full-time doorman the same amount. I would only make exceptions if someone were especially good or bad. I think it best to hand out envelopes individually; it is more personable and gives you a chance to shake the guy's hand. And I imagine tips really do vary bldg to bldg: I don't live in a high-luxury building, but the doormen do wear uniforms (though no hat and gloves). I imagine in a snazzier bldg the doormen might expect more if you have a driver, wear fur coats, and have bratty kids. Here's another tip: Save aside a bit of cash each month so at the end of the year you aren't using your own end-of-year bonus to pay for your doormen bonuses. I save more than I should, and donate the rest to my favorite non-profits.
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 20, 2005 12:40AM
Appreciate all the comments, and, I used to live in NYC, so I relate to people getting megabucks if everyone gave! But, now I'm in Northern VA (perhaps similar in income! :-) ) with different issues.

I seem to be about the norm for hairdresser, postal carrier, newspaper folks, etc. But how the heck do you give a gift to your trash/recycler folks (same people here)? Put an envelope in with the recyclables? :-)

The others (newspapers give you an envelope, the postal folks, of course, have the mailbox) are easy, and we don't have 'building' folks. The only other recipient is the trash folks, but how to get it to them?!

Thanks for any ideas!
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 22, 2005 01:26AM
To piggy back on the subject I have a question

if a doorman gets $30 should that be from each tenant in the apartment or do they pool their money together for the gift
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 22, 2005 04:27AM
In my building, each tenant individually gives a tip to each doorman.
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 22, 2005 06:48PM
Is it an insult if your give chocolates, wine, etc?

Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 22, 2005 06:56PM
In addition to my question above, I am on a strict budget and don't really have the money to shell out $30 dollars per doorman -- I have 8 doorman and I don't own my apartment. Plus, I haven't been living here more than 6 months. So what's is a justifiable tip/gift?
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 22, 2005 08:36PM
I'd say, whatever you can manage.
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 22, 2005 08:52PM
I agree. It should be an entirely voluntary act. One of my friends rents and even though she has her super do all sorts of things around her apartment, around Christmas she pretty much gives him a thing full of candy. I'm sure he'd prefer cash (wouldn't you?) but for someone short on cash (actually, she's not -- judging by the gifts she got for her family members this year) it is nice to give a thoughtful non-monetary gift. But I also don't think giving tips should be a game of "How low a tip can I get away with?"
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 23, 2005 01:18AM
Thanks for the comments Kelly and Brown Cow. It helps a lot! It all goes back to saying, "it's the thought that counts." smiling smiley
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 24, 2005 03:59AM
I feel like I am a very generous tipper. I happily give the doormen and the handymen atleast 100 , and much more to the super because he puts in a little extra for me. This year, though, there is so much gossip and tension between the dormman and the tenants, that it makes me not want to tip the this mich as a holiday gift.
I wanted to do a test, to see if they would treat me the same wa. I would give each one 20 dollars and the one that didnt sneer upon the tip, the balence for New Years.
What Do you guys thinK?
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 08, 2007 02:16PM
Help!!-- on the same issue. We live on the upper west side of Manhattan in a nice but not elegant apt building which is now half condos (we have purchased outs). We give$50 to each doorman and service worker, and $75 to the super. I heard last night that friends in a similar setup give their doormen and others $100 each. We like the staff here and don't want to be stingy but have lots of expenses. Is $100 now the norm? or?
Thanks for all responses.
Re: Doorman Christmas gifts
December 12, 2007 10:33PM
I really do think you need to tip based on how you feel AND what you can afford! My g/f and I bought a co-op in May, and now have to decide what to give. We gave the Super $100 when we moved in to kinda look the other way when we were renovating (not that we did anything wrong), but figured he would have our back if there was a complaint lodged. Since then he has done nothing for us, b/c we have not asked anything. I expect to give him $50. We have 2 full time doormen, one during the days who cares to know our names, make small talk, ALWAYS get the elevator for us, and is actually awake. The second one works an evening shift, barely speaks english (not necessarily a problem though), sleeps often, and gets the elevator (ten feet away) whimsically (60-70% of the time, based upon his mood, I guess). Can you guess who will get the $50 gift, and who will get the $20 gift? Also, we live an a co-op that has about 100 units, and seems to be mostly retired people (fixed incomes). I think we will look generous in comparison to others. If you are looking to get noticed, you can be generous, if you are looking to pass along holidat spirit, give within your means!
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