I have been working in the hotel industry for 10 years now, and have always held a tipped position. Of all these positions, waiter, room service, and of course the venerable Bellman, how to properly tip a Bellman is an often misunderstood phenomenon. This page is dedicated to all Bellman in an attempt to educate the general masses who actually believe that Tipping is a city in China.
Lets start with some basics for the beginners:
The Bellman IS the most important staff member in any hotel. The bellman has the ability to make or break your stay, making it either enjoyable, or a living hell. How you tip him/her is tantamount to the outcome of your stay.
If you carry your own bags when you stay at a hotel, you are a loser. You probably went out and bought suitcases with wheels on them just just you wouldn't have to part with a few precious dollars as a tip to a bellman. Many Hotel's Bellstaff's are currently installing small devices in the floors of their lobby that will melt any and all suitcase wheels that pass over them. So you better use a bellman any way before those cute little wheels become a black smear on my lobby floor. I wouldn't want to have to bother housekeeping with cleaning up your ignorance.
Don't even bother to ask if you can borrow a Bellman's cart. This is comparable to approaching a Taxi driver, telling him you need a ride to the airport, and when the driver says "hop in", you say "No, I just wanted to borrow your car". See the similarities? If you borrow MY cart, how the fuck am I supposed to make any money? Get a clue.
Don't make the assumption that just because we're polite to you means that we like you. Its our job to suck up to schmucks like you because we works for tips. Nothing is worse than sucking up to real loser upon check-in, working your ass off, only to receive a ONE DOLLAR TIP! That will NOT help me make my Mortgage payment this month.
If your room is not ready upon check-in, and you wish us to store your bags, TIP US! You should tip your Bellman EVERY TIME he touches your bags. We like to rummage through the bags of non-tippers to see EXACTLY what you might be carrying in your luggage. Don't even think about locks, I haven't met one that will hold up to a sturdy paperclip.
|Here is a little guide so that you are aware how we will think of you after you close your door|
|$20 or more||You are now a God in the eyes of the entire Bellstaff. They will hide dead bodies for you if asked.|
|$10||You are a very generous individual. The bellstaff will be at your mercy, but will stop short of illegal behavior. (See Above)|
|$9||Spare the extra buck and make it $10.|
|$7||A nice start to your stay.|
|$6||A good show at being better than average.|
|$5||THE STANDARD TIP. This is the bare minimum you should ever tip a Bellman.|
|$4||Spare the extra buck so you don't look like a cheapskate.|
|$3||This will earn you a scornful stare after you close your door.|
|$2||This was an appropriate tip in the early '50's. Get a grip.|
|$1||This is an appropriate tip for merely looking in your general direction.|
|Less than $1||You are obviously from a foreign country, where your inferior schooling has taught you that Tipping is a City in China.|
Frequently asked Questions
Q. What happens if I don't tip my Bellman?
A. You WILL acquire the FULL WRATH of the Bellstaff. This can include 3am wake up calls mysteriously being requested for your room, your heater being turned to HIGH in the middle of the Summer (converse in the Winter), your bags may disappear upon check out, your vehicle may be slightly damaged upon departure, or you may accidentally be locked out of your room for the remainder of your stay.
Q. Other than carrying my luggage, what should I tip the Bellman for?
A. Everything. If we look at you, you should tip one dollar (smiling or otherwise acting pleasantly requires two dollars).
Q. Sometimes after being checked in by my Bellman, I realize I don't have any change. What should I do?
A. Under no circumstance should you ever say, "Your name is.....Ill catch you later" (while looking at my name tag). This is a dead give away that you are a loser. See first question concerning the wrath of the bellstaff. If you truly do not have change, the bellman will gladly run to the front desk to get change for you. Since you were stupid enough not to do this while you were AT the front desk, this service should add another two dollars to the tip.
Q. Why are all Bellman so arrogant and cocky?
A. Because we all know that we have the power to make your visit a living hell if you don't tip properly.
Guests ask the stupidest questions (actual questions)
What floor is room 333 on?
Where is the elevator? (Hotel's most prominent feature is Glass Elevator in Center of Lobby)
Could you please take good care of this? (Note: If proper tipping procedures follow this question, it is not a stupid question.)
Guest: "Where are the Telephones? Bellman: "You'd probably want to follow that sign that says 'Telephones'"
Things Bellmen Hate
Packing your belongings in plastic bags. Look, if you can't afford luggage, you sure as hell can't afford to tip me. Carry your own shit. And No, you cannot borrow my cart.
Luggage that weighs more than 70lbs. Japanese travelers are famous for this. Ive seen Japanese luggage (one peice) that required three Bellmen to lift it. It wouldn't be too bad except they don't tip that well.