Some things really are timeless. Family gatherings around a warm fireplace; last-minute gift shopping; that generally irresistible holiday cheer. And then there's doorman-tipping.
If the prospect of calculating the right tip for your doorman (be it a lone sentinel or a squad of white-gloved attendants) makes you sweat, you're not alone. There's something inherent in the doorman-tenant relationship that can bring out the Larry David in all of us. What's the proper etiquette for dealing with these mysterious operators, and what's the right way to show them we're thankful? After all, we owe a whole lot to these guys who ensure our prized co-ops and condos remain safe, clean, and orderly – often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Who wouldn't want to show them some gratitude?
The problem is that tipping is a mysterious system, defined by interpersonal relationships and without any written rules or standardized metric for guidance. Do you give a larger tip to the doorman who smiles at you as you come home from work each day, who you've known for years, and a smaller tip to the new kid in the building, who's only just started working there 2 months ago? What if that younger doorman is set to replace his older counterpart? Surely he doesn't deserve the same tip as the gentleman you've known for years – but do you really want to risk beginning your new relationship on that note?
What if you're new to the building, and this is your first tipping season? What if you live in a large building with several hundred units, and you haven't even met all the doormen who keep it running? Do you seek them out and tip them, too? We could go on, but it's likely clear to you by now that these questions factor in the dozens.
The good news is, this topic has been broached many times over by authors, newspaper editors, bloggers, and even sociologists and economists. As a real estate brokerage, we have our own take on the phenomena of doormen and doormen tipping – their pitfalls, their risks, and their rewards.
Check out the articles below to get yourself up to speed on the dos and don'ts of doorman tipping. We hope you enjoy!