questionsshould my trashmen be begging for a christmas tip?

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Tip your waiter/waitress, they are working below min wage and work hard to serve you and they depend on your tips to make up the difference. Whoever started the practice of tipping the garbage man should be beaten with rotten fish.

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I have a rather unorthodox manner of gift-giving. I don't do holidays. Long ago abandoned the "If I give you a gift, you should give me one" cycle that has trapped so many. I give gifts to friends & family all year...for no reason/occasion.

When the trash collectors go overboard to assist me, I give them packaged cookies, nuts, candy and bottled water. Just 'cause I want to. Ditto: Delivery people, the mail carrier and so on. I will not be caught in the obligatory gift-giving charade. Guilt-free, too. Servers are a totally different story - I tip, often generously, if the service warrants. Wouldn't give them a Christmas gift either. ;-)

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Years ago, my father was working for a company building farm equipment. They shut his plant down and he worked for the city throwing garbage, selling suits at the mall, etc. He did what he had to do to make us not feel the pain of the shop closing (/end rant for my dad - he's an amazing man.)

While he was working for the city throwing garbage, people would occasionally give them a sixer of beer on a really hot day and they got random gifts during the holidays. I called him to night and asked him about this question. He said they never asked, that would have been rude. But, they sure did appreciate people acknowledging them for setting their garbage cans back nicely and being on time.

So ... yeah. From a guy who did the job, it is rude and uncalled for in every way.

On another note, it reminds me of the "tip jars" everywhere these days. If they don't think they are getting paid well enough for the job they are doing, go elsewhere.

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Its not a tip/gift if you ask for it.

As stated already most get paid well.

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103 times out of the year (we have twice a week pickup), I deal with:

Can thrown 20 feet THIS way, Lid thrown 20 feet THAT way
Can with garbage still in it
Can that has been MAULED (like those old Samsonite commercials), usually with the wheels torn off
Catching 2-3 different guys EVERY YEAR on webcam urinating on my lawn

1 time a year I get a neatly stacked can and lid and no smell of pee... along with 'the envelope'.

Why should I tip you for a job you already are being paid for? ON TOP OF the fact that you don't even do it well!

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So tired of people thinking they should get something just for doing their job.

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they may have a crap job, but they get paid well.. (at least the ones in Columbus Oh do).. my friend makes 55-60k/yr picking up trash 6 days a week..

I am more inclined to thank someone who doesn't ask with a 6-pack of beer or something similar, then I am if they are asking me out of the blue.

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No, they shouldn't. I'd take that envelope and put it on top of the trash, so maybe they would see I threw it out. It's kind of rude, actually, since it's not a job that depends on tips and not sure it even deserves one.

Then again, everyone thinks someone else owes them "more" these days.

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Perhaps you should put a Christmas card in their red envelope. One that says, "Help yourself to some holiday cheer!"

But, I'm a smarta$$.

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I rarely tip people who are being paid for their job, with the exception being waitstaff at eating establishments.

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Never. Anyone who ask for a tip get no tip from me.
It's rude.

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"I know they have a crappy job, but it's the path they have decided to take in life."
I disagree. I would bet most trashmen did not set out in life to be trashmen. Things happen, and you can be forced into a crap job. It's very hard to get out of a job like that as well - living paycheck to paycheck is tough, and makes it nearly impossible to gain skills to find a better job.

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@jha1223: The Barista doesn't put the tip jar on my doorstep :)

@mkentosh: If it's a private waste removal service I would imagine that guy actually gets paid pretty well.. I could be wrong, don't know a ton about the WM game :).. but typically that's the case with privately contracted jobs like that.

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Nope. They get paid well to do their job. It is a dirty job, but it's not a poor job. They make the same amount with their base wage as a server does after tips (on "average" about $16.5/hour). Drivers make much more, of course. I've heard fable of drivers making 60-80K. It's all based on experience as well.

But...this person did say it's a private removal, so you can take that into consideration (could be lower compensation; could be higher.) If you know them by name, it's not a bad idea. But if you don't feel comfortable, don't feel pressured into it.

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@kylemittskus: God no. Not my intention at all - I think people should be payed enough that they don't feel the need to ask for tips.

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My Mom says there was someone putting out envelopes and collecting them up, but was not the trashman. Just knew the route and that some people would tip into the envelopes. The workers never saw the money.

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I guess the answer is: how good is the service? Do they do a good job: take care of your trash can, empty the trash all the way, and not generally make a mess? Or do they act as above, and not give a crap?

If they DO a good job, then go ahead and leave something. The last two places I lived have had municipal garbage collection, and they aren't very good. In Florida they looked for every possible way to avoid emptying your collection bin. If something (like an old broom) was sticking even an inch out, they wouldn't take it. And they trashed the bins, made a mess, and caused mayhem generally (including running over mail boxes on a near constant basis). No tips there.

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Super tacky to outright ask for tips, imo. Thankfully looking up in the thread I am not the only one.

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I tip my garbageman every year at the holidays, and leave him pop/water/etc on hot days in the summer. He does a great job and always picks up everything, even when we leave extra bags out. There used to be two or three of them in the truck, but for the past couple of years it's just been him.

That being said, I might feel differently if he left an envelope like that.

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@gmwhit: I occasionally add a movie ticket voucher to the regular tip of the waitresses at the small handful of restaurants I frequent heavily. But these are folks that greet me at the door, invite me to sit in their section, and remember what I usually order and how I like it. They go above and beyond in serving me, so I feel a bit of extra holiday cheer is warranted. I haven't ever tipped garbage men, but we have a municipal service with automated trucks, they don't even disembark the vehicle or roll down the windows which sit like 6 feet high, so giving them something would be very hard. I have occasionally given something like boxed chocolates to my mailman. I'd give something to the UPS guys as they have been very kind, but catching them is a challenge and you never know which one will be on the truck. I wish I'd had something handy as the guy I like was the one that dropped of a box last week.

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Here's an intersting link I found on MSN today... it's all about holiday tipping

http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/the-new-rules-of-holiday-tipping

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#1 I pay for trash pick up in one of my monthly utility bills (I'm old and I forget which) C-note + per year

#2 There is only the driver operating the hydraulic controls in a clean, air conditioned truck cab for $15/hour. The city forces us to use those butt-ugly bins for trash and recycles.

#3 There is almost nothing more tacky than begging for a tip. My guess is that the OP lives in Union country which explains the total lack of class displayed by the garbage workers.

BTW, for years I lived out in the county and did pay for garbage collection. It was a Black guy and his sons operating a well-used truck to empty the communal dumpsters. They provided OUTSTANDING service for a very reasonable fee. The only time there was an interruption in service was when the old man had a stoke and then the sons were back at work very quickly. They never asked for tips and the people they serviced were pretty poor for the most part but we always managed to add a little something extra.

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@ryanpblyth: tip everyone who got stuck in the cycle you mentioned, then?

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Fully agree with @inkycatz. Asking for a tip is a good way of guaranteeing you won't get one from me. Provide excellent service and I'd have no problem with kicking a little something back.

In my case, my trash is collected by a private contractor paid by the town (and thus out of my taxes). We only get pickup once a week now (used to be two times) and my trash often sits out until well after noon before it's finally picked up. When it does, the trash cans just get tossed on the sidewalk (we're on standard garbage trucks, not the kind with the lifting arms and the special square cans) and very often get beat to heck. I've even had them leave a full can of trash because it was "too heavy" one time (even though it was just 2 bags of table scrap type material... heavier sure but easily lifted nonetheless).

I've never gotten anything asking for a tip, but if I did I'd laugh all the way to the trash can.

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tooo str8 for me! That's beggar's job, not trashmen's!