Re: tip the hairdresser?
- Hi Judy,
At the shop I go to they ladies always go directly to the person they give
the tip to thank them personally and do that little cheek kissing thing.
Usually the tip is given to the girls that work in the shop applying color,
washing and doing nails/pedicures. I have left the tip at the counter and
ask for it to be given to a certain person working there but the person at
the counter always calls her right over to take the money and thank me.
Lesson learned. I hardly ever tip the owner/hair stylist but I do tip him
big time at Christmas.
(506) 388-6126 cell
(506) 288-4680 home/office
re; "One person has told me it's considered impolite to
simply leave the money and walk away, and that a tip should be handed to the
tippee with a gracious thanks for a job well done. Can anyone else confirm"
- My belief on tipping in general is if it's something I don't want to
do for myself or can't do (like cut my hair, color, eating out,
carrying a bunch of groceries out, standing guard watching a car or
worrying about it) & ESPECIALLY if I'm paying these outrageously low
prices (compared to what I was used to in the States. I'm talking
about hearing of women's hair coloring for $15!! I paid $80-$110 for
that in the States) - I'm going to show my appreciation WELL!! I tip
10-20% depending on the level of service & how cheerful they did it!!
I also ALWAYS tip an owner that assisted me (like a bartender or
hairstylist). I have NO clue where that myth got started about not
tipping owners but as a person that has their own biz - I can tell you
that few people will TRULY know what WORK is till they work for
themselves & are 101% responsible for ALL aspects of a biz. Sometimes
we can be the MOST overworked & underpaid people around if you look at
the big picture of how much time we often put into a biz (to say
nothing of all the expenses that usually do).
I tip a MIN. of 10% at restaurants - even if the tip is built in to
the bill already as we now know that 10% does NOT go to the Food
Server but is usually spread amongst all the employees (I'm ok with it
being split with the bus person & cook/chef though I personally would
NOT want a person that did NOTHING to help me have an enjoyable meal)
&/or directly to the owner.
I also like things to be prepared the way I like them, sometimes
substitutions & I like REALLY ATTENTIVE service & things being done
correctly the first time so of course I tip for that. Trust you me -
when you're known as someone that treats them well - they WILL go out
of their way to take GOOD care of you & I LIKE that!!! I LOVE being
treated like a Queen (hence I try to treat most others like that as
If I can't afford to tip - I'd NEVER DREAM of going out & expecting
someone else to take care of me (I'd go to Burger Kings Drive-Up or
something like that).
- This thread on tipping is in microcosm the issue of when should
extranjeros blend in, going with the flow of existing customs, and
when should they change the current customs?
Ticos seldom tip, I am told. I haven't had a chance to see for myself
yet. But a Tico friend told me a sorry story. He had a great
gardener, and one day he volunteered a raise for good performance.
Within weeks the gardener was back demanding more raises. My Tico
friend figured that the gardener must have thought that my friend had
more money than he knew what to do with, if he was going around
volunteering raises). Eventually, after several more demands, the
gardener had to be fired. He had become spoiled by kindness.
What's the point? Certainly I have found that adding an extra 5%
ONLY when the service is good causes the server to improve service
(in a restaurant I frequent). I'm not sure that adding 10-20% would
change this dynamic, and I think we need to discus whether 10-20%
might trigger the "gardener syndrom".
I do hear from some Ticos a certain bitterness that extranjeros come
into Costa Rica with bags of money, and bid up the prices of real
estate, pushing prices beyond the reach of most Ticos.
Is adding a 10-20% beyond the 10% already built in to the menu price
equivalent to bidding up the price of real estate? Vicki makes the
case that if you're known as a good tipper you'll get good service.
Does the converse hold true, so that those who choose not to tip
beyond (say) an extra 5% will get poor service?
Food for some discussion.
- I wouldn't say one would necessarily experience worse service by not
tipping - perhaps just mediocre & personally I'm not into mediocre
anything in life because I KNOW I DESERVE BETTER (because I tend to
give more in/to life)!!!
My biz is in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where I'm used to some of the
BEST service I've experienced in ALL the places I've visited or lived
(unfortunately it's WAYYYY TOOOO party for where I'm at in my life
right now hence part of the reason I didn't move there). Most service
workers (especially food servers) are tipped pretty well. I'm SURE
that helps!!! In Florida - at least on the West Coast - I didn't
experience anywhere near as good detailed service as I did when I
lived in Calif.
From what I hear most Tico's don't tip or at least not much but MANY
(NOT all!!) Tico's don't make lots of money in the first place - not
compared to what many gringos are used to!! Even a person on minimum
Social Security from the States is often bringing in WAYYYY MORE $$
often than a whole Tico or Nica family makes. I'm not sure why people
keep bringing this point up as that's beyond comparing apples to
From MANY conversations I've had here & postings I've seen on the
boards - there seem to be many people that don't tip service workers
or treat their workers really well (based on what I consider well).
We all come from different schools of beliefs. Personally I LOVE to
help people feel empowered so they want to better their lives which
COULD (& often does) mean they may move on to something better/more
pay. When I pay someone more for something - I'm VERY clear (usually
in a writen agreement) that I'm giving them more because I EXPECT more
out of them & if they don't give me what I expect - they WILL get less
or NOT have a job - simple as that!! GOOD CLEAR Communications is
VERY CRUCIAL no matter where you live.
The other day my massuese gifted me with a cool colorful cutting board
(my other one was clear & she knows I LOVE color!! She tells me that
no one's ever been so kind to her & she REALLY appreciates the fact
that after she finishes doing me I let her sit in my massage chair for
15+ min., I feed her lunch & I let her take a shower before she goes
on to her next appointment plus I've brought her some other business &
even let her use my massage table for them). The gal that's making my
curtains (which I've ONLY given her a partial payment because she's
not finished since she's doing this in between jobs) often brings me
some treat she's made or gifted me with something I didn't ask for
like an ironing board cover to match my couch cushions. Even my
neighbors often bring me some little treat when they just stop in to
say hi! Why? They've all said I make them feel welcome & appreciated
- just like any other friend. Of course I mainly attract cool/special
people I KNOW BECAUSE I try to treat others WELL - in BIG part because
I LOVE to be treated well!!!
If others are doing well - it just reminds me that there's even MORE
of that out there for ALL of us (helps me on those days I may be stuck
in my self-sabatoge mode!!)
I can't help but feel that MANY people don't treat their workers well
because they are afraid they're going to leave them (my abandonment
issues are in other areas).
To me - ANYTHING/ANYONE that doesn't work out - it just means that
something BETTER is right around the corner!!!
I don't do that "that's just how it's done here" belief as there are
parts of the world where people are still treated like slaves or women
are treated like sub-humans - does that mean you should treat those
people the same way - just because that's how everyone else treats
them there or that's how they're used to being treated?
I'm blessed to have WONDERFUL people show up in my life in people that
assist/help take care of me & in GOOD QUALITY DEEP friends!!! As
usual - I see & live the world in a VERY DIFFERENT light!!! VIVA la
- vallarta_vicki wrote: "I don't do that "that's just how it's done here"
belief as there are parts of the world where people are still treated like
slaves or women are treated like sub-humans - does that mean you should
treat those people the same way - just because that's how everyone else
treats them there or that's how they're used to being treated?"
This line reminds me of some issues I have encountered since moving here a
month ago and beginning my journey in learning to adjust to the culture.
Some cultural practices -- how to greet people, acceptible small talk
topics, concepts of personal space, concepts of lateness -- I don't mind
adjusting to. But there are some aspects of culture -- for example, racism,
sexism, classism, dishonesty, unreliability -- that may be "the Tico way"
but I am unwilling adopt because of my own principles.
I would love to hear from more experienced folks who have lived here a lot
longer how you have found a balance between adjusting to the culture and
being true to your own values.
My blog: http://jacquelinepassey.blogs.com/
In the beginning, move slow. Watch, observe. Start with the assumption
that the culture here works - just like the culture back where you came
from. But, it doesn't work if only pieces are used. This is a lot like
us growing trees. I recently did a paper because people assume that
because we are successfully growing trees, well, surely they can too.
Perhaps, but usually they haven't learn enough first and often they
don't have enough money. So, I did an article to explain the things that
are not generally said in the industry because they are assumed.
The same thing is true for the culture. There are things that are
assumed here and not stated. One is because of our "wonderful" TV shows.
Surely all you know that everyone of us is rich! Why? Because on the TV
shows they show blue collar workers living in very nice, large homes in
beautiful neighborhoods. Honest, I was just talking with two students of
a technical school and had to let them down gently that most people
DON'T live that way. They also assume that people from the USA are,
shall we say, a bit preoccupied with sex. A interesting discuss would be
is how much of the problems of the USA now is the trash we export on TV.
If you think about what people think about us from seeing TV, it will
make you shudder.
The key here is that attitudes are in your face. They are no different,
they just aren't wrapped up in political correctness. People are people.
You are just getting many in the raw, instead of dressed up and concealed.
The dishonesty and unreliability depend on who you are talking with.
Some of the most honest people I have ever met, I have met here. You can
tell really quick. Look for people who don't smile all the time and look
you in the eye. If someone is acting like you are just so wonderful,
grab your wallet. This was policy in the USA and also my policy here. It
works well. Also, if you find someone emphasizing that they are honest -
they probably aren't. My experience is that honest people are honest
with themselves and know that they have times they are tempted. Those
who protest too much are suspect.
So, your assumption that the "Tico way" is dishonest and unreliable is
off-base. Find a better group of people to be around. When you first
land in this country, there are many scoundrels who wish to drain you of
your excess money. Eventually you will find the good people, if they
find that you too are good. By the way, regarding dishonesty - always
remember with humility that the Ticos have 2 ex-presidents sitting in
jail. I think their Democracy is more honest than ours.
I am still me, I still act the way I did in the USA. I was an alien
there too... ;-)
> I would love to hear from more experienced folks who have livedhere a lot
> longer how you have found a balance between adjusting to theculture and
> being true to your own values.I am still going "slow" and trying to determine where the line is for
me between my core values and CR's cultural differences.
But one thing I have learned is not to make quick assumptions about
the "tico way". As many have pointed out on this board, there are
many individual differences in CR -- some are the most honest you
will ever meet, others can't be trusted -- just like "back home".
One thing I used to believe is that lateness is endemic in CR, only
to read a few months ago a survey by La Nacion showing that 85% of
Ticos hated lateness! I had subscribed to the assumption that
Latinos were chronically late. But if 85% hate lateness, how come so
many miss appointments? I don't get it.
So, if any opf the veterans here have figured out the "Tico
culture" , perhaps they could write a short manual for the rest of
us -- subject to all the caveats about generalizations, of course.
- Hmmm, dangerous waters. The LaNacion survey points out a
Tico/Latin/other "quirk" akin to what severe parents say, "Do as I
say, not as I do." So in the spirit of enlightenment, yes, there is a
certain amount of, shall we say, hypocracy in them there bushes.
Further, you must keep in mind that offenses TO you are mostly
forgotten, while offenses to ME will never be. Example, the maid,
carelessessly and against your previous warnings, drops and breaks
your grandmothers favorite vase. You are incessed, you shout! I TOLD
YOU NOT TO TOUCH THAT! The maid sulks off, packs her stuff and
leaves. Two months later you run into her at the grocery store, make
a guarded greetings and try to restore peace, asking, why did you pack
up and quit? The maid replies that because you shouted at her so you
ask, WHY did I shout at you? The maid says that she doesn't