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In San Francisco, do you tip your apartment manager?
December 15, 2008 12:52 PM   Subscribe

In San Francisco, do you tip your apartment manager?

This is one of those finer points of etiquette that I was not brought up on, and surveying my local friends revealed answers from "Of course!" to "Hell no!" to "What?"

So yes or no? And if yes, how much?

To keep this from being chatfilter let's limit this to San Francisco.
posted by Ookseer to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
 
I never did
posted by zeoslap at 1:27 PM on December 15, 2008


I was born and raised in San Francisco, and have lived in apartment buildings in said town both large and small. I have a family member who manages a large apartment building in Japantown. Having stated my peerless qualifications to answer the question, I will now proceed to do so:

"Hell no!"

A holiday card, sure. A letter of heartfelt thanks? Go for it. Fruit basket? Not a problem. Cash money on the barrelhead? Um, say what?

Tip a mail carrier, yes. Tip a garbage guy (although in an apartment building, that might not be practical), of course. Tip an apartment manager? Never heard of it.
posted by majick at 1:39 PM on December 15, 2008


Do you mean a super (someone who personally does maintenance and repair work on your apartment at your request) or do you mean a person who sits in an office, takes your rent money, and possibly dispatches a maintenance person or two?

The terminology you're using makes it seem like it might be either, maybe that's why you're getting different answers from different people.
posted by sondrialiac at 1:45 PM on December 15, 2008


Yeah, I'm confused. A manager would never be tipped.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:53 PM on December 15, 2008


Good lord -- of course not.
posted by Rash at 2:41 PM on December 15, 2008


I have a good litmus test for figuring out who to tip, and who to not:

Are they a worker or management? Worker...yes; management...NO. You'd tip your waiter, but never the restaurant manager. You'd tip the barista, but never the manager.

And tipping the property manager...dude...thats like tipping the warden of your prison!

Good luck...and its kinda sweet that you thought of your property manager...but the answer is a resounding "NO!".
posted by hal_c_on at 3:12 PM on December 15, 2008


There's a big difference between a good building manager and a great one. A good building manager will call a plumber promptly if there is a problem--a great one will take a look at it himself to try to see if he can save you the cost of a plumber. If your manager consistently goes beyond the call of duty to help the residents, a tip is reasonable (though not expected).
posted by kprincehouse at 7:02 PM on December 15, 2008


I think I've got the answer (Thanks!) but to fill in the data:

My building manager's tasks seem to be in full:
- Approving new tenants and collecting rent.
- Notifying residents of stuff that might affect us. (For example if the water is going to be off in the building for a few hours due to maintenance.)
- Fielding maintenance requests from tenants.
- Signing for packages.
- Letting me in when I've locked myself out. (Which I've never done.)

All of the building maintenance and cleaning are done by various contractors.

One more for the Christmas card list.

(FWIW I guess I've been made inadvertently paranoid by year end articles like this and this.)
posted by Ookseer at 7:29 PM on December 15, 2008


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