Getting everyone to tip the cleaners late for Christmas?
January 8, 2011 1:02 AM Subscribe
Yesterday at work our cleaners (a married couple) mentioned to me that they were the only cleaners on our site who hadn't received a tip for Christmas. I was really taken by surprise as I'd never even thought of tipping work cleaners but felt really guilty because if this was the done thing then they didn't deserve to be left out. I checked with someone else and found it was true, they were indeed the only ones not to receive a tip from the people they cleaned for (i.e. the office workers).
posted by hazyjane to Work & Money (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, I found myself in the awkward position of wanting to go 'round and solicit tips for the cleaners after the fact. I went at lunch and got a thank you card, put £10 in to start it off and then went around the different departments on our floor and asked if people wanted to donate.
I phrased it as "hi, this is totally voluntary but I'm just checking whether anyone would like to contribute £1 or so to the cleaner's Christmas tip. It's something I never thought of before but apparently our cleaners were the only ones on site who didn't receive anything."
I got a lot of different reactions from "oh of course, absolutely, yes" to "uh, no, a tip for the cleaners, I don't think I'll be volunteering for that!" said in a rather snide way. Other people contributed but said "ok and my collection will be on Monday! To which I responded "great, then I'll take Tuesday!" I ended up collecting £45 including my ten which averages out to a little over £1 a person. I presented this to the cleaners with the card most people had signed and they were thrilled.
Now, though, I'm feeling quite uncomfortable and wonder if I've made a huge social faux-pas (I have social anxiety problems and I always feel really weird after sticking my neck out in any way).
So my question is, did I do the right thing? What would you have done? Are people secretly very annoyed that I've asked them for money and put them on the spot? And.... what about the cleaner's tip for next year? We have a building manager and I feel it would be more appropriate for her to handle this sort of thing, but I don't know how to bring it up to her. I don't want this to become "my thing" that I do every year!