Giving a holiday tip to a substitute?
December 21, 2010 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Snowflake holiday-tipping question: I just found out that our regular mailman has been out sick. Do I tip two people?

I'm planning to tip our mailman this year for the first time. He often drives up our very long driveway to leave packages, puts them in plastic bags if it's raining, or puts our packages inside the front door if it's unlocked.

I went out to Target, bought a gift card, and called the post office to get our guy's name. I was then told that he's been sick for the past few months, but I got his name. The person I spoke to didn't give me the name of whoever's been filling in.

What should I do? Leave a tip for our regular? Should I get something else for the substitute? (We've gotten tip-worthy service since our regular's been out.) Or maybe get something edible and shareable and leave it/bring it to the whole post office?
posted by thebazilist to Human Relations (3 answers total)
Write out a nice card for your regular postie and buy something edible for the office. That way nobody gets left out, but your particular mailman also gets something special.
posted by fight or flight at 1:12 PM on December 21, 2010

If your "usual" guy has been out sick for several months, doesn't that mean the "substitute" is actually your new usual guy? Tip the guy who's been delivering the mail for the past few months.

One year without a token gift card is not going to kill your January-September mail carrier.

(FWIW, I work in an industry where it's common to give a token gift to underlings. This year I happen to be temporarily unemployed for the holidays. I have no hard feelings for the many employers I had over the course of 2010 who are not going to be getting me a gift because I'm not currently on their payroll.)
posted by Sara C. at 4:48 PM on December 21, 2010

I would leave a nice card and a tin of cookies for the current mailman and hold the card and tip for your regular one until he returns. If its a Christmas themed card and he get it next month when he shows back up I'm sure he will understand.

We have a great relationship with our mailman that started 5 years ago when my dad started giving him a bottle of cold water every day (it gets hot here in the summer), the next winter we got a hand made and written Christmas card from him.
posted by token-ring at 9:06 PM on December 21, 2010

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