Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Public Self-Serving Announcement

The Feared Redhead has worked in the spa industry since before we were married. She started as an esthetician, she was a massage therapist. Throughout her career, one of the thorny issues has been tipping. Both jobs provide services that are traditionally tipped. But in recent years, the popularity of giving gift certificates to spas has put a dent in this.

So ladies (and gents -- you never know), here's a , well, tip, if you'll pardon the pun:

Massage therapists, estheticians, hair stylists, and cosmetologists should be tipped. Apply the same standards you would for a meal in a restaurant -- a percentage of the cost of the service, adjusted for the quality of service received. A three dollar tip on a service that takes an hour of intensive work, and requires a license that must be studied for, sometimes for years, just ain't gonna cut it, and furthermore communicates the wrong message -- either that you don't know what you're doing, or you thought the facial sucked. And no, effusive praise is not an acceptable substitute. In fact, when you gush about the facial and THEN stiff her, that actually hurts WORSE. And if you're receiving the service courtesy of a gift certificate, don't assume the cost of the certificate included gratuity. It probably didn't, and what's more, the front desk staff are usually not even allowed to broach the subject -- with you OR with the purchaser of the certificate. So ask. And if the answer is, "No, it did not", well, then...

Thanks for listening.

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