Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'd gladly pay you 20% today for quality service you might not ever provide me...

Last night I posed a simple question on my Facebook: How much do you tip your hairdresser?

I seemed to have unwittingly opened a can of exploding opinions. 36 comments later I learned that the average tip was 20% - a little more if the service was stellar, a little less if it was so deserved.

However, a few comments shocked me - and these tended to be from the hairdressers themselves, like this one:

"As a HAIRDRESSER i feel 20% is norm anything above is awesome. And if you are giving a service, a tip IS expected! It's also called common courtsey."

Really? A tip is EXPECTED by you? How about the customer expecting good service FROM you? The last time I went to get my hair done I was left alone waiting several times. Now, I've been getting my hair cut, colored and styled since I was seventeen. I think I know the drill by now, so trust me when I say I can tell the difference between waiting for my color to set and waiting for you to answer the phone (once it was your mother!), assist walk-ins that wanted to use the tanning beds, and, oh yes, agree to cut the man's hair that will only take ten minutes. I didn't feel like I was getting the best service in the area, I felt like I was in your way and being a complete inconvenience to you. But, wait - didn't I execute common courtesy and call ahead to schedule this appointment so that you could set aside enough time to provide me such excellent service? I felt like I gave you ample time to plan out your stellar customer service plan, yet executed it was not.

What ever happened to "proove your worth?" You know, the idea that you bust your butt prooving you are an awesome employee and then you receieve a pay raise as recognition that you've done a great job and deserve more than what was previously given to you.

My Jellybean is notorious for asking for money BEFORE she does a job. It hasn't gotten her anywhere with me, but Big V fell for it once. The Bean wanted to borrow ten dollars. Of course she agreed to chores to complete in exchange... help give the dog a bath, clean out the car, and help shovel the driveway the next time it snowed. It took weeks to get her to 'pay up' and when she did, it was a most pathetic attempt. Whiney, miserable, "my hands are cold" -- she didn't follow her end of the bargain. This is what she agreed to - do it. She definately didn't do $10 worth of work, yet she expected that ten dollars when she wanted it.

Tell me, oh wise Hairdresser, when did it become a requirement for me to not only pay the cost meant to cover the expense of treatment on my hair, but also to pay you an additional 20% just because you want it? How about we compromise. You calculate a cost you'd like to charge because you expect it. This should cover your hair chemicals, taxes, time, etc. That will be what I pay you.... but if I don't like your service, then I won't go to you anymore.

And If I do like your service, I might pay you extra - a tip, if you will, to show my gratitude, to encourage you to do it again. Though by definition a tip is never legally required, and its amount is at the discretion of the person being served, I'll still throw in some extra if I feel you worked hard to show me that you can provide excellent service; something that shows you are above and beyond the rest.


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