condo tipping

CaptnGlenn

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Mar 29, 2010
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I'll be coming to D.R. for our first visit since taking possession of our new condo. During the few times I've rented condos in complexes in Cortecito / P.C. for vacations, there have always been guys who help around the complex, (carrying luggage, going to pick up water bottles, other various stuff). I don't know what their "official" jobs are... (as if such a thing exists, LOL)... like security, handyman, chief cook and bottle washer... etc. I've always wondered what the appropriate tip for various services should be... don't want to over tip or be a cheapskate.

In Oct. we met a couple who own a unit in a complex not far from us, and their practice was to tip their guy, who took (VERY good) care of them, the equivalent of $20 - 25 U.S. in one lump sum tip at the end of their stay, (or periodically over longer stays). They've had their place for several years, so have an established relationship with the guy, (sometimes giving him dinner, etc.)

ANYWAY... I know there's a WIDE range of thoughts and feelings about tipping in general, and this is a specialized situation; but I'd like to hear what some of you have to suggest.
 

AlterEgo

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This is a wide open question, because a lot depends on what they are actually doing for you and how often they are doing it.

For example, we have a handyman who takes care of our property whether we are there or not. We let him farm behind our house and keep all the profits, he loves it and he watches over our house even better because he has a stake in keeping it safe.

Now, he has a stepson who is 19, and he has him living in a small building on our property, so there is always someone there watching the crops he planted. The stepson doesn't work for us at all, but when we're there he's always there with a smile and an offer to help. I buy him t-shirts and sneakers that are his style and bring them down, and while we're there we feed him 3x a day, plus I give him toiletries when we go shopping there [soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, etc].

Of course, the kid likes cash too, so from time to time we give him 1000 pesos. In a course of 2 months that we're usually there, maybe he'll get that three times. Not on any kind of schedule, because we're talking about tips here, plus it depends on what he helps with. Washing the car, bringing in groceries, clearing debris, going to the colmado, etc.

Hope this helps a little.
 

CaptnGlenn

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Actually the last part helps a lot. In our case, we're in a 26 unit complex, and have a property manager to keep tabs on our apartment when we're not there ... but my question was about the ongoing help the guys who looks over the complex as a whole gives to us individual owners / occupants on an as need basis.

Actually a better way to phrase my question is "what would be considered a good tip" based on what these guys usually make as a salary compared to their costs of living, etc. For example... what might be a good tip for a random service here in Pittsburgh, would be considered pretty cheap in New York (where people make more, but things cost more) ... but would probably be considered a really big tip in the D.R. (where salaries are way less, and costs of living are less). Don't know if that makes sense as an explanation or not.
 

AlterEgo

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It makes a lot of sense, and I know that we Americans tend to tip and pay too much for services, which makes it bad for others. My husband reels me in sometimes, he says if I give too much then they think that everyone should give that much, and it makes local Dominicans look bad if they tip/pay half or less than what I do. And if we give the impression that we are 'rich', it perpetuates the 'foreigner can afford to pay more' attitude.

The moral being, I guess, don't overtip. You have to find that happy medium between being fair and being cheap. Not always easy. When my husband tips in DR, I think he's cheap. He says he tips more than his fellow Dominicans.

Now, these guys you're talking about, I'm guessing maybe they make 7-8,000 pesos a month. So a 100 peso tip is probably good for most small random service. And I wouldn't tip the same every time, or even tip every time. But that's just me, having been trained by a Dominican, haha.

Another example - our washer broke, so my sister-in-law insisted we bring our laundry to her house for her housekeeper to do. And we were instructed - uncategorically - that we were NOT to give her any tip/cash for doing it. She said it would be okay to give the woman a small gift [a lipstick, etc.] as a thank you. She didn't want her "spoiled".

We did as we were told, but it bothered both of us giving the woman that extra work for almost nothing, so we got the machine fixed a/s/a/p.
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Another example - our washer broke, so my sister-in-law insisted we bring our laundry to her house for her housekeeper to do. And we were instructed - uncategorically - that we were NOT to give her any tip/cash for doing it. She said it would be okay to give the woman a small gift [a lipstick, etc.] as a thank you. She didn't want her "spoiled".

We did as we were told, but it bothered both of us giving the woman that extra work for almost nothing, so we got the machine fixed a/s/a/p.
I'm glad you were bothered. I live here, have lived here a very long time, and I agree that we shouldn't over tip. But we shouldn't abuse the people who are working for us, either. The woman was asked to do something over and above her normal job and should have received some sort of additional compensation as far as I am concerned. Paying people for extra work is not "spoiling" them
 

Bigocean

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Nov 25, 2010
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I'll be coming to D.R. for our first visit since taking possession of our new condo. During the few times I've rented condos in complexes in Cortecito / P.C. for vacations, there have always been guys who help around the complex, (carrying luggage, going to pick up water bottles, other various stuff). I don't know what their "official" jobs are... (as if such a thing exists, LOL)... like security, handyman, chief cook and bottle washer... etc. I've always wondered what the appropriate tip for various services should be... don't want to over tip or be a cheapskate.

In Oct. we met a couple who own a unit in a complex not far from us, and their practice was to tip their guy, who took (VERY good) care of them, the equivalent of $20 - 25 U.S. in one lump sum tip at the end of their stay, (or periodically over longer stays). They've had their place for several years, so have an established relationship with the guy, (sometimes giving him dinner, etc.)

ANYWAY... I know there's a WIDE range of thoughts and feelings about tipping in general, and this is a specialized situation; but I'd like to hear what some of you have to suggest.


Capt you should be careful of any type of regular "tips" or payments, especially if you are going to be there for any length of time. Unscrupulous types can assert employment with you and then get the secretaria de trabajo after you for liquidacion, tss, insurance, etc. Best to keep it simple, small, and not at any type of regular intervals.
 

imfromda305

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Dec 9, 2011
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Another example - our washer broke, so my sister-in-law insisted we bring our laundry to her house for her housekeeper to do. And we were instructed - uncategorically - that we were NOT to give her any tip/cash for doing it. She said it would be okay to give the woman a small gift [a lipstick, etc.] as a thank you. She didn't want her "spoiled".

We did as we were told, but it bothered both of us giving the woman that extra work for almost nothing, so we got the machine fixed a/s/a/p.
Oooh hell no! No you didn't!

Yo, this ish right here can really make me upset! I'm from The Netherlands, so getting things done there cost money! My parents are from Suriname, when I'm in Suriname those people that live there I call them my people. Many times I've been helped in cases which I know if that has been done in The Netherlands it would've never been a favor but I had to pay some good money.

I don't know your income, if you're born in DR and I don't know how you see those people who are helping you out but they are helping you out! Talking bout let the housekeeper do that cos she's there anyway so she might as well do this and that and everything that comes along.

Just because that housekeeper isn't used to big money so needs to work her S off to get a lil bit something something shouldn't make you think like that. This ish makes me feel mad uncomfortable, like white people do to Mexicans or did to black slaves..

"You've been good today, here are our left overs!" Da fck!?! :dead:
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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imfromda, please, dude, you do not live here and you know nada about DR. do keep your "back home" stories to yourself, those rules do not apply in DR.

tipping is a tricky thing. sometimes it may be better to give something rather than money because dominicans tend to spend their money, to put in mildly - badly :) i tend to give stuff rather than money. ron - i have plenty of that at all times. rasimo de platanos is always a great thing too. i also give away our clothes - whatever is too small, too big or too old. and yes, too old is still good for many dominicans, especially those performing physical jobs: they get to save their good clothes and can use your old ones to the last thread.

but if you insist on money i stand by alterego: not all the time and not the same amounts. i am sure the dude has his salary, he is not giving you a favor by carrying luggage or shopping - he is doing his job. if you tip all the time he will take you for a fool and he will refuse to do anything unless you pay him first.
 

imfromda305

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Dec 9, 2011
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imfromda, please, dude, you do not live here and you know nada about DR. do keep your "back home" stories to yourself, those rules do not apply in DR.

tipping is a tricky thing. sometimes it may be better to give something rather than money because dominicans tend to spend their money, to put in mildly - badly :) i tend to give stuff rather than money. ron - i have plenty of that at all times. rasimo de platanos is always a great thing too. i also give away our clothes - whatever is too small, too big or too old. and yes, too old is still good for many dominicans, especially those performing physical jobs: they get to save their good clothes and can use your old ones to the last thread.

but if you insist on money i stand by alterego: not all the time and not the same amounts. i am sure the dude has his salary, he is not giving you a favor by carrying luggage or shopping - he is doing his job. if you tip all the time he will take you for a fool and he will refuse to do anything unless you pay him first.
I can't even comment on things like carrying luggage, I'm talking like repairing things.. like the example giving there. A washing machine. I understand that my back home stories shouldn't be compared with whatever is going on in DR.

You ain't never gonna catch me tipping someone for labor they're assigned to be doing, but if repairing things is part of the job for housekeepers in DR then forget what I've said. It just had me stunned for a minute.

It's just the repairing labor I'm talking about, but like the topic starter said..

there's a WIDE range of thoughts and feelings about tipping in general
At the end of the day, the receivers of the tips are leaving with a smile anyway so that's what should count.. :)
 

imfromda305

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LOL, I saw 2 people disliked my comment..

I'm a bit more fortunate than others, at the same time I've been in some very unfortunate situations before. It only put things in perspective, that's all. It's just something what I personally couldn't do, ain't no reason to dislike that.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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imfromda, life in DR is way different than in europe. please do not think about non payment for services as an abuse. i admit that in a case of alterego and broken washing machine i would feel bad not to pay but then i have not become completely dominicanized, maybe :) i am sure cleaner's employer had good reasons to advice against payment.
seldom do i use my cleaning girl to do something extra - feed animals when we are away - and then i only pay her for transport and not for the effort as such. but i feed her like a xmas turkey and she receives plenty of things apart from her wages...
 

Mauricio

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Nov 18, 2002
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There is a good reason not to tip the maid of someone else that does your laundry. It's the employer of the maid doing you the favor, not the maid, she is just doing someone elses laundry in her boss' time. She won't be cleaning the top of the kitchen cabinets that week. And besides: tipping does spoil over here. Before you know 'they' perceive the tip as a 'derecho' and won't do anything if you don't tip them, except for with 'un tru?o'. Ofcourse our maid gets something extra now and then if she had a very heavy week, had to help out with the children or just to help her with transportation, but not for every 'extra' work she does. The guy who protects our residencial, same case. He helped me two weeks ago with a leaking roof I had and actually within little time he found the problem and fixed it, I did give him 1000 pesos. But in other cases I ask him for small jobs and dont pay him anything. After all its me and the rest of the residents who are paying his salary.

Just a small example how easily they are spoiled. We have a woman coming over to do our laundry twice a week (since 3 months), two weeks ago she wanted to visit someone outside the capital and told us she wouldn't come that week. No problem. Last week my wife asks her if she wants her Christmas regalia in cash or in her account, she says, in my account, and don't forget to pay me last week, cause I am doing that laundry this week. (even though she came this week the same amount of days and hours as any normal week).
 

keepcoming

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May 25, 2011
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We pay our housekeeper the same every month however, anything extra say for example we have visitors then we pay a bit extra. At holiday time we give a bonus. I do however give the meal left overs to our house keeper to take home and even though we pay her transportation, at times if we are going out we will take her home. When I take trips to the US, I will bring her and her family a few things back. We have a security guard downstairs and at times when I have deliveries such as soda, water etc..I will tip him to bring the cases up to us. At holiday time, such as now, we do tip the security guards, gardeners, etc...
 

AlterEgo

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I can't even comment on things like carrying luggage, I'm talking like repairing things.. like the example giving there. A washing machine. I understand that my back home stories shouldn't be compared with whatever is going on in DR.

You ain't never gonna catch me tipping someone for labor they're assigned to be doing, but if repairing things is part of the job for housekeepers in DR then forget what I've said. It just had me stunned for a minute.

It's just the repairing labor I'm talking about, but like the topic starter said..



At the end of the day, the receivers of the tips are leaving with a smile anyway so that's what should count.. :)
You need to re-read my post. The housekeeper in question didn't FIX our washer, she did a few loads of laundry in my in-law's washing machine. We called a mechanic to our house to fix ours. Geesh.
 

jrjrth

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Mar 24, 2011
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I'll be coming to D.R. for our first visit since taking possession of our new condo. During the few times I've rented condos in complexes in Cortecito / P.C. for vacations, there have always been guys who help around the complex, (carrying luggage, going to pick up water bottles, other various stuff). I don't know what their "official" jobs are... (as if such a thing exists, LOL)... like security, handyman, chief cook and bottle washer... etc. I've always wondered what the appropriate tip for various services should be... don't want to over tip or be a cheapskate.

In Oct. we met a couple who own a unit in a complex not far from us, and their practice was to tip their guy, who took (VERY good) care of them, the equivalent of $20 - 25 U.S. in one lump sum tip at the end of their stay, (or periodically over longer stays). They've had their place for several years, so have an established relationship with the guy, (sometimes giving him dinner, etc.)

ANYWAY... I know there's a WIDE range of thoughts and feelings about tipping in general, and this is a specialized situation; but I'd like to hear what some of you have to suggest.
~In our case we always feed the guys, they are only provided with rice and beans for meals. We do not do it daily either, we have been told not to because they will then expect it from you. We have given them chicken and pork to add to their rice and beans, we also get them sweets that they would not usually have, but again not all the time. When we leave we give them what is left in the Refrig, they dont usually have condements and find these especially pleasing to receive....

On occassion we tip a guy for bringing the trash to the refuse area....they will all befriend you if you tip too well. Smaller increments are wiser!!

We leave in two weeks!! Maybe well see yah on the beach!!
 

belmont

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Oct 9, 2009
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I'm glad you were bothered. I live here, have lived here a very long time, and I agree that we shouldn't over tip. But we shouldn't abuse the people who are working for us, either. The woman was asked to do something over and above her normal job and should have received some sort of additional compensation as far as I am concerned. Paying people for extra work is not "spoiling" them
Just because AlterEgo's sister-in-law told her not to tip the maid doesn't mean she wasn't going to take care of it herself. I know when my adult kids come to visit and the housekeeper does their laundry in addition to extra cleaning, I specifically tell my kids not to give the housekeeper any money. I take care of that myself and always compensate her for her extra work.
 

AlterEgo

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Just because AlterEgo's sister-in-law told her not to tip the maid doesn't mean she wasn't going to take care of it herself. I know when my adult kids come to visit and the housekeeper does their laundry in addition to extra cleaning, I specifically tell my kids not to give the housekeeper any money. I take care of that myself and always compensate her for her extra work.
I can't say what extra she did or did not give to the woman. I'd like to think she compensated her, but who knows???

But we were there one day when the woman was leaving for her day off, taking a bus back to where she came from [Azua I think], and I noticed she had her clothes in a plastic bag from the supermarket. One of the things I gave to her was a large zippered tote bag that I had brought to take towels to the beach, but had never used, tags still on it, good quality bag. I also gave her some Bath & Body Works lip gloss, and some perfumed dusting powder, costume jewelry, etc.

We were in DR for two months, and probably ate 15 rather elaborate meals there, my sister-in-law is quite the hospitable person and does nothing halfway. Gave that woman a lot of extra work, I think, so I not only brought some desserts, etc., I often brought a little something extra for the woman. Which had nothing to do with the laundry!!!

It's so much easier [for me anyway] to have little gifts for women I want to thank. Accessories of any kind, cosmetics, jewelry, etc.

Harder for men, for me anyway. Instead of cash for the guys who do 'extra', I bring down packs of socks, undershirts, flipflops, key chains, flashlights, solar calculators, ball caps, etc., and give that to them sometimes instead of pesos. They're thrilled because the quality is so much better than what they get locally, and since I look for sales back home, they're getting more too.

AA is only allowing one free suitcase now, so the "pickings" will be a little slimmer this year. We really don't have a lot of clothing to pack, since we leave all our clothes at the house in DR when we come back.
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Just because AlterEgo's sister-in-law told her not to tip the maid doesn't mean she wasn't going to take care of it herself. I know when my adult kids come to visit and the housekeeper does their laundry in addition to extra cleaning, I specifically tell my kids not to give the housekeeper any money. I take care of that myself and always compensate her for her extra work.
That is true. Too bad she didn't make this intention clear by saying "don't worry, I'll see that she gets a little extra" instead of saying, in effect, give her a tube of lipstick but nothing else so she doesn't get spoiled.

If you reread AlterEgo's original post you will see that neither AlterEgo or her husband had the impression at the time that the maid was going to be compensated by the sister-in-law..
 
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pi2

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I agree - pay generously for any special service and maybe a bottle of rum at New Year - but do not build up any continuous expectancy for tips. Also listen to distress stories and reach a judgement to if the the person is responsible or not - many people now have bank accounts to save for emergencies - - also 100 pesos to pay for a perscription not expected is a lot different from 1000 pesos to pay for rent, expected anyway and the person has a job.

pi2