Enough With the Tip Shaming, Now Get Your Hands Out of My Pockets

Paula Froelich
·Editor at Large

The tipping pressure has reached a tipping point. (Photo: Fuse/Thinkstock)

Let’s just get one thing clear: I am not cheap. But we need to do something about all this tip-shaming.

Recently, we posted a piece on tipping etiquette in which we noted, “Marriott has tapped the former first lady of California [Maria Shriver] to launch its new ‘The Envelope Please’ program, which encourages guests to tip the housekeeping staff at hotels by placing envelopes in thousands of rooms across Marriott’s various locations.”

Related: Are You Cheap? The 10 Commandments of (Travel) Tipping You Need to Know Now


Marriott’s launched a new campaign to encourage guests to tip the housekeeping staff. (Photo: Marriott)

I understand the tipping culture. Hell, I paid my way through college as a waitress and bartender and, due to past experiences, will tip 20 percent on a regular basis. But things have gotten out of hand.

According to Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach, if I walk into a restaurant, I need to shell out for the bartender, the waiter, and the maitre d’. I’m down $60 just for walking in. And at a hotel you’re supposed to “tip anyone who touches your bag.”

Are you kidding me?

WATCH: Marriott’s Reminder to Take Care of Housekeepers

I must admit, that “rule” does explain a few things. Like why, whenever I go to a nice hotel, I suddenly have 50 people fighting to “handle” my light carry-on — which I’d somehow managed to lift just fine by myself right up until this very second, when apparently I turn into a quadriplegic.


That noise you hear getting out of a cab in front of a nice hotel? Sounds a lot like “Ca-ching!” (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Seriously, on my trip the other day, I counted the number of people who touched my bags. My taxi pulled up to a decent hotel. Two guys rushed to get my carry-on. One grabbed my purse, despite my protestations. They walked both bags about 15 feet to the front door, where they turned my bags over to a bellman, who walked them 25 feet to the front desk. I then checked in, and ANOTHER bellman took the bags to my room. So now I had to tip four different bag handlers — and you better believe they were each expecting it. I felt like saying, “Well, I have to go to clean my teeth, can you move the toothbrush for me?” (Because honestly, if you are going to insist on doing things that I can and want to do for myself, you may as well fully infantilize me.)

Related: Hottie Alert! The Best-Looking Hotel Doormen Around the World

While I appreciate someone offering to get my bag, if I decline, let me schlep my own stuff. And don’t look at me as though I’ve just killed your cat.

And don’t get me started on the housekeepers, whom I love. If you, as a hotel guest, are a filthy pig, you should leave a tip for the people who have to clean up your mess. But dang, Marriott — I’m a clean lady and barely have time to touch my room, much less contaminate it during the one night I’m there on business. Why you gotta shame me into doing your job — that is, paying your employees decently? I love that restaurant in NYC where no one is allowed to tip because everyone is paid well. Maybe some hotels should start following that practice.


It’s the hotel’s job to pay its housekeepers enough so that they don’t need tips. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Or, maybe, respect the insane amount of money I’m spending at your establishment and just do me a courtesy. Because you’re nice.

I do get resentful because it starts to feel like I’m that GEICO insurance dude on a motorcycle, just shedding money. Everything starts to feel completely transactional. The love of the experience starts to fade. You go to a restaurant, have amazing food, and then you’re up all night wondering: “Did I tip everyone I needed to? Did I tip enough? Do they think I’m cheap?” And all of a sudden, your great night out becomes fraught with angst.


She looks like she’s enjoying herself, but in real life tipping isn’t always fun. (Photo: Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images)

Again, I got nothing against tipping. But I want it to come from me, from my heart, and not have it be expected. I also don’t want to pay a ton of money to large corporations for a service and then have them expect me to go one step further and pay more because the fact that I patronized their establishment isn’t enough … now, they want me to pay their bills.

And frankly, the Froelichs aren’t the Shrivers. We don’t have a gazillion dollars lying around in Swiss bank accounts. We work hard for our money and respect those who do, as well. We just don’t want to pay Marriott’s bills.

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