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The Tipping Point: Scrooged in '08?

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Each December since 2005, Curbed has jumped into the fray on the subject of holiday tipping for building employees, aiming to bring stability and a voice of reason to a confusing topic that has no clear set of guidelines on how much to give. Our take on the matter is simple: we re-run the legendary Two Trees "management memo" on the subject, then let readers go hog wild in the comments. OK, so it's not the best system, but neither is Democracy and we're not all speaking Russian, are we? The 2008 Holiday Season, however, is unlike any since we began monitoring tipping practices. Surely the economic turmoil will affect tips for doormen and the like, right? That's not so clear. The Times reports today that while some are planning to give 25-50 percent less than in previous years (and some doormen are expecting that drop-off), others are holding firm on their generosity. And that's exactly what tenants should do, according to an etiquette specialist:

“That’s the last place that you should cut,” said Judith Martin, who writes the Miss Manners column and dispenses advice on challenges like this one, “because what you’re doing is cutting the income of someone who is much more on the edge than you are. I think the whole tipping system is rotten — the money ought to be built into people’s wages so they can count on it — but given that it is the custom, these are the last people you should stiff.”Lousy system or not, you know you'll be forking over some cheddar if you don't want your dry cleaning to go "missing." Read up and let us know what you think is the correct play this time around.
· Budgeting Holiday Tips During a Recession [NYT]
· '07: And Now, the Holiday Tipping Point [Curbed]
· '06: Ask Curbed Redux: The Tipping Point [Curbed]
· '05: Ask Curbed: The Tipping Point [Curbed]