General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Should I be tipping these people?

Asked by tinyfaery (44129points) 1 week ago from iPhone

In got a new job. Yay! It’s in downtown and I have to pay for monthly parking. Booo… Where I park only has valet service. Even people who live there have to pay to valet their car. I don’t want to be tipping people every day. What’s the right thing to do in this situation?

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35 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Park somewhere close that does not require a valet, and walk the remaining distance/use a foldable bicycle.
Or, use public transport.

jca2's avatar

I’d give them a dollar or two per day.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^2 bucks sounds fair to me. Especially if it’s daily. And especially if my salary isn’t that higher from how much the valet’s making. Four bucks x 5 is 20 weekly. Not too bad imo.

Btw, yes I personally would tip.

chyna's avatar

Congratulations on the job!
Sorry @mazingerz88 but I think 20 bucks a week is too much. If I’m not mistaken @tinyfaery lives in California. Everything is high there. All of the expenses on top of tipping everyone is getting out of control. I just wouldn’t tip.

janbb's avatar

I would not tip daily but give them a tip at Christmas – maybe $25 or $50. I might also look to see if other people are tipping.

cookieman's avatar

My wife is in a similar situation in Boston. She doesn’t tip, but she bakes and brings goodies into work about once a month. Sets aside a tin for the guys in the garage too.

jca2's avatar

Another suggestion is to ask your coworkers who use the same parking garage what they do as far as tipping. Do they tip daily, and if so, how much, or do they do something else?

Personally, I would feel funny not tipping daily, the way I would feel funny eating at a restaurant and not leaving a tip. The fact that I eat at the restaurant daily doesn’t mean that a tip is not expected.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ragingloli Nailed it.

If you can’t afford to buy the meal AND tip your server, then you go to fast food or a place you can afford to tip your server. you don’t stiff the server their tip. Valets make their living from tips so fucking them over is wrong.

Smashley's avatar

Yeah, if you’re going the use the service, you need to pay for it each time. You can’t expect a discount because you’re a regular, at least not a discount at the expense of the employee.

If you don’t want to pay, don’t go. The only way to dismantle tipping culture is to actively seek alternatives, not robbing a worker. Either seek a garage without valets, or get to work another way. You have no other legitimate choice.

janbb's avatar

I may be wrong but I was assuming that valets in monthly parking garages are giving a wage that is not dependent on tips as in a restaurant so I do not see them as analogous. But that was my assumption.

jca2's avatar

I think a dollar or two per day is not going to break the bank for a person who uses their services.

janbb's avatar

^^ That’s very likely true too and probably the best way to handle it. This is not a hill I need to die on as I never use parking garages.

tinyfaery's avatar


You can’t just park in or anywhere near downtown for 8 hours a day. I live in LA, people. I’d have to walk or bike for miles, which would add even more time to my hour and 15 minute commute (just to go 22 miles). No way am I going to be doing that 5 days a week. I’m a 50yo woman and not in the greatest health. I also don’t even have a bike and I haven’t ridden in decades.

A few bucks a day will put a strain on my budget, especially if I tip when coming and going. Did you read the part where I already have to pay to park just so I can go to work? I already use more than one tank of gas a week because I cannot afford to live near my work. I do plan on moving a little closer, but that’s going to have to wait.

Before I asked this question I thought maybe I’d give them a lump sum every month to split, assuming they pool their tips. The guys are all really nice and have not seemed to be bothered by the fact that I haven’t yet tipped them; it’s only been a week.

Thanks for your opinions, except for you sanctimonious few.

Also, I live in a state where no one makes less than minimum wage, which I believe is now $16 an hour.

I looked into other parking locations but they are either too far or more money, like up to $80 more.

I also looked into a commuter bus, but that would add more than an hour to my commute.

I hate it here.

jca2's avatar

@tinyfaery You give the tip when you pick the car up, not when you drop it off.

zenvelo's avatar

I parked in San Francisco when I drove in, and adding two more on tope of the $28 a day “early bird special would have been crazy. And I am not going to carry around a couple bucks change to tip at the end of the day.

On top of that, the valet at the end of the day is not the valet from the morning, who used to greet me every day with “how are you boss?”

The best solution is $50 per staff member at Christmas. Believe me, they will all remember you and give excellent service all year!

JLeslie's avatar

It sucks that you have to valet. A friend of a friend wrote a book on parking, he is a parking expert hired by cities and companies, he probably would know the answer, maybe I can ask him.

I would ask some coworkers to see what the norm is. Paying for parking every day plus a tip would be a real negative to me. I wouldn’t tip more than $2 a day if you tip daily.

I also would not wait until Christmas, I don’t know which jellies said that above, more than one, but I personally hate this practice, because what if a woman gives you great service all year and then in October leaves her job to have her baby and doesn’t come back. Or, a young man starts college in September so he leaves the job. They get nothing, because they weren’t there in December.

Probably you can give a tip some days and not others if you are running low on funds.

It’s good to build rapport with the valets too, sounds like you are doing that.

We need to know if parking cars is paid like waiters as an assumed tipped service.

Here’s the book if anyone is interested. The Quirky World of Parking.

chyna's avatar

At some point, are you just buying a job? Between the gas money, parking fee, tipping how much of the paycheck is left at the end of the month?

Caravanfan's avatar

I have valet at my work. It’s necessary because there’s not enough parking and they have to stack cars. I do not tip, but at Christmas I usually give the group a generous cash gift (usually about $100) for them to distribute.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan Do you pay for parking, or the hospital pays? Is it a hospital parking garage?

@tinyfaery Is it your company or you work building that owns the garage or a public garage?

tinyfaery's avatar


My job is in a 50 story building attached to a huge shopping complex but it’s too much to pay to park there so I park a few blocks away at The Roosevelt lofts in downtown.

ragingloli's avatar

Can you invoice your employer to reimburse you for the parking cost?

janbb's avatar

@tinyfaery Given all the facts, I think I stick with my and @Caravanfan‘s suggestion of a group tip at Christmas. I often find a genuine “thank you” can go a long way!

Smashley's avatar

If the valet parking is the cheapest in the area, there’s your answer. Tipping is clearly expected, and is a part of the calculation an employee makes when accepting a job. Things are expensive for them too. You being a regular doesn’t change a thing. You can choose not to tip, of course, but, under the conventions of our society, you are exploiting the workers.

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie It’s a hospital parking lot. We don’t have a garage. In days of yore we were able to park at off-site places like the local high school and the Teamsters, but those got cut off so there was a shortage of parking for employees. So the hospital hired this valet service to stack cars for employees and patients. I know most of them now by first name.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan I wonder if they are paid differently than most valets at garages. It sounds like no one expects to tip since it is the way the Hospital accommodated employees.

jca2's avatar

When there’s a valet, an advantage is you don’t have to drive all over the garage or the lot looking for a spot. When you go to a wedding or other catered event and there’s a valet, you pull up in your fancy clothes and get right out at the door, and walk out at the end and the car pulls up. When you don’t have a valet, you have to drive all over looking for a spot, dealing with elevators and staircases that are sometimes not the cleanest. When there’s a valet at your workplace, an advantage is if you’re running late, as is often the case with many workers, you don’t have to drive all over in a panic, looking for a spot.

At the employer I retired from 3 years ago (large government with thousands of employees), if you had a spot owned by the employer, it was a minimal charge taken out of your check each month. If you didn’t have that (because there was a waiting list and not enough spots for every worker), you’d have to pay in a city garage which was 100 dollars a month and then I believe it went up to 125 a month. That sounds like a lot but when you break it down into 20 work days a month, it was 5 dollars a day and then at 125, it was 6.25 per day. Still, those people and the people who parked in the employer owned garage would literally be running when they got to work, especially the ones who arrived later and had to park at the top of the garage. They would be running so they wouldn’t be late and get in trouble for punching in late. I wasn’t in those circumstances but if I were, I would have been happy to have a valet so I could get right out and not have to hunt around for a spot. I think it would have been a great thing, and at a minimal tip per day, comes to the cost of one or two lunches or a few Starbucks.

tinyfaery's avatar

$250 a month is absolutely a lot of money to add to my budget.

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve never asked how much they get paid but we have more or less the same people for the last couple of years at least so it must be okay. I’m often in and out of that parking lot a couple of times a day and if I had to tip every time it would get very expensive. And I usually don’t carry cash with me any more.

janbb's avatar

A little research is a dangerous, or perhaps, enlightening thing:,States%20is%20%2417.12%20an%20hour.

Unlike servers, it does not seem that their earnings are reliant mainly on tips although they are not making a fortune. Neither is @tinyfaery so I think the tip is discretionary, not mandatory.

jca2's avatar

I think it’s expected and therefore, I would give a tip. A dollar tip isn’t going to break the bank, once a day. The cost of the parking to me, is not the issue and shouldn’t impact the tip or no tip.

tinyfaery's avatar

As an aside, do servers not make a minimum wage where you are from?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Answer to aside, no the don’t make minimum. . . let’s say min is $8.50 than servers may get $2.13 ! It may increase if they don’t make min including their tips.

JLeslie's avatar

@tinyfaery Almost all states across the country have a lower minimum wage than regular minimum wage, but with tips they still beed to make minimum wage or the restaurant has to make up the difference, which basically never happens. Tips usually take care of that equation and more.

Federal tipped server minimum is $2.13, but most states it’s higher, my state I think it’s $8 and change now. CA is one of the few, maybe the only, where it is the same amount, I just looked up your state. Shocking.

@Caravanfan In that situation I wouldn’t tip every time either, and probably not in the OP’s situation now that I know the staff makes at minimum $16. I would maybe give something now and then though. Like my postperson, I give her $5 or $10 about twice a year or when she holds something a long time for me.

jonsblond's avatar

@tinyfaery Congratulations on your new job.

@chyna “At some point, are you just buying a job?” Isn’t it sad? I work at the best hospital in my state but they have such a high turnover due to parking costs. We’re located on the university campus so we need to pay the university for parking. It costs employees $1200 a year to reserve a spot in allocated lots. It’s impossible to park nearby because downtown street parking has 2 hour limits.

Forever_Free's avatar

I used to park in Boston everyday. My building parking was valet only. I never tipped them. Prices in the Financial District were crazier than the rest of the city even. Parking pre Covid was about $500 a month. Renting a monthly space in place far exceeded that.
If I went to dinner and used a valet park, I would tip, but the everyday thing just lent itself to not doing a daily tip for work.
I eventually took the commuter train daily as the cost of the monthly pass for the train was less than the monthly parking.

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