Handymen: $25 to $40.
Following are customary standard tips for those who provide a one-time or occasional service:
Taxi driver: 5 percent of the total fare.
Dog groomer: 15 percent of the total bill. No less than $2 per animal.
Bartender: 10 to 15 percent of the drink bill or $1 per cocktail if you pay with each beverage.
Wine stewards: 15 to 20 percent of the total wine purchase.
Shampoo technician: $1 to $2.
Food server: 15 to 20 percent of the bill (before coupons or gift certificates are subtracted). Remember that many waiters and waitresses depend on tips for their livelihood. If you have been at your table long after your meal is finished, and taken time when the table may have been used again (an opportunity for the server to make an additional tip), you may want to consider tipping more.
Self-service buffet: nothing, unless your server delivers and keeps drinks refilled. In that case, a tip of 5 to 10 percent of the total bill is customary.
Tips while traveling:
Doorman who hails a cab: $1 to $2. If he helps get your bags out of the car or cab, $1 per bag.
Bellman: $1 to $2 per bag.
Parking valet: $1 to $3.
Concierge who goes beyond his duty, such as getting reservations for you at a restaurant that has a six-month waiting list, $15 to $20. It is not necessary to tip the concierge who provides a small service such as giving directions.
Hotel maid: $3 to $5 per day.
Skycap: $2 per bag (more if your bags are very heavy).
Remember, this information is just a guide and was obtained from several sources. The amount you choose to give depends on how pleased you are with the service as well as your relationship to the person providing the service.
You may want to consider tipping more frequently than once a year. According to Mike Brennen, author of "Tipping for Success," many miss the boat by waiting to tip just once a year. He suggests taking the opportunity during an off month, such as June or July, to bring a small gift to someone who provides you year-round service. He believes this helps to set you apart. You don't have to spend a lot of money just to send the message that they provide good service. Again, write a nice thank-you note in addition to providing a tip.
Pam Harvit is a corporate etiquette and protocol consultant. She is employed by Merck and Co. and lives in Charleston. You may email your questions to her at phar...@suddenlink.net.