Gratuities and tipping in the service industry

We just got back from an away tournament and I noticed something a little different this time. A lot of people working  in the service industry in Niagara Falls (Canada) are older than me, and working manual labour jobs: serving and cooking in restaurants, cleaning or maintaining hotel rooms, that kind of thing.

Thinking back to previous tournaments, I remember seeing young adults in these types of jobs. Maybe the 20-somethings still work in those fields (service, food and tourist industry), to make ends meet while going to college or university, and I just wasn’t there during their shifts. But for the most part, I would have guessed the average age of these workers I came across at 50+.

You know how sometimes maids leave little cards with their name on them in the hotel rooms? Our maid was named Terry and I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman. I saw both men and women working in the rooms on our floor in between coming and going to the rink.

They were definitely at least 50. The one woman looked closer to retirement age…

Our waiter at the hotel restaurant was also at least in his 50s. He was very friendly and accommodating and I noticed he did the evening dinner shift and then the early morning breakfast brunch shift, as well.

And the lady at the brunch place across one of the rinks had snow-white hair and was hunched over. She may have been the owner even…she gave that ‘air’ of someone who is in charge. But she was cleaning up dishes, helping out with the service, handing out bills…She was very grandmotherly in appearance and manner and her work ethic was excellent.

I left generous tips for all of them. I didn’t even hesitate despite the fact that we have a very tight budget. And despite the fact that these types of weekends away do add up some unexpected costs, I purposely brought loose change and small bills so I could leave some extra tips. I had no complaints, so I left the higher percentage just because.





6 thoughts on “Gratuities and tipping in the service industry

  1. I do wonder if your observations are another symptom of a recurring theme I have read about for the last several years – about people working for longer, because they cannot afford to retire. America is often given as he worst example – where it’s not uncommon for one or both parents to have more than one job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its difficult to comment as many older people return working to stay busy, but a larger component need to work due to inadequate pension, or some past event. Regardless of either, I think you did correctly listenening to your heart. Perhaps next time you will be able chat with someone and learn more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, if the lady had been in our room cleaning I would have chatted with her… we did chat quite a bit with the waiter. He seemed to particularly enjoy the socializing part of his job. 🙂


  3. Ive recently been made redundant and another colleague of mine is in the same boat. My colleague is more senior than I as a Director on nearly six figures. The interesting thing is she’s considering going to get a customer service junior role because she’s financially secure enough now to do so and doesn’t want the stress of the high flying work all hours life. She’s even talked about being a cashier in a supermarket as she’d be quite happy scanning groceries and chatting to people. She’s in her early fifties. Lovely post. I always over tip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know the feeling about being made redundant…been there! 🙂 Hope all works out for you. And I get it, about taking on a little job to keep busy and socializing. Some people are not meant to stay home. I know a ‘grandma’ who is still working for that exact reason. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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