Author Topic: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?  (Read 1063 times)

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Miss Understood

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Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« on: February 19, 2013, 09:12:50 PM »
This situation occurred several months ago but for some reason it popped into my head again today, and I thought I might have posted about it before but I checked my posting history and it appears I did not.  I’m still wondering if I was rude, or at least “uncouth” so I thought I’d check with eHellions.

I was traveling for business and my flight was delayed, so I was checking into my hotel somewhat late (about 9:30 or 10).  I had a rolling suitcase in addition to my computer bag and purse, so when the desk clerk asked me if I would like assistance with the larger bag I said yes.  I thought he would summon a bellman, but apparently due to the hour (and possibly the lack of other activity at the front desk), either bellmen were off duty or he just thought it more expedient to handle it himself.  In any event, to my surprise he himself came out from behind the desk and took me to my room, bag in tow.  (As it turns out, I was doubly glad for this service as my room was kind of hard to find in the configuration of the hotel and I would not have been happy dragging all my stuff around looking for it).

When we got there, I offered him a tip as I always would to a bellman, and he very graciously refused it.  My question is whether it was rude of me to offer, given that I knew he was not actually a bellman but just providing a courtesy outside of his regular job.  If it matters at all, this was a very young gentleman (early 20s I would say) and not a hotel manager.  He was very nice about everything and did not act offended, but whenever someone refuses an offered tip I wonder if I was gauche in even offering.  On the other hand, where tipping is concerned I prefer to err on the side of tipping.  What say you, eHellions?

Craftymom

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 09:49:07 PM »
You were perfectly fine.

I worked as a front desk clerk for a while and sometimes you just end up pulling bellhop duty..
You offered a tip, he refused. It could as easily gone the other way..either way would have been fine.
You were tipping for the service. It really did not matter whether it was performed by a bellhop or a front desk clerk...

Amara

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 10:08:34 PM »
It was nice of you. He may not have been allowed to accept tips in his position.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 10:26:51 PM »
You weren't rude at all.  He may have had to refuse simply due to policy.  I worked in a hotel as a breakfast server, a bartender, and the room service go-getter (it was part of my bartender duties).  All of us hotel staff was allowed to accept tips for anything (even so much as fixing the alarm clock); the hotel staff next door (run by the same management) was not allowed to accept tips unless they were room service or maids. 
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oceanus

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 11:32:58 PM »
Quote
When we got there, I offered him a tip as I always would to a bellman, and he very graciously refused it.  My question is whether it was rude of me to offer,

No, it was not rude. 

browzer11

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 02:10:05 AM »
Not rude at all. In fact, it was very gracious of the person to refuse the tip.

iridaceae

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 05:56:53 AM »
It's not rude at all. Front desk clerks as a general rule- even when acting as a bellman- do not expect tips. The exception would be if they are acting as a housekeeper and bring sheets/make up a sleeper sofa/clean up a mess/that sort of thing.

There may be a purely practical reason (if this was in the US)  why he refused : taxes. Tips over a certain amount ($30 a month if I am remembering correctly for Arizona,  for example)  must be reported and thus will be taxed. I know a night security man at a hotel who refuses tips because he doesn't want the hassle of filling out that tax form once he gets to whatever the minimum is.

Miss Understood

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Re: Offering to tip a hotel desk clerk acting as bellman – rude?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 10:28:21 AM »
Thanks for the responses everyone!  Just to clarify, there was never any question in my mind whether he was rude for refusing; my question was entirely whether I was rude for offering.  The consensus seems to be that everyone was fine.