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Bruce’s TIP OF THE WEEK #39
Service: tipping vs. non-tipping vs. automatic

     A book can be written on this subject but I’ll try to keep it short and simple. An employee should do a good job because of wanting to rather than supposed to; whether he or she is tipped or not.  If the employee isn’t happy then either discuss with the manager, count one’s blessings or perhaps look elsewhere. Some clubs do allow accepting Christmas and birthday presents, which can be substantial.  The salary and benefits might make up for a no tipping policy.
     Personally, I think non-tipping clubs and automatic service charges (which are not a gratuity) can discourage good service. I also believe automatic services charges can be unfair to the customer and create an unpleasant situation if the “service” isn’t what it should be.  These charges can also be discouraging to the employees if in a sharing arrangement but not shared equitably. They are also misleading if the club gets a portion unknown to the membership.
     I worked at one club where the members were charged $4.00 for each pair of shoes I cleaned and polished. That is what the policy was and I was happy to have the job. It is understandable, though, if some members think they shouldn’t be told what they can and cannot do regarding tipping. Most of my locker room experience involved tipping clubs. Some members made up for others. We did a good job either way.  Was there ever “favoritism” so to speak?  Once in a while when the best tipper came off the course and all he had to do was reach between the crowd and his drink was ready even though there was a back up at the bar.  But you know, no one said a word.  They understood why and respected the best tipper knowing it could just as easily be them.