Monday, September 15, 2014

Marriott launches "tipping education" campaign...

Ah, Marriott hotels...  I generally try to avoid them because I don't like to support the LDS church.  It annoys me that there are BoMs in the nightstands and I can get drunk and watch porn while reading about Joseph's Myth.  Today, I ran across a news article about Marriott's new campaign to "educate" people about the need to tip hotel maids.

Now, I have worked in the service industry.  I used to wait tables.  I get that some people rely on tips to get by.  But tipping in hotels is one of those gray areas where people don't know if they are supposed to tip.  Hotel maids aren't paid like wait staff is.  People who work as servers only get paid a couple of dollars an hour, while maids get at least minimum wage and sometimes a lot more, depending on the market.

In some hotels-- usually cheap ones-- there are envelopes that make it obvious.  Marriott never struck me as a particularly cheap hotel chain, but I do think it's tacky that they are trying to get hotel guests to pay their people.  I've read that even when people do leave tip money, it doesn't necessarily go to the maid, especially if the money isn't properly marked as a tip.

Maria Shriver, who has likely never had to work a tipped position in her life, is helping to spread the word about this "custom" that many Americans apparently know little about.  I mean, if people don't know about it, how can it be "customary"?  And why doesn't Marriott just pay their people?  I'd rather pay a little more for people who are properly compensated than be asked to leave cash.  This just gives me one more reason not to stay at a Marriott hotel, at least not in the United States or Canada, which is where this campaign is being launched.

Apparently, Shriver is involved in this tipping business because of her organization, "A Woman's Nation", which aims to empower women.  So Shriver thinks that getting travelers to leave tips for hotel maids helps to empower women?  I think what she should be doing is encouraging Marriott to pay their people instead of buying BoMs for their hotel rooms.

Reading about this makes me glad I'm in Europe, where tipping is appreciated but not expected.


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