Friday, December 13, 2013

What to tip the pool boy? McDonald’s workers are in the know.

There are certain corporations that one might think would pay special attention to any employee communications that might smack of noblesse oblige and Marie Antoinette-ism.

And one might think that one of those corporations might be McDonald’s, especially given that the average full time fast food worker earns less than $20K a year, and there’s talk about letting McD’s workers put out tip jars (preferable in the corporate view to raising the minimum wage and thus boosting the cost of a Big Mac by a quarter or so).

Any discussion on tip jars for minimum wage slaves, or any guidelines on whether and how to tip fast food workers, were curiously absent from the tipping guidelines that McDonald’s posted to help company employees weather the tipping season.

In truth, it is useful to have some rules of thumb for tipping your hairdresser and cleaning people, even if you go ahead and ignore them.

But all you need to do is google “what to tip the cleaning lady” and you’ll find plenty of info out there.

No need to McDonald’s to provide this sort of help to employees, when 99.99% of those employees are unlikely to need it.

The info has been pulled down from McDonald’s McResource line – which is aimed at providing employees with “practical solutions to many of life’s problems and challenges,” but while it was up there it quite helpfully and practically advised on what to give the au pair, dog walker, housekeeper, door man, and pool boy.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb told The Huffington Post that McDonald's did not create the post and asked the vendor that created it “make updates as needed.”

McDonald's would not reveal the name of the vendor. The restaurant chain's website lifts liberally from the website of Emily Post, a company that McComb labeled “one of the best-known etiquette gurus" in an email to CNBC. (Source: Huffington Post)

Nice that you want to help destress your workforce – or at least the upper echelons of that workforce. But is there no one in McDonald’s HR group who might have paused just a second or two and asked themselves about the wisdom of putting this sort of information out in a domain that, while not public, is public to any McDonald’s worker – who, I’m guessing, are called “associates” – who signs up for it. Did in not occur that someone would spot that list and decide to expose it?

Are their gaffe-o-meters so off that it didn’t occur to anyone that there’s at least a slight element of let-them-eat-cake-ism in a list that advises employees on how to tip their fitness trainer and private trash collector?

In case you’re wondering, the pool cleaner deserves the cost of one pool cleaning, and the fitness trainer gets the cost of one session, too. Your private trash collector only merits $10-20, but then again, he has access to your private trash.

Your au pair should get a week’s pay. (Depending on tenure and local custom, a nanny should get a month’s pay and a small gift from the kiddo.)

But come to think of it, maybe the tipping guidelines do make some sense.

Housekeeper. Babysitter. Nursing home worker.

Aren’t these the types of workers who supplement their earnings by taking shifts at McDonald’s?

Maybe Mickey-D’s is just looking out for its own…




1 comment:

Frederick Wright said...

My spouse and I do tip the hard workers who make our lives so much easier throughout the year - I would strongly prefer that this tip is a gratuity, a bonus, not something essential for their survival. Our mailman, our dry cleaner, our tailor, our accountant, our property manager, and our landscaping and security detail for example.