Smaller tips ‘Down Under’

By Philip Shart
This item appears on page 51 of the September 2017 issue.

While reading Mark Gallo’s article “Tipping Abroad” (July ’17, pg. 53), I recalled an incident in Australia in the ’80s.

It was the first day of my first trip to Australia, and after a long flight from San Francisco to Sydney I was exhausted. That evening, rather than going out and eating a large meal, I decided to order from room service.

Shortly after I ordered, a bellhop arrived. I removed the bill from the trolley, signed it (including the tip) and handed it back to him. He looked at it and said, “Sir, you overtipped me.”

I couldn’t believe my ears and said, “It’s the usual 20%.”

He replied “Sir, in Australia the usual tip is 10% to 15%.”

I replied, “Just keep the tip as an award. Think of all the money you’ll save me while I’m tipping 10% to 15% instead of 20%!”

Tamarac, FL