Proper Etiquette

bonsai barry

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If you participate in a lesson for a small group of people or if you take a private lesson, is it appropriate to tip the bonsai teacher beyond the established fees?
 

Walter Pall

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By all means , YES! :):)

Actually, in Europe nobody ever does this. They don't even have the decency to purchase a CD if they had a demo or workshop for free. When a magazine did not pay money and paid me in 100 copies of an issue with my trees in I had these issues for sale for US$ 15. People who got a free ride said 'but YOU did not pay anything for these, I'll give you 10!' - in Europe

In the USA I do remember being tipped quite frequently. Once I had a lecture agreed with a club for US$ 400. It was supposed to start at 7 pm officially. I was there at 5 pm and folks started to come in. So I started with these already and said 'the official start will still be at 7 pm'. At the end of the whole thing I got an envelope from the club and in the hotel when I opened it there were US$ 600 in it. This would have NEVER EVER happened in Europe. When I had these magazines for sale in the US and asked 15 I often got 20.
One can say many things about Americans , but they certainly are genuinely friendly and generous, much more so than most Europeans.
 
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Vance Wood

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By all means , YES! :):)

Actually, in Europe nobody ever does this. They don't even have the decency to purchase a CD if they had a demo for workshop for free. When a magazine did not pay money and paid me in 100 copies of an issue with my trees in I had these issues for sale for US$ 15. People who got a free ride said 'but YOU did not pay anything for these, I'll give you 10!' - in Europe

In the USA I do remember being tipped quite frequently. Once I had a lecture agreed with a club for US$ 400. It was supposed to start at 7 pm officially. I was there at 5 pm and folks started to come in. So I started with these already and said 'the official start will still be at 7 pm'. At the end of the whole thing I got an envelope from the club and in the hotel when I opened it there were US$ 600 in it. This would have NEVER EVER happened in Europe. When I had these magazines for sale in the US and asked 15 I often got 20.
One can say many things about Americans , but they certainly are genuinly friendly and generous, much more so than most Europeans.
That's good to hear Walter. Most Europeans have nothing good to say about Americans these days. Thank You.
 

Walter Pall

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Oh well Vance, when I hear American bashing I often say 'well, I understand perfectly where you are coming from. However, I happen to know personally more then one thousand Americans rather well. For some strange reason they are all pretty much normal, decent and very friendly and generous. For some strange reason I never meet all these terrible people you are talking about. I must be very lucky'.
 

Bill S

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Well Walter, we can have our moments for sure, but it is good to hear that you see things differentently. I think though that the following generation won't be quite up to the politeness that we set now. Not necessarilly a knock against the up and comers, but with the pervasivness of "social media" and everybody texting, IMing, and such, manners and patients is beginning to wear a bit thin. Hope I am wrong about it though.
 
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hmmm... I confess I never thought of it... but I think it's a good thing to do.

I have a pretty firm stance about tipping. To refuse to do it is robbing someone else of their livelihood. I have always thought of demonstrators as teachers, and here it's not traditional to tip a teacher, more often than not it would be my goal to try and support a teacher I enjoy by buying some other product/service they were offering. But it isn't a stretch for me to move them in my mind to service providers... so that makes for interesting future options when it comes to supporting them.

Thanks for bringing it up!

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 

Bonsai Nut

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I view tipping as my way to give someone a report card. If they do a great job at something, I want them to succeed and stay in business. If they do a poor job, perhaps they should find another way to make a living. ESPECIALLY with waiters/waitresses. A good restaurant staff can make or break an otherwise fine meal.

It is the same with contractors. If someone does a good job on a project around my house, I make sure they get a ton of referrals.
 

Bill S

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"To refuse to do it is robbing someone else of their livelihood"

My wife works as a waitress in a chain restaraunt and you wouldn't believe how often she gets stiffed, many people do not understand that in the waitress' case no tip pretty much means not getting paid. One of these days I'd hate to be the table that skips on her. :eek: Too many times its the big table full that skips. And no I'm not saying this because of bias for my wife, I have heard from others often how she busts her butt to do a good job for her customers.

At 300 to 800 or more a session(group settings) not so sure tips are or would be expected, no offense to Walter and others, at this kind of money for a partial day I think they build in to thier rates what they need and want to be paid, then it's consumers choice. The waitress on the other hand has a base pay of $2.75 and hour, and depends on tips, she can't choose her customers either. Although there was one time she went to the boss and had a customer removed for past offenses.:D

Tip Your servers folks!
 
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If someone truely hates their job (as waitstaff) and it shows, then they will likely get 10%... superlative service gets over 30%. Average is 20-25%.

For me, not tipping is not an option in my book. I've been taken out by very well off friends, had a great meal, only to see them try and skimp on the waitstaff... I always go back and fix it.

I've had a waiter drop a meal in my lap (it was the wasn't even what I ordered by the way...lol), had the whole meal comped, and left the value of the ticket to the poor soul who was clearly having a miserable day.

I'd rather error on the side of generosity.

Bill... if I get out your way... make sure I know where she works, and I'll make sure she has a good day. :D

As to demonstrator's day rates... one has to divide the shear number of days per year they are NOT offering programs to have a sense of what is reasonable in this context. You figure for most professionals, two-thirds of the year they are not offering programs... so even being on the high side of that equation - say half the year, while the end pay isn't bad... it's not fantastic. People aren't becoming rich off of demoing/teaching, and most have side jobs/businesses to make it all work out.

Kindest regards,

Victrinia

V
 

Bill S

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Red Robbin if you come.:)

Unless I get crappy service, I find it's easy to do the 20% easy to figure, not so had to cough up. Great service gets it's reward as well.

But a dollar or two for $100 bill is an insult, and I told her do what you feel is right, as well as if it gets you fired then find another place, it's OK, keep the principals. Even if it pisses off the cheapskate. Even to the tune of if they drag you in to apologize to someone that stiffed you, tell them I am sorry you are so cheap, try another place if you don't like my service. This is something every place should let thier waitstaff do. Can you tell I don't take caca from people?:D
 

Zenshi

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Anyone who works in a service-related industry (which is a major portion of most economies) is subject to receiving tips. We most commonly associate this with restaurant wait staff because they are the most visible, where it is customary to the point of being almost required to leave a 10% or more gratuity.

I was very surprised to read this:

...They don't even have the decency to purchase a CD if they had a demo or workshop for free...
It's no secret that a major draw to a demo or presentation of any kind (not just in the bonsai industry) is the bonus items. More often than not, those sales dwarf the presenter's actual appearance fees. I'm certain that appearance fees are often low or even waived completely for this very reason. Essentially, the presenter is counting on the audience to be pumped up about what they just saw and make a bee line for the back table where books and other promo items are sold.

Just an observation here, but if the audience didn't have the "decency" to purchase these items, then the most obvious conclusion is that they didn't like what the presenter had to offer or they didn't believe the promo items were worth buying. I work in a service industry and often receive extra compensation for the services I provide. Some people simply aren't tippers, that's just the way it is. But by and large, the tip is indicative of the amount of service received.

To answer the original poster's question, yes. By all means provide a tip if you feel that you have received service above and beyond the call of duty. And to service providers who believe they aren't getting what they deserve, I would implore them to take a hard look at themselves before point fingers at others.
 

IIIROYIII

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Just an observation here, but if the audience didn't have the "decency" to purchase these items, then the most obvious conclusion is that they didn't like what the presenter had to offer or they didn't believe the promo items were worth buying. I work in a service industry and often receive extra compensation for the services I provide. Some people simply aren't tippers, that's just the way it is. But by and large, the tip is indicative of the amount of service received.

To answer the original poster's question, yes. By all means provide a tip if you feel that you have received service above and beyond the call of duty. And to service providers who believe they aren't getting what they deserve, I would implore them to take a hard look at themselves before point fingers at others.
Very well put zenshi
 

milehigh_7

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It may also depend on where you are. Here in Las Vegas it is almost the cultural norm to tip everyone that serves you in any way. This is because most folks here depend on tips. I would be shocked if there were not some extra gift for a respected teacher that came around.
 

rockm

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I don't think what Walter got was really a tip. It was simple polite compensation for extra time he spent teaching. While someone could see that as a tip, it really doesn't fit the everyday definition...The sponsors of the event saw him working extra and felt bound to pay him for his extra time on the clock.

As for tipping teachers?! :D:eek:My mom was a school teacher for 30 years. She used to get "tips" AKA "bribes" occasionally from students' parents. Every time it happened, it kind of pi&&ed her off, like her favor and better grades could be bought.

Teachers and instructors aren't really wait staff or service providers in the traditional sense. They're not really "serving" you. They're conveying knowledge--a valuable commodity they possess.
 

Bill S

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"To answer the original poster's question, yes. By all means provide a tip if you feel that you have received service above and beyond the call of duty. And to service providers who believe they aren't getting what they deserve, I would implore them to take a hard look at themselves before point fingers at others."

Sorry here, it is common knowledge that wait staff make thier wages off tips, and if you only feel that you should tip for service above and beyond the call, then I suggest that the only restaurant you should go to is a place like McDonalds or Burger King. Ya I know she can always find another job.:confused: As far as look to yourself point, I have heard from so many people that she is a super waitress, so what we see is people the are too cheap to deserve the service. As far as I am concerned I'd agree for large fee services a tip isn't a "given", but when you walk into a place that it is expected, then if you don't tip appropriately, then Montazumas revenge should follow you from eatery to eatery. :D

Maybe for the one off exception here and there some type of gift might be appropriate. When an artist comes with wares, it wouldn't be expected that they get bought out, but everywhere I've been in that situation, it just seems tooo good to pass up.
 

Si Nguyen

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I like what Walter Pall said. I do agree that Americans are generous. But, I don't know if Europeans are any less generous though, to be fair. I agree with the need to tip or pay your bonsai teachers more. When I had a teacher for 5 years, before he passed away, I always tried to pay a little more for the classes and buy his bonsai material and tools, simple things like wires and pots, in addition to the usual annual class fee, which was only $120 a year for 11 classes. So for about $10, we got a whole-day workshop at his garage, with donuts and coffee and sometimes lunch, and all the tools and extra hands, and of course, the expert instructions. The extra help from the other students to just carry or hold the branch was worth the 10 bucks right there. I got more bonsai done there in one day than I could get done in a year alone at home. I have had other teachers before, like Ernie Kuo for a little while, and they are all generous like that. I don't know of any bonsai teacher who don't give out more than they receive back from their students. So by all means, to the bonsai students out there, tip or pay a little extra to your teachers, it goes a long way to express your appreciation. There are other ways to express your appreciation of course, but a little bit more money is the cheapest and fastest way to do it.
 

mcpesq817

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I think in some cultures, tipping is viewed as insulting. I think I remember hearing something about not tipping cab drivers in Japan.
 
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