As a baseball player, I have to deal with many different people. They all serve a different purpose in the grand scheme of the sport. Tips are part of the game, and we pay those who help us out.
Just like in the rest of the world, deciding how to tip someone is important, and good service is rewarded. These lessons can be applied to your life, as well.
Tipping in the World of Baseball
In baseball, clubhouse managers are important. They’re in the service business: they cook, clean and do just about anything necessary to make the players feel comfortable. We pay them a daily fee, plus a tip based on how well we feel we were treated.
Their most important job is providing us with a good “spread.” This is the food we get pre- and post-game. Good clubbies will provide lunch meat for sandwiches, an array of fruits and vegetables, snacks, and occasionally, something hot. If they do well, they’re tipped generously; if they do poorly, they may not be tipped at all.
Clubbies can also earn tips from favors; this includes cleaning dirty cleats, hanging up clothes in lockers, or providing something we forgot.
My rule of thumb is to tip clubbies around 20 to 30 percent. I go up from there based on how I felt they did. Our home clubbie is always the same, so being generous to him is important. We’re always interacting with him, and he treats us well.
On the road, however, anything goes. It’s less important to be generous, because while tips are for a job well done, they’re also for a future job well done. And, we may only see a road clubbie once.
Tipping in Your World
In everyday life, you encounter people that you tip. This could be at a restaurant, in a taxi, or when getting delivery pizza.
The amount you tip will most likely depend on the same factors that I use when tipping clubbies — current service and possible future service. I tend to reward good service, because I enjoy encountering people who excel at their jobs. Rewarding that is important to me.
If you use the same service often, you may encounter the same person more than once. This is when tipping is very important. If you want quality service the next time, it’s a good idea to be especially generous. Everyone responds to incentives.
My wife recently visited a self-serve sushi restaurant. If a customer wants a server to come, they press a button located on their table. This meant that my wife only had the server visit the table once to deliver drinks, and once to give the check. This presented a predicament for tippers.
How Much Should You Tip?
Tipping situations present an interesting decision for consumers. How much to tip clubhouse managers is a decision I have to make frequently. Like me, you should base your decision on the quality of the service and likelihood of future interactions.
How do you decide what to tip?