Trade vs. Tip

So, I currently had a heated discussion with one of my co-workers about a common thing that happens when service providers receive a service from someone else at your work. Since my start in this industry I have believed firmly in tipping, even if I didn’t have much money to tip. (And this was especially true when I first started, I had been in school for a long time and had been out of a job for 2 years). After I got done with school I vowed I would no longer be giving out free massages. That’s all you do in school is give out ‘free’ massages to practice techniques on family/friends. Well, I didn’t have many (any) friends so it’d come down to bribing my mom to get massages from me to try stuff out.

She never wanted me to massage her. Ever. I had to forge her name for a lot of practice sheets because I just never had anyone to work on. Now that I’m working at this officially she wants me to massage her more. Go figure, she wants what she can’t have and when she can have it she doesn’t want it, right?

So, here comes the discussion of trade vs. tip. I consider tipping to be important and I always do it for every service I receive, which isn’t many. She says that is ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever to tip someone for something. We’re both bullheads and I know she won’t budge from her perspective, and I am literally bullhead and I won’t ever change from mine, so it is certainly a difference of opinion. She explains how if you get a service from someone you should just exchange them and not worry about tipping. Especially with people who you consider friends. I tried to explain what I was about.

I don’t trade with people… I just don’t. I won’t ever get a nail service done because nail polish chips quickly and it just looks gaudy to have chipped nail polish. Plus, it puts more attention on my hands than I want to. I don’t want my toes done because I never wear sandals and it just doesn’t matter to me to get this done. I get facials when I can and massages from one massage therapist in particular where I really like her style. BUT, she never receives massages from me. Why? Because she and I don’t have the same schedule and she doesn’t see me on her off days. I see her on mine about once a month.

This massage therapist and I don’t exchange services, so I tip her. She does a 90 min. massage on me and that takes a lot of work, especially since I need deeper pressure to get through the crap of my muscles. This gal deserves a 20%-25% tip because I enjoy what she does and she does an awesome job at it. I don’t get my hair done except every 3-5 months so I don’t exchange with them either. So, when I get a service done there I tip, she doesn’t, it’s a difference of views and opinions.

Don’t get me wrong either, I’d love to pay just a product charge and leave there without spending $17-$30 on the tip depending on the service I’m getting. But, I can’t do it if I know they won’t get something from me, and 99.9% of the time they don’t. I am NOT massaging people when they don’t book an appointment with me on their day off. I am not giving a little rub here on their neck because it hurts. Are you going to rub my neck cause it’s killing me in return? No? Then I’m not doing you one bit. You take your own hands and rub it out yourself.

A great point to this whole thing is that she gets taken advantage of with doing stuff for people. They’ll have her zap this zit, wax their arms, ect, constantly throughout the day, even on her breaks. I told her the only people I massage on the side, for free, with a quick little rub down is people I like. And that’s a small, small amount… about three, and she’s one of them. I don’t like being taken advantage of, it’s just not happening.

Don’t get me wrong, I do see her point. If that massage therapist saw me on her off day I’d just trade with her. If the person I saw for facials saw me on her off day I’d trade with her. But, no one sees me on their off day except for a few handful and I don’t receive something from them so, for me at least, it makes sense to tip. And, when you’re paid hourly, you live on tips, so I think they appreciate it. We’ll still keep on doing things the way we do it, when she and I got in that discussion I knew where it would go… which is nowhere. Either one of us aren’t changing our styles, and I’m not asking her to change how she does her stuff. She does tend to exchange with people, get her nails done, hair done, ect. so she can, but me? I just tend to not and if I do it’s spaced out for several months.

We agreed to disagree in the end, and I see her point, and I think she saw mine, but doesn’t mean we have to do it the same way.

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