The holidays are here and if this is your first year on your own you may not know that in city apartments, tipping your Super is customary. And if you’re lucky enough to have a doorman, they’ll be expecting a little something extra too. This may sound crazy to you, I know that I had no idea about it. Now is a time that having a roommate can come in handy, because they’ll split the cost with you.
If coming up with all that cash isn’t going to happen there are situations where a card/small gift can work just fine. The good news is that if you’re in a smaller town/suburb/old walk-up, tipping is not as expected. I got my landlord (she actually does a lot for me and lives next door, landlords are not customarily tipped) and Super each a bottle of wine last year and they both said a tenant had never done anything for them before (she is new to being a landlord) so that made me feel pretty good. My Super before was a recovering alcoholic (wine was out!) so I made him some cookies and he loved that, because he was a single guy, living in a basement, who knew only a handful of people in America. In other words, he wasn’t overrun with sweets like most people are during the holidays.
The bottom line: the tip should be in response to they work that they did for you all year. A cash tip or a small gift can be the key to maintaining a good relationship all year round. Good luck!
A handy guide can be found at http://www.tipping.org/tips/TipsPageHolidayABS.html