A customer gives you a small monetary tip, what to do

Okay, officially, the company i work for does not allow employees to accept tips/gratuities/etc for services rendered (we’re a Mac reseller/service provider)

that said, i was given a small monetary tip by a customer for what in actuality is my normal work standard, i tried explaining to her very nicely that i appreciated the sentiment, but am unable to accept tips/gratuities/gifts, but thank you for the nice gesture…

she insisted i take it, and left me holding the bill, to coin a term…

so, the question is, what to do with it

if i had no morals/work ethic, i’d simply pocket it, as nobody else here knows she tipped me, but that’s just wrong, and against company policy

so, i’ll probably go and treat my co-workers to lunch tomorrow, using the tip to pay for the lunch (mmmm…sushi a-la-customer), however, the other angle i’ve been considering is to use the money to buy some food/drinks to restock the breakroom, so we can actually have real beverages to drink, not Brita-filtered tap water

if you were tipped a small amount ($20) for your normal job duties, what would you do with the funds?

1; pocket it, nobody knows about it anyway, no harm no foul, what they won’t know won’t hurt them

2; buy lunch for the office (in my case, we’re a small office of 3 people, so the funds will cover lunch)

3; buy snacks/beverages for the breakroom that everyone can enjoy…

In all honesty, it would be #1. I would tell the customer that we didn’t accept tips but I will feel obligated to accept it if they insisted. At some point, refusing it is just going to make both you and the customer uncomfortable. After all that, I wouldn’t want to go through any mental gymnastics trying to justify it by buying stuff for the office.


I already posted this true story a while back, but it fits so perfectly into your thread…

I’m a teacher. I helped a nervous pupil throughout his first term (just doing my job, Ma’am). He was really grateful and said he would tell his parents how well I had done. (Aw, shucks :o ).

Next term, he said he wanted to give me a car. While I thought it would be nice to have a metal model (that could sit on my mantelpiece), I felt I had to politely refuse, saying I had just been happy to help. He smiled and wandered off.

Next term, a colleague remarked that I had shown immense professionalism. I waved my hands modestly. She remarked that she would have accepted this car (from the pupil’s millionaire parents).



I like to think of myself as a striaght-up kind of guy, but you have just made me realize what a cheap, selfish bastard I really am.

I salute you.

You kindly explained to her that you’re not allowed to accept tips, and she insisted anyway. What else can you do with the $20? Go buy yourself a drink.

Usually I thank the patron and return the tip, explaining that I was only doing my job. If they insist I take the money I tell them that I could be fired and give them an alternate way of thanking me: Writing a good comment letter to the company. They feel good and I get a commendation on my record. Everybody wins.

If I’m really strapped for cash I make a token refusal, take the tip and put it straight in my gas tank.

I’m the paranoid type (go figure) so I’d probably suspect management was setting me up. I’d inform my manger as to what happened and ask what I should do. If he/she is not a dick you’d probably be allowed to keep it. Then you buy everyone lunch!

Fortunately my company accepts donations for Make-A Wish, so on the last few occasions where a customer insisted on tipping (one actually threw the money on the floor behind the counter and dashed out the door), we rang it up as a Make-A-Wish donation.

Why do I suspect that if you reported it to your manager, he’d have have taken the $20 and spent it on himself?

Morally you are covered from all angles.

The reason for not accepting tips is not to show favoritism to certain costumers. If that is the case, the best way for you to remain professional is not to give this costumer any special treatment. Since you did what you reasonably could to stop this person from tipping, you did not act unprofessional in that matter either. What is left is the punishment that you might receive from disobeying a rule which is way too general and whose intent was not to punish cases like yours. Your punishment for pocketing the money would then be unjust, but management has no way of knowing that you will not be bias to this specific customer.

Your best course of action, therefore, is to do what will make you sleep soundly at night. Buying co workers lunch would be the coolest.

…your kidding, right? :eek: :eek: :eek:

:: slaps glee ::

I’m not in a position to receive tips from customers in my job, but occasionally friends have given me cash in exchange for my doing them a favor, insisting that I keep it despite my protests. In such instances I donate the money (most recently $25) to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Well, when I was working as a tour escort and a client tipped me $20 for ordinary service, I spent the money on a golf umbrella so I could keep multiple clients dry when it rained. Taking your coworkers to lunch or buying snacks for the breakroom sounds good to me, too, especially if they’re a little higher quality than usual.