Notice: the following thread contains the prases “stiffing the shampoo girl” and “being serviced by the stylist”. If you do not feel that you can participate in this thread without resorting to cheap shots with regard to these phrases, please keep your pie hole shut.
Part VII in a series of “Dilemma - What would you do?” threads: Tipping or stiffing the shampoo girl‡.
Here’s the dilemma: Got my hair permed a few weeks ago, total bill came to $48.00. I was there about 1¼ hours, and spent the majority of the time in the shampoo girl’s chair because perms are messy & drippy and you have to get rinsed every 15 minutes & have some different chemical applied, and so on.
Every once in a while, the stylist would come over, prod my curlers, and furrow his brow to indicate that he was deeply in tune with the chemical reaction that was transpiring on my scalp. Then he would go back to his station where he was passing the time by doing hair cuts at $18 a pop. He did 3, maybe 4 cuts in the time I spent in the shampoo area basting my scalp in toxic waste (at least that’s what it felt like).
[sub]Just for your information, I have been told by a friend who used to work at that shop that the stylists get half of the total bill plus tips. That comes to about $35 an hour if a stylist does nothing more complex than a regular cut, and can manage three cuts per hour.[/sub]
Meanwhile, the shampoo girl was busting her ass, moving quickly between three of us who are all in some sort of holding pattern waiting for the stylist to come and poke at us. While she was taking care of us, she had her regular shampoos to do. I don’t think I ever once saw her sit down for a moment & rest. She was clearly exhausted. She set the timers, checked us when each timer went off, changed the cotton liners, rinsed us off & applied a new batch of chemicals every 10-15 minutes.
How would you tip these people? Technically, the stylist was the person that “did” my perm. He is the one I requested when I called to make my appointment. He picked out the right box, paid occasional visits while I was cooking, possibly to make sure my skin wasn’t peeling off from the chemicals. He (eventually) took me to his station to take out the curlers & apply the finishing touches & do a little snip snip wherever he saw a hair that wasn’t the rigth length. I would estimate that I spent a grand total of fifteen minutes actually being serviced by the stylist.
On the other hand, the shampoo girl busted her ass. She did the grunt work. She made sure toxic chemicals weren’t dripping down the back of my neck. And based only on a gut feeling, she actually seemed to care more. I spent the balance of the time (about 60 minutes) being cared for by the shampoo girl. I almost wish she could have taken the scissors away from the stylist and said “I’ll finish this one up, thanks” because she did almost everything up to that point anyway.
Two compicating factors:
The shampoo girl was from El Salvador. This just happened to be a few days after the earthquake that shook the country. Because of how ragged she was running herself while I was there, she had a somewhat disheveled look & for a moment I had a vision of her actually being involved in the catastrophe.
The stylist was hot! Hubba hubba zing zing he had everything! :::bays like a wolf:::
So in the end, I tipped the stylist $9.00 (about 17%) and gave the shampoo girl $3.00 (a little over 6%) but as I left the shop, I realized that I just gave out 25% of the bill in tips! After I thought about it, I almost felt like the tips should have been reversed. But I didn’t want to piss off the stylist since he holds the scissors.
What would you do? Give them both a 15% tip? I’m always a good tipper, usually tipping around 20% even for standard service. But I don’t know if I could bring myself to shell out 30% of my tab just to make sure that both got a 15% tip.
[sub]‡BTW, the shampoo “girl” was not actually a girl, she was a full-fledged womam. “Shampoo woman” just doesn’t sound right.[/sub]