Unusual tips you've received for doing service jobs

I’m an Uber driver and I drove a guy to the airport yesterday. He gave me a large unopened bottled water, and a large – folding knife. Since he couldn’t take either on to the plane, I’m still not sure whether he considered these tips, or considered me a convenient trash receptacle.

On Saturday a young woman, a voice student at UW, sang me an aria in the car at the urging of her friend, because they didn’t have tip money. I don’t like opera and her voice cracked because she wasn’t properly warmed up, but I thanked her anyway. (I didn’t recognize what she sang.)

Have you gotten any strange tips?


(but didn’t want to leave Jim all alone here…)

Years ago I was hired to clean a garage full of junk. Besides the pay, I hauled off a lot of scrap metal I sold. I also found 3 bottles of cheap whiskey the old guy had probably stashed and forgot about. I tried a little bit, it wasn’t too bad. Gave two bottles to a couple homeless guys, made their day.

Bit off topic, but are we expected to tip the Uber driver? I thought the gratuity was folded into the charge?

I use Uber all the time and am now wondering if I’ve been an asshole.

No, you are not expected to tip the Uber driver. We are instructed to tell people that tips are not necessary, and I do tell them that. I wish I’d been a little more emphatic about it before the woman started screeching out the arie. But I don’t decline it if the offer is repeated, and our instructions say that’s ok too.

Lyft is a different ballgame. Although we’re not supposed to ask for it, and I don’t, tips are encouraged. There is even a way to add a tip into the credit card charge for the ride.

The oddity is that Lyft pays drivers more than Uber does, at least here in Madison, AND they encourage tipping.

You consider those things tips?

When I worked in a restaurant in high school, people would occasionally leave religious tracts (including Chick tracts) in addition to, or occasionally in lieu of, monetary tips. I did once see a pissed off waiter hand back a tract to a customer and tell him, “No thanks, my landlord is a Buddhist.”

Yep, I remember those from my serving days. The especially horrible ones were in the shape of a folded $20 bill.

Working the after church crowd is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Working in an airport cafe, landside, before the security checks; all sorts of random liquids. People either just leave 'em on tables, or offer them to staff- stuff like beer and cans of coke are most common, but there’s also weird stuff like tins of soup and 10 bottles of washing up liquid.

Also stuff people can’t fit in their bags, so boxes of chocolates, books, umbrellas… “It seems a shame to throw it out, is this any use to you…?”

I was going to say that I imagine a lot of people get the religious materials. I used to get Watchtower pamphlets from a particular family when I delivered pizzas way back when. They were decent tippers otherwise and I’m not a big enough a-hole to decline them. I had no need to read them either but they were something to talk about back at the shop.

Movie tickets. (Should have gotten them twice, but the boss grabbed all the first ones.)

Which ended up costing more than just going to the movie on my own dime, since the only opportunity to go was before work, so I had to get a cab from the theatre, but…I probably wouldn’t have gone without the ticket, so, there’s that.

30-ish years ago, I delivered pizza in the summer between semesters of college. A couple times I got a joint as a tip. Realizing that it was an illegal substance, I destroyed it. By setting it on fire. :cool:

A guy gave me a 1949 dodge truck that he had started restoring, not much of a start. The tip was for me doing a free patch on his kitchen linoleum after we had layed carpet for him. I think he just wanted the truck out of his garage. I ended up giving it to my gardeners for some tree romoval.

In HS I helped my church haul and organize items for a rummage sale. I was given my choice of one item, so I selected a white silk dinner jacket. Looked like it was from the 40’s. I graduated wearing it.

“Don’t take any wooden nickels”?

I’d say that asking a mohel might provide some interesting answers. :eek:

While working as a scuba instructor at a resort I received left-over groceries from guests almost every week.

Half full jars of instant coffee, pickles, or salsa. A couple bottles of beer left from the six pack. Straight from the grocery untouched meat or pork of assorted varieties. All would be dropped at the office at the end of the wee for staff to split. But condiments were the most frequent thing. In four years I never bought mustard, ketchup, or salad dressing.

And occasionally a guest would tip something specifically for me. Got several bottles of wine and rum over the years… far more than needed for my minimal drinking .

As a cocktail waitress way back in the 80’s, I did occasionally receive some nice little folded paper packets late at night. Aaah, the good old days!

I was told to take everything in the garage to the dump. Getting anything of value was a bonus.

I like this tip:
Little Boy: [Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy, who reads]
Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.

Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that’s good advice!