DEAR ABBY: I agree with the letter stating that pizza deliverers should receive tips just as good servers in restaurants do. However, I am puzzled as to who else is entitled to tips.
Recently, my husband and I had professional movers transport our furniture from a townhouse to a new house 10 miles away. We had a lot of furniture, so it wasn't cheap. When they finished the job, I was presented with a bill on which was written, "Tips are optional but are appreciated." I was dumbfounded, as I had never tipped movers before. I told them I had no cash, so one man said, "Oh, checks are fine!" I felt a little intimidated, but I wrote a check for the move itself, and made out another check for the movers for roughly 10 percent. No big deal, but now I'm wondering who else is going to hit me up for tips.Since we've moved, we've had new furniture delivered, carpet cleaned, cable hooked up, and although none of these guys was forward enough to suggest tips, I wondered if maybe they weren't expecting something.
Can you give me some guidelines? My husband and I are generous when it comes to tipping food servers, hairdressers, barbers, bellmen, etc., but frankly, we'd go broke if we tipped every delivery/service person who came to the house, especially when we're already paying for the service itself. But if we are expected to tip these people, what percentage is appropriate? - TAPPED-OUT TIPPER
DEAR TAPPED OUT: How much (or if) one tips is strictly a personal decision. If you have made a purchase from a store that delivers, there is no need to "tip" the delivery person. (If it's a pharmacy that sends a kid out on a bicycle - tip the kid and watch his face light up.)
Personal services, such as those offered in beauty and barber shops, rate tips. And be generous to shoe-shiners - they live on tips. Ditto parking attendants and supermarket carry-out people.
DEAR ABBY: Our family has a problem that most families will eventually have to face. At what point do you sell the property, house and car of an elderly relative who is in a nursing home and will probably never get out?
My father-in-law had a stroke a year ago and has been in a nursing home ever since. Meanwhile, his house sits vacant and his car sits idle. None of his children live close enough to maintain the house and care for his car and they think both should be sold.
My husband, acting as power of attorney, has been paying all the bills and says his father's small life savings is being depleted. When his father was asked if his property, house and car should be sold, the answer was an emphatic, "No, let them sit!" My husband does not want his father to give up all hope for recovery and feels that if the assets are sold, his father will give up.
We need an outside opinion. Please rush your answer, Abby, as this is causing serious dissension among family members. - A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
DEAR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: Unless your father-in-law has been diagnosed as mentally incompetent, all decisions concerning the disposition of his property should be made by HIM. He specifically stated that the house and car should not be sold, so (to use his words), "Let them sit!"
Want your phone to ring? Get Abby's booklet, "How to Be Popular" - for people of all ages. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)