If you are a regular reader here, you might remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about my visit to the barber shop in my neighborhood. A homeless man came into the shop and did some things that came off as somewhat threatening. My barber there (this was my first time to use this particular barber) handled the situation very well, and I was also happy with the haircut he gave me.
Haircuts at this particular barber shop are P50 (I think I said in a comment that they were P40, but I was mistaken, sorry), and I always give the barber a tip of P20 if I feel he did a good job on the haircut. Well, on this particular day, I had P50 to pay for the cut, and I had a P20 bill to give the tip to the barber. I didn’t have any other change, only P1,000 bills other than the money needed to pay for my haircut and tip. I wanted to give the barber a little more of a tip because of how he handled the situation with the homeless guy, but since I didn’t have any change, I could not do it, so I gave him the my normal tip of P20.
I have been to the barber shop a couple more times since then, though. On my next visit, I used the same barber again, and this time I had extra change, so I decided to give him that “extra tip” for his good service on my previous visit. I gave him a tip of P30 instead of P20 this time. Not much, but he was very appreciative of the extra amount. I didn’t think much of it, because like I said, it is not much money.
Well, last week I went back for another haircut, and of course I used the same barber (there are like a half dozen different barbers in the same shop). He was very nice to me, and as usual he did a great job on my haircut. Here in the Philippines, when you go to a barber shop, after cutting your hair, they give you a massage, usually just on your shoulders, neck and the upper part of your back. Normally, this massage lasts for a minute or so. So, when the hair was cut, the barber started in on the massage. It became obvious to me that he was giving me a lot more than the standard massage, though! I mean, he did my head, neck, shoulders, upper and lower back and both of my arms. He did most of these areas multiple times too! The massage went on and on, and then on a little longer! Actually, he gave me a massage for 15 minutes! I was quite impressed and also feeling quite relaxed!
When I went in for this haircut, I had planned to give him my normal P20 tip again. I had given him P30 previously because of his good job the previous visit, so my plan was to go back to normal. But, as I sat there and he kept massaging more and more, I was thinking to myself that I could not just give him a P20 tip, it would really be like an insult after he gave me this kind of service! So, when it came time to pay, I kept his tip at P30 again on this visit. I think that after giving him a P30 tip two weeks in a row, that is sort of our established tip now, and I will need to keep giving him P30, though, otherwise it might be interpreted as an insult to him. But, I also feel pretty sure that he will keep giving me the same quality of service too, so I am OK with tipping him extra.
On my next visit, though, I will actually tip him even more than our newly established P30 tip. Why? It’s Christmas time! During December you really should give a little extra to these service people. I rarely ride taxis since I have my own vehicle, but when I do ride a taxi during December, I always give a nice tip, and tell the driver “Merry Christmas” when I give the tip. By saying Merry Christmas, that let’s him know that the reason I am giving him such a tip is because it is a Christmas present to him. If I did not add that extra “Merry Christmas” when tipping him, he might think that is how much I regularly tip, and expect it from me if I ride with him again in the future. So, next time I go for a haircut, I am going to give the barber P100 as a tip, and I will be sure to let him know that is my Christmas present to him!