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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » When is a client obligated to tip? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ken Northridge
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I saw the snow storm coming days in advance. I emailed my client 36 hours ahead of time to warn him if the predictions were correct my 2 hour drive could take me much, much longer and I couldn’t leave early because an earlier engagement. I told him I’m willing to travel in almost any conditions to keep my word, but please advise me as to how late is too late. I got no response whatsoever.

I’m about an hour away from the gig and the snow is heavy and the roads are bad. I called him to make sure it was still on and I didn’t miss a message. Surely, he wouldn’t ask his guests to travel in such weather, I thought. He said, yes the party is on. Some of his guests had cancelled but he’s still having the party.

My client lives in a remote hilly area. The roads got worse by the minute. I almost got stuck on one hilly road. I tried for 5-minutes to get up the hill and finally had to turn around and go another way.

I arrived to find my client lives on steep downslope with no parking, other than on his lawn (which was covered with snow and ice at this point). I slid into a parking spot, set up my show and was ready to perform exactly on time! However, my client asked me if I could ‘hang out’ for a while because many of his guests were late. I said, “No problem” with a smile! But inside I was in turmoil wondering if I’d be able to get out of my parking spot and up the hill, and what time I would get home, or if I’d even be able to get home!

As I waited patiently for 35-minutes, I noticed my client was quite rich. He had a beautiful huge home, servants at the door, waiters serving food, etc. etc. I had earlier noticed he was a lawyer and had his office in one of the most prestigious office buildings in Philadelphia.

Show time came, and putting modesty aside for a moment, I rocked! I was able to put my troubles aside for 45-minutes and totally entertain his guests. This was the only good part of my evening.

As my client brought me into his lavish office to write me a check, he commented that his guest thoroughly enjoyed my show and he appreciated me making the effort to get here, and that his Santa and balloon twister cancelled on him, as well as many guests. As he was saying this I began to calculate what kind of tip I was going to get. ‘Maybe even a Benjamin’, I thought! However, there was no tip, nada, zero, nothing!

To add insult to injury, it took me 45-minutes to get my car off his property. If it wasn’t for some kind young man with one of those huge trucks and a chain to pull me up the hill I don’t know what I would have done. (By the way, I slipped this kind young man a twenty dollar bill!)

So, when is a client obligated to tip?
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Dannydoyle
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Never.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Close.Up.Dave
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I don't think they're ever obligated, as far as being a client goes. As a fellow human being, in that case, I think he should have. But, it doesn't matter how much money you have, generosity is not linked to how many zeros are in your bank account.

I tip my hat to you for a job well done (not money, but hey!)
magicofCurtis
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Quote:
On 2013-12-15 09:12, Dannydoyle wrote:
Never.


I agree!


-- However, have a clause in your contract that charges a fee for every 10 min. the show is delayed. This usually will get the show going on time or a tip.
Of course never charge the fee unless it is very unreasonable amount of time. I don't think I have ever...

Since I have included that in my basic agreement, it is amazing I no longer have to wait around for xxx guest to arrive or the raffle to be completed. lol However, I do at my own will wait a few minutes and say no problem when they are delayed by a few moments.

Cheers
Dr. Delusion
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It seems like the majoriety of the time when I perform show for folks that are well off, I seldome get a tip. They often ask me to wait for folks to show up, tear down, move to another room, all sorts of stuff. Then after the show lots of Thank you's and great comments, but no tip. Then when it comes to middle or lower class folks I almost always get a tip.
Bob.
misterillusion
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I get tipped quite often--so often that it is a surprise when I do not get tipped. The tips generally come from the clients you do not expect to tip. The very wealthy clients do not always tip. In any case, I never ever expect a tip from anyone.
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
charliecheckers
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Perhaps the client felt sorry for himself due to the way his party turned out and it affected the way he saw the situation. We all do this at times, I think. I mean in Ken's example, the man that helped pull his car out may have felt $20 was not much compensation for his equipment, time and expertise. Ken felt he was being generous, but it would have cost him plenty more time and money to hire a tow truck to do the same. The fact that Ken was having a bad day had nothing to do with the man that helped him. Should he gripe as well.
Paddy
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The rich got that way by watching their money, not by giving it away. I never expect a tip from any customer, but I am grateful when they do. Like the majority I get a lot of tips from middle and lower income people. I have done parties for members of the Camargo Country Club in Cincinnati. Marge Schott (was owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team) was a member, there she was middle income. Never got a tip from one of them.
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MichaelDouglas
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Ken, you rock! I would never expect a client to pay more than the agreed upon amount.

Besides, I never assume what kind of money a person has based on appearances. Attorneys and doctors have the hardest time (according to "The Millionaire Next Door") accumulating wealth because of societal expectations that they live a lavish lifestyle. Sometimes their cars, house, etc are in excess of their income and they are up to their neck in debt. Yet they must have parties, etc to keep up appearances.

I'm not saying this is the case with your client, but it happens.
TomBoleware
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You would be surprised at how many people (including myself) that don't really know who all to tip.
Some only tip workers and feel you would never tip the boss. You would never think about tipping a doctor, lawyer, etc.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

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Donald Dunphy
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Here's another thread where we also discussed tipping:

--> Magic Café thread titled... Is it ta......t a tip?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On 2013-12-15 12:02, charliecheckers wrote:
Perhaps the client felt sorry for himself due to the way his party turned out and it affected the way he saw the situation. We all do this at times, I think. I mean in Ken's example, the man that helped pull his car out may have felt $20 was not much compensation for his equipment, time and expertise. Ken felt he was being generous, but it would have cost him plenty more time and money to hire a tow truck to do the same. The fact that Ken was having a bad day had nothing to do with the man that helped him. Should he gripe as well.

Hey, are you calling me cheap? Smile Actually, I see your point.

For the record, I'm with all of you. I (almost) never expect a tip. But in this case, because of the extreme conditions I let my emotions and expectations get a little carried away. With the difficulty I was having I really wanted a little extra to make me feel better about the evening.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
jlibby
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Ken, it sounds like you really went above and beyond. My hat is off to you! I agree with Curtis, put a clause in your agreement requiring an additional amount if you have to wait.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
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Grab your copy now:
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charliecheckers
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Ken - no, just being the contrarian. Believe me, I was right there with you on your story. I also have the advantage over your client in that I am well aware of your business practices (from your posts here) and know how fair you are with pricing. I think you would have received a handsome tip if your client saw it from our vantage point.

For what it's worth, I do not get tipped often,regardless of the thanks I receive.
Dannydoyle
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People did not get rich by not tipping.

Here is a hint working with rich people. Take it for what it is worth. It is after all free advice.

People got rich by KNOWING WHAT THEY ARE WORTH! Get the point? Know your value. Know what to charge. Why SHOULD they pay more if they agreed to whatever and then get called names when they don't pay more? How stupid! It is appalling, Would you want a server or bartender complaining about how much you tip?

Yes it is a story of lots of work on your part. It comes with the job. Curtis is right a clause for what your extra time costs.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
themagicguy
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Quote:
On 2013-12-15 09:04, Ken Northridge wrote:

However, there was no tip, nada, zero, nothing!



Now you know why he is rich. Smile
Scott Burton
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I live in a place that snows. I expect travel issues to come up now and again. Just "normal" IMO. I wouldn't expect tips.
ChrisC
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It's times like these that I am so grateful for my all wheel drive Subaru Forester
Gerry Walkowski
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Ken,

That is some story.

I charge a decent fee and get tipped quite a bit at birthday parties. That said, some of my biggest tips come from people you would least expect to give you a tip.

While I don't believe your client was obligated to give you a tip, as a decent human being he should have for you going the extra mile.

We live in an interesting world. Smile

Gerry
Karen Climer
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Quote:
On 2013-12-16 00:30, ChrisC wrote:
It's times like these that I am so grateful for my all wheel drive Subaru Forester


It times like these I'm glad I live in Florida where it never snows!

I agree with others. When it is happening to you, it feels like the client owes you a tip. But really a tip is always extra. Think about it like this...if your flight is delayed because the plane is stuck in a snowstorm in another city. The entire airline company makes a herculean effort to get everyone to their connecting flight on time or at least to the correct city on a different flight. Do you pay the airline extra for dealing with weather issues? Or do you just expect that their job is to get you to the correct city when they said you would be there?

Also, in the client's mind, he is paying you for the time you are at the party. He doesn't care if it takes you 15 minutes or 3 hours to get there. He is paying for the time you are there.

I guess my whole point is that I definitely see your point of view, but you have to look at it from his point of view.
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