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  • We gave our wonderful mail lady a box of chocolates and $20.

  • Mail carriers are not supposed to accept cash or gifts worth more than $20.

  • The USPS has some explicit rules on NOT giving your delivery person a gift – but I gave mine a $20 Itunes gift card, and the garbage a guys each a pint bottle of booze.

  • My tip is always the same: “Don’t $h!t where you eat.” But sanitation workers already know this, so I give them $20.

  • Same amount I tip the cashier at McDonald’s – nada.

  • I tipped the “mailman” $15 last year but then realized that at least 6 different men/women deliver my mail throughout the year…

  • I gave the postman thruppence and the garbage collectors a florin each.

  • $20 seems to be the consensus – that’s what I gave the Sunday NYT delivery guy.

  • Good question!

    Our (one & only) Washington Post carrier had a perfect year. I felt like a heel only giving him $40.

    That’s cash, at 4:30 in the morning. I’m not sending his tip to the lady named on the envelope that came rolled up in the Friday paper.

    New York Times delivery? Gotta get that thing to us, every day, and vacation stops mean stop delivering. Better luck next year.

    Garbarge and recycling, $20 each. Those guys are good.

  • We’re only giving our UPS guy a tip because a) he is *awesome*, and b) he’s consistently “our” UPS guy. Mail carriers seem to change weekly (the one guy we loved seems not to be on our route anymore since the summer), and our trash guys? I don’t think any amount of token bribery will make them return our cans any further than 3 doors down in the middle of the alley (they have to get off of the truck and walk down the alley to reach our little section since there is no turnaround and the route takes them back out the other way).

  • Hmm… I’ve never tipped the mail delivery person or garbage collectors.

    The mail delivery guy I have now at least seems reasonably good, which is more than I can say for the garbage collectors. I was driving down the alley shortly after trash collection last week, and it was a mess.

  • As the daughter of a postal carrier, I can’t tell you how much some of the generous donations my father received over the years really made a difference to our family around the holidays. Now that my dad rotates routes throughout the week, the regular carriers make sure to share the gifts with him (he says this is customary for the USPS-but I’m not sure). Thank you all for your generous donations this year!

    • I never tipped before (or heard of the practice), but this post from FedEmployee particularly and this whole thread, in general, has me thinking about taking up the practice. $20 seems to be the consensus. The mail lady who provided service to me for most of the year is outstanding.

  • I had no idea that anyone gave tips to the mail man and garbage collector. Both my garbage collector and mailmen come after I’ve left for work so I’m not really sure how I’d go about tipping them. Envelope taped to the top of the trashcan/mailbox? PoP, maybe we could get a separate poll on who all people give Christmas/New Year’s tips to?

    • My question exactly. When do you guys actually SEE your sanitation workers so that you’re able to give them this tip?

    • I have this same question! If I taped an envelope to the top of my trashcan with $20 in it, I’m pretty sure the money would not end up in their pockets.

  • Federal employees shouldn’t be taking tips for doing their jobs. And I’m a federal employee. I help keep your air clean and your water drinkable. Pay up.

    • Exactly – and thanks for the air and water!

      • I agree – they get a ton of benefits, retirement plan, health insurance, and, unlike waiters, their salaries are not dependent on tips. Plus, what if our postman is Muslim or Bhudist or Jewish or Athiest and don’t celebrate Christmas? Holiday tipping seems to be a remnant from my parent’s generation that will probably die out in a few years.

      • Hey…no problem. I like to drink and breath to you know. We may be underpaid, but save your tips for your servers, bartenders and busboys.

  • $20 for the mailman and $20 for each guy of the 3 man garbage crew.

  • I’m a generous tipper and don’t want to seem like Scrooge here, but this practice seems a wee bit out-dated, or at least not appropriate for a modern city. I don’t know my mail carrier. I rarely see the same one twice. When I was little and lived in the burbs, we tipped the mailman because we knew him. If you know your mailman, by all means tip them. But to tip the rando that shows up with my mail on a given day seems a little bit odd. If the USPS would put more emphasis on continuity, I’d be happy to tip.

    And yes yes, I know how hard mail carriers work. I don’t mean to disparriage their efforts. I’m only pointing out that we ain’t in Kansas anymore.

  • Seeing as how someone at USPS sliced open a holiday card that was addressed to me and stole the gift card inside and no one who handled it afterwards was courteous enough to even do me the dignity of putting the reminants in a damage bag, I’m not so thrilled about mail service in the District this year.

    But in any event, government employees should do their work out of duty, not out of tips. Support their fair wages with your voice and your vote. Contact their supervisors or their appropriators with news of a job well done. Tips aren’t nearly as helpful.

  • I agree with some of the posters above – if you know the mail carrier or garbage collector, then that’s your prerogative. I only tip cash in situations where it’s supplementing someone’s income or if their job doesn’t afford them full benefits (e.g., waiter, taxi driver, hotel baggage handler). I could see giving a coffee/lunch gift card with a nominal amount, though.

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