From the Forum – Holiday Tipping at a Condo and Beware of Package Thief

Holiday Tipping etiquette in condo building with on site staff:

“Is it customary in DC to tip the building manager, concierge, porter, etc. if you live in a nice condo building with on-site staff? I realize there are a wide variety of different apartment/condo building types so this may not be applicable to all.

My building has very friendly staff who build personal relationships with all residents and so I would like to give them something but I’m not sure what the appropriate amount would be. Does anyone in a similar type of building have any suggestions or know what is typical?”


Beware Petworth Package Thieves at Randolph and 8th ST NW:

“Last night, between 5:45 and 7:30 pm, several packages were stolen right off of our front porch (around 8th and Randolph St NW between NH and GA avenues).

The thieves struck during the hour that the house was unattended, leaving us to wonder if someone is casing the neighborhood as another reader suggested in a prior post. The thieves disgarded some of the opened packages and threw the remnants on the curb several houses away.

Please notify your neighbors and PoPville readers if you see any suspicious activity like this occurring nearby. Needless to say we will be getting all of our packages delivered to work in the future.”

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6 Comment

  • Yes, do tip your on-site building staff! I usually gave mine $50 each.

  • This is coming from my NYC experience: usually building staff pool the tips over the holidays. You give the front desk guy an envelope with CASH (no checks) and it gets divvied up. In NYC, the tip would depend on the size of your apartment, family, and how much you utilized the services of the staff. If you’re a single person in a studio or 1BR, a normal holiday gift would probably be $100-150. A large family in a 3BR that is always having the doorman help you load up the car, hold the doors, walk groceries up to your place? Tip closer to $300-400.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      This was our practice at the Newport. The live-on building manager was excluded and received a bonus.

  • I live an petworth (3rd and Farragut st) as well and have had a package stolen off of my porch. I was told that the thieves pretty much follow the fedex/ups trucks as they drop the packages off and steal them as soon as they pull off.

    After my situation I asked my next door neighbors to look out for any packages that get left on my porch if im not at home and I’d do the same for them. It works pretty good and the neighborhood knows that people are stealing packages so everyone is on the lookout.

    Also if you want to catch them in the act. One person put an empty box on their porch and waited to see if someone would come for it. Someone did try to steal it not too long after. She confronted him and took a picture of the person. I dont know if he was ever caught though.

    I would say just hold your neighbors package if you know they’re not home. Sometimes the delivery people don’t do a good job of even trying to hide packages.

  • What makes me angriest about the package thefts is that, very often these days, the drivers just drop the package and go. Even when I schedule delivery for a day I know I’ll be home, I have found the package on the porch only after going out to look for it. No knock, no ringing the bell.
    That used to happen only with UPS, but I’ve experienced it with FedEx as well.

  • Thursday night I found a suspiciously discarded holiday card and envelop in my back alley. As I walked around to the front of the house I found the empty box it had come from. It broke my heart. The box belonged to a neighbor about 2 blocks away. I decided I would want to know what happened and walked the items to the address on the box. It was 8:30p and of course the resident was skeptical, but as we wished each other happy holidays, I like to think despite the bad news, I helped her realize that not everyone is bad, just some people make bad decisions.

    Happy holidays.

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