A few weeks back, we visited a textile showroom in one of the busiest areas in our city. Like many commercial establishments in this area, this showroom also has valet parking facility. When the driver alighted from our car after bringing it to the gate, I thanked him and handed him a Rs. 10 note. He did not take the note, but smiled and said, “Thank you, sir. But it’s not necessary,” and walked away. Before I could close the door, the watchman bent towards me and said softly, “Sir, that’s our supervisor. Since there’s a heavy crowd today, he’s helping with the parking.” Only then did I observe that the supervisor was not wearing a driver’s uniform.
I was impressed by the supervisor’s attitude. Dignity of labour is seen among many entrepreneurs, but is not too common among employees. I also hoped that he had not felt offended by my offering him a tip.
Two weeks later, we visited the same showroom again. This time, after we completed our shopping, our car was brought to the gate by a person wearing a driver’s uniform. As soon as he alighted from our car, I thanked him and handed him a Rs. 10 note. The driver did not take the note. He smiled and said, “Thank you, sir. But we are not supposed to accept tips.”
This came as a very pleasant shock to me! Tips are neither mandatory nor forbidden for valet parking. I tip the drivers voluntarily. While the tip is a small amount to the customer, the tips from all customers could amount to a substantial amount per driver per day.
The fact that the drivers willingly refuse tips, especially in these days of high prices and high inflation, speaks volumes for them and for the showroom’s management. I believe that such behaviour and attitude in an organization comes from the top. Obviously, the showroom’s management has instructed their drivers not to accept tips from customers, and has also ensured that they pay the drivers higher salaries to compensate for the absence of tips.
I believe that the additional money is well spent by the management because the gesture of refusing tips has the effect of making customers feel like welcome guests!
What do you think?