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minimum tip to leave so SCA doesn't realize I'm a cheapskate?


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#21 jis

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:22 AM

The "average" is probably $10 per night per person, although some leave $-0- (either by accident, forgetfulness or otherwise).

I generally do $5 per night for basic services provided in a timely manner. If any extra consideration is shown that goes up to $10. If I get food delivered to my room, that is handled on per meal basis as additional.


Edited by jis, 20 March 2017 - 10:24 AM.


#22 zephyr17

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:47 AM

I do $10/night for decent service, including asking what time to make up room for night (and then doing it).  Being reasonably available within the car, getting ice, etc.  Attitude will improve the tip to up to $15 or more.

 

Things that would reduce or eliminate the tip are never being in the car, declaring that they are going to make up the bed at a certain time (pet peeve), NOT making up the bed at all.

 

I do not pre-tip but will tip for meeting minimum expectations, even if done with a scowl.  I am not afraid to completely stiff a truly bad attendant.


Edited by zephyr17, 07 March 2017 - 10:48 AM.

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#23 KmH

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 11:00 AM

 

Are OBS railroad union members?


All Amtrak employees, sans-management, are union. And even some management continue paying their dues so they can go back on the road if something happens to their job

 

That helps to add some perspective.

 

So OBS get paid a pretty good wage, plus benefits and overtime pay if the train they are working on runs late?


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#24 FormerOBS

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 11:43 AM

OBS get no overtime for a late train. By Union contract, employees are guaranteed a certain minimum number of hours per month. I don't know the current rule on this. If their trains run late and they have to work extra hours, this is paid at regular rate until a certain threshold is reached, at which time overtime (time and 1/2) kicks in. Again, I don't know the current rule. 

 

All of this is based on hours accrued in a month, and not on the individual trip. The total hours on a particular trip do not affect this, so it is possible for an attendant to work an extremely late train at 100% straight time. I know of situations where attendants have worked extremely late trains and gotten sick afterwards. Then they missed their next trip and ended up short of their required hours for that month, and got no overtime at all.

 

By the way, unless something has changed in the past few years (unlikely), holidays are paid at time & 1/2 for 8 hours per day. OBS employees who work more than 8 hours get time & 1/2 for 8 hours, and straight time for the rest. 

 

Some other crafts have much more generous contracts, with double and triple time for holidays and holiday overtime. Not OBS. 

 

I'm retired. Some current employee can correct me if I am wrong about any of this. 

 

Tom


Edited by FormerOBS, 07 March 2017 - 11:48 AM.


#25 Triley

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:40 PM

Still spot on as always Tom. For the record, extra board is only guaranteed 150 hours a month, an attendant with a refill regular is guaranteed 180 hours, and anything over 185 is finally overtime.

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#26 PRR 60

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:40 PM

 

Are OBS railroad union members?


All Amtrak employees, sans-management, are union. And even some management continue paying their dues so they can go back on the road if something happens to their job

 

 

That is true for passenger-facing positions, but there are lots of Amtrak employees in technical, legal, real estate, marketing, financial and similar areas who are non-union. Most of those are not "management," as in people who manage the work of other people.



#27 jis

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

That is what I was thinking. There must be a whole host of "Exempt" employees that do not fall in the "Executive/Management" category under FLSA definitions.

#28 Texan Eagle

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:07 PM

Cafe guy gets a tip too? It seems similar to the person who sells snacks at the movie theater. Never thought to tip that person. 

 

If you go by advice from this forum, you gotta tip EVERYONE remotely related to your train travel because they do such hard work and need to be appreciated with tips.

 

Buy ticket from ticket counter - tip the person who hands you the ticket

Security guard directs you to your track - tip the security guard

Attendant greets you at the train door - tip the attendant

Cafe guy hands you a pre-packed snack - tip the cafe guy

Conductor checks your ticket - tip the conductor

Engineer drives the train - tip the driver

Co-passenger lets you use the power outlet by their seat - tip the co-passenger

 

You gotta tip everyone, man!



#29 MikefromCrete

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:14 PM

 

Cafe guy gets a tip too? It seems similar to the person who sells snacks at the movie theater. Never thought to tip that person. 

 

If you go by advice from this forum, you gotta tip EVERYONE remotely related to your train travel because they do such hard work and need to be appreciated with tips.

 

Buy ticket from ticket counter - tip the person who hands you the ticket

Security guard directs you to your track - tip the security guard

Attendant greets you at the train door - tip the attendant

Cafe guy hands you a pre-packed snack - tip the cafe guy

Conductor checks your ticket - tip the conductor

Engineer drives the train - tip the driver

Co-passenger lets you use the power outlet by their seat - tip the co-passenger

 

You gotta tip everyone, man!

 

Com' on folks, tip your IT guy so Texan doesn't have to share a sleeper room with four strangers. 



#30 Ryan

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:14 PM

Now you're just making stuff up.
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#31 zephyr17

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:38 PM

 

Cafe guy gets a tip too? It seems similar to the person who sells snacks at the movie theater. Never thought to tip that person. 

 

If you go by advice from this forum, you gotta tip EVERYONE remotely related to your train travel because they do such hard work and need to be appreciated with tips.

 

Buy ticket from ticket counter - tip the person who hands you the ticket

Security guard directs you to your track - tip the security guard

Attendant greets you at the train door - tip the attendant

Cafe guy hands you a pre-packed snack - tip the cafe guy

Conductor checks your ticket - tip the conductor

Engineer drives the train - tip the driver

Co-passenger lets you use the power outlet by their seat - tip the co-passenger

 

You gotta tip everyone, man!

 

Where the heck did you get that impression?   The advice has been consistently to tip OBS crew only  (dining car waitstaff, sleeping car attendant, cafe LSA).  That is consistent with tipping for the equivalent services off the train (restaurant waitstaff, hotel housekeeper/room service waiter, bartender/cocktail waitstaff/barista), which many, if not most, people do.


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#32 jis

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:50 PM

Actually at the end of the day it is just tradition that drives who gets tipped and who does not. The rest is just wildly flailing rationalization based on little. Otherwise what is the logic of tipping rail OBS while not doing so for air OBS? Just that it has been a long standing tradition to do so for rail and not to do so for air.

 

Similarly T&E staff are not tipped because that the way the tradition stands.

 

The Europeans do not tip beyond rounding up because it is their tradition that works out that way. The Japanese do not tip at all, because it is their tradition.

 

In India you have to tip ... er ... bribe the front desk clerk to get your paperwork to move from his desk to where it needs to go, a long standing tradition of bakhsheesh that people are trying to break mightily, with some success.

 

That's just the way it is.



#33 PRR 60

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:50 PM

Many, many years ago, the TV Show "Candid Camera" (sometimes funny, sometimes not) placed a tip jar on the counter at the checkout window in a doctor's office.  They then filmed the reaction of patients paying their bill and seeing the pitch for tips.  I think of that segment every time one of these "tipping on Amtrak" topics pops up. 



#34 Texan Eagle

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 04:58 PM

 

You gotta tip everyone, man!

Where the heck did you get that impression?   The advice has been consistently to tip OBS crew only  (dining car waitstaff, sleeping car attendant, cafe LSA).  That is consistent with tipping for the equivalent services off the train (restaurant waitstaff, hotel housekeeper/room service waiter, bartender/cocktail waitstaff/barista), which many, if not most, people do.

 


Relax folks, this was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek comment, after all the never-ending threads of to tip or not to tip. I don't think anyone would seriously believe they have to walk up to the engine and tip the engineer. If someone managed to do that, hats off to them!


Edited by Texan Eagle, 07 March 2017 - 04:59 PM.


#35 leacrane

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:34 AM

I tip recaps 2.00 per bag approx. so that's about 5.00. With SCA, it can go from zero to 20.00 depending on what they do and service. If he/she carries my bags into my room after boarding,(eg no recap), that's worth same as redcap. Same for helping with bags at exit. figure 5.00 for making the bed up. Remember, helping with bags is required in service manual. So if SCA does everything and is otherwise attentive I offering services I can do 20.00. (1 nite)
Only time I do zero if SCA ignores his job by not helping with bags and ignores me. Sadly, in 20 yrs of travels this is more common. I would rather get good service and give good tips than save money due to poor service.

#36 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:16 AM

I can move my own bags and I can make my own bed.  I'd rather tip for the things I simply cannot do without the SCA's help.  Like get some ice or coffee in the dead of night in the middle of nowhere.


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#37 KmH

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:32 AM

I mostly ride the #5/6 train (California Zephyr), and that's been pretty much just once a year (round trip).

 

It's my understand the CZ has some 13 OBS crews.

Consequently I have not had the same TA-SC more than once.

 

On my last trip the TA-SC on my return leg was 'on the board' and not a regular on the CZ.

 

The point being, it has never occurred to me to ponder what a TA-SC may think about me relative to whatever tip I decided the TA-SC was worth.


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#38 niemi24s

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:19 AM

I can move my own bags and I can make my own bed.  I'd rather tip for the things I simply cannot do without the SCA's help.  Like get some ice or coffee in the dead of night in the middle of nowhere.

Is this just an illustrative example?


Edited by niemi24s, 13 March 2017 - 11:23 AM.


#39 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 12:59 PM

Let's forget the numbers for a moment. If you consider yourself a cheapskate tipper, you are acting unconscionably.

It doesn't matter what you personally think an employee deserves. If you think that Amtrak employees are paid plenty and don't need a tip, I can accept that. I disagree with you; I think people who earn gratuity for gratuitous work derserve respect; but I can understand your perspective.

Being labeled a cheap tipper generally means that others around you feel that you give less than you should. I am not here to remark on that debate; that is between the tipper and their own mental concepts.

However: if you feel you are a cheapskate as a tipper, that means that you feel you are giving the specific person less than you think they deserve. That's plain wrong. If you think your SCA deserves a gratuity of .05, $5, or $50, that is the minimum you should give them. Period. You would resent your boss giving you less than he thinks you deserve (especially since you likely, like almost everyone, think you deserve more than he does already!), so pay that forward.

There is a lot of lattitude in acting the way society expects you to. But there is nothing more unacceptable than failing to live up to your own personal standards. You did, after all, lay them out for yourself.
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#40 Bigval109

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:01 PM

Sorry, but I can only afford to tip $5.00 because I live on a fixed income. I usually tip the day of my exit from the sleeper.
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