Tipping a guide...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jonathan Gardner, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Tipping a guide...Keven

    I apologize for misspelling your name Keven. Your post #139 seems heartfelt and makes a lot of sense.
    In my initial, much longer draft of my post #129 I went into a lot more detail and one long explanation I edited out was that I am not objecting to any particular person, only commenting on the attitude of entitlement which is so obvious in this thread...despite all claims to the contrary. Nothing personal.
    There was no intention of a personal attack, and yet if you were upset enough to send me a venomous PM then I guess I hit a nerve.
    I suggest you go back to my posts, imagine we're sitting at a boat launch bullshitting after a long day's fishing, and read my posts out loud in a friendly tone of voice, because that's how they are intended.
    Let me clarify "talking out of one's ass". There seems to be a lot of emotional attachment here to a practice (tipping) which ultimately disempowers or subordinates the person receiving it. Yet because the recipient is getting money, it will be defended to the last and you'll even get upset about it in the process. I'm just asking you to take an objective look at that. Getting upset about it only proves my point further.

    I stand by my suggestion-be up front, ask for what you're worth and decline the tip for professional reasons. Empower yourself. If a client insists on paying more, tell him to donate the money to CCA or WSC. Then questions and 5-page threads about the issue will become moot.
    I'm out of this one. sorry, _G...guess I pissed on the hornet's nest.
  2. Tipping a guide...Keven

    I suggest you take an economics class. Tipping is used to encourage a "high" level of service in a variable service economy. This includes fishing guides along with waiters/waitresses. We don't tip them because its tradition or customary. We tip them because their service is variable. The incentive of a tip increases the chance of excellent service over just great service. You don't tip for any other reason...not because of skill or how much they are paid. People that don't get this never will. Its actually really simple. Your points only make sense in the land of Bizzaro where economic principles don't apply. Comparing Guides to Tradesman only works in economics 101 in this land of Bizzaro. Carpentry, Plumbing is a commodity....thats why there are unions....thats why there is a union wage.....because variable service is not expected.....you simply get the job done to code.....if one union plumber is sick that day you can fill the job with the other. People not from planet Bizzaro know that tipping can and most likely ensures service better than excellent and is welcome when we only get a few days a year to fish with a guide or experience a nice restaurant.
  3. Tipping a guide...Keven


    I have never wanted to sound like I was intitled to a tip before any service was rendered.
    Nor am I intitled to one at the end of the day. I do believe it is customary in this industry,
    as with any of this type of service. I do appriciate any tip given and would never treat a client different if he/she was not a tipper. Like I said, I give my tip to the guide before we get started, this practice has always insured that I get the time on the water I want, not the time the guide wants to spend on the water.
  4. Tipping a guide...Keven

    I don't object to tipping, but I do find this argument noncompelling. If a tip is given beforehand to a well-intentioned, competent guide, will it really compell that guide to do more than he or she would for another client? Tipping after the fact is not an incentive to do better, it is a for a job done above and beyond the minimum. The tip received from one client may or may not be matched by a subsequent client. If a client tips well after one trip will he/she get better service the next trip? If tipping is such an incentive, then the guide should advertise "better tippers get better service and a better tipper pays an extra $xxx). I don't think many guides feel this way. So, I think of a tip as a gratuity, expression of gratefulness. Far more important, so it would seem, is referrals. I would think word-of-mouth referrals are important to most guides; maybe not; if a guide gets a rep, or a write-up in a mag, maybe that means much more than referrals. Of course referrals from one congenial big tipper to another congenial :)big tipper ... that's got to be the best of worlds
  5. Tipping a guide...Keven

    I don't want to sound rude...but you don't get it. Again this is simple incentive based economics. A tip is not some wierd reward system for a job done above and beyond the minimum. It is an incentive for the guide to work really really hard (for the incentive of being paid a great tip). The whole concept of tipping is not for the guide..........thats what you dont get. Its so that you will have a better chance of having a guide work really really hard making the trip better. This is possible because of the variable service possiblity in the service (guide) industry. How is tipping after the fact not an incentive for the guide???? If you a rational person you would tip more based on how well the fishing experience was. Guides don't advertise better service for better tippers because they can't. Thats not in the textbook for incentive based economics. They work hard for everyone in hopes of getting a good tip. As such, people who don't get this....can choose not to tip and still get great service. This great deal for you non tippers only continues to work as long as us rational people tip enough to keep the weighted average of tip dollars high enough for the guides to still be an incentive.
  6. Tipping a guide...Keven

    1. I have not read a post in which someone has said they do not tip, ever. I haven't read every post ever written, but what I have read is that almost all people tip when they have had a good time; the main question being, how much is good?

    2. As a behavioral scientist, who has actually done experimentation on factors influencing performance in the work place, the best way to ensure high performance is with occasional, unpredictable high rewards for exceptional performance. Routine rewards become expected.

    As a cognitive psychologist who specialized in temperaments, personality types, and thinking styles, different personality types like different kinds of rewards; it is entirely possible that some guides would be put off by tipping; be more rewarded by camaraderie, courtesy, enjoyment, and thoughfulness on the part of the client; others may appreciate a gift more than a tip, say a Xmas gift or Thanksgiving gift; others may appreciate a request for another booking, especially if that is for the client's family members or close friends. But very importantly many people are rewarded by knowing they did a job well, or even better, better than most could do it.

    People with performance problems often do not respond well to either positive or negative reinforcement. There are other methods that can be used with success (sometimes) with a competent but poor-performing employee.

    3. In my personal experience, people who regard themselves as professionals take pride in their work and will not do less than a stellar job. Their personal standards are often higher than their employers' standards.

    4. I tip when I feel pleased; the amount is in proportion to my pleasure within the constraints of my financial situation.
  7. Tipping a guide...Keven

    Your expertise in the social sciences are not compelling to me in this arguement. I took phychology,sociolgy,Art history, and Film class as GPA boosters in School. Do this test next time. Get the phychology students to start tipping with butterball turkeys and get the economic students to tip with cash. Let us know what works better.
  8. Tipping a guide...Keven

    sorry you didn't get much out of formal education:ray1: ... not my fault;)...note I didn't say classrooms, I said workplaces ... yes, real employees ... real money ... goes back to the old saw : "Economists know the price of everything but the value of nothing."

    If I measured things by the metrics you suggest, I would never tip; I'd just go with guides who have lots of big tippers; I'd get great service at minimum cost to me as you suggest we do in your earlier post. I'd never have to go back to the guide, just ask the big tippers who they like the most, and select a new guide and give a big talk each time ... I would ask you, however, to recall that I don't object to tipping, I do tip myself, and I gave you :thumb: for your approach.:beathead:

    Oh, and: if everyone tipped $100 before the trip, would you then tip $200? How else would you get good service? How do you know everyone is not tipping $100 already?

    The wisest economic strategy would be to tip well and inadvance (bribe) and then tell everyone how great the trip was and that you didn't tip at all and then go online to forums to argue against tipping ... you might just maximize ROI doing that ... of course, use a pseudonym/alias ...
  9. Tipping a guide...Keven

    If you take advantage of the system by not tipping than you are what we call a "Moral Hazzard" in finance. That is similar to people buying houses they can't afford and then walking away from the mortgage when the house value drops. You can do it........but most people don't because of the moral obligation to society. Thankfully most people are not a "Moral Hazzard" and will choose the option to tip on good service despite not having the obligation to do so.

    If you are a sociopath than none of my points will ever make sense because its only about getting over and maximizing your experience regardless. If you are a sociopath than I would suggest doing all the things that you have eluded to because they will max out your ROI.
    If your not a sociopath I suggest not tipping a guide if he is bad, tip him good if he is good, and tip him great if he is great. And don't do it for the guide...do it for me so that during my 3 weeks of holidays a year I might have a better chance of having an exceptional day on the river.
  10. Tipping a guide...Keven

    One more thing.....In no way do I think your a sociopath. I am sure you are a great guy and have treated guides fairly and with great respect. I am just trying to make my argument.
  11. "argue for your limitations, and you get to keep them."
    -Richard Bach

    (aside from andycarey's 4 wise points)
    I'm waiting with bated breath for the NEW insights bound to arrive on page 6 or 7 of this travesty.:rofl:
  12. good gawd damn, this sure turned into a pissing match

    All I know is the guys I have been with and have busted their ass, and have shown me a thing or two and or advanced my knowledge, you bet your ass I rewarded that hard work

    I did have a guy once who was an asshole, but taught me a lot....sure was worth the tip i gave him
  13. are you referring to our trip to the ronde? i thought you were the guide for that?? :rofl:
  14. wow, intense. got some high rollers here, hahaha. I dont know much about it really. Say a fly shop charges 350-400 for one person on a drift boat all day, like 9am to 4 pm. how much does the guide make off this 350-400 charge?
  15. In my opinion, guides are not in the service industry. Last time I was with a guide he didn't serve me anything or provide me with a finished product. Instead, I see them as consultants. I paid him to share his knowledge and tell me were and how to fish the particular river we were on.

    For comparison a consultant with 10 years experience charges roughly $100-150/hr (very broad generalization) and does not provide supplies and equipment. Compare this to a guide with the same number of years experience who charges $400/day and provides supplies, equipment, transportation, etc. Do the math and guides are charging a cut-rate price for their advice.

    You might say, "it's fishing and I wouldn't pay $100/hr to show me how to fish", and I would tell you to then go spend the hours, days, years it took the guide to get his experience. It would cost me a fortune to take a summer off to fish, let alone years.

    This is just an alternative analogy. I don’t' have the time to cover every single variable involved so before the trolls fire up the key boards just remember I'm not here to argue semantics. I'm not a guide, outfitter, or any other way related to the fishing industry, but I do tip guides.
  16. Well Brett, that would be a useful thing to look at.
    I don't know of any consultants who are tipped on a regular basis. They charge what they're worth up front. I imagine some might be insulted if you offered a tip.

    when I try to list folks who can reasonably expect a gratuity with many/most transactions,
    I think of waitresses, doormen, bellhops at the airport, cab drivers, maids...help me out here, are there some folks on the technical/professional tier who get tips too?

    BTW, I've tipped every guide and deckhand without fail, because when in Rome you do as the Romans do...which I think entitles me to ask the simple theoretical question I am asking.

    the dichotomy here is this-guides claiming to be specialists of a sort, and professionals, but subscribing to a pay structure that screams "service industry" like the other jobs I mentioned above.
    What seems to be pissing everyone off is that I say if you are a professional, a consultant, and you have high-level skills to offer, then consider structuring your business practice, including fee-for-service, along the same lines.

    also BTW, I have a lot of respect for guides, their knowledge, what they do; but we wouldn't be a forward-thinking forum if we didn't question the assumptions of our sport once in awhile, would we?:D
  17. Consultants don't get tips because they milk the client upfront:rofl:, but they do get bonuses at the end of the year which is usually a percentage of their profit margin for that year. I don't expect a bonus, but I would be PISSED if I didn't get one.

    This is just a guess, but if they charged a realistic $$/hr based on experience they wouldn't get clients, but charging a flat rate and "hoping" a tip is included provides them with a "steady" (I use this term loosely here) flow of income.

    I don't doubt your respect and there always needs to be a "devil's advocate". That's why I posted.:beer2:

  18. The difference is VARIABLE SERVICE. Floating down a river with a guide results in variable service. A guide can do alot of things in that float to provide variable service to increase you enjoyment. He can row bank to bank more....He can make a better lunch....he can change more flies.....he can have better equipment.....he do all sorts of things. An accountant cannot provide variable service when doing your taxes. Tipping him will not result in a better number thus making your experience better. I think what is "pissing" people off is the analogy you are using for your argument is not correct.
  19. It seems most of the guides on this thread have disagreed with you and have stated that their service isn't variable. You have repeatedly stated that it is an incentive to have them work hard, which goes along with your variable arguement. Aren't you saying that if they don't get tipped they don't provide as high level of service, or they don't work as hard? If they don't get tipped aren't you saying they will make a worse lunch, change fewer flies, use worse equipment?
    Most guides have stated they work their tail off regardless, which is why it seems a tip is for appreciation, not to influence the variable service.
  20. "milk the client up front"...:rofl:
    Brett, you're cracking me up:thumb:

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