Dark Sun over Ternate : A dark Sun hangs in the clearing sky over a volcanic planet in this morning sea and skycape. It was taken during this weeks total solar eclipse, a dramatic snapshot from along the narrow path of totality in the dark shadow of a New Moon. Earths Indonesian isle of Ternate, North Maluku lies in the foreground. The sky is still bright near the eastern horizon though, beyond the regions flattened volcanic peaks and outside the Moons umbral shadow. In fact, near the equator the dark lunar umbra is rushing eastward across Earths surface at about 1,700 kilometers per hour. Shining through the thin clouds, around the Suns silhouette is the alluring glow of the solar corona, only easily seen during totality. An inspiring sight for eclipse watchers, this solar corona is the tenuous, hot outer atmosphere of the Sun. via NASA
24) Set aside money in advance for tipping…they are all putting up with your brand of crazy!
While there’s a lot of disagreement about how much to tip, there’s no question that some services should be tipped, especially at a convention. Cabs, bellhops,bartenders, maid service, waitstaff, baristas…all of them are putting up with your particular brand of off-the-charts excitement as well as providing services that can help you out tremendously. A number of these people are at minimum wages, and tips help them make their car payments, etc. In some places, waitstaff are actually paid below minimum wage, with the expectation that tips will make up the bulk of their income. And despite a huge rush of people, good tippers are remembered, and this can work out in your favor…I can’t tell you how many times a good tip to the bellhop at the beginning of the convention made getting everything out of the room at the end of it a breeze!
I’m not saying that you need to tip for bad service, but as you are planning your budget for a con, keeps tip money in mind (and make sure you have small bills to do so!) If you are staying with a group in a room, pre-set the amount everyone should contribute, and get that out of the way early (tuck the money aside so you don’t spend it in the dealer rooms).
Food Service * Barista No tip required, though many suggest throwing coins into the tip jar. * Bartender $1/drink (or 15% of total bill). Pre-tip for better service. * Delivery person (including pizza) 10%, $2 minimum (also, also) * Takeout No tip required unless something special is done (also, also) * Waiter 15% for adequate service, 20% for exceptional service. For poor service, leave 10% or less. It’s okay to leave nothing for exceptionally poor service, but only if you’re sure it’s the waiter’s fault.
Hotel Staff *Bellman/Porter $1 to $2 per bag, $5 minimum. (Or, just as many places say $1 bag, $2 minimum.) * Concierge $5-$20 depending on the service. $20 if he does something exceptional. Nothing for directions. * Housekeeper $2 to $5 per night, paid daily or as a lump sum at checkout. (Most sites suggest you tip daily.) SPIDER’S NOTE: If you are leaving that room a filthy pigsty, I would hope you would tip more. * Parking Valet A wide range of opinions. Everyone agrees that you should pay when your car is retrieved. Some say to pay when it’s parked, too. Most sites say to tip $2, though some suggest $5. * Room service $5 minimum (unless gratuity is included in check)
Travel * Cab driver 10%, $2-$5 minimum * Porter/skycap $1 per bag. $2 for heavy items, or if porter brings luggage to counter.
On a personal note, I have worked in the bar and restaurant business, and spent several summer doing housekeeping at hotels and camps. Tipping is ALWAYS appreciated.
Spend a few years in flight school (or alternatively, take a stint in an appropriately flight-centric branch of the military) and then spend a minimum of 1,500 hours flying planes in order to achieve the necessary certification to become a commercial airline pilot. Then immediately drown in your preference of genitals, because pilots are sexy as hell.
Or you can be a skycap! It’s a decidedly less lubricating title than “pilot,” sure, but those guys who check in your luggage curbside at the airport make a good living. They also assist with navigating the labyrinthine terminals, distributing boarding passes, helping people figure out where in the ever-loving hell their shuttle and/or rental car is, fetching wheelchairs … they’ll even help you wrangle your pets, if you’re the kind of weirdo who brings a pet to the airport.
On average, skycaps are paid similarly to restaurant servers – two to three dollars hourly. But unlike the waitresses at that crappy airport Applebee’s, a skycap can rake in $75,000 to $100,000 a year in tips. It’s so lucrative that the CEO of one company that provides skycaps to airlines said, “I know several who don’t even bother cashing their salary checks because the tips are so good.”