Getting good service can be a difficult problem in our indecent, modern, world. One way of guaranteeing good service is to provide a cash tip to the person assisting you. In restaurants and in service bays where you are well-known, tipping helps get you good service; but what do you do with the incidental worker you may only see one time, like a moving company team, or a repairman? How can you make sure they’ll get the job done to your satisfaction within your time requirement window? Conditional Pre-Tipping is one method I use to ensure excellent, one-off, service.
Conditional Pre-Tipping is a cash advance against an expectation of excellent service. When you pre-tip someone, do it in private, and the condition you set when giving the cash is that the job will be done within the specified parameters — but if that does not happen — then the TIP MUST BE RETURNED!
That codicil — that conditional revocation that if the job doesn’t get done, the pre-tip is given back to you — is the key to the success of the plan. Make it clear that the pre-tip is in addition to the regular tip you will give at the end of the job. Also make it clear the pre-tip isn’t because you don’t trust them to get the work done — you just have to be somewhere at a certain time, and you need to make sure everything is done right before you leave and that’s why you’re pre-tipping.
The conditional cash pre-tip needs to be substantial enough that the worker won’t want to risk losing the tip if the job doesn’t get done. A five dollar tip risks nothing, while a $40 tip is much more difficult to return. If the job doesn’t get done, and the worker refuses to return the pre-tip, then that’s it. No additional tip at the end of the workday and you know that person is immoral, unreliable, and unkind.
Here are some specific scenarios on how to properly execute Conditional Pre-Tipping:
Movers: If there’s a gang of guys in the moving company, pull the supervisor aside and tell him you need the job done by a certain time and the pre-tip you’re giving is his to share with his crew or keep for his own. Make it clear you’ll also tip everyone at the end of the job, too, so he’ll know the pre-tip isn’t the only tip in play that day.
Cable Guy: In my experience, the cable installers take forever. Sure, they’re always late and, yes, they often have to reprogram modems and cable boxes while you wait, but if you pre-tip them, with the condition that they get everything done within a reasonable timeframe, my experience tells me you will never be disappointed. Watching a cable guy haul butt is a beauty to beheld.
Children: Conditionally pre-tipping — bribing! — kids to get good grades in school is an excellent method of monetary inspiration. Give them a ton of cash at the start of the semester, and then set the condition for giving the money back at the end of the term, and you’ll never see a kid work harder in order to keep the money pre-won, and likely pre-spend, in hand.
The great thing about Conditional Pre-Tipping is if you ever get the same person showing up for a new task, the table has already been set in the preparation for excellence. I’ve given tons of Conditional Pre-Tips over the years, and I have been satisfied each time, and I’ve never had to recall a single tip. Once you Conditionally Pre-Tip, you’ll have a new ally by your side forever!