I live in a doorman building with eight staff, and this is my first year here. I rent the unit. Am I expected to give each member of staff a tip, or just the doorman I see most of the time – the one that helps me with my shopping, for example? Would it be okay if I gave an envelope with a lump sum so the building staff split it among themselves? It’s my first time living in a doorman building and I would rather not ask my neighbor what she does. She’s only said “hello” to me once in six months.
William in New York
First of all, don’t give your neighbor’s attitude a second thought. In New York, most people live on top of each other and want to jealously guard their personal space. It’s easier to say hello once in six months than listen to your neighbor going on about her tendinitis or cat’s allergies or compare tips on doormen. This is not Middle America, people. But most New Yorkers worth their salt will help you out in a jam.