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pollystyrene
Thanks ladies- it seemed ok to me, but I just wanted to make sure it didn't come off like I was cheaping out on the guests...hopefully people won't try to unload all their crap-tastic beer on me, because I'll just throw it away.
sixelacat
But Polly, craptastic beer=either slug traps, or (if you don't have a garden).....hair rinse a la Laverne & Shirley!
pollystyrene
That is true, six; very true....some for the slugs, some for me, some for the slugs, some for me smile.gif

What does beer do to your hair again? I forgot.

Oh, while I'm thinking of it, almond oil is what you're supposed to put on your cuticles to moisturize them, right?
sixelacat
You know, I have no idea if beer is actually good for your hair. I always thought it was an excuse to have a cold one in the shower (which I have done many a time).......

and yes! on the almond oil. My poor cracked cuticles could use some, too!
juls
Ok, so I went to a massage therapist for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago... totally worth it! And when I was about to pay her it just dawned on me... am I supposed to tip her? One of those Oh shit! moments...

I ended up not tipping her, but I felt really bad. Does anyone here tip for that? I'd just like to know what to do when I see her again...
mr_falljackets
hey juls!

yeah, anyone who provides a personal service like that should be tipped. i wouldn't worry about the fact that you didn't last time, but a 10%-20% tip next time will most likely be appreciated. i forget about things like that when i make plans and budget for personal services and have those oh shit moments every time. if it's a place i'll return, i go ahead and toss in what i can, even if it's not the full 10-20%.

(dammit, this is actually fj, not the mr, although he's here too, so...)
raisingirl
Awwww, the FJs are so adorable! wub.gif

This talk of tipping reminds me: What is the latest opinion on tipping the owner of a hair salon? I've always thought it was a gauche, unnecessary thing to do, but I get the feeling that it's changing. I don't like it when rules like this try to change! Sigh. What do you think?
turbojenn
raisin - in cases like that, I think you could always tip, and if the owner says something like "you don't need to tip me," then follow his/her lead.

Like, when I first started getting colonics, I tipped the colon therapist, and she was suprised - appreciated the tip, but said that it wasn't necessary. Now, for me, if I can butter up my butt flush lady with a little cash, seems like its a worthy investment, for such an, umm, delicate procedure. smile.gif
bunnyb
If it's the salon owner then they are not the ones providing you with a service; besides, do they not take a cut of their employees' earnings anyway?

Saying that, tipping here is nowhere near as expected here as it is in the States; it's not so much a social norm and most people only tip generously if the service is good.

I automatically tip a beautician/massage therapist, a hairdresser (if I'm pleased although not so much an issue not as friend hairdresser styles my hair), waiting staff, take-away delivery people, taxi-drivers ... but the percentage is never set and I mainly round up and/or base my tip on level of service. On very few occasions have I left no tip and it has been extreme circumstances.

I do *not* tip in Starbucks - what do people think of that? again, here tipping is the norm (but not mandatory) in restaurants but not every industry where a service is provided. In Starbucks I resent being taxed for sitting in so I don't tip.
raisingirl
No, no, I mean if the salon owner is the one giving you a haircut, color, etc. Sorry I wasn't clear about that! The owner might have one or two other people working for her, I'm not sure.

I don't tip at Starbucks because I don't ever give it my business. But at other cafes, I don't tip if I'm ordering at the counter. I'm generous, but I hate the over-tipping that's become rampant in the States. What's next, there's going to be a tip jar at the dentist's office? Puhleeze.
LoveMyPugs
TIPPING IN STARBUCKS!!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

People actually tip Starbucks employees? If I'm sitting at a table and they "wait" on me then I'll tip them but going up, standing in line and ordering? HELL NO! That's ridiculous.

As far as hairdressers and the like. My mom never tipped them unless she was extremely pleased with the service. I've got to very good hairdressers so I'm always pleased and I think I tip well.

*shakes head in frustration at tipping Starbucks employees*

I just think you have to provide a certain level of service and performance to deserve a tip.


QUOTE(raisingirl @ Mar 16 2007, 10:09 AM) *

I'm generous, but I hate the over-tipping that's become rampant in the States. What's next, there's going to be a tip jar at the dentist's office? Puhleeze.


AMEN! I couldn't agree more.
bunnyb
*giggles at lmp*

yup, here there are tip boxes at the counter and I've seen people using them!

raisin, I'm a Starbucks whore unsure.gif .
raisingirl
Heh. Plus, at Starbucks don't they encourage the customers to CLEAN OFF THEIR OWN TABLES when finished? I'm really not down with that and I try hard to stay away from cafes that do this. Plus, even if I were to throw aside my principles, assuming one does bring utensils, plates, and cups to the proper receptacles (shudder), the tables are still filthy with debris and really do need to be wiped down. By an employee. Gross.

Thanks for the "tip," TJ. I'll see what happens, I guess?
culturehandy
the only place where I tip when I have to wait is the bar. Bartenders work their asses off.

But starbucks, fuck no.
mouse
in the USA it's standard practice to tip in coffeeshops whether you are waited on or not, and as someone who worked in coffeeshops for about three years, it's deeply appreciated and also very insulting when you AREN'T tipped. you'd be surprised how much work goes on behind that counter--just because someone isn't walking across a room to give you the beverage she made for you (in probably less than a minute, all while remembering three other orders and making sure you had 2% milk so you wouldn't scream at her, mentally noticing that she was nearly out of mocha powder and had to restock so people won't scream at her, after having hauled up pounds of coffee beans and bottled water from the basement, in addition to making three sandwiches at once, getting all the ingredients correct, handling the cash register and making sure the line doesn't go too slowly that people scream at her) doesn't mean she's not serving you. people who don't tip in coffeeshops are considered, by the staff, to be ungrateful entitlement bitches. i don't mean to be harsh, but really, most baristas who make you your coffee get paid minimum wage, no benefits (starbucks excepted, but only if you're fulltime, and most aren't), and have to put up with an unbelievable amount of shit from customers. honestly, food service is the industry where the customers are the worst to deal with, and coffee is even more so since a: it's supposed to be fast, and b: it's a drug that you want and dont' have yet and furthermore makes you bitchy when you don't have it. working in a coffeeshop is actually quite a lot of work; your baristas earn those tips, believe me. the polite thing to do is to put whatever coins you get as change in the tip jar. please do it, it's courteous and it's deserved and if you don't, they'll think you're an asshole.
bunnyb
Well I, for one, am going to continue to be an ungrateful, entitlement bitch.

It really irks me when people think they are entitled to a tip for simply doing their job; yes, being a barista is a tough gig but there are few jobs out there that are a walk in the park. Tipping as mandatory is a load of shit; tip for good or exceptional service and fight for the minimum wage to be raised.


QUOTE
the polite thing to do is to put whatever coins you get as change in the tip jar. please do it, it's courteous and it's deserved and if you don't, they'll think you're an asshole.


mouse, I appreciate that this is something you feel strongly about but your post - and the last part above especially- comes across as incredibly judgmental and a good example of peer pressure. We may be assholes but please allow us the responsibility of making our own decisions, especially where money is concerned.
pollystyrene
I dunno, there was a postcard on Post Secret recently that had a Starbucks-esque logo and said "I give decaf to customers who are rude to me." I'll part with a buck or two to keep my barista happy.
mornington
i think there's much less of a tipping culture (for want of a better word) in the uk; personally, I don't tip in coffee shops unless there's *good* service; quite a few places over here include a service charge anyway.
kittenb
QUOTE(juls @ Mar 14 2007, 10:28 PM) *

Ok, so I went to a massage therapist for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago... totally worth it! And when I was about to pay her it just dawned on me... am I supposed to tip her?


I can reply as a massage therapist. If you see a therapist at a doctor/chiropractor/similar medical place, no tips are not expected and are often strongly discouraged. At a spa place or chair massage place, tips are a wonderful sign of appreciation and are, mostly, expected. As for how much, it often depands. A great tip is $10 per half hour of work. A fine tip is about $7 per half hour. What I don't like is when I get about $2 for a 90-minute massage. I find it insulting. However, I do get that not all of my clients have the cash flow of some of my other clients and I won't hold it against clients who forget to tip me as long as the rest of the session went well (ie. they were nice, clean, on-time, etc.)
culturehandy
What about everyone else who works behind the scenes at a restaurent? Like the cooks, bussers and dishwashers? They work just as hard, if not harder, and last time I worked in a restaurant, the cooks etc did not get tipped. How fair is this?
bunnyb
It isn't fair but there are many people who work really hard and do not get tipped. If everyone was tipped it would be tipping culture (I like the word, morn) gone mad; besides, it would devalue tipping, tipping isn't always to be expected, it's showing your appreciation for a job well done.

eta: polly, there is a huge difference between being rude to a barista and not tipping them (well, IMO). That reminds me of people who say that they can't complain about their meal in case the chef or waiting staff spits on it - yes, if one is rude, perhaps, but a customer has the right to complain about the quality of food or service.
pollystyrene
In a lot of restaurants, the waitstaff has to give the bussers a portion of their tips. Don't know about dishwashers and cooks....maybe the purpose of a tip is just something extra for having to deal directly with the customers, which the dishwashers and cooks do not.
bunnyb
I have to deal directly with customers but over the phone and I've also worked as a shop assistant who dealt directly with customers face to face and I wasn't tipped, nor did I expect to be.

eta: I feel like Mr Pink. I am a generous tipper but I object to being expected to tip someone who is only doing their job and I won't be made to feel guilty for that.
sybarite
Having worked as a waitress and a bartender, I have an enormous issue with establishments which deliberately encourage tipping of kitchen staff and other back-of-house staff as a way of getting out of paying them a decent bloody wage. I have seen this happen over and over and once worked at a place where even the management automatically got a percentage of tips. All the places I witnessed this were pricey places, too.

I see this strategy as a way of the restaurant or bar getting away with paying less than they should, and waitstaff (and ultimately customers) had to take up the slack.

Consequently I tip 20% at US restaurants and 15%+ in the UK or Ireland. I usually tip a bartender something in europe and at least a dollar a drink in the US. I tip taxi drivers unless they are assholes, the woman who cuts my hair and anyone giving me a facial, pedicure or massage. I don't usually tip at a coffee shop unless I've ordered a complicated coffee or ice cream drink or something.

Mouse, I hear what you're saying and know how hard that job is. But IMO the coffee shop that encourages tips is passing the buck, literally, putting the impetus on the customer rather than paying what they should.

(Sorry for repetition; written in a hurry...)
culturehandy
here's the thing, without a cook the clients wouldn't have what the waitstaff is serving. In no way am I saying that what a server doesn't do is hard, but people in retail also work hard and don't get tipped.

It's true we have turned into a tipping culture, and it's not that servers don't deserve this, but there are many people who work just as hard, who earn the same and don't get tipped. With that said, the shit that servers put up with is intolerable at times.

Not every restaurant has a tip pool either...

How many of us have jobs where we have people who yell at us, verbal abuse us, etc, and don't get tipped?
mouse
i'd like to reiterate that i said "in the USA". tipping is done totally differently in the UK and in europe and i can't speak for that, so bunny, mornington, and anyone else across the pond can tune out now. i can, however, speak for working as a barista and having friends who have worked as baristas in america. i'm sticking to my guns, everyone thinks you're a tightwad asshole if you put that $0.43 cents you got as change back into your pocket. if you don't care that's fine--and honestly, going out of your way to be nice to a server instead of barely meeting their eyes and barely muttering thankyou if anything at all, is *almost* as good as a tip, but then when people are really nice but then don't tip the mind kind of boggles.

re: waitresses getting tipped while cooks don't--waitresses ABSOLUTELY should get tipped, because IN THE USA they are paid BELOW minimum wage and are expected to make the rest up in tips. if they don't, their employer is supposed to make up for it, but it's a hell of a lot of red tape and doesn't always happen. TIP YOUR WAITRESSES, THAT'S HOW THEY MAKE MONEY.

baristas it's more of a politeness thing. they are actually making legal minimum wage (but probably not much more than it), but again, it's a lot of work. yes, retail doesn't get tipped, but retail doesn't deal with hot, messy liquids, customers that, i repeat, are going through caffeine withdrawal and you are what amounts to their dealer's lackey, and constantly, constantly on your feet, on the ball, nonstop. seriously, have you ever seen a starbucks without a line?? any coffeeshop worth its salt is not gonna have downtime.

i also feel like, if i make more money than whoever is serving me in whatever way and there is the option of tipping, i am absolutely going to tip. this time last year i was working in a coffeeshop; i've since more than doubled my salary but i still remember how tough it was. i pretty much always give a dollar tip for coffee, but that's excessive for most people. i agree that a lot of times management passes the buck to customers as far as paying decent wages, but at the same time, the people who are actually affected by that are the servers. and i know i can afford it, so i'm going to give it. i don't want the people who get paid the least to suffer the most just because our society has gone a little crazy with tipping--making some sort of political protest by not tipping only affects the people who don't get tipped.

culturehandy
Mouse I ws referring to Canada. In Canada servers are paid minimum wage, at least in the province I live in, I don't see why it is any different from any other province.

When I worked in retail people would yell at me because the book store I worked in didn't have the newest Oprah pick or Globe and Mail reviewed book.
mouse
yeah, people in any sort of customer service situation deal with unbelievable crap. i think everyone should have to work some sort of service job for a year before they're allowed to do anything else, just so they have some sort of reference point before they decide to yell at you about the most insignificant thing that often actually turns out to be their own damn fault. ha.
culturehandy
Agreed. Then I can go into these places and treat those pricks like they treat those of us, who at one time worked in retail, food, service.
sybarite
I utterly agree everyone should work at something in the service industry for, say, 6 months minimum. Often in these industries you work nights and weekends and often have to ask permission before going to the bathroom (so that your area on the floor is covered). I learned more about labour politics, not to say people politics, by working in the service industry than anywhere else since. On your feet and smiling at strangers for 8+ hours=hardest job I've ever had.

Mouse, you're quite right to say waitstaff survive on their tips. As far as I know, there is a special dispensation whereby waitstaff are paid under the minimum wage because their tips are factored in to their overall annual income.

My issue, as I said, was simply where the tipping culture is invoked to let business owners off the hook of paying a decent living wage.

Btw, Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed is excellent on some of the issues covered here...
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(mouse @ Mar 18 2007, 02:25 AM) *

people who don't tip in coffeeshops are considered, by the staff, to be ungrateful entitlement bitches.


This is crazy. Tipping at Starbucks is like tipping at McDonalds in my opinion. My sister has worked shitty part time jobs with no benefits and very low pay. Most people have. To expect a tip is just silly. Stick to your guns by all means but I'm sticking to mine as well.

At my local bowling ally, the cook at the snack bar has a jar marked "tips" on the counter and I'll put the left over $.50 cents from my tap in there. He always says thank you and I'm sure at the end of the night he isn't complaining.

I agree that sooner or later, in the states, we are going to be tipping at the damn dentist office.

You know who deserves a tip? Bank tellers! They put up with SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much bullshit.
girltrouble

i don't know, pugs, as a former barista, i think i earned my tips. but then, this is seattle, and belive me, you can tell the natives from the trendies by where they go for thier espresso. i know some people who refused to order from people that they knew didn't know how to make a decent pour. no tip was an insult--a way of saying you were an amateur, and didn't know how to make a good cup. i know people who have had 'spresso at starbucks-- once. when i moved here the cult of coffee was at it's peak, and if you didn't know how to pour you got attitude a plenty. but after you deal with some dumbass who wants a soy cap with extra foam (soy doesn't foam) and then they get bitchy, don't tip and tell you someone across the way made one for em, tips arent enough. the only thing that works is throttling the customer....or a putting grounds in the coffee(or worse). trust me. it's so much easier to tip. mouse was right to say that you were in-effect their dealer. i knew all my customers by first name, and what they drank, and how they liked it. the good tippers had their drink waiting for them when they walked in and could by-pass the line.

eta:things aren't as hardcore as they used to be up here so i always tell them "nice pour" and tip more now if a barista can pour, but if they can't they get a lot less. i've also known a few bartenders, so if i get a free drink, i usually tip 2-3bucks per drink. i see nothing wrong with tipping a person who has skill, and are good at what they do.
LoveMyPugs
gt - I guess all I'm saying is that I personally tip when someone provides a higher level of service to me. If someone is just doing the bare minimum then they deserve just their pay as far as I'm concerned.

Here is a great example. These friends of ours have a 4th of July party every year. Now you wouldn't think that you'd "tip" your friends at a barbeque but THEY THROW A PARTY! They have tons of food, beer and a fantastic fireworks display. They put a "contributions" jar on the picnic table and NO ONE ever leaves any money. I think that is FUCKED UP! The money they spend on the fireworks alone is crazy but we go and we really enjoy ourselves so before we leave we always drop $40 bucks in the jar and we make sure we tell them what a great time we have. They don't have to buy all that food and beer and fireworks. They do it because they want to and therefore we say thank you by contributing. It's the same with service based jobs.

I tip a decent restaurant server 20% and then I tip a great one even more. I pay attention to service like that. I personally have been to many cafes and find that a lot of the people working there have bad attitudes about their jobs and their customers. I shouldn't have to suffer because someone is frustrated with where they are in life. If you don't like your job go get a new one. It's that easy and believe me IT'S THAT EASY! I've worked at a job that I hated and when it finally got to be enough I went out and pursued a better job and got it.

When you go to the grocery store you have check out cashiers who have the WORST attitudes and then those with great attitudes. They greet you, smile, maybe make small talk, thank you and tell you to have a nice day. Others just swipe your groceries hand your receipt and say, "Next!” That pisses me off and usually I'll go and complain about those people. BUT when someone is pleasant I stop at the customer service desk and praise them to the management.

That's all I'm saying. If you provide a higher level of service then you deserve a tip. If you want to do the bare minimum then get out of the service industry.
punkerplus
So you won't tip someone who is "just doing their job" and yet when you come across cashiers who are just doing their job then you will go and complain about them? Swiping your items, giving you change/receipt and saying next is not being rude, it is getting on with your job. And thinking otherwise does stink of ungrateful entitlement bitch actually.

And sometimes it is not "THAT EASY" to get out of retail/service. It can be nigh on impossible, so just because everything worked out for you, don't assume it is the same for everyone else. And if you've had a job you've hated I would assume you'd be more sympathetic.

I don't generally tip because it just isn't that common in the UK but I am always, ALWAYS nice to servers/cashiers etc because I know how much a kind word and a thanks can make a difference.
LoveMyPugs
I guess I'm just an asshole in my way of thinking about this. Sorry for offending everyone. I'll just agree to disagree on this topic.
bunnyb
pugs, I don't think you're an asshole smile.gif.

I think there is a big difference between going through the motions in a job one hates and providing customer service; I am far more responsive to people who are nice to me although it doesn't stop me being nice to brighten up someone's day as, like punkerplus, I know it makes a difference. If someone is completely disinterested in me as a customer and is simply clock-watching then I may complain, it's my right as a customer.
culturehandy
Syb, that is so true what you are saying.

I see both sides of the coin here. There are many people who put up with lots of shit, I for example, have people verbally abuse me, call me a fucking bitch, and threaten my life on a daily basis, and I don't get tipped. Nor do I expect too, as this is my line of work.

There are plenty of people who put up with the same and get paid shit, and don't get tipped, while serviers do get tipped.

I also agree with this tipping culture. There are tipping jars almost everywhere now. Coat checks, those people who hand out towels in washrooms, spas, hairdressers, coffeeshops, bars, everywhere. In some places this is rediculous. It's come to the point that if you don't tip, you are a major asshole! Why should I have to tip the gas jockey?

Pugs, you aren't an asshole, everyone sees this differently. If the service is good I'll tip, if not fuck off. There is a bar tender who treats me like a million dollars whenever I go the bar where he works. I've seen him give peole premium vodka and they don't tip him. He knows what I drink, and doesn't make me wait for it. Even when I don't tip him, I'll slip him money, because that is how good the service is. Same thing if I go to a restaurent. If someone, even some place high class treats me like shit or gives me ass service, then I'll save that money for someone who truly deserves it.
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(culturehandy @ Mar 19 2007, 10:32 AM) *

If someone, even some place high class treats me like shit or gives me ass service, then I'll save that money for someone who truly deserves it.


This is all I'm saying!
punkerplus
Maybe my last post went a bit off the boil. It isn't the not tipping that made me angry, because I don't tip many people either, nor do I particularly understand it.

What made me angry was that I felt you were saying that people stuck in jobs they hate should just suck it up because obviously they were just too lazy or couldn't be bothered to leave and therefore it was their own fault they were unhappy. And that you stated that you will complain about people who don't go out of their way to be super nice to you - I think that is unnecessarily harsh. If you're that quick to do something to upset someone/possibly harm their job, then maybe you deserve servers being rude to you.
mouse
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Mar 19 2007, 03:08 AM) *

I personally have been to many cafes and find that a lot of the people working there have bad attitudes about their jobs and their customers. I shouldn't have to suffer because someone is frustrated with where they are in life.


pugs, nobody's asking you to tip for lousy service. i personally think that servers should earn their tips, and if someone's obviously not paying attention or being rude i don't think they deserve it. but as a rule, it is expected. it's necessary to tip bartenders, waitstaff and certain other professions like card dealers at casinos because, as has been said, they generally are paid below minimum wage and expected to get the majority of their paycheck through tipping. sure, we live in a tipping culture, but it's not like this is really anything new. the reason i feel strongly about tipping baristas is because (like gt pointed out), unlike cashiers at mcdonald's, they're actually preparing a pretty complicated drink for you. sure, drip coffee isn't hard, but making perfect cappucino foam is an art. seriously, they have competitions for that kind of thing. i mean honestly, if there were a tip jar at mcdonald's, i'd use it. i'm all about distributing the wealth where i can. but there isn't, and it isn't expected, and they probably wouldn't be allowed to take it if i tried.

pugs, i love you, and you're welcome to your opinion, but i can guarantee that you've made a lot of baristas upset. and no, it really is not "THAT EASY" to get out of a shitty job. try telling that to an unwed mother on welfare who's trying to support her kids on minimum wage and trying to pay for and find the time to take classes so that she can get a better job--hell, try telling that to someone who's trying to support herself alone on minimum wage! but that's an issue to take up with our government. some of us have lucky breaks, but not all of us do, and it's not always a matter of "working hard". there are other factors, unfortunately.

i really had no idea this was such a sensitive issue, honestly. it's never occured to me not to tip.

girltrouble
QUOTE
gt - I guess all I'm saying is that I personally tip when someone provides a higher level of service to me. If someone is just doing the bare minimum then they deserve just their pay as far as I'm concerned.


i think it may seem like people are ganging up on you, but i think that most people agree with the above. or atleast i do. if someone is a good server, i tip very well, and if they are bitchy, rude or neglectful, i've been known to leave a penny or a nickle with a note. and you know it was really bad if i bother to tell you to your face. that means i'm leaving no tip at all. but no, i don't tip everywhere at say the wendy's or rite aid. so i do take your meaning.



LoveMyPugs
Anytime it's "expected" to tip (ex: food servers, hairdressers, bartenders etc.) I always tip. I always tip 20% no matter how the service is because I know it's a hard job dealing with the public. I was a bank teller and let me tell you PEOPLE SUCK! You have to be a pretty big asshole to get less then 20% out of me. I'm just saying that if the service is bare minimum then that's all they are going to get. When I said that I'd go complain about someone I wasn't talking about when they are doing the bare minimum. I was talking about when they are very rude and/or dismissive because they have a bad attitude. Maybe I wasn't clear about that. I was wrong when I said it's easy to get another job. It wasn't easy for me. I worked on my resume with someone. I went and spent money on a new suit. I went on countless interviews. I did A LOT! Now I know there are people out there who don't have a PC to work on their resume. There are those who don't have money to spend on a suit. There are those who don't have a vehicle to get to interviews. I understand all of this. BUT...there are others that stay in jobs they hate because they are lazy. I have one friend in particular who is like that. She hates everything. She hates school, hates her job, and hates her relationship. Does she do anything about it? NO! Because she's lazy and wants to sit on her ass and let a man take care of her and yet complain about it. I hate this about people. I mean if you’re unhappy and there is nothing you can do about it then fine. You gotta do what you gotta do. But…if you have the means then get up and change what your unhappy about. Don't take it out on your customers and coworkers.

punkerplus - I really must have hit a nerve with you because your posts are harsh IMO. I'm really sorry if I offended you. I'm not as bitchy as you make me out to be.
punkerplus
LMP - I've read what you've said and I am going to reply and try and explain what made me so angry, but I'm going to go away and think about it first so my reply isn't all mish mashed and jumbled because thats how the angry kicks in.
LoveMyPugs
punkerplus - I get the point that your pissed OK. Go cool off by all means if that's what you need to do but you really don't have to come back and explain. I don't think we are going to agree on this so we should just drop it. I'm sorry that I pissed you off so much. That was not my intention. I've said what I have to say and I'm really done with the conversation about tipping. I've admitted that I'm probably wrong in my way of thinking but I'm not going to change my opinion just because your pissed. I'll be happy to read your reply but I'm not likely to respond on this topic again because I just want to let it go.
turbojenn
Hey ya'll - anyone know a good surface cleaner for microfiber upholstery? We just bought a used couchletter from craigslist for a bargain, but its got a little dirt and stuff on the arms. Any suggestions?
pollystyrene
Hmm, not sure, turbo.

Anyone know anything about electrical issues? We have our carbon monoxide detector plugged into the wall in our living room and it has a battery back-up. I know you're supposed to change the batteries in them (and smoke detectors) every six months to be on the safe side, but since we've had the carbon monoxide detector (about 18 months) it seems like the "Low Battery" message (a digital read-out and it beeps LOUDLY every 30 seconds or so) comes up about every three months.

When we bought the house and had a home inspector go through it, he checked the outlets and found a couple of them that had "reverse polarity". He explained what that meant at the time, but I've since forgotten. One was in the living room (but I'm not sure if it was the outlet the carbon monoxide detector is plugged into) and he said we should fix it, but it's not a huge deal, you just don't want to plug hi-tech or important/sensitive things into it, like a stereo or computer.

If the outlet the carbon monoxide detector is plugged into is the one with the reverse polarity, could it be not putting out enough power, causing the battery back-up to kick in and running through batteries faster?
sixelacat
I have no idea about the electrical stuff, polly. Maybe treehugger knows? She's good with that sort of thing....

but,

Turbo, I have a friend with a microfibre couch, and she says a little very very mild detergent takes dirt and stains right out. In fact, she swears by using a glycerin soap (she uses her Neutrogena bar on spots) but any super mild soap will do. Also, she said when she had a tougher spot (I think it was chocolate) she used a Magic Eraser and it rubbed right off...but left bits of Eraser for her to vacuum up. Hope that helps!
LoveMyPugs
turbo -

we have a microfiber couch and whenever i have a spot i just wipe it off with a sponge dampened with soapy water (usually just mild dish soap like dawn). my couch is cream colored and this method got out red punch in a jiffy. hope it helps.

turbojenn
Thanks LMP and six for the microfiber advice - I poked around the 'net, and the Neutrogena Bar and Magic Eraser seem to be very popular solutions indeed. Thanks ya'll!!!

I've no idea on the outlet thing, polly, we've got wonky electrical outlets here too, and we just avoid them. smile.gif
treehugger
QUOTE(pollystyrene @ Mar 24 2007, 08:45 PM) *
Hmm, not sure, turbo.

Anyone know anything about electrical issues? We have our carbon monoxide detector plugged into the wall in our living room and it has a battery back-up. I know you're supposed to change the batteries in them (and smoke detectors) every six months to be on the safe side, but since we've had the carbon monoxide detector (about 18 months) it seems like the "Low Battery" message (a digital read-out and it beeps LOUDLY every 30 seconds or so) comes up about every three months.

When we bought the house and had a home inspector go through it, he checked the outlets and found a couple of them that had "reverse polarity". He explained what that meant at the time, but I've since forgotten. One was in the living room (but I I'm not sure if it was the outlet the carbon monoxide detector is plugged into) and he said we should fix it, but it's not a huge deal, you just don't want to plug hi-tech or important/sensitive things into it, like a stereo or computer.

If the outlet the carbon monoxide detector is plugged into is the one with the reverse polarity, could it be not putting out enough power, causing the battery back-up to kick in and running through batteries faster?


Hmmm.

I'm going to assume that by "reverse polarity", he means the hot and neutral wires are switched in your receptacle. Most new plugs will have one larger prong than the other one making it only capable of being plugged in one way.

He's right, it isn't a huge deal, because regular electricity goes both directions. It's sort of hard to describe but think of a tug-of-war. A/C voltage (which is normal electricity), the two teams are equally pulling back and forth, traveling back and forth across the ground. Reverse polarity is a HUGE deal with DC voltage, which only travels one direction. Like if the tug-of-war, one team drops the rope and the other team just carries it one direction.

DC voltage is what batteries use. But in short, to answer your question, since AC voltage travels both directions, I can't see how the reverse polarity would be reducing your voltage.

You may have a loose connection in the receptacle, which might reduce voltage. Loose connections should definitely be addressed. But I'd think the inspector would have found that. Who knows, though.

They make a pretty foolproof electrical outlet tester that looks like this:



I think these can be purchased for about ten bucks or so. All you do is plug it into the receptacle in question.

It's actually pretty easy to correct reverse polarity....turn off the circuit breaker or fuse to that outlet (MAKE SURE IT'S DEAD, plug something in there first), take the plug out of the wall, and you'll see screws on each side...with a wire to each. Switch the wires.

One way to tell, if you are lucky, is normally the black wire is the "hot" side, and the white wire is the "neutral" side. If you have a green or a bare wire, that's the "ground". The "hot" wire should go into the BRASS screw. And the "neutral" wire should go into the SILVER screw. But, lots of houses have wires that aren't color coded. If that's the case, it's safest to use an electrical meter to tell which one it is.

UGH. I know I wasn't much help....feel free to post back.

Could you have some cheap batteries? I saw an article once, about battery quality, and it's not uncommon to buy batteries and have them so old that they've been sitting on the grocery shelf for a year or more. Batteries slowly lose charge, even if they aren't being used.
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