Tips, tipping, and total income
TIPS, TIPPING, AND ESTIMATED TOTAL INCOME
those in a number of other occupations which provide for the individual
needs of their clients, shampooers rely upon tips as an indispensable
part of their income. All Turkish bath proprietors, as we have seen,
assess the amount of likely income from this source in arriving at the
shampooers' weekly wage. Mr Kenny assumes that,
every bather gives from 6d to
1/6d, and each Shampooer makes from this source from £2 to £3 a week
throughout the year.
In second and third
class baths the wage is probably about 30/- but
the tips certainly do not amount to more than 10/- or 12/- per man.
Forder Nevill estimated that,
average 40/- to 50/- per wk. 50/- or 60/- in the West End and at Paddington 40/-
that for the fifteen year olds working in the cooling-room,
earning with tips cd be 12/- per week. Few
stay on more than 2 or 3 yrs. av.18 month.
Mr Waugh showed me figures for many years showing the amount
returned to him by the foreman as received from this source, the amount
received by each shampooer amounted as nearly as possible to £80 a
But Mr Waugh doubts if the full amount of the tips is returned to
him. In addition nearly all the men do outside work as masseurs, for
which they probably receive about 5/- a time.
The foreman and four
senior men are allowed the privilege of working on Sunday, and keep such
tips as they receive on that day, probably about 15/-
each. Altogether it appears probable that the men make from £140 to
£200 a year.
same practice pertained at Nevill's where,
Only men on
[Sunday] duty share tips.
tips were distributed in the same way at Bartholomew's and Nevill's:
At Bartholomew’s all money given as tips is
pooled and shared equally among
the men. Mr Kenny thinks that the same
plan is followed at all baths.
are pooled & divided among the shampooers only
There is only one exception (Jermyn street) where
tips are divided among whole staff.
following the tradition established by Urquhart, and as is the practice
in many restaurants today, tips were shared among the whole staff.
Urquhart believed that the success of a venture depended on everyone who
contributed to its success feeling that they had something to gain
personally by its success, and that otherwise those who did not pull
their weight penalised those who did.
20 years after Urquhart's death these ideals did not seem so attractive.
On the one hand the company, while accepting that the possibility of a
tip encouraged better service, knew that this only worked if the bather gave a
It would of course be easy to get men to work without salary if each
man was allowed to keep his own tips, but for the sake of discipline it
is necessary to give a salary. As it is the man who does not tip comes
off badly if he pays another visit; but if there were no salaries and
the men depended on tips it would be even more difficult to get them to
attend properly to the non-tipper. For the Bath proprietor the tipping
system is a thoroughly bad one.
the other side of the fence were the shampooers who felt that they gave
a highly specialised service and that they should have the right to keep
all the tips they received. In fact, ten years before Booth's survey,
they had unsuccessfully presented a petition to this effect to the
Board. But the Directors remained firmly of the opinion that they could
not agree 'to any alteration in the division of the gratuities, which
would tend to make any distinction between the attendants inside and
outside the Bath'.
same company minutes also show that bathers had complained that
shampooers occasionally followed them from the bath into the
cooling-room suggesting that a gratuity was expected. Accordingly, the
the existing rule under which a Shampooer asking for a gratuity is
liable to instant dismissal, be applied to any such cases of
the Foreman be instructed absolutely, to prohibit the Shampooers from
going out from the Bath into the Cooling-room, and to report to the
Secretary any infraction of this instruction.
Mr Waugh, Nevill ' Believes all tips are paid
have their own pools (ie cooling-room staff)…The firm
adjusts the boys takings, but the men do it
for themselves…A new man appointed each week to divide them.
Presents in kind may be kept by individuals but
if they become usual the man wd have to pay
over their money value to the pool…Shampooers share out every day & cooling-room staff once a week.
attempt must now be made to try to assess how much money shampooers took
home at the end of an average week. This can only be a rough estimate as
there are so many differences between them which need to be taken into
each establishment the average wage has been added to the mid-point of
the estimates of gratuities received. The year has been taken as 52
weeks and holidays have been ignored. The inexactitude of these
estimates, however, cannot be overemphasised. Male shampooers at
Gloucester are paid £65. 0. 0.per year, the same as those at
Bartholomew's, but they have been omitted from the table as we do not
know what tips they earned. Other blank areas denote unavailable data.
65. 0. 0.
57. 4. 0.
130. 0. 0.
143. 0. 0.
195. 0. 0.
138. 9. 0.
200. 4. 0.
36. 8. 0.
26. 0. 0.
62. 8. 0.
31. 4. 0.
quick glance at the table shows why the shampooers at the London Hammam
were unhappy about their being a single pool divided among all the
staff. It also suggests that Bartholomew's and Nevill's were
competitively employing the same type of staff and competing for more or
less the same type of customer.
shampooers at the Hammam seem from this table to have been at a
considerable disadvantage, there were compensations. First, the Hammam's
reputation practically guaranteed their ability to get a job at any
other Turkish bath in the country. Second, making continual contact with
people at the 'highest' level of society brought considerable
opportunities for private work outside the Hammam. Thirdly, the Hammam
also distributed an annual Christmas bonus which has not been included
in the table as it varied from year to year according to the company's
profits. Finally, the company looked after its sick staff and frequently
made payments to the families of deceased members of their staff.