Tip or else this holiday season, say doormen: There are consequences for the cheap.

Punishments for a bad tip range from things as minor as fewer smiles at the door to the more
onerous: Doormen report making low-tipping tenants wait longer if they need help and charging them for things they usually do for free, such as putting up a shelf, according to the BrickUnderground 2010 Holiday Tipping Guide released yesterday.

After a few bad years in 2008 and 2009, doormen are expecting tips to be flat or slightly up this December, said Teri Karush Rogers of BrickUnderground.com.

If you think tipping isn’t important, think again: The year-end tip makes up as much as 10 percent of a doorman’s average $38,000 annual salary.

Holiday bonuses for nannies are usually a one-week salary — about 2 percent of their yearly income — which can range anywhere from $26,000 to $52,000, said one former nanny.

The tipping season begins right after Thanksgiving — and if you can’t pay right away, don’t worry, said Rogers. Apartment-dwellers have right up until Feb. 1 to give.

“It seems like you do get a grace period,” said Rogers. “But that doesn’t extend forever if they see you going to the Caribbean or bringing Barney’s shopping bags in the door.”

Scrooge roundup

These are the three apartment-dwellers who are least likely to leave a good tip this year:

Cheap by circumstance:

These are the people who were recently laid off due to the economy. Doormen usually feel no ill will toward them, said Rogers. “Doormen are very forgiving of someone who lost their job.”

The intentionally cheap:
These are people who just don’t like tipping, said Rogers. Expect them to receive bad service from superintendents, porters and handymen all year long.

And the just plain clueless:
Young people who just don’t know they are expected to tip and the elderly who are still giving $15 tip amounts from the 1970s.

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