I found some people who will install some tile in one of our bathrooms at a pretty good price (found them independantely). I decided to make it easy on myself and stick with the same color / same style of tile that we had installed in the other bathrooms so I went to Lowe's to pick up the tile that the contractors would need to install.
I went up to a Lowe's employee who worked in the areaa nd simply asked the guy if he could double check that I was buying enough tile for the job. So I go to lift the tile boxes into my cart and realize they are much heavier than I thought...I could do it but they are HEAVY so the guy offers to load up my cart for me after I put the first box in (there were 6 total). Then I had a question about baseboards so he walks me over there and he and another employee talk to me about baseboards. So I have my tile, my baseboards and thank them for their help when one of the employee follows me and tells me that the other guy said that if I tip him (this guy) then the other one wants a cut of his tip...
He didn't take it out the car for me, I had planned to load up my cart on my own and YES he did help me but I only had a $20 in my purse and wasn't about to leave that for a tip when I didn't realize that I was expected to give one.
So I thank him for his help again and go to pay...the cashier then calls for someone over the speaker and unbeknownst to me, a guy shows up and she asks him to help me load my car because I had my 2 young boys with me. I figured it's heavy but it's 6 boxes of tile so I could manage but he tells me he's got it then when I thank him for his help, he sort of lingers and tries to have a hold a conversation...I really had to go to get my kids to bed so I was polite and thanked him again for his help, wished him a good night and I could swear that he was disappointed that I didn't tip him...the boxes were heavy but I'm a woman and although it would not be easy, I could have done it myself and had planned to...I think if I were loading a lot more tile or something super heavy, I'd come prepared to tip them but I had planned to do this on my own.
I didn't walk in there thinking I was going to ask for help and didn't have small bills on me...my kids were tired, wanting to get home and starting to fight so I just really wanted to get out of there and go home...as much as I appreciated their help, I felt awkward that I was stiffing them.
It struck me odd because I don't recall us ever tipping any Lowes or Home Depot employees except at Christmas time when they load our tree up. Is this something that everyone else does and I've been clueless? Or perhaps maybe something is going on with Lowe's corporate so that they are squeezing hours / money out of their employees and they are trying to make an extra buck? I simply wasn't prepared and want to make certain that I am next time...
What do you all do?