What does it mean when a guest leaves a coin on the side table?

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Basil Fawlty

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What does it mean (if anything) when a guest leaves a single coin on a bed, side table or counter? Once in a great while it seems as if a single coin has been specifically placed. Is it a comment on service? Have I missed a traditional mode of guest communication ?
Perhaps I need a small vacation, or perhaps I missed something - or, both!
Basil
 

Generic

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Were they Canadian and was it a penny? Was it destined as a tip?
 

Alibi Ike

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It depends. According to my son (who works in Vegas) if someone leaves a single coin, generally a penny, it means the service was lousy.
I choose to believe the guest belongs to that group of people who dump everything on the dresser or nightstand and then don't scoop it all back up again.
We regularly find change on the floor, the nightstands, the dressers, in the bathroom, in the bed, all over the room. I started throwing it all in a jar and buying myself an ice cream or a candy bar when I amass enough.
I do get what you mean, tho. A single coin that is dead center on the dresser or nightstand does look like it was placed there for a purpose.
 

Basil Fawlty

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It depends. According to my son (who works in Vegas) if someone leaves a single coin, generally a penny, it means the service was lousy.
I choose to believe the guest belongs to that group of people who dump everything on the dresser or nightstand and then don't scoop it all back up again.
We regularly find change on the floor, the nightstands, the dressers, in the bathroom, in the bed, all over the room. I started throwing it all in a jar and buying myself an ice cream or a candy bar when I amass enough.
I do get what you mean, tho. A single coin that is dead center on the dresser or nightstand does look like it was placed there for a purpose..
Dang. I think your son is right.
 

Alibi Ike

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It depends. According to my son (who works in Vegas) if someone leaves a single coin, generally a penny, it means the service was lousy.
I choose to believe the guest belongs to that group of people who dump everything on the dresser or nightstand and then don't scoop it all back up again.
We regularly find change on the floor, the nightstands, the dressers, in the bathroom, in the bed, all over the room. I started throwing it all in a jar and buying myself an ice cream or a candy bar when I amass enough.
I do get what you mean, tho. A single coin that is dead center on the dresser or nightstand does look like it was placed there for a purpose..
Dang. I think your son is right.
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Basil Fawlty said:
Dang. I think your son is right.
Why? Do you feel like the guests got shortchanged (or that the guests feel like they got shortchanged)? (No pun intended.)
 

Don Draper

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I think people just empty their pockets before they change and they forget/lose stuff on the nightstands/tables. Don't stress yourself out over it, if they WERE leaving it *purposefully*, I mean come on, how passive aggressive can you get?
 

JBloggs

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Positioned prominently means service was lousy. Most of the time they are just spare change that dropped tho.
 

One Day

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Did they check out ?
I've left change on the table all the time......leave for the day, return and there it still is.
When I check out......I leave it all behind. With a few $
Single coin......they not happy about sumthin
 

Alibi Ike

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Did they check out ?
I've left change on the table all the time......leave for the day, return and there it still is.
When I check out......I leave it all behind. With a few $
Single coin......they not happy about sumthin.
One Day said:
When I check out......I leave it all behind. With a few $
I'm not sure why you leave all of your change behind when you leave but could I ask you to take it with you. Please. Leave the dollars, take the change. When I find a bunch of change on the dresser (random coins, guests not from overseas) I think, 'Hmmm, the coins aren't important enough to the guest to pick up, so, leave them for the housekeeper who is probably desperate.' It doesn't sit well with me. (Usually it is some odd amount like $1.47 or something so it is obvious the guest is leaving what they consider to be 'trash'. And it is even more annoying when it is strewn on the floor.)
If it's a few stacks of quarters I get they are leaving a tip and may not have had ones in their wallet/purse. Otherwise I think of it as chump change. But that might just be me.
Now, if you are an overseas/foreign guest used to using coins for which we have small bills, that's another thing. And, I can also make a case for not wanting to lug all these coins back home where you won't be able to do anything with them but give them to little kids. (Great, cheap gift BTW!)
 

One Day

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Did they check out ?
I've left change on the table all the time......leave for the day, return and there it still is.
When I check out......I leave it all behind. With a few $
Single coin......they not happy about sumthin.
One Day said:
When I check out......I leave it all behind. With a few $
I'm not sure why you leave all of your change behind when you leave but could I ask you to take it with you. Please. Leave the dollars, take the change. When I find a bunch of change on the dresser (random coins, guests not from overseas) I think, 'Hmmm, the coins aren't important enough to the guest to pick up, so, leave them for the housekeeper who is probably desperate.' It doesn't sit well with me. (Usually it is some odd amount like $1.47 or something so it is obvious the guest is leaving what they consider to be 'trash'. And it is even more annoying when it is strewn on the floor.)
If it's a few stacks of quarters I get they are leaving a tip and may not have had ones in their wallet/purse. Otherwise I think of it as chump change. But that might just be me.
Now, if you are an overseas/foreign guest used to using coins for which we have small bills, that's another thing. And, I can also make a case for not wanting to lug all these coins back home where you won't be able to do anything with them but give them to little kids. (Great, cheap gift BTW!)
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Oh.....I understand what you are saying about the change....
I don't like carrying change....why I leave it behind daily and will leave it behind upon check out
What the room maid does with it...I don't care
If it truly is chump change.........a few bills are left with it.
 

gillumhouse

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My Mother always said if the service was lousy in a restaurant, that 2 cents on the dirty plate was the message to the waiter(waitress).
 

Generic

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In Canada, leaving pennies is often considered an insult, which is why it can be upsetting when a guest leaves a table full of pennies. But a single penny, left face up as a tip is to indicate that the person liked the service but didn't have the means to leave a tip, a nice thing. Pennies as part of a full tip have no significance.
 

Alibi Ike

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In Canada, leaving pennies is often considered an insult, which is why it can be upsetting when a guest leaves a table full of pennies. But a single penny, left face up as a tip is to indicate that the person liked the service but didn't have the means to leave a tip, a nice thing. Pennies as part of a full tip have no significance..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
But a single penny, left face up as a tip is to indicate that the person liked the service but didn't have the means to leave a tip, a nice thing.
Here's my take on that...skip the dessert or the glass of wine or order a lesser-priced meal and leave that money as the server's tip. The same can happen in a hotel or B&B...skip the dessert at dinner and leave $6-10 for the housekeeper. If someone cannot afford to leave a tip, could they really afford the meal/accommodations/service? (Not saying they have to tip here, but if they're going to, I would appreciate that they thought how throwing a bunch of change on the bed is perceived. Or leaving a single penny.)
My guess is this a tradition that dates back to possibly the Depression Era when many were forced to 'eat out' as they were homeless.
I'm gonna guess it's going over like a lead balloon these days because the history is lost. I'm picturing leaving a nice, shiny penny face up on the counter after I get my hair cut. Yeah, I wouldn't be going back there too soon. Sharp scissors and all that.
 

Copperhead

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As a former wait person - many years ago mind you, I was told the following: a single penny meant poor service or food. A penny on top of a proper tip meant exceptional service.
As for change left in a room at check out what I think is that these people do not want to empty their pockets at the airport or do not want to go to a business meeting with change jingling in their pockets. I do not feel it is left as an insult or as 'the poor schmuch could use the spare change" thought.
 

Don Draper

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WOW! Look how many different ways you all found to interpret the same thing! The reality is likely that the person leaving the change behind gave it ZERO thought, so I wouldn't waste too much time spinning my wheels on it!!
 

Generic

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In Canada, leaving pennies is often considered an insult, which is why it can be upsetting when a guest leaves a table full of pennies. But a single penny, left face up as a tip is to indicate that the person liked the service but didn't have the means to leave a tip, a nice thing. Pennies as part of a full tip have no significance..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
But a single penny, left face up as a tip is to indicate that the person liked the service but didn't have the means to leave a tip, a nice thing.
Here's my take on that...skip the dessert or the glass of wine or order a lesser-priced meal and leave that money as the server's tip. The same can happen in a hotel or B&B...skip the dessert at dinner and leave $6-10 for the housekeeper. If someone cannot afford to leave a tip, could they really afford the meal/accommodations/service? (Not saying they have to tip here, but if they're going to, I would appreciate that they thought how throwing a bunch of change on the bed is perceived. Or leaving a single penny.)
My guess is this a tradition that dates back to possibly the Depression Era when many were forced to 'eat out' as they were homeless.
I'm gonna guess it's going over like a lead balloon these days because the history is lost. I'm picturing leaving a nice, shiny penny face up on the counter after I get my hair cut. Yeah, I wouldn't be going back there too soon. Sharp scissors and all that.
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Not my interpretation, nor my inclination. I'm just stating what it is interpreted as meaning. (And my housekeeper tells me that at her hotel job, she hardly ever sees a tip anymore. She sees more in tips here than at the hotel.) And I assume that some independent homeless people or retirees don't have the ability to leave a normal tip. (Nor would I expect them to tip.)
In any case, it's not for me to judge.
 

sandynn

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Just my own opinion it means nothing but maybe the husband think coins don't spend. That is what my husband thinks. He never spends coins. So for him to leave a dime or nickel somewhere it means really nothing.
As for leaving a penny for a tip I am not sure most of the younger gen has even heard of this practice.
 

egoodell

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As a wait person I understood a penny to mean excellent service. Possibly they didn't leave a tip asit is not customary to tip the owner of a business.
RIki
 

Smile4Susan

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I think if the penny was placed deliberately this means bad service, but I agree that across different areas and/or cultures it could mean different things. I can't imagine just a penny being a compliment, though.
My grandmother left a single penny when dining out and the server was rude to her or the food wasn't good.
My son worked in the restaurant industry and goes out of his way to leave a larger tip than usual because he says he knows what a typical night is like for the servers, and the servers take a lot of flak for things not under their control such as underdone or overdone food.
 
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