Doormen in New York City live on small salaries, and the poor tips they receive don’t help. One story has continued to be passed down through a group of doormen at a high-end building on Park Avenue. There is a wealthy doctor who lives in the building that keeps a spreadsheet of how long each doorman has been employed. His reason? Their holiday tip depends on how long they have been there. If a doorman has been there for one year, they get $1. If they’ve been there for 20 years, they get $20. The amount of work a doorman does for his family has no bearing on how much he receives as a holiday gift.
This is just one story of an even bigger web. It is said that the rich areas of New York City have the worst tippers, especially when it comes to doormen. The salary cap for a unionized doorman in New York City is $44,000 each year, which is meager means for someone who lives in, or commutes to, one of the most expensive cities to live in in the country. While $44,000 may seem difficult enough to live on in New York City, the average doorman makes around $30,000 per year. Some of the people living in these buildings have a net worth into the billions of dollars, but most doormen get a mere $15 around the holidays.
A prime example of this is David Koch. David Koch is number 4 on the Forbes 400. An oil mogul, he has an estimated net worth of $36 billion. Koch is also known for not tipping the doormen at his residence on Park Avenue. Despite loading up his cars for weekly trips to the Hamptons, doormen have not received a tip—or even a smile—from Koch. They consider themselves lucky if they get a $50 check around Christmastime.