Forums: Skydiving: Wind Tunnels:
Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor

 

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sartre

Mar 21, 2007, 6:19 AM
Post #76 of 136 (2013 views)
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     Re: [Scubadivemaster] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

No worries. I have nothing more to say.


keka  (A 49273)

Mar 21, 2007, 7:48 AM
Post #77 of 136 (1990 views)
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     Re: [Jewels] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

btw ...to all coachs at Skyventure in Orlando....I'm flying there tonight and I have some time booked for Saturday in the morning.... I would love to stop by tomorrow (since I'll be there by myself doing pretty much nothing) and check it out!

Keka


Premier Remster  (C License)

Mar 21, 2007, 7:55 AM
Post #78 of 136 (1989 views)
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     Re: [all] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

WTF is it with Colorado and Politics?Crazy


(This post was edited by Remster on Mar 21, 2007, 10:01 AM)


skycat  (D 25740)

Mar 21, 2007, 8:13 AM
Post #79 of 136 (1986 views)
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     Re: [Remster] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

In reply to:
WTF is it with Colorado and Politics?Crazy

I have absolutely no idea, my money is on the altitude. CrazyWink


Jewels  (Student)

Mar 21, 2007, 10:26 AM
Post #80 of 136 (1968 views)
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     Re: [skycat] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

LOL--That MUST be it! Lack of oxygen. (I speak for myself and no one else!! Tongue)


hommie

Mar 21, 2007, 8:20 PM
Post #81 of 136 (1926 views)
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     Re: [Jewels] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

As a student the best TIP I got was from an instructor....."stay away from JP"


selwyn  (D License)

Mar 21, 2007, 11:15 PM
Post #82 of 136 (1914 views)
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     just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

Wow,,, hahahaha!!!!

there's some people out there sayin some stuff and thinking some stuff about quite honestly a lot of stuff. hahahaha

in response to some of that .......

Tunnel instructors yes .... attendant no........ (by the way grammar guy i an bad with that and spelling so if you want to quote me and laugh at my spelling , i would be greatful if you didn;t as it would hurt my feelings)

sorry , anyway

yeah we instruct people how to be safe and successful in the tunnel, this is not coaching .

coaching is a personal preference, i think it is up to the person and the coach to determine their rates and terms of agreement.

if your tunnel instructor coaches you all the time then he or she is pretty cool, if you tip them thats cool if you pay for the coaching and tip or don't cool, if you don't pay for the coaching it still cool,

i think what i'm getting at is that its all good, as customer be cool and offer the same respect and don't expect to be coached always if you do not ask and or pay for coaching.


I think good coaching is the key to success and it increases ability to quickly and safely progress ---

tipping is cool - i also like a hand shake and a smile, beer is fantastic, and food is also favourite.


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 21, 2007, 11:34 PM
Post #83 of 136 (1909 views)
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     Re: [hommie] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

In reply to:
As a student the best TIP I got was from an instructor....."stay away from JP"

Really? Who said that?


Bodyflight.Net

Mar 22, 2007, 5:43 AM
Post #84 of 136 (1897 views)
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     Re: [Jewels] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

Hi Jewels,

Over the last couple of decades I believe it has become traditional to tip your instructor.
As a general rule of thumb, here in the US, where gratuity is not automatically included always, service oriented employees have come to rely on tips to supplement their income.

I know someone will inevitably compare this to waitressing and such however while both are in the service industry, instructors are responsible for preventing death & injury daily to the best of their ability. Beyond that, they are responsible for educating you and hopefully assuring you have a good time.

Not all instructors make the LARGE hourly wage as stated as an example in this thread, nor should it matter. The fact is their job is high stress, physically demanding and highly dangerous.

Ski Instructors, Scuba Instructors, Skydiving Instructors, Flying Instructors (aviation) and ALL sorts of instructors are accustomed to being tipped, I don't think Tunnel Instructors are any different.

The standard 10-20% range I think applies... for a $600 hour of solid attention from one instructor certainly warrants a $60 tip, but at the core of the matter, I think that ANY amount, even a $5 or $10 bill will be just as welcomed. Because tipping is not mandatory (as is stated at every place I have visited) ANY amount or gesture will be welcomed sincerely and bring a smile to their face. And making another human being feel truly appreciated is always a great idea!

Now.. I think what I've seen is that once you become a regular, and make friends, it's usually inappropriate to hand your new "friend" a tip, but I would hope by that time when you come visit you have found OTHER ways to give back and show your appreciation. Helping out around the tunnel, bringing baked goods or pizza when you visit, being a generaly fun & enjoyable person to hang out, hosting the occassional after-party or even buying a block of time and asking your new friends to have fun ON YOUR DIME.... and often time a SINCERE THANK YOU and a hug is also very desireable.

I hope that helps...
of course, as with any post I make... these are just MY OPINIONS


(This post was edited by Bodyflight.Net on Mar 22, 2007, 5:53 AM)


Jewels  (Student)

Mar 22, 2007, 6:08 AM
Post #85 of 136 (1889 views)
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     Re: [selwyn] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

I had no idea what I was doing when I started this thread. Wink I'm wiser now . . . but I'm still not smart enough not to "go there" one more time!

I'm still having trouble, even this many posts into the discussion, differentiating between attending, instructing and coaching. Maybe that's a difference that's obvious to you if you're an instructor.

We don't have an "attendant" status at our tunnel, obviously, but it sounds to me like everyone agrees that being an instructor is more than being just an attendant. So, instructing has to do with safety, but if it's also being more than an attendant, I assume it also means it's something more than spotting. I tend to think of a very short list of safety-specific things: wear a helmet; don't stand up when you're learning to sit-fly; if you lose your balance when you're sit-flying, go to your back instead of your belly; if you cork and go too high, don't ball up, etc. So, short of the dos and don'ts, we're dangerously close to that whole "attendant" thing again.

On the other hand, if I ask you to teach me head-down flying, I think that's coaching. "Teach me" ANYthing sounds like coaching. But then what do you do with the earlier example that teaching a flyer how to get off the net from their back is a matter of instruction for purposes of safety? To me as a flyer, that still looks like learning something new. I'm not thinking about whether I'm being taught that because it's safer for me to know. From my perspective, I just learned something new and, I can tell you for sure, it never once crossed my mind that I was being taught to do that for safety reasons. That was just the next thing I needed to learn to keep the progression going. So, the lines get blurred.

I'm not trying to make this a semantics game and as a practical matter, I assume that most of what I want in the tunnel is coaching. It's just that the words "coaching" and "instructing," alone, don't give much away as to the distinction. I'm just curious.


Jewels  (Student)

Mar 22, 2007, 6:19 AM
Post #86 of 136 (1887 views)
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     Re: [Bodyflight.Net] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

LOL--no worries; I hardly think you've had any offensive opinions that should make you a target! Wink I just thank you for your input and appreciate getting your two cents (or your 20% Wink) as to what constitutes an appropriate tipping range!


Bodyflight.Net

Mar 22, 2007, 7:07 AM
Post #87 of 136 (1881 views)
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     Re: [Jewels] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

Again.. just MY OPINION

coach - an individual hired & paid independantly from your tunnel time for their time educating & working with you in and out of the air. Also applies I believe to tunnel camps.

instructor - tunnel provided staff member paid by the tunnel. They are their to teach you & work with you in and out of the air. Instructors don't usually have as much time to spend with you OUT of the air because they are on the clock and working with many groups.

In the last few years, there have been alot of "coaches".. some who were never instructors, some who were or are instructors currently.

I'm going to hazard a GUESS as to the "attendant" .... which perhaps might apply to the tunnel instructor who takes in a group of experienced flyers and doesn't have to spot, coach or instruct with the same intensity as they would with a group of inexperienced flyers.???CrazyWink???

I think gratuity traditions apply to ALL of the above.
They are after all providing the same type of services, based on your skill levels & requests for attention.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Mar 22, 2007, 7:41 AM
Post #88 of 136 (1873 views)
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     Re: [Bodyflight.Net] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

In reply to:

I think gratuity traditions apply to ALL of the above.
They are after all providing the same type of services, based on your skill levels & requests for attention.
I would have huge issues with tipping someone I"m actually paying to coach.
As I stated previously, the biggest problem i see is lack of product description.

I am paying for a service and paying quite a lot of money to start with. describe to me the product properly, allow me, to make an informed decision, then I will have a much better understanding of what is considered "above normal service"
Too many people both clients and attendants expect more than they should.,


pr0ject42

Mar 22, 2007, 9:04 AM
Post #89 of 136 (1854 views)
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     Re: [Squeak] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

Everyone bitches about how much the tunnel costs.

Does anyone remember what your out of pocket cost is for a coached skydive? For a mere 60 seconds of freefall (if you're not freeflying), you have to pay your slot and at the very least the coach's slot, but most likely you'll have a coaching fee, be it by the day or the jump.

Some quick math on that one brings you to $48 in slots alone, plus maybe a $10 coach fee for a run of the mill local DZ coach? For 60 seconds. 60 seconds at a tunnel on average is $14 and you can put as many people in the chamber as you want, but you are still back at some sort of coaching fee, unless the person is your friend and wants to help you. Granted at the tunnel you don't get the fun canopy ride, exiting from the plane, and the oh-so-great entire day wasted at the DZ for a handful of jumps.

So kicking down $10 or $20 after getting 5-10 minutes of tunnel time from a highly trained flyer doesn't seem tremendously out of line. Sticking with those numbers you get:

5 skydives, coached at a DZ: $290 at $24 a slot, $10 per jump coaching fee
5 minutes of tunnel time: $90 at $14/minute and kicking down $20 for a tip to the generous tunnel monkey who got in and helped you with your backflying.

But then again being at the DZ all day, being social and whatnot is a big part of the experience for most people. This is not really what the tunnel is all about, at least for me.

I see the tunnel as an intense training tool, even when I'm there just to have fun, working on freeflying or anything outside of my training goals for that season. Think of it like school. The tunnel monkey in there who gets stuck with your rotation is like a public school teacher. Doing the minimum to keep The Man happy. Sure, you can certainly get them to work with you and go above and beyond, but the reality is anything more than keeping you from killing yourself is above and beyond.

Now, lets say you get a coach. This is like going to private school. It is up to you to research which coach might work best for you, but you get more personalized time both before and after the tunnel and you get intensive dialog in the ante-chamber to give you tips/drills/words of shame between sessions to keep your motivation up and your learning peaked. You are indeed paying more for the time, but you are getting more out of it.

My take on it is that you're better off paying twice as much for time if you add in coaching than if you just paid for twice as much time and didn't get any coaching. Even then if you doubled your tunnel time rate for coaching you're looking at $140 in my hypothetical numbers stated above, which is still less than half of the equivalent cost of doing the same work at a DZ.

So, in review, at the tunnel:

Instructor: there to prevent hospital trips. Coaching is not part of that, therefore a show of courtesy is culturally expected if you ask for coaching from them.

Coach: there to prevent you from wasting valuable airtime looking like a douche-bag. You pay a coaching fee, so tipping on top of that is based upon a strong internal urge to display your extreme satisfaction with the experience.

Remember, even though you are only in the tunnel for an hour or so, you're getting in way more freefall time and getting a much richer learning experience than being at the DZ for a whole weekend. Your per minute of freefall time to dollars and time spent are going a lot further for you than at the DZ. Don't start bitching about money, because if you are this is not the sport for you.

I know this is a total tangent from the actual topic at hand, but maybe it will bring the reality of how trivial even a minor tip is, over all.


(This post was edited by pr0ject42 on Mar 22, 2007, 9:10 AM)


Jewels  (Student)

Mar 22, 2007, 9:50 AM
Post #90 of 136 (1845 views)
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     Re: [pr0ject42] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

Please take my reply in the respectful sense it is intended. I understand what you are saying and I agree that there are other costs that make the expense of tunnel time pale in comparison. It's my choice to fly in the first place. I am willing to tip--I WANT to tip--and I have no problem with the concept of that.

On the other hand, please remember that the wind tunnel doesn't exclusively belong to the skydiver anymore. There is a HUGE base of business from those who do not skydive and those who never intend to skydive. I, for one, am somewhere in the middle with only my meager tandem and the lure of AFF--but no real jumps to show for it. WILL I become a skydiver? Maybe. But, the target market for most wind tunnels seems to be "anyone who will pay for tunnel time," as far as I can tell, which is substantiated by the number of tunnels that aren't located next to a dropzone as much as they are next to tourist venues.

If there is a genuine interest in making bodyflight a "sport" of its own (or whatever label you would like to use), then it has to be financially accessible to do so. I am stretching the budget to spend as much as I do, and I agree that everyone has to know their financial limits. But a 20% increase in cost every time you go (on an already-substantial tab) means that the actual price to play is higher than it appears--and you don't improve at any helpful rate by dropping by just once a month. That's why I appreciate all of the comments that have said "something" is fine--even if it's a $5 or $10 gesture, or goodies, or something else that won't break the bank.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Mar 22, 2007, 3:17 PM
Post #91 of 136 (1821 views)
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     Re: [Jewels] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

Quote:
Your per minute of freefall time to dollars and time spent are going a lot further for you than at the DZ. Don't start bitching about money, because if you are this is not the sport for you.

I know this is a total tangent from the actual topic at hand, but maybe it will bring the reality of how trivial even a minor tip is, over all.
In reply to:
But a 20% increase in cost every time you go (on an already-substantial tab) means that the actual price to play is higher than it appears--and you don't improve at any helpful rate by dropping by just once a month. That's why I appreciate all of the comments that have said "something" is fine--even if it's a $5 or $10 gesture, or goodies, or something else that won't break the bank.


You are so much more eloquent than I, and apparently patient JulieSmileSmile I would have just said Bullshit to the bolded commentSlySly
I work bloody hard for every dollar I earn and spend.
I expect good quality product at a fair price. If I'm aware of what the product is and I'm willing to pay the marked price, I expect to get what I pay for nothing more nothing less.
I will "tip" only if I believe that the service I get for delivering said product is above and beyond what would reasonably be expected to deliver such a service. And subsequently if that service changes based upon whether or not I tipped on the last product purchase, you can well bet that tipping will cease.


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 23, 2007, 10:30 PM
Post #92 of 136 (1729 views)
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     Re: [Jewels] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

Quote:
I'm still having trouble, even this many posts into the discussion, differentiating between attending, instructing and coaching. Maybe that's a difference that's obvious to you if you're an instructor.

There was a big problem with that at the first tunnel I worked for. SO here is what we as instructors came up with.

You're "instructing" (doing your job for your hourly fee) when you're on the clock. This means you provide the same levele of service to everyone, and expect no additional compensation.

You can "coach" but you need to be off the clock, and not responsible for your "instructor duties" (saftey and spots) meaning these should be another instructor in the tunnel on the clock. At this point is is not out of line to expect or request compensation for your efforts.


Jewels  (Student)

Mar 24, 2007, 5:00 AM
Post #93 of 136 (1710 views)
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     Re: [diablopilot] just read this whole thread!!! [In reply to]  

In reply to:
You can "coach" but you need to be off the clock, and not responsible for your "instructor duties" (saftey and spots) meaning these should be another instructor in the tunnel on the clock. At this point is is not out of line to expect or request compensation for your efforts.

No question! Anybody who comes in on their own time definitely deserves to be paid for doing so.


razor

Mar 26, 2007, 12:18 AM
Post #94 of 136 (1648 views)
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     Re: [Squeak] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

 
In reply to:
BTW I'm well aware of the Mr Pink Reference from Reservoir Dogs, I'm surprised you consider Tunnel personel in the same ilk as $3per hour waitresses.(edit to add) Who work their poor arses off and get man handled and accosted for their $3 Yeah I can see the similarity now, those poor poor tunnel ratsCrazy

hey squeak, would you rather have a really bad experience with a waitress or your "tunnel rat"?...lazy, incompetent, crabby waitress you might have a bad lunch, no refills, could ruin your lunch experience maybe even your whole day...lazy, incompetent, crabby "tunnel rat" you might break your neck and die. I work in both these industries and feel qualified to say that both these positions sometimes deserve good, bad, or no tip, based on the experience they provide. You've said already that your culture doesn't feel the need to tip or be tipped , so why don't you stay out of a discussion that you admittedly don't understand? As for the waitresses that get "man handled and accosted" that must be a difference in our cultures as well, because here in this day and age, that very rarely happens.


Paulipod  (B 1234)

Mar 26, 2007, 8:12 AM
Post #95 of 136 (1630 views)
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     Re: [razor] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

In reply to:
hey squeak, would you rather have a really bad experience with a waitress or your "tunnel rat"?...lazy, incompetent, crabby waitress you might have a bad lunch, no refills, could ruin your lunch experience maybe even your whole day...lazy, incompetent, crabby "tunnel rat" you might break your neck and die.

I am sure it is the same for other facilities - but anyone not performing their role safely and having a bad day when it comes to keeping the customers alive would be fired! - not simply denied a tip.

[Throw in hand-grenade]

Ironically - at times we have the rather heated debate as to not providing 'free coaching' due to the fact it detracts from this safety expectation. To some degree if your spotter turns into your coach - then they may not be doing their job so well...

To clarify FS or FF coaching is often performed through demonstration, and spotting without your feet on the ground is then compromised.

[/explosion]Wink


razor

Mar 26, 2007, 9:10 AM
Post #96 of 136 (1620 views)
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     Re: [Paulipod] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

 I was adressing the differences is responsibitiy of these two professions and what could be the worst case in these experiences. As for me I'll take a bad waitress over a bad tunnel rat any day, and I will tip or not tip BOTH accordingly.


Jewels  (Student)

Mar 26, 2007, 10:12 AM
Post #97 of 136 (1608 views)
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     Re: [Paulipod] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

In reply to:
In reply to:

[Throw in hand-grenade]


[/explosion]Wink

What this place needs is a bunch of appropriate .wav files.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Mar 26, 2007, 4:16 PM
Post #98 of 136 (1575 views)
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     Re: [razor] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

OOH a sneak in posterSlySly
Did you actually read al my posts or just decide to snip that bit.

My whole point is not on whether to tip or not tip, it it's about describing the product properly then making certain the staff perform to a set minimum standard.
Thereby allowing people to make better product choices based on reliable descriptions.
I also address, that i consider it wrong to change they way you conduct your self based on someone previously not tipping.
My base line is Do your job & Do it Properly for the money that is offered. if you are not happy with it find somthing else that pays better. If you are fortunate enough to get an occassional tip be gracious, not expectant.



Wanna come out from under the covers nowCrazy


RackJR  (D 27326)

Mar 26, 2007, 8:41 PM
Post #99 of 136 (1547 views)
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     Re: [Squeak] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

interestingly squeek Jewels question was also not about whether to tip or not tip, but that she wanted to tip and was asking how much. you single handedly turned that into an attack on the instructors, that somehow we are misleading customers, expecting a tip, and then doing a sub-standard job if we don't get one. you seem to very much want to move this thread from "how much should i tip" to you telling us all how to do our job properly. maybe you could start a new thread? perhaps that would be a better place for you to keep being a father to us all, by stomping your feet about our job performance/work ethic.

every single instructor that has commented has said that they do not expect a tip, but that they're nice. i mean that's verbatim what everyone has said. i feel like you've had some really bad experience at a tunnel, and that may be what's behind your obviously passionate feelings about the issue.

also interesting to me is that this particular product, (adult league at SVCO), to my knowledge has never been tried before. we did give free coaching from the start, and we also did not explain to those customers that they owed anything extra, because they don't. both the free coaching, and them not owing us anything extra, continues. this thread was begun, i believe, simply because some of the members have come to realize that we are doing more than what is typically expected, and would like some help on figuring out how much of a tip is appropriate to give.


razor

Mar 26, 2007, 9:52 PM
Post #100 of 136 (1524 views)
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     Re: [Squeak] Tipping Your Tunnel Instructor [In reply to]  

no, I read all of them starting with screw tipping them. as for the anonymity, I'm just lazy and didnt want to fill it out, really need to get around to that. as for your base line, your dead on, i totally agree, but no where on this thread has one person said or implied that they expect to be tipped


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