Oh, I'm a regular Daddy Warbucks when it comes to tipping. Unless I spot a waiter deliberately putting his or her foot in the soup, I'm probably going to leave 20 percent or more. That bartender who spends 30 seconds pouring a cold beer into a glass and sliding it over at the airline lounge? Two dollars for you, my good fellow.

Yet not too long ago, I resembled another comic strip legend, Scrooge McDuck, when it came to tipping the hotel maid. You know, the woman (and it is virtually always a female worker) who makes the bed, takes out the trash, changes the towels and generally leaves the room looking like something a real estate agent would want to show off.

Perhaps because they were unseen, working in the room when the guest was gone, hotel maids were generally overlooked by many travelers until fairly recently.

A seasoned business traveler would always make sure to have a bunch of singles on hand to take care of the parking valet, the bellhop, the doorman and the cabby. But the maid?

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