Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Tipping Drivers

DEAR NATALIE: With all of the new ride-hailing services popping up, I was wondering what the proper protocol is for tipping? Should you tip your driver? What if you take a black car service? Sometimes I tip, sometimes I don't, and it always feels awkward either way. What are your thoughts? -- NEEDS A TIP ON TIPPING

DEAR NEEDS A TIP ON TIPPING: When in doubt, tip. It is always nice to give someone a few extra dollars if you have it and can spare it. I always tip 15-20 percent -- unless the service or situation is completely awful, which is extremely rare. When it comes to taking a black car service, tipping is definitely encouraged because those drivers make a significantly smaller percentage per ride than Lyft or Uber drivers. Cash is king in all instances, and if you know you are going out for the night, make sure you swing by an ATM (or pull out that shoe box under your bed with your secret "fun money" cash stash) and share the wealth. Showing a little appreciation by giving someone a few extra dollars can really brighten their day (and put a little positive karmic cash in your jar as well). 

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Speaking of politics, don't bring that subject up at a networking event. People have crashed and burned when trying to make a positive impression on someone because they misread the situation. Remember why you are there and network with positive topics and thoughtful conversations about issues that relate to bettering your future. 

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)