Friday, July 20, 2012

The Doctor Tax


Greetings All!  I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I am back in the fold now and ready to blog.  My post today is about the “doctor tax”—a social/societal premium placed on goods and services when people find out your husband is a physician. 

Let me preface this, and if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written before, you know this – in the real world, I NEVER, EVER volunteer the fact that my husband is a physician.  Okay, I told my gynecologist, but I figured that’d keep them on their toes. 

There have been instances when I am utilizing someone in the service industry, and they ask me about my husband.  Sometimes my husband is with me when this happens.  They ask about what I do, but I never get into the whole “I have a law degree but am working a menial office job” routine. 

This has arisen a few times and I will list the interactions when my husband’s profession comes up.

1)       Hair Salon --  who am I kidding, I don’t go to a salon.  I go to Great Clips, and when I told the lady I was moving, after just having moved, she asked if my husband was a doctor.  What??  How could you jump to that conclusion based on simply having to move?
2)      Movers – they were nice and all, and things got packed and delivered perfectly, but did they really need to know what my husband’s profession is?  The credit card payment already cleared, people.

I firmly believe in tipping based on the quality of service received.  In certain situations, like at a restaurant, many states pay the serves less than minimum wage.  I have never tipped below 20% in that case, even for the worst service (except once when the waitress was racist, she got 0%).  Just because my husband is a doctor doesn’t mean that I need to be tipping 25% or more every time.

In the instance of a hair salon, I tip on service and good personality.  My hairdresser doesn’t have to be my best friend.  In fact, I salon-hop a lot because I’ve had to move so much.  But being polite goes a long way, as does making me look better than what I did when I came in.  I am NOT going to tip you more because you prodded me and found out my husband is a doctor.  You might think I have a ton of money, but that would make you an idiot.  You need to realize that your salon charges $30 or less for a haircut if I am so rich wouldn’t I go to the many other places that charge upwards of $65+? 

As for the movers.  I tip $20 per person, if they go fast and don’t break things.  I tip the driver $40 total because they usually help with loading/unloading at both points of the move.  Just because my husband is a doctor doesn’t mean you are going to get hundreds of dollars in tips or a fixed percentage of the 4-figure move.  

Just another rant of a poor resident’s wife.  We aren’t even half way close to six-figures and we have six-figure debt, so I just *hate* when people expect more from me than they do others J

11 comments:

  1. I got charged $65 for a haircut once. I almost died. And never went back there again. I'll stick to my $34 haircuts, thanks very much. I do tip my regular hairstylist 25% because she's awesome. Restaurants, usually 18% because that's the gratuity added on when you have big parties.

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    1. Lots of women justify spending much, much more than even $65 for haircuts. I don't see how they do it. I totally agree with you on this one.

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  2. The only time I can think of that someone might have been disappointed is a babysitter. I am sure she thought that because she was babysitting some doctors kids she would get paid better than most of her other gigs. She didn't say anything, but I could read the disappointment on the 13 year olds face when it was only $6/hour. Did she know that because we paid for babysitting I didn't order an appetizer or a dessert, and hurried home as fast as we could. And that I considered myself lucky for even that.

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    1. Maybe you all motivated the babysitter to plan for college because babysitting doctor's children isn't quite the high life. Lol.

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  3. I avoid telling people too, the expectation is for more. One of my movers asked what my husband did and I told him he is finishing his fellowship. He asked "oh, that's has to do with the church, right?" I just nodded.

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    1. I love this story! My husband's paycheck says he's in graduate school, so I should be more literal about answering the question, stating he's in the graduate medical education program.

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  4. Wow! I don't think we've experinced anything like that, if anything service/sales people seem like they want to kiss up to us when they find out. lol I used to feel super awkward about it and avoided telling people at all cost but, for some reason having my hubs in residency has changed things. I've sort of realized a few things: 1. he's a doc and it's not going to change. 2. I'm really proud of him 3. People generally suck or don't suck regardless of who you are so what ever. So, now I don't go out of the way to bring it up but, I'm not secretive either. I can't promise I won't become weird again though, when he starts making a lot of $$. That could be awkward on another level but, for now it seems most people understand being a resident is a doc in training...it sucks and you don't make much. Just my two cents, I hope you keep posting when you have time...I love hearing form other resident's wives. :-)

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    1. A lot of people think (wrongly) that I am not proud of my husband because I don't go around saying he's a doctor. We just come from educated families and there's already a good amount of professionals to go around, so we never thought anything super special of Resident Husby being a doctor.

      I would love to get kissed up to like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman after Richard Gere intervened. :)

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  5. I'm a new reader and follower! I hear you on ever word and every cent! Hubby is now a fellow and we are still in the same boat!!

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  6. Hi - I am totally in love with your blog and feel every word you right. My husband is a second year resident and we have debt up to our ears. I started a blog a few months ago to help me stay sane and it has been such a great outlet. I am loving be apart of the doctor's wives blogging community with both writing and reading :)

    Good luck with the next chapter in your life!

    http://whenlifegivesyoumedicinemakemartinis.com/

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  7. Oh...I definitely try to avoid telling people about my husband's job. I had a woman at my "menial office job" say to me, that she was confused as to why I was working if my husband is a doctor. I politely corrected her by saying, "well, he is a third year resident (of 7 years) and our debt to income ratio is pretty disturbing!
    I just found your blog, but I will definitely be coming back!
    Good Luck with everything!

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