Monthly Archives: May 2008

Electronic gadgets – Programmed to break after warranty!

This has happened to all of us..

You buy some electronic gadget or equipment, a CD Player, a TV, a stereo, an iPod..

You use it during the warranty period with no problem whatsoever. Then after the warranty runs out, its usually only 1 year later, the thing breaks.

So I started wondering today.. Is it possible for a hardware manufacturer to design something on the circuit board to fail after so many uses?

Sure they could.. Even if the item doesn’t have the date set, it could be like this….

1. On the circuit board, it has a counter, and a tiny bit of flash memory. Everytime the device is turned on and used for more than 15 minutes, it increments the flash counter by 1.

In the worst case scenario, a device may be used 5 separate times per day, for 15 minutes or more each time.  Times that by 2 years…  (5 uses per day x 730 days = 5,110 uses)

So when the flash memory counter gets to 5,110, refuse to run.  This way, in 2 years time (but not to the exact day, because everyone uses their device differently) — FAIL and stop working.

This way you are guaranteed that all devices you send out, will automatically have a certain lifetime age. Which will cause the person to be back in the marketplace looking for a replacement.

Now if all manufacturers followed suit, the manufacturers get richer, and the public gets poorer.

I can’t believe I’m the only one with this hair brained scheme. I just bet it has been implemented, tried, and tested out there…

Oh, one more thing. If the customer sends the unit in for repair, charge them the standard $400 repair fee, and reset the flash memory counter to 0, to make the device work, and give them another 5,110 uses..

Who knows, I might be on to something here.

Ready to be a parent? Guess again!!

I am not the original author of this piece. It was forwarded to me in one of those internet chain letters. Therefore I cannot ask permission nor give credit to the original author.

But it is really funny. So funny, that it’s worth a repost.

Review these 14 simple tests before deciding whether you are really ready or not to be a parent.


Test 1 – Preparation

Women : To prepare for pregnancy:-
1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a sack of beans down the front.
2. Leave it there.
3. After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.
Men: To prepare for children:-
1. go to a local pharmacy, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
2. go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home. Turn on your favorite TV sports game and watch it in peace for the very last time. 

 

Test 2 – Knowledge
1. Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild.
2. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.
Test 3 – Nights
To discover how the nights will feel:
1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 4 – 6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
4. Set the alarm for 3am.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
6. Go to bed at 2.45am.
7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
10. Make breakfast.
Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.

Test 4 – Dressing Small Children
1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hang out.
Time Allowed: 5 minutes.

Test 5 – Cars
1. Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door wagon.
2. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
3. Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
4. Take a box of chocolate cookies; mash them into the back seat.
5. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Test 6 – Going For a Walk
1. Wait
2. Go out the front door
3. Come back in again
4. Go out
5. Come back in again
6. Go out again
7. Walk down the front path
8. Walk back up it
9. Walk down it again
10. Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
11. Stop, inspect everything and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
12. Retrace your steps
13. Scream that you’ve had enough, and please stop it already until the neighbours come out and stare at you.
14. Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Test 7
Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

Test 8 – Grocery Shopping
1. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Test 9 – Feeding a 1 year-old
1. Hollow out a melon
2. Make a small hole in the side
3. Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
4. Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
6. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor.

Test 10 – TV
1. Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Teletubbies and Disney.
2. Watch nothing else on television for at least 5 years.

Test 11 – Mess
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains
2. Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?

Test 12 – Long Trips with Toddlers
1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mommy’ repeatedly.
Important Notes: No more than a 4 second delay between each Mommy.
Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
2. Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.
You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Test 13 – Conversations
1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
2. Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirtsleeve while playing the Mommy tape listed above.
You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Test 14 – Getting ready for work
1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
2. Put on your finest work attire.
3. Take a cup of cream and put 1 cup of lemon juice in it. This will give the consistency of vomit.
4. Stir
5. Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt
6. Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture
7. Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel
8. Do not change (you have no time).
9. Go directly to work

 

 

You are now ready to have children. GOOD LUCK!!

Customers who owe money and get offensive about it.

Today I had a little verbal altercation with a customer.

Our normal policy is to give 30 days on our invoices, and after that they become past due, and the customer risks having their account suspended.

This particular customer has been with us for 8 years, so we let him go to the 60 day mark.  At that point we contacted him about the arrears, and he told us that the person who pays the bills is gone until next month, and that payment would be made then.

We patiently wait a month, and then 9 days after the person was to return, we send them an email reminder about the amount due. We also mention that we’ve been patient to this point, but we cannot wait any longer.

Well that’s it, the customer is now pissed off.  They tell us that if we are not interested in doing business with them, that they’ll find someone else who will.

I have only two questions:

#1 What business will they be going to that does not expect to collect payments on invoices that are 3 months old?  Are we the only one that thinks that a customer should pay a 3 month old invoice?

#2 Are we out of line for wanting to collect payment and being upfront on it when its 3 months old? Are we the only one in the industry who does that?  I figure that if we cater to our customers, and give them what they want, isn’t it fair to expect a payment in return?

Do I have this all wrong? As a business, are we suppose to give to our customers, whatever they want for free?  Or are we suppose to ask “pretty please, with sugar on top, can you pay your 3 month past due invoice?”

Why must we beg for money that is owed to us?

I understand that sometimes people fall on hard times, or they have employees that have temporarily left the office, but this is not the case here. They were a month overdue the first time, we said nothing. Then they were 2 months overdue, and they said “wait another month until the person returns”. I did that too..

Now its the 3rd month, and we’re asking for payment, and we get back “If you are no longer interested in our business, we’ll find someone else who is..”

What kind of pig headed comment is that to make? I cannot stand customers who owe money and get offensive about it.

Security Guards: Funny, silly stories by an ex-officer!

A long time ago, I spent quite a few years in my youth as a Security Officer (aka Security Guard).

There are a few people employed in that profession that take their security job seriously and do very well at it. However, more often than not, there is a lot of politicial mind games played between co-workers. When “nothing” is happening — no emergencies to take care of, the life of a security guard can be pretty boring.

I remember one time I got on the bad side of management, and my entire 8 hour shift was spent standing infront of a broken door. As the public would walk up to the door, I’d have to say, sorry, the door is broken.

I wasn’t allowed a stool, or a chair, and I had to stand for 8 hours straight with only a 30 minute break. I asked them why we couldn’t just put a sign on the door, with a chair or pilon infront, and they said “just incase someone can’t read”..

I remember another time on midnight shift, there was a guard, we’ll call him Henry. He would steal anything that wasn’t nailed down. This isn’t something you’d expect from a security officer.

On his patrol of this large industrial place at night, he’d unscrew the odd lightbulb from the many washrooms and put them in a bag. He’d dig up freshly planted flowers and plants from the gardens and put them in his trunk.

He’d take pens and pencils off of people’s desks. He’d steal sandwiches from refrigerators. He’d take entire cases of beer from the storage rooms. He’d take coffee grinds, sugar, and cups home.

He’d take, take, take… and he’d do it every night. The problem is, no one wanted to report him, everyone just turned a blind eye figgering that he would get caught on his own. Well this happened over the course of a year, and I never did see him get caught.

I remember getting trained once at a new location. They told me to be there at 6pm to meet another security guard and he’d give me a walk through of the place after it closed. After an hour of training, it was my job to work the next 8 hours alone.

As we walked through the place, he’d say things like:

“Ok, first of all, when you are on patrol, you are suppose to walk through the underground parking lots.. But there is no sheet to sign down there, so they won’t know if you did it or not. I never do”

Then he says, before we go, I always bring 2 or 3 different pens, different blue inks from different pens write differently. When we have to sign the books in different locations, I’ll walk through the place once, and sign my name 8 times with different pens, so it looks like I was actually here at different times.

He then told me where the best place to sleep was… “This couch over here is the most comfortable”

He’d tell me which walk in refrigerator in the commercial kitchen wasn’t locked, where I could grab a bite to eat if I wanted to… He explained where there was a TV, and how to work an entire 8 hour shift while doing practically nothing.

On another job site, we were issued wooden stick batons. It was an empty factory with empty offices. These young security guards always liked playing with their batons, twirling them in the air, catching them, etc.

Rumor had it that the reason we were watching the place is that the client that had previously leased it, and moved away, and it sat dormant too long, so they were planning on tearing the entire building down soon, and we were there to stop the homeless from coming into the building before destruction day.

So the security guards would take their batons and smash holes in the drywall and a couple of the glass windows separating the offices. In a couple days, the walls looked like swiss cheese.

One of the supervisors came to do a random check on one of the employees one day (usually once every 3 or 4 days a supervisor would randomly show up)..

It turned out that the building was NOT going to be demolished. It was simply vacant for a period while a new tenant who’s lease was expiring at his old location, was moving to this location that we were guarding. The story got mixed up, and all this wreckless damage that happened by the security guards had to be paid for by the security company which cost a minimum of $5,000 to repair!

I saw a lot in my day as a security guard, and this is only some of it!

BAD Buffet Tricks and Secrets: How to get rich while making customer sick.

Oh this is a favourite one for me…

How to get rich, while making customers sick. “BAD Buffet Tricks and Secrets”. It could be a book that would probably fly off the shelves. Well actually, maybe a lot of buffet owners already know these things, so it would be nothing new to them.

What I can’t understand, is why buffet food in cheap divey places is allowed to be surved. The ingredients were fine before they were prepared. It’s not like there was a chicken walking around somewhere that had a bad taste disease before it got shipped off to the restaurant, was it?  Was the tomato spoiled when it was picked off the plant?

How is it that they can take these ingredients, do what they do to them (over cook them, poorly season them, let them sit for 6 or 8 hours steady, etc) and totally ruin the food?

The buffet kitchen must be a garbage factory. Good food comes in the shipping/receiving door, it’s processed, and turned into foul, cheap tasting food, riddled with toxins and bacteria and served, all for the low price of $12 for dinner.

So I’m going to poke a little fun here, but you will have to wonder if any of these suggestions are actually true?

HOW TO GET RICH WHILE MAKING CUSTOMERS SICK

This is a satire comedy routine for entertainment only..
DO NOT FOLLOW ANY OF THESE SUGGESTIONS
!

Suggestions for the restaurant owner who wants to run a buffet for profit and doesn’t care about making his customers sick.

1. Any food that you have at home that is expiring or spoiling, bag it up and bring it to the buffet restaurant. You can come up with a dish that someone will eat.

2. Advertise a 500 menu item buffet table. Remember! salt is 1 item, pepper is 1 item, sugar is an item, water is an item, coffee is an item, creamers are an item, sweetener packets are an item, what’s that 7 items so far? Ketchup is an item, on, and on, and on…  This way you can fool people into thinking you have a lot of food items, meanwhile all you have is 50% condiments, and 50% food.

3. Keeping food from getting dried out after sitting for 6 to 8 hours isn’t easy. Those heat lamps cause the moisture to evaporate. Sure, you could probably just frequently cook fresh food, enough to meet the demand and frequently replace old food with new, but why go through all that work?  Warm up everything just before lunch hour, and let it sit all day long until closing time.  Add water, LOTS of water. Infact, if you’re worried that you’re watering down the dishes too much, just add more spice, and more water. Water and spice all day.. Everytime the food looks old and dry, throw more watery sauce on it. That will keep it a mystery of how old the food is…

4. Instead of option 3, of over-liquifying and manually rehydrating your dried out old food.. You could simply undercook it!  Cook the food 1/2 way, and eventhough the lunch crowd will probably get sick, they are paying a cheaper price anyway.  This way the food can sit for 5 hours under the lights, and by dinner, hopefully the food will be fully cooked. Remember, if you purposely undercook the food, by the time dinner rolls around, not only will the food be cooked at 120 degrees by the heat lamps, it will also not look dried out! This way the higher paying dinner crowd will get what they are paying for..

5. Don’t buy fresh food from restaurant suppliers. Instead, you can buy food from the discount produce rack at the grocery store.  Look for dented cans, things expired, or on clearance.  While you’re at it, put on some ripped clothes and get food from the food bank. Just because you’re a restaurant owner, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t save every last penny you can.. Besides, the customers aren’t looking into the kitchen, so they don’t know where your food comes from..

6. Buy as much pre-packaged food as you can. For instance, fool customers into thinking you’ve prepared nice dishes. Your spaghetti sauce can come out of a big bulk sauce can. Make lots of boxed macaroni dinner and melt some mozerella cheese food product (not real cheese, the kind that has an edible wax additive) all over it, to give the appearance that its just like momma use to make.

7. Those wasteful customers! Watch out when you clean plates with food on it. The 5 year old kid who drooled all over his deep fried chicken leg but didn’t eat it… Go ahead and bring that plate back into the kitchen. 30 seconds in the deep fryer, and it can be put back out again as fresh onto the buffet table.

8. Put things out on the buffet that you KNOW no one will eat. Stale shrimp with the shell still on is a good one. Make sure you put lots of icky sauce cuz no one will want to peel the shrimp skin off because of the sauce mess.  Put out octopus, whole.. squid with the ink sacks still in them. Any type of seafood that mainstream people do not eat. Then advertise “Seafood buffet $19.99”. When people show up expecting crab, mussels, peeled shrimp and lobster, you can snicker as you give them other “things” that come out of the ocean that are prepared horribly.  Imagine, tuna is seafood — who cares that it came in a can and you shaped into a boneless filet with some garnish on it, these customers do not know anything.

9. Salad bar!  Do you know that one regular bottle of salad dressing with extra water, vinegar, salt, and pepper can yield 18 bottles of the same salad dressing without sacrificing taste?  Sure! Water down all of your salad dressings so they resemble a watery broth.

10. As the owner of a buffet restaurant, you must understand, this is a WAR. You know the customers are showing up to prove to you that they can eat 3X the amount they pay. When they pay $12, they expect to eat $36 worth of food. I know some people might try to tell you that on average it does work out, because some people eat LOTS, but most people don’t pig out like that..

Don’t listen to reason this way.. Instead, you do your job of serving substandard product and see how many people you can charge this way before you run out of customers. If you are lucky, some people will even come back two or three times after forgetting about their gastroinstestinal illnesses.

P.S. You’ll have to buy the book, if you want to read things like:

a) How to deep fry foods in cooking oil that is more than 2 years old and never filtered. How fish, chicken, potatoes and more can be deep fried in one vat, and the extra dormant flavor just makes everything taste great.

b) How 80% of everything you serve should be breaded, then battered, then floured, then deep fried. Serving chicken balls? The chicken piece can be the size of a dime, but you can end up with a tennis ball sized chicken ball! By the time they realize what happened, it will be too late.

c) How to serve 37 different types of cheap potatoes with only 2 meat products on the buffet table.  (Think: Fries, boiled, baked, shredded, cubed, so many ways to cook a potato)

d) How dog and cat food can be made to work for you and your restaurant’s bottom line

e) How stray animals found out in the rear of the restaurant can be useful.

f) How hot dogs and spam can be popular alternatives to the other junk you’re serving

g) How to shave a roast so thinly that people can almost see through the meat! How to turn one 10 pound roast into over 2,500 servings!

Look, don’t get mad at the author for this article. I’ve eaten at so many substandard places over the years, that some of them truly do use this tactics to save a buck. The worst part is, that the public allows it to happen and the health authorities are very lazy at fixing them. They hand out warning after warning, but very little gets done, and I bet there are bribes out there everyday.

If you eat at a restaurant, and within 2 to 4 hours you feel sick, you’re probably the victim of food intoxification or food infection. This is why I applaud www.foodsafe.ca for coming up with a real plan to fix these problems from occurring.

Padding drink bills at a Pub / Bar / Tavern.

Oh yes, it happens more often than you think.

(First of all, why the heck do we have so many names for a Pub, Bar, Tavern, anyway?)

Scenario 1

So you’re out for the night at your local bar, and your waitress comes by and asks you if you want another beer. You’re there for 4 hours, and get ready to leave. Your waitress presents a bill to you and your wife, showing that 17 drinks were ordered, and you owe $85 plus taxes = $91.02, plus tip it would be $100

You wonder how you both could put away $100 worth of drinks, and you scan the bill. Wait a minute! There’s a vodka/ginger ale on here. We don’t drink that. Oh says the waitress and says yes, I rang it in by accident, it should have been (insert whatever you and your wife were drinking).

You pay the bill, scratch your heads in wonder as you leave, realizing you’re not even that buzzed, how could you both drink so much without realizing it?

Answer: Sit by the cash register POS terminal. Watch how fast she tells the bartender 8 different drinks that need to be made, and she frantically flips in/out of table screens adding 1 drink per person. It’s chaotic there. She’s in a hurry, you see her making errors and fixing them as fast as she makes them. It soon dawns on you.. how many times does she ring in your brand of beer, and accidentally charges you for it, eventhough someone else in the bar is drinking it too?  Ahh.. they are all drunk anyway she thinks. I usually get it right most of the time..

So in fact you might have other people’s drink orders on your tab, and they might have some of yours on theirs..

Scenario 2

You walk up to the bar and ask for a Pepsi. The bartender tells you its $3.35 and you hand him $5 and tell him to keep the change. He pours you the pepsi, hits the cash button on the register, the drawer pops open and he sticks the $5 in while you watch.  Wait a minute, he didn’t ring that in did he? Well, its no skin off your back, you just walk away. Yes he’s cheating the owner, but that’s not your problem. How many times is this guy doing it? Is this why drinks are so expensive? The bartender is skimming the profits.

Scenario 3

You order a fancy mixed drink like a Pina Colada. By the time they run it through the blender, add all the fancy garnishes, etc.. What happened to that 1oz of booze that was suppose to be in it? Oh well, she won’t notice they say. So they serve you a virgin drink (no alcohol) which means your are liable to drink it fast, and order more drinks since they are not having an effect on you.  This is why many times experienced drinkers will ask for their booze and their soda pop to be brought in 2 glasses, so they can see the booze and mix it themselves.

Scenario 3

You walk up to the waitress, plunk down $5 and say whatever that guy is drinking, I’ll buy the next one. She nods, and gives the guy his next drink. He’s 1/2 way through the drink, and you say “hey, did she mention I bought you that one?” Nope, instead, she charged him on his tab, pocketed your $5, and said nothing to no one..

Scenario 4

The bartender’s bar gun has a counter in the back room that increments everytime they push a button for the bar rye, vodka, rum, etc. He knows this, and he knows that the owner will check the bar gun counter along with the cash register summary to see if they match.

Instead, the bartender brings in his own bottle of rum and sits it nearby. When someone orders rum, and they are paying cash, he pours the rum out of his own bottle, and makes change. This way he turns his $30 bottle of rum into $150 and there is no way to trace it.

———

As you can quickly see, there are many ways to cheat the customers by overcharging them, not giving them their proper amount of alcohol, and ways to skim money from the bar’s profits resulting in higher drink costs.

They know that many of the patrons are intoxicated so a greedy bar manager can take advantage of people this way, and they will rarely know it. The only thing that suffers at the end of the day is the customer’s wallet.

Be careful and mindful about what is happening at your local pub / bar / tavern. You might be surprised when you see what is happening right infront of you.

Winning at a Casino? Is there any better drug?

So you stroll into a Casino with $200 in your hands. You play slot machines, and go up/down, and then up/down, and then up/down, and then BANG, you win $184 in one roll.

You are now ready and loaded money wise, so you can afford to play more… Bang! You win $150…

You’re on a winning streak…

Or are you?

What is a winning streak? It’s a name for a falsehood. There is no such thing as a winning streak. Its a name we give to something that we otherwise cannot explain.  If you win a lot, we call it a winning streak. If you lose a lot, we call it a losing streak.  A streak, by itself, has no merit or value. It’s a falsehood.

So if you “happen” to win lots, eventually your winning will stop. Take the word “streak” out of the equation, and now you see what it is, for what it is…

Winning lots at a Casino is your signal to GET OUT OF THERE. The worst part is, there is no signal to tell you to leave. There is no signal to tell you when enough is enough. If you’re winning, your brain tells you to stay, because chances are, you will win more.

Casinos laugh at the patrons who get caught in this loop. No one wins forever.. AND.. most people who do win at a casino, will continue playing in hopes that they will win more…

Casinos = Greed, and its that simple. The whole system relies on your greed, and the dopamine effect your brain gets when you win.  So its a system designed to take advantage of people. This is why there are gambling addicts anonymous groups, etc.

I don’t fault people from being addicted to gambling. It is very easy to understand why it happens… The constant rush of winning or losing money based on the spin of a slot machine wheel second – to – second gives hope, and releases comforting chemicals to the brain. People who sit infront of a slot machine that hope that one more spin gives them the answer to all their troubles are living a lie.

Casino gaming is suppose to be entertainment. But the truth is, that it sucks money out of the majority of its patrons, it feeds positive chemical reactions to your brain, and is nothing more than a new type of drug.

If anyone is smart, they would NEVER look at a Casino as a way to make money, AND they would never look at a Casino as a form of entertainment. When its all said in done, yes, you do get a rush while you are there, but the majority of the time, you’ll leave with negative feelings about the money you lost, and will feel guilty about it. It’s better to STAY AWAY.

This is one of the things that makes life funny. People get sucked into ridiculous situations like this, and they rarely take time to analyze it.

My time is worth very little, right? Some people!!

Why do people always do this…

They value their own time. But as soon as you offer to help them with something, all of a sudden your time invested is worth very little.

Let me give you an example.

I know someone who makes arts and crafts. One one art project it may take him 2 months to complete, working in his spare time, maybe an hour a day, 5 times a week.

Someone will see what he has made, and say.. Hey, I’ll buy that offer you. Will you take $100 ?

He’ll sit there and do the math.  $100 purchase price – cost of art materials $25 = $75.00

So $75.00 / 40 hours = $1.88 per hour of labor.  He’ll then turn to them and say, would you work for less than $2 per hour?  All of a sudden, then they realize what an insult their offer was…

—————–

Similarily, when you offer to help someone probono for a while, and they say “I’ll give you some money for your time”… they start to get really greedy, FAST. They want all kinds of things done, and they’ll work you to the bone.

This is a very bad arrangment to get into.. You’re thinking, well heck, I’ll toss them 10 hours of labor, and I’ll probably get $150 bucks for it.

Instead, they want 100 hours of labor, and intend on paying you $500 for it. (Again, thats only $5/hour, less than minimum wage)

A smart person will avoid these traps, or when they see them coming, they’ll avoid them and be very up front about it.  Today, someone who thought they were paying me $750 for an entire project that has used up 50 hours of my time, with another 100 hours still to go… is now being told that my 50 hours is worth $2500 todate, and that if we finish the job, its $7500 (not $750)

All of a sudden, now our friendship is called into question, which is fine. But I won’t be anyone’s slave, while they profit off of my cheap labor. Friends do favors for friends. A favor is something like “can you help me for an hour?” Not “can you help me for 150 hours?”

I saw a bumper sticker the other day on the back of a pickup truck. It read:

YES, THIS IS MY TRUCK. NO I WON’T HELP YOU MOVE.

Pretty bad isn’t it? Just because you own a pickup truck, all your friends ask you to help them move all the time. That’s not what friends are for.. Friends are for socializing. Not for stealing labor off each other and to see who can be more greedy about it.

So today I felt like I was acting greedy just because I wanted to get compensated for my time. But truthfully, I should not feel guilty about that… Life is tough, expenses are high, and we all have bills to pay. So asking for compensation for my labor is not wrong.. it’s the right thing for me to do..

But some people think my time and labor will always think my time is worth very little, and I can’t bow down and cater to them anymore.

Slurpees and 7-Eleven. Dirty machines!

Our local 7-11 has three Slurpee machines, with 2 flavors on each one. However I’ve noticed that the flavor of the slurpee has a slight milduey flavor to it. My guess is that these machines aren’t shut down and cleaned often enough.

I also want to know why you can’t get a diet-pepsi or diet-coke Slurpee? Why do all slurpee treats have to be full sugar cola syrups?

I really do enjoy a slurpee on a hot day, but between the milduey taste, and the fact that my slurpee probably has a billion calories in it.. I have to abstain these days.

Have any of you ever bought a diet-pepsi slurpee? Do they exist?

Hockey Sucks! It’s just a man’s version of a Soap Opera

Everyone makes fun of women and their darn Soap Operas…  People always crack jokes and say things like “Her life is one big soap opera”…

Soap opera finatics: Know all the character names, they know the history of the key characters, they watch every episode that they can, and if they miss one, they can get the latest update from their friends, the Soap Opera Digest, etc.

AND

Hockey fans: Know all the player names, they know the history of the key players, they watch every game that they can, and if they miss one, they can get the latest update from their friends, the news, etc.

So how is Hockey any different than the common Soap Opera?

I know:

Women watch Soap Operas during the day, and Men watch Hockey Soap Operas at night.

That’s the only difference.

This is why in my opinion, hockey sucks. It costs millions of dollars, for what? It’s nothing than a big time waster to the men in our country. Yes, it can be thought of a form of entertainment.

BUT!

Entertainment should not be addicting. You should be able to see ONE hockey game, enjoy it, and then leave it alone and then 6 months later, if you like, see another hockey game.

Being addicted to drugs… Being addicted to sex… Being addicted to hockey….

It’s an addiction.  Soap Operas and Hockey Games are addictions people, when will you realize it?

People think all men watch sports. Often someone will try and strike up a conversation like “hey! Did you see the game last night? See that goal in 3rd period where…”

What makes you so sure I watch hockey?

Now, for the record, I have been to a real hockey game before, and I did enjoy it. I have gotten addicted to hockey for a particular season and loved it then… But I realized that it was taking too much of my time. Getting the Pay-Per-View events was costing too much too.

I have finally decided that hockey sucks! It is a game that cannot be enjoyed in moderation.

Now is life funny, or am I the one who is funny?  What do you think, am I wrong?

Bingo Halls: Winning the cheap and smart way!

If you play Bingo at a bingo hall for money, be very careful how you spend your money.

Many bingo addicts believe that if they know how all the bingo games work, that they’re somewhat of an expert, and they are increasing their chances to win.

Yes, that is true, but at what cost?

It all boils down to mathematics.

Let’s say there are 300 people in a large bingo hall, and everyone is playing the exact same games as you, and investing the same amount of money.

When you buy a “regular booklet” of bingo cards, that have 9 cards for each game, and there are a total of 15 games played, and it costs you $25 for the booklet, how much does it cost for your chance to win?

$25 investment / (divided by) 15 games = $1.66 per game.

If the average prize is $200 per game, you’re paying $1.66 with a 1 in 300 chance to win $200

Now, some bingo halls will have a special bonanza, where tickets cost $50 cents each. Let’s say that the prize is $1,000 and everyone buys 10 tickets.

You’d be paying $5.00 with a 1 in 300 chance to win $1,000 which is the equivalent of paying $1.00 to win $200 if you were to divide it up. As you can see, the special bonanza game is a better deal. This is why people go to bingo halls anyway, to win large jackpots.

So buying a lot of “regular game” cards is not in your best interest. Dollar for dollar, you are paying a higher amount for your chance to win.

How about those special games? Also known as side bets. Sometimes during an intermission the electronic bingo terminals will let you wager 25 cents with prizes of 25 cents, 50cents, $1.50, $7.50, and $25.00

But if the odds are like this:

win 25 cents (1 in 5) cost is 25 cents for an average win of 5 cents
win 50 cents (1 in 15) cost is 25 cents for an average win of 3 cents
win $1.50 (1 in 50) cost is 25 cents for an average win of 3 cents
win $7.50 (1 in 500) cost is 25 cents for an average win of 1.5 cents
win $25.00 (1 in 5000) cost is 25 cents for an average win of 0.5 cents

So eventhough your wager amount is very small (25 cents), the average win amount is also very small, so you’re completely wasting your money.

Play the game 40 times during a 1/2 hour intermission, and you’ve wagered $10.00 with your average total wins to be $2.00, which means you’re going to lose $8.00 of your wager amount on average.

This is the gravy money for bingo halls. All the little $1 side bets, the little 25 cent electronic wagers, etc. These side bets payoff very rarely to the players, which means a higher rake for the bingo hall.

A smart bingo player will not participate in these side bets. The increased chance of winning is too expensive and not value smart. AVOID THEM AT ALL COST!

The bingo halls know the science behind how it all works. These little side bet games are there to soak you in.. Very few people get rich from them.

In addition, one of the multiple bingo parlor games that is connected by phone, where everyone buys a bingo card for $4 and has a chance to win $10,000 if they get 3 lines in 23 numbers called, is not a good value for the money.

Let’s say there are 10 bingo halls connected to this network. Each one has 300 people in it, with an average person buying 2 of these $4 tickets each.

That is 6,000 bingo cards being played, at a cost of $4 each, which is $24,000 taken in by the bingo hall. The prize is $10,000

Now you’ve paid $8 already. Your chance is 2 in 6,000 of winning a prize of any sort which means you have a 0.0000000003% chance of winning.

Do you really think it matters to double up, pay $16 for 4 cards, and have a 4 in 6,000 chance of winning, which equals to a 0.00000006% chance?

It’s still an almost 0 chance of winning, so why spend so much? Your odds are VERY VERY LOW. You’d do better at the regular bingo hall games, because atleast there your $1.66 gives you a 1 in 300 chance of winning $200

Wouldn’t you rather have a 1 in 300 chance of winning, instead of a 4 in 6,000 chance?

This article is difficult to understand, becauser it is a lot of math, and I’m not a mathematician, but the concept remains the same.

Your order of play at a bingo hall or bingo parlor should always be, IN THIS ORDER:

#1. Play all special jackpot / bonanza games are are In-hall only. This is your best chance at winning for the least cost.

#2. Play the regular games that are In-Hall only. This is an equal “best chance” of winning, at the next cost level

#3. For the multi-bingo hall games that are connected by satellite or a network, AVOID THEM, or play the minimum you can. The chance of winning is extremely low, and the cost is usually very high.

#4. For the side-bets, electronic intermission 25 cent games, all the little “Here, give a $1, and if you bingo on a certain number win 3x your bet” type games, AVOID THEM COMPLETELY. Your odds are very low, your payoff frequency is very low, and the money you are handing over would be better spent buying more bonanza or special tickets anyway.

Good luck, and have fun playing BINGO!

Future Shop Product Service Plan (PSP): A PSP from Future Shop is a JOKE

re: Future Shop PSP

I normally would have filed a customer complaint with Future Shop’s head office about my PSP, but they probably know what goes on in their stores everyday with a Product Service Plan. Lucky for you, I’m going to share my experience about it to save someone the hassle of going through what I did.

Anyway, here is my Future Shop Product Service Plan (PSP) customer complaint:

This is an old Future Shop PSP story, but nothing seems to have changed in all this time, so it is worth your time to read it.

On July 2007, I purchased the LG Electronics LRH-880 DVD Recorder for $249.99.  I also bought a 3 year Product Service Plan / Extended Warranty from Future Shop for $69

I get the unit home, and start figuring out how it works. This is my first DVD recorder, so there is a bit of a learning curve. Over the next few months, I get it working, but I notice it is very sensitive to particular brands of Media. It also wants to be rebooted a lot before it works. Some days it won’t record at all. Other days, you have to play a regular DVD movie first, then pop in your DVD-R for it to recognize it.

I finally give up, and Feb 2008 I bring it in to Future Shop for service especially since I plan to start making a lot of DVD-R’s. Future Shop sends in for repair, about about 7 weeks later (49 days) it finally comes back.  On the note it says that it was a Major Repair, they had to change the printed circuit board (motherboard), and some drive mechanisms. Basically they changed the entire guts, and kept the case and powersupply the same.

I take my LRH-880 DVD Recorder home, and it is performing exactly the same way as when I brought it in for repair! It won’t recognize any brand of DVD-R. I bring it back to the store, and the customer service manager says that they can send it in again.

I explain to the Future Shop manager that I do not want to wait another 49 days because I need to use a DVD Recorder now. She says that under the PSP policy, the unit has to receive 3 major repairs before they can offer me a replacement unit or an exchange.  She then says “well, you could always buy another DVD Recorder, use it, and return it”

I then say, well how long would I have to return it? She says 30 days. I said so if this next repair takes 49 days again, I will have to buy a DVD Recorder, use it, bring it in for a refund within 30 days. Then I will have to buy another one, use that one, and bring it back for a refund again.

I then say “So I have 2 more major repairs before my Product Service Plan will allow me to get a replacement or exchanged unit, that will mean I will have to buy 4 DVD Recorders during this repair time, open the box, use the recorder, and bring back the open box for a refund. Do you really want to have four open box DVD Recorders sitting on your clearance table at a reduced price?

She gives me an evil smile, because she knows Future Shop is playing games with me with this stupid “send it in, wait 49 days for repair, it comes back, still broken”

..and as a customer, I also can play games with Future Shop too... “ok, you keep my unit for 49 days on three separate occasions, and I’ll just keep buying other DVD recorders, using them and returning them, while I wait for my repairs. Otherwise, let me trade up to this $489 Pioneer DVD recorder now, and I’ll pay the difference and we’re both happy.”

The Future Shop customer service manager looks at me, and says “Ok, ok, listen, I’m in a good generous mood today, so this is what I am going to do… I will give you a refund of your LRH-880 DVD Recorder now. You buy the more expensive $489 unit plus another 3 year PSP warranty”

She proceeds to type on the computer and says “ok, your unit is selling for $199.95 now, so I can refund that plus tax”

I ask her “Ok, wait, I paid $249 for my unit when I bought it, so thats a $50 loss. Plus I paid $69 for my Product Service Plan, so now I’m losing $119 plus tax!!”

She says “sorry, that’s all I can do, otherwise we’ll have to take this unit back in for repair again, and you’ll have to wait”

By this time, I’m so fed up with the system, and I really do need to burn some DVD-R’s, I finally agree to buy the $489 Pioneer unit, and take a $119 + tax loss on my original purchase!

She says “ok, and you’re getting the 3 year Future Shop PSP warranty with the new $489 unit too, right?”

I say “You know what, just sell me the $489 unit without a warranty. I’ve already taken a loss of $119+tax from this whole deal, and I’m really not happy how this PSP thing works, about bringing something in for 3 major repairs and waiting 6 months (3 separate repairs) before it is exchanged or replaced.”

The Future Shop manager says “Sorry, that’s the only way we’re going to do it then.. You buy the $489 plus the 3 year PSP warranty, and I refund you $199+tax from your original purchase”

I finally give up, and agree. I can’t take this anymore.

I go home, feeling cheated by Future Shop. Atleast I have my new Pioneer DVR-550H that costs me $489 + tax. I am not happy about being forced into the Product Service Plan again, especially since it cost me another $119 for it.

So I go online, and read up on this stupid Product Service Plan nonsense. It turns out that the PSP is an agreement between you, and the American Bankers Insurance Plan of Florida for customers in BC. It also says that the PSP can be cancelled within 30 days.

So we wait 2 weeks, and we walk in and cancel the $119 PSP that was forced upon us as a condition of taking an early exchange / replacement on my original LG LRH-880 DVD Player.

Do you see how this game works at Future Shop?

1. I buy a cheap $249 unit, which has problems and a $69 PSP Warranty
2. I bring it in for repair, they keep it for 49 days, while I need it
3. It comes back saying everything was replaced inside (major repair), meanwhile it is still not working properly
4. They agree to refund me $199, make me lose $50 on the original unit cost, and lose my $69 PSP Warranty, plus related tax, ONLY if I buy a more expensive $489 unit, plus a more expensive 3 year PSP for it too.
5. I agree, just because I need this equipment and I’m tired of play games and waiting for non-existant repairs.
6. I wait 2 weeks, come in, and cancel my $119 PSP Warranty.

So in the end, I am out $119 plus tax, but I have a wealth of knowledge about Future Shop, and their Product Service Plans (PSP) rip off – what a joke!!

I will avoid buying the PSP again. Its a better idea to save the PSP money, and apply it to a more high-end unit in the first place. All the PSP does is let them selling you cheap on-sale merchandise with false promises of “hey! If this low-end cheap product doesn’t work right, or last you, take out the extended warranty (PSP)”

What Future Shop doesn’t really mention at the time of a sale, is that you will have to wait a huge amount of time for repairs, chances are, you will have to bring it in more than once for a repair, and to top it all off, the money you are saving on the cheaper on-sale unit would be better spent on a better quality item anyway.

DON’T BUY THE PRODUCT SERVICE PLAN FROM FUTURE SHOP! IT IS A RIP OFF! Save your money or put it towards a more expensive, better quality unit.

…again, Disclaimer: My memory is a little foggy on the exact price of the original PSP for $69, but the whole concept of what happened remains the same.

EDIT:

I wrote this May 2008.  It is now May 2014 and my Pioneer DVR-550H is still working flawlessly.  This is 6 years later, with an internal hard-drive past its life expectancy in the DVR.

Styrofoam food packaging: Why is it still legal?

Here’s a fact that basically says it all…

STYROFOAM TAKES 2,000 YEARS TO DECOMPOSE IN A LANDFILL.

So…

Why do people still buy styrofoam cups and plates? Why is food take-out “to go” still put into styrofoam containers?  We label cigarettes saying they are bad for your health, why don’t we label styrofoam containers saying this is bad for our environment?

Do you know, that when I visit any of my local KFC restaurants (Kentucky Fried Chicken), and I am ordering a take-out dinner… if I ask for some plates, they ALWAYS give me styrofoam plates.. But as soon as I insist on paper plates, they reach under the counter to their prized stock, and give me paper..

Paper plates cost more, but only take 10 years to decompose.

It’s no secret that paper can rot, by styrofoam cannot.

So why is styrofoam food packaging still legal? Why isn’t it labelled that it is bad for our environment?

…and most of all, why does KFC give out styrofoam plates first, but they need to be asked for their secret stash of paper plates?

$4.00 for a glass of water? Am I stupid?

Went to meet some friends at a local pub last night. Didn’t feel like drinking, so I ordered a club soda, which is basically just carbonized water.

The bartender filled up the glass, I was half expecting him to say “no charge”.. it is, only water…

$3.15 he says. Since I was already in a stupid situation, I automatically said “make it $4” to tip him.

So my glass of water with bubbles in it cost $4.00

So the question is… am I stupid for paying it? Or is he stupid for charging so much?  I know that the bar does have overhead that has to be taken care of.. the bartender’s wage, the hydro to keep the lights on, property taxes, mortgage, etc, etc..

But you normally wouldn’t charge for a napkin, so why would you charge for water?

Here’s the worst part, when my water glass was empty, I thought about asking for a refill. But I shuttered at the thought of paying another $4 for another glass of water. I ended up ordering a beer for $5, figuring atleast I was getting my money’s worth, eventhough I didn’t feel like drinking beer.

Isn’t this a stupid funny predicament? How would you have handled the situation?

Freedom Writers (2007): GREAT MOVIE!

Today a 2007 movie was on TV called “Freedom Writers”. See the official website for more info.

I never heard about it before, just caught it by flipping through some TV channels.

Hilary Swank, a two-time Academy Award winner, plays Erin Gruwell, who is a first time English teacher at Wilson high school where they are dealing with severe tension, racial problems, street gangs, fights, etc.

She goes in with the idea of trying to change the system to turn street gang punks into intelligent articulate people, and meets resistance both with other school officials, and the students themselves. She is fighting a losing battle, and refuses to give up.

We’ve seen similar movies like this before, but at the same time, I have not seen one movie done as well as this.. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and I got upset.

This movie moves your emotions and keeps you glued to the screen until its over. When it is over, it makes you feel good about who you are, and it gives you hope and the strength to reach your own goals. It is a very inspiring movie, I am very impressed.

So rent it on video if you can, buy it if you can’t find it. Share it with your friends and family, it is one of those “gems” that everyone should see..

Best of all, let me know what you think after you see it? Send me a private email or public blog comment here at http://lifeisfunny.freethrills.com