December 21, 2008

An Embarassment To Society

It has come to my attention that the absence of consistent posts within this blog has upset some of my loyal readers. As such I am going to make it my goal to increase posts and thus increase morale among cubicle and office workers worldwide. So make sure you save that revenue forecast you’ve been working on for weeks. Make sure your door is closed and free of intrusion. Make sure no one is peeking over your shoulder and get ready to delve into one my most passionate blog topics to date….

The embarrassment to society that is Costco!

Why do I refer to Costco as an “embarrassment to society”? Have you ever been there?! Actually, let me embellish. Have you ever been to this warehouse? Or how about this - have you ever rummaged through this overstuffed, excessive trough?

Stop. Stop right now. I don’t want to hear people stick up for Costco. I don’t buy it and nor should you. Literally and figuratively. Are there some good deals at Costco? Yes. Is it worth buying a bag of chicken for .10 cents, which can last you ‘til Labor Day ’09? Sure. Are you hosting a party for 700 people and need a 96oz bottle of Ketchup? If so, fine. I guess you can go to Costco. But you won’t see me there. That’s for damn sure.

Why wont you see me there? Well that could be for many reasons. I’ll break it all down for ya’ with some thoughts….

1) Maybe I am there but you can’t see me because my cart is the size of a Chevy Silverado.

2) I can’t shop at a place where the only thing bigger than the 400lb bag of dog food is the person loading it from pallet to cart.

3) The people who forage for food there resemble squirrels hoarding their winter stock just before first snowfall. Judging by their single-minded determination backed by a dogged devotion, it seems like this snowfall might closely resemble a nuclear winter.

4) One should never shop where you can find sofas, TV’s, ketchup, whiskey, T-bone steak and mattresses under the same roof.

5) …underwear, jewelry or garage doors. I mean seriously? SERIOUSLY!

6) As I read this, I realize Costco is one giant garage sale. That’s it actually. It’s a garage sale. Mr. Costco, whoever the billionaire is, had the brilliant idea to simply buy every single product he could. Package it in bulk so it looks like a great deal. Ship the food on pallets and store it in an airplane hangar. Open up the doors, give people membership cards so they feel special, feed them .50 cent rubber pizzas and watch the rats come!

7) Speaking of membership cards. This was always one of my biggest pet peeves. I’m sorry but no red-blooded American should have to pay a fee for the right to buy groceries…or mattresses, etc. If I want to buy ketchup I shouldn’t need to show ID at the front door.

To sum it up people, please just go to Shop-Rite, Kings, A&P or Foodtown and purchase normal sized goods. Use coupons, use price plus cards. If you truly want to save that extra few dollars, then scour the Sunday newspapers for great bargains. But don’t go to Costco. Don’t sacrifice all things decent and get lost in the feeding frenzy that is Costco.

Btw, Sam’s Club and BJ’s should be off limits as well.

Ok gotta run. My Costco turkey burger is burning on the grill! I may not go there, but that doesn’t mean my wife can’t…and every other member of my family!

December 7, 2008

Proper Tipping Etiquette

In the spirit of the holiday season, and since this blog has become somewhat of an afterthought, I have decided its time to get back into the thick of things. Heck it’s the season for giving.

And thus the topic – Proper Tipping Etiquette.

As in with money not cows. For all my Pennsylvania readers.
(Not including the Ghetian’s of course)

A person should always leave a 20% tip. Unless the waiter/waitress is a blatant dirtbag than please – 20%. I don’t want to hear 15% or 18% arguments either. Look at it like this, if you can leave 18% than you can leave 20%. That extra dollar or two will make the server’s day and also make you look good and not like a schmuck. Do you wanna look like a schmuck? Didn’t think so. (keep in mind this is coming from an unemployed person so no one is allowed to cry broke more than myself. And thus this is why I can make these rules!)

I also don’t think you should stop at 20% either. There is no reason you can’t venture closer to that next plateau, 25%. Don’t be shy. Heck it is the season of giving!

Another situation that arises is the 8-person table where the establishment tends to add 18% gratuity. Here’s a revelation, how about adding to that a little? And again what a nice surprise for your server. Lets say you have a table of 10 people. Is it such a big deal if each person shelled out an extra $2 and you add $20 to that tip? Is that honestly going to kill you?. Didn’t think so. And it’s a nice little gesture you can put in the “Accomplishments” section of your resume.

Now lets talk about change. If you’re paying cash you should never ask for change if it’s less than $4 you want back.

An example: Your bill is $40. If you go by the aforementioned law of at least 20% than your tip should be at least $8. You wrestle together $50 from your croco’ wallet. Pay the bill and shame on you if you ask for $2 change. That is just embarrassing. Tell ‘em to keep the change and walk out with a smile knowing you just made someone’s day. You’ll have to skip your Dunkin Donuts coffee for the day if it’s really gonna hamper your budget.

Here’s another situation. Lets say you go to a diner and get a coffee and a grilled cheese. Your bill comes to $10 or so. You should leave a $3 tip. The minimum tip ever left someone who serves you food should be $3. I don’t care if your bill is $6. Leave $10 and go about your day. Are you really gonna sit there and wait for your waiter to return and say to them, “thanks can I get $2 back please?” I mean honestly - $2? (obviously in this example the imaginary person was asking for $2 back because no person in their right mind would ever leave a $1 tip)

There are certain instances where the $1 tip is kosher. Get a beer – leave a buck. I think that’s about it though.

In the spirit of the holiday season here is Greco’s Tipping Guide:

Car Valet - $2 minimum

Mailperson - $10 minimum but if you really like ‘em than splurge for the $20 and some hot chocolate!

Newspaper Delivery Person - $10. Although honestly, if you forget about this one than I can’t blame ya’.

Airport Curbside Check In - $2. A $5 would go a longer way towards making sure you arrive in Miami with your luggage though.

Hotel Bellboy - $1/per bag. ($2 minimum)

Coat Check - $2

I guess the general rule is never tip $1. Is it better than nothing if that’s all you got? Of course. Just try to be prepared for the occasion, please. Also, when in doubt, over-tip. Especially when someone is responsible for your belongings. Do you want someone questioning the character of the person they’re trying to help? Or would you prefer them tagging your luggage or driving your Camry with a little extra something in their pockets?

Now get out there and put the lesson’s you’ve learned into action…and if you don’t than you shouldn’t have gone out in the first place!