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Author Topic: Xmas Bonuses
Richard Dey
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To whom and how much do you give bonuses? and
From whom do you yourself expect to receive them? and
What are your thoughts about these traditions? Should they be maintained in our fly-away culture?

Childcare & Teachers
Service Providers
Home Helpers
Delivery People
The Workplace


Well, that's the breakdown of our obligations from the Emily Post Institute. I just happened to notice that Churches and Synagogues and Mosques were not on the list, so we can skip those [Wink] .

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Funean
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I give small, suitable-for-regifting gifts to such folks, as I have no money and like things to be somewhat personal. The trash guys and other folks I don't know at all get cookies or candy, whichever I've managed to make that year.

Since I am in charge of the money at work, I cheap out on my own bonus. [Smile]

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Richard Dey
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¶ Childcare & Teachers
I give money to my grandsons' camp and they deal with it; but it works like "Workplace", per infra.

&Ipara; Service Providers
What bloody service? these days? I add 10% to my bills for landscape, trash (private), plows.

¶ Home Helpers
M deals with this.

¶ Delivery People
Absolutely bloody nothing! The mail man? The Fed Ex man? The UPS man?

¶ The Workplace
My work environment works as a cooperative (albeit in my interests); the books are open; everybody knows what's left over from the budget; and it is divided evenly. I find that this the best way to keep expenses down during the year: the knowledge that what's left over winds up in their pockets -- and mine.

I do not tip the police or fire if I'm not going to complain about their high salaries and benefits package. If were to complain, I would tip [Smile] . If they can't figure that deal out, well, they aren't smart enough to defend me.

Being a smoker means that I don't tip in restaurants, hotels, or cabs anymore. Whew! Most stores don't allow tipping but, if some high-school kid is willing to bike my goods home, hell, I'll pay him $20-25/hr. There are none! these days [Frown] .

I do send cheques to very specific nonprofits, but I have to be familiar with them thoroughly; and those cheques go out October 1st. The American Heart Association is out, the Red Cross is out, United Fund is out, and a lot of others are out.

A few years ago I analyzed what I give to. I seem to give to small, inevitably local organizations that don't pay their executives but pay their volunteers' expenses. I try to make my payments predictable for them with inflation counted in. I do my best to ignore 'special appeals' which, to my mind, they should managed as separate entities or should turn over to somebody who can.

Basically, I decided, my charities are kids' athletics and my own alumni, but I do give to the local tutoring program (which I really should give more to [Embarrassed] ).

M says she does not tip the mailfolk. Oh, she says, and they're so sweet and chatty just before Christmas [Frown] .

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Richard Dey
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Fun: If cheaping out on your bonus makes you feel good, i.e., better than taking yourself to the Bahamas Christmas week, well, then, feel free! but wouldn't it be better to take the bonus and redistribute 90%? [Wink] Hey, I'd rather have the cookies, but ...!
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TommySama
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Last year I got a $25 giftcard to the place I work and a box of brittle [Smile]

I don't pay anyone anything, so I'm don't have to worry about giving bonuses to the anyone! [Razz]

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winkey151
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Being a smoker means that I don't tip in restaurants...

Do you actually go to restaurants knowing that they do not allow smoking... and then stiff the poor waitress who is working hard to serve you and has nothing to do with the smoking decision?

Wait staff (unless they work at a country club where they do not handle any money) only make $2.13 an hour from the restaurant... which means that they pretty much work for we, the customer.

If they are a crappy waiter or waitress then they deserve no tip but if they offer you good service then they deserve a tip.

People do not have to go out to eat. If they don't want to pay for service they can even go to a drive through or take their order to go, but if they decide to go into a restaurant and allow someone to serve them... it is pretty creepy not to tip that person.

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TommySama
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Perhaps you'd be better off stiffing the bill, Richard, and paying it to the waiter/ress as a tip!
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winkey151
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Perhaps you'd be better off stiffing the bill, Richard, and paying it to the waiter/ress as a tip!

Now that is an excellent idea... [Big Grin]
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TommySama
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Perhaps we should leave the word 'stiff' out of a discussion with Richard, though; lest he get the wrong impression [Big Grin]
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Funean
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You're the one who thought of it, Tommy...hmm. [Wink]

Richard, it doesn't *please* me to fail to pay myself a bonus, but it does allow me to pay my employees more and feel all martyrishly virtuous. It's my only route to virtue, and I treasure it, thankyew.

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The Drake
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Don't forget to tip your Congressman, if you want Santa to bring you an earmark.
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Richard Dey
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[Big Grin]

Winkey. Since the ban (it is old in MA), I haven't been out to a restaurant once; and I don't do 'fast food'. In the Caribbean, one can eat outside, not that smoking is anything like an 'issue'.

I joined a speakeasy in the Plymouth area; it's superb. We have two excellent chefs (both Johnson & Wales trained, one studied with Rob Reynolds and the other with Alice Waters), plan the menus ourselves and, by sneeking in paying 'part-time' members, actually pay the rent, insurance, and utilities with that income. We're planning to build our own facility. It's illegal, but I can tell you that there's a waiting list to join of more than 350.

It's quite a jovial group despite the social-class disparity [Smile] , and business within the group are flourishing as a result. It just happened that people preferred to do business with fellow-smokers: known and trusted.

And, since you mentioned it, a 'family-style' restaurant at the top of the hill where I live in Massachusetts, closed after being in a booming business since 1912 -- months after the ban. They lost almost all of their customers. Today it is a Mexican restaurant about to go broke -- and recently the scene of a drug raid! They claim that they're being harrassed; I don't doubt it [Frown] !

But going to a smoking restaurant of which I am by membership a part owner (if one of us hangs, we all hang together), has saved me a fortune in eating out -- which I once did on average once or twice a day, breakfast and lunch on workdays and dinner out Fridays-Sundays.

The club has no tipping by club rules, and a budget. Just like the camp I mentioned, the 'managers' of the club can take whatever profits they can manage after they've managed to satisfy the membership. So far, everybody seems to be satisfied. The food is great, there's no smoke since we have three fireplaces running every night, and in the summer the windows are open to the sea.

If that hadn't happened, I'd have left New England altogether. Though NH is still smoking, the writing is on the wall as MA people flee there and bring in their busybody habits.

But believe me, Winkey, male smokers were the best tippers, female nonsmokers the worst. I happen to know as I've dated a few waitresses in my life.

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Richard Dey
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Well, here's tonight's menu since we went:

Choice of 1:

Oysters on ice
Lobster on ice
Melon cup in liqueur (M says it was Grand Marnier)
Steak tips en brouchette (mine were a teensy bit o'er done but delicious)

Choice of 1:

Cape scallops (often on the menu)
Sea scallops (ditto)
Steamed striper
Creamed cod (M likes it)
Stuffed pork chops
Fried oysters (I've never had them better)
Porterhouse aux bernais
Stuffed raised trout (always on the menu since one of the members runs the farm)
Mussels bonatrello
Shrimp scampi

Choice of 2:

creamed spinach (hers with nutmeg)
cheese pudding (mine with Worcestershire)
baked potato and bacon
asparagus hollandaise
succotash (she likes it) (it's usually corn pudding)
frozen peas, mint
baked beans (South Shore style)
linguini (if mussels)
Buttercup souffle (always with maple syrup and butternuts and my recipe and very popular [Smile] )
creamed celeriac and celery seed

NB buttercup squash souffle and oysters together are par for my course!

Choice of salad (there are always at least 3, one endive, and Waldorf and Copley are always on the lunch menu).

Dessert cart of two dozen. One of the chefs trained a pastry guy who was swept away to a top-line Boston restaurant; but he's back because of, what else? the smoking issue [Big Grin] . We win again. He balks under the fussiness of the chef, so we praise him to death [Embarrassed] . Well, he's doing fine.

Any meal is $15.00 flat plus membership; my average cost of meal last year was $28.54 (booze included) -- what I'd pay in some crummy greasy spoon and about half what I'd pay in a restaurant that nearly as good, and I'm away and not using my membership half the (I rent it out [Smile] ). I'm so cheap [Embarrassed]

Liquor is all extra and we have to own it, and we have to get up and make our own drinks and bring them back to the table unspilt -- as a test of sobriety.

I must say, I don't understand why we didn't do that kind of thing years and years ago. If you get a good chef, which we did -- and pay for, one merely needs the numbers. If numbers fall off, the membership is liable for the fixed salaries; but we have to beat people away from the door because about 1/4 of everybody smokes, and about 1/2 of all families have a smoker somewhere amongst them.

And what's most interesting is that, because there are fireplaces running -- and the occasional corner candle, we don't have a smoke problem at all. And we don't have a big wood bill because one of the members has a huge wood lot about 20 miles away! All the guys have a beer blast over there and chuck wood into the splitter. We did 12 cords for next winter in 2 days. It was great fun and the kids loved it. The chef came over with a real feast on his own and threw in a token log [Smile] ; he's too fat to do real work.

So, in short, I don't have to give tips. I handle my own own baggage at 66; and I paddle my own canoe, and avoid public transportation like warfare (which it is).

What startles me, so far, is that nobody is working for a company that gives a standard bonus [Frown] . The country is falling apart!

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Richard Dey
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PS, Drake. You can be sure I'd tip Ted Kennedy ... [Big Grin] ! Cripes, he doesn't tip! Honestly. He doesn't tip at the inn in Hyannis, he doesn't tip at Skinnylegs on St John. And his mother was the cheapest bytche on the Cape -- and famous for it. Old Joe used to overtip but, then, he was 1st-generation nouveau riche; Teddy is 2nd-generation nouveau riche [Wink] .

Back to Greensboro Mon PM. Isn't that where OSC lives?

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winkey151
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Richard... it sounds like you have taken care of your restaurant tipping and smoking problem quite nicely... [Smile]
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Richard Dey
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I couldn't have done it without retiring, Winkey! I recommend it especially for the poor. I am for self-employment whenever and wherever imaginably possible. Rather, I'm for interdependent guilds and associations (short of unions). I worked for somebody else too long in my life; I regret it deeply [Embarrassed] . I had responsibilities and didn't dare take the risk. I should have. I didn't have enough "faith" in myself [Wink] . BUT, I was brought up in a world where people had their jobs, managerial jobs, all their lives. I should have paid more attention to some uncles of mine who founded and ran their own facories -- but, then, they were obliged to hire cheap labor, and I could never have shown my face. That's not the kind of company I could have founded let alone maintained.

It's what I say about X, Y, and Z. If you have X responsibilities, playing hardball in Y is risky. Rather, I chose an X association where I could play Y providing I dressed right, said the right things to the right people. It was a day job.

My night job? There I played in the hardball Y courts -- and took terrific risks, even as I do on Ornery [Wink] . Sometimes mere survival is schizophrenia!

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