Why I Dislike Membership or Credit Cards With Annual Fees

Today I received in the mail our Costco card rebate of $71.61. It is not a great deal over a year but the gas is less expensive so we fill up there and some of the stuff like toilet paper and cat food are really good deals so we buy from Costco.

At the same time we receive the reward though we are told that our membership is due and will be automatically billed on our credit card September 1st. That amount comes to $120 for the year.

Listen I am not complaining but they mention that the $71.61 cannot go to pay off some of the membership fee on our credit card. We have to spend it in the store.

Shouldn’t you have a choice as to whether you want to pay down the membership fee or like they want you to do and spend it in the store. I know shopping at Costco to redeem your reward you have to spend that amount and not a penny less or they will tell you they cannot give change on a reward coupon.

Maybe I am being picky but why do credit and club member cards make you pay their membership fee separately instead of applying your cash reward to it? Well it is obvious of course they do this to cover the cost of their reward coupon to you.

Some credit cards have that $120 annual fee so you can have flight insurance or air miles toward your next flight. But I do not fly on a weekly basis for anything to add up.  Unless you are a traveling salesperson most people go one year to the next without flying then that annual fee pops up again. I had one of those cards one time and discontinued it.

If you have a credit card like that many times the interest rate might be a little higher so you better pay off the card monthly or else they will soon get back any savings you might have had taking that cheap flight on that expensive vacation.

Cards with fees are out. I will keep the Costco card though. Cash is better compared to points to take a flight  I may never take.

What To Do About Trump?

It has been over six months that he has been the President of the United States and outside of his base he has not won over any new supporters that is for certain.

If I was the news media though I would just report on the news and forget about the tweets. I would definitely boycott the press media conference because that is full of denials and who knows if that person that use to be Sean Spicer is telling the truth anyway.

The more reporting that is done on his tweets  the more Trump loves it and so does his base.

Let the Senate judicial hearings and FBI do their job on the Russian meddling in their election. Investigate quietly without broadcasting every little thing that happens. It provides the distraction Trump loves.

Let Trump’s failure on repealing and replacing Obamacare take over the news. Let his failure to endorse the Paris Climate accord take over the news and why that was a colossal mistake. When trade renegotiations take place in August over NAFTA  and he tries to rewrite deals that will cripple trade within his own country take the front of the news. These are the failures that will get him in trouble when it comes to re-election, not his tweets.

What about his tax reform that hasn’t got started yet or his infrastructure promises that have yet to take flight. Broadcast that and ask the questions why.

Right now it’s Trump that is in control not the news media because the news media is not focusing on Trump’s inaction on so many things he has promised.

What about his cutting funding on women’s issues and the effects that it is happening right now. Start interviewing those people instead of trying to outwit Jeffery Lord on CNN.

That will turn things around. Start reporting on issues that affect everyday working people and forget his tweets.

I Can Always Tell When I Need a Top Up

Since I have been off sick I can always tell when I need a transfusion.

Tomorrow I get my blood work done and it will probably show low heamoglobin. Then a couple of days later I will need a top up.

As well they will be checking for iron. As the transfusions add up so does the iron. Too much can be toxic.

I met someone last night who had an autocylus transplant. That is when they take a few of your own blood cells in a biopsy. Then they fix them up. They give you the chemo , kill the cells in the body then introduce the repaired ones.

He was in the hospital 4 weeks then had to live near the hospital within 3 minutes.

He said I’ll be fine as long as I don’t  catch a cold or I’ll die.

Good advice I guess!

My mouth seems to be a big problem. I suffer from recurring cold sores usually just one at a time that last for a little over a week. Well I just got rid of one now I have a sore on the right side of my mouth that hurts when I eat on that side or brush my teeth. On top of that my gums bleed when I brush my teeth.

So I made an appointment with the dentist to check my teeth and gums. I got to get the go ahead from my doctor first though to make sure the dentist doesn’t give me anything that may worsen my blood results. With the low immunity I have it would be tough to fight a cold right now.

Do Not Make This Mistake if You Leave Your Country

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Back in 1991 I worked in Jasper Alberta. I worked there a full year then left to go on the cruise ships to work not coming back till 1996 to work in Canada. It was not Jasper I returned to but Victoria, British Columbia.

In 1988-89 I worked in Switzerland when I left Montreal and then in 1990 I worked in England and again in 1993.

Skip 1987 because I went to school all year to learn French. So except for that one year in 1991 when I worked in Jasper I worked internationally you could say gaining lots of experience. Ten years and nine of them away.

However if you have no network when you return to your own country, and maybe this is only Canada because I don’t think the U.S. thinks like this, you can have all the experience and education in the world but unless you have a reference locally you will start from scratch at the bottom.

You will go into interviews and they will see you have management experience and have worked in fine places but unless you know Jerry across the street and they can call him up, forget about it.

So have fun traveling and learning but before you return about two years ahead of time start making some contacts where you want to settle when you come back. There was no internet when I returned so it was doubly difficult. Get on Linkedin and start making friends because even though they are miles away from you now when you get back you want to be able to give them a call. Keep them updated. Make a plan.

I thought when I returned it was going to be easy. It wasn’t. I remember a lot of employers just sitting on the fence interviewing me over and over again not coming to any conclusion. I couldn’t wait much longer I had to put some food on the table. So I returned to waiting on tables.

Sad but in this industry I should have stayed in Europe. I had more contacts there than I thought I would need in Canada.

Don’t make the same mistake!

The $15 An Hour Minimum Wage Dilemma

In Ontario in an effort to get re-elected the premier is set to raise the minimum wage to $14 an hour on January 1st then to $15 a year later at the beginning of 2019.

Now for people who work in retail or other service related jobs where there is no gratuities involved this is a good idea. Most of these jobs are part time at best where the most hours they get is 20-25 hours a week. This will help these people out who are eking out a living at best.

But for the waiter who thinks now his hourly wage will jump from $9.90 an hour to $15 in just over 18 months they are going to make more money may want to hold back on their excitement.

First of all the reason waiters and bartenders make less than minimum wage is because they earn gratuities. In every place that I have worked a certain percentage of these gratuities are paid out to the house so that the cooks, busboys, and hostesses can get paid out along with their higher hourly wage. It stands to reason they deserve a fair share for all the hard work they do.

To have waiters and bartenders work at less than minimum wage the payroll remains at low levels for restaurants and they can keep cooks and other staff at an affordable hourly wage.

So let’s say a cook gets $15 an hour. If all of a sudden a waiter is making the same wage would he not be soon asking for $20? You wouldn’t be hiring a cook at $15 an hour anymore would you? Add the busboys and hostesses into the mix and now they are working for $15 an hour.

Who is going to suffer from this wage increase? Well at first glance it looks like there is nothing the operator can do but raise the prices of the items on the menu. How will that affect the waiters and bartenders? Well it might mean less people will come and eat at your restaurant because a threshold has been reached. Some people will still come to eat but maybe less often or not at all. It could as well mean that people may become stingier and tip less.

The biggest I see though and it will occur is the owner will now say to the waiter since you are making more money per hour now you have to pay out more to the house on your sales so that the cooks will get more cash gratuities in their pocket which will keep them motivated. Also the hostesses and busboys.

Let’s say you tip out 3% now that is $30 on sales of $1000. Double that to %6 and that is now $60. Now let’s say you make 15% on your sales which would be $150. Subtract $60 from that and you have not even made a $100 for the night.

Sure you could say now you make $15 an hour but all that will do is add more deductions to your pay check. So how far ahead will you be? The owner may turn around and hire more part time staff and your cut time will be earlier than usual. So the additional money per hour will be all wiped out rather than have you work 5 hours maybe now it will be cut to 3.5 hours.

What I am saying is the restaurant association here in Ontario is not very happy about this. To have wages increase by almost 50% in a year in a half  is going to close a lot of restaurants. Sure the high end will survive and the big brand name restaurants but the waiters and bartenders will get the short end of the stick if this goes through. Especially the waiters since some of that tip out goes to the bartender as well.

The premier is now doing open hearing across the province to get some input from people who are real concerned about this raise in minimum wage. She is getting some heat. She wants to be re-elected.

Personally for the restaurant owner’s sake, service staff, and the guest having to fork out higher menu prices keep it the way it is right now. Sure give the waiters 50 cents more a year hourly to keep up with inflation but leave it as is. If not there will be no one who will want to work in a restaurant anymore. For the waiter it will not be worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

My New Blog

With the deletion of my former blog entitled “waiterextraordinaire” I have come up with a new blog. This is it!

Since I am a waiter no more, due to an indefinite amount of time on sick leave, I have started this blog so I can talk about different things and thoughts that come into my head. It was getting harder just to talk only about the restaurant industry.

I will talk about that once in a while of course because after 38 years how can one totally ignore it but I plan on talking about these trips to the hospital and also some other thoughts that spring to my head.

So stay tuned. I will try to post every day.