Eclectic Eccentricity

The assorted ramblings of Aunty Bertha - west coast socialist

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's a hat trick for CN

Hmm, do things come in threes, is it third time lucky or is this to become a weekly part of British Columbia's future?

...the fourth contained sodium chlorate, a chemical that could be deadly if ingested in large quantities....

...Spokesperson Dallas Graham says no significant environmental damage, "Our understanding is that there is some water but that is about 4 or 5 hundred feet away so there's no potential for any leakage of this product, which is very minor, as I mentioned. There's about two shovels full of this product so no there's no concern about this product getting into the water...."

I am not inclined to believe this for a second.

The spin (read weazel words):

  • no significant environmental damage - significant to whom? Significant is in the eye of the beholder. In my eye, even one drop is significant.
  • Our understanding is that there is some water...about 4 or 5 hundred feet away - but that doesn't mean that they understand correctly.
  • about two shovels full - Would those be garden shovels or backhoe shovels? Level or heaping to overflowing? Do they include the area of the ground that they have been spilled upon and seeped into? What is the radius of the spill. How much was blown by the wind and how far?
These are the same people who said on Radio Canada after the Cheakamus spill in Squamish, that they didn't know that anyone lived along the river and then turned around and said that they had no way to contact the affected residents. Interesting given that there was just recently an overhaul of the emergency contact system to increase its effectiveness after the last bout of flooding in the area.

I wonder how many rail cars more were on that train than BC Rail would have attached.

More evidence of how my province is going to shit in a handbag courtesy of Gordon Campbell and his groupies.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Now how do we reward good service?

Mandatory tipping?

...Per Se is one of the top rated restaurants in the city [New York]. Management has decided to do away with tipping and has brought in a 20 percent service charge that is automatically added to the bill when its handed to you....

When did tipping become a service charge?

Tipping started off as a monetary choice for customers to show appreciation for good service. The choice was twofold; whether to tip, and if so, how much.

Tips were a bonus, not a necessity for survival. Nor were were they expected to be shared with other staff.

Then it became expected that a percentage be added when paying the bill to tip the server. Then came an expectation that the server must share the tips with the kitchen staff.

I have worked both as a server and as kitchen staff. I never felt that I should be tipped just because I was the server, let alone that I should be tipped a percentage of the bill. I felt that if I received a tip, it should be based on the quality of my service.

As a prep cook, it never occurred to me that I should recieve a portion of the server's tips just because I did my job.

I can't imagine someone saying, "oh and give this to the prep cook. The carrots in the soup were cubed to perfection."

I see restaurant owners looking upon tipping as an excuse to pay their workers less. When I go out for a meal, I expect the price of labour to be included. I do not expect to be arbitrarily charged 20% on top of my bill so that restaurant owners can get away with paying their staff less and themselves more.

Further, if we are charged extra on our bill as a service charge, should we tip in addition when we receive good service? Then will there become an expectation as to how much we should tip? Then will there become the expectation that the server should share the tips with the kitchen staff? Around and around it goes.

I still consider tipping a choice. While I always tip, how much depends entirely on the service. Good service always gets a good tip. Bad service gets a nickel.

As for restaurants that add a service charge to the bill? I'll take my business elsewhere.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Oooh...That explains it

From the film Sneakers (1992):

Whistler: I just want peace on earth and good will toward men
Bernard Abbot: We're the United States Government. We don't do that kind of thing.