Archive for ‘ranting’

October 28, 2011

I just paid you in full for my “FREE” month

by Robyn

After packing on a few pounds over the summer, I decided it was time I re-joined a gym. I spent a few days looking at the different facilities. Near work and near home. What would work best for my lifestyle and my wallet.

I wanted to find the best deal I could. I wanted a gym near where I work, close to my house if possible, flexible hours. So I decided on SNAP Fitness. They are open 24/7, although limited they do offer classes, they have personal trainers available to you, there is one close to my work as well as my house, they have a low membership fee and reasonable monthy rates. Or so I thought.

I am feeling really stupid today, because I got scammed. I didn’t want to sign a 12-month contract, nor do a month-to-month, so I decided on a 6-month contract. That way, I’m only locked in over the winter months and I can have the summers off. Depending on which location I joined, a 6-month contract monthly rate would be in the range of $35-36.00. That I can do.

A new SNAP gym down the street from my house opened at the beginning of the month. I got a voucher in the mail the would waive my enrollement membership fee if I joined before October 31.

With the 6-month contract, my monthly rate would be $35.96. Or I could pre-pay, and by doing so, I would get 1 free month. I figured, why not, throw it on the credit card, then I don’t have to worry about paying for the next 6-months.

It was only when I got home and did a little bit of math did I realize that I didn’t get 1 month free, instead I just paid them upfront for a 6 month contract that is now actually 7 months.

The pre-paid total is $251.70 + $20 access card x PST. This gave me 6-month pre-paid, plus 1 month free, so in total, 7 months pre-paid. But when you break it down, I just paid for 7 months, at the 6-month contract monthly rate.

If you pay month-to-month, its $41.95.

41.95 x 6 months = 251.70 (which is what I paid! But I didn’t sign up for month-to-month)

If you pay the monthly rate on the 6 month contract, it’s $35.96.

35.96 x 6 months = 215.76

So really, all they did was charge me for 6 months on the month-to-month rate (instead of the 6-month contract rate I signed) and said that I got a “free” month, when really I just paid for 7 month, because if you do the math:

35.96 x 7 months= $251.70, which is what I paid under the illusion I was getting a free month.

Clearly that’s not the case. I’m pissed. I’ll be going in on Monday and calling them out to see if I can get some money refunded or something, valued at $36, for free. Because I never got the “free” that they promised me.

August 30, 2011

Extreme couponing is an extreme waste

by Robyn

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’ve watched Extreme Couponing a few times on TLC. I can’t help myself. I am drawn to nearly every form of your stereotypical bad tv. Wedding shows, design shows, having abnormal quantities of babies shows, weird jobs, hoarding,  addictions, you name it, I probably watch it. I don’t follow these shows regularly but if I can’t find anything else to watch, it’s almost a given I’ll end up watching the newest episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive, or Intervention or what have you.

When is comes to watching Extreme Couponing, I can’t help but be in total awe and disbelief. What these people are able to achieve is without a doubt, impressive. Although these people clearly have compulsion issues (see image below), at least they are channeling these urges into something positive. I guess? Sort of?

Seeing the insane stock piles amassed by these individuals just leaves me stunned. Does any single family household really need hundreds of tooth brushes? Or boxes of deodorant, body lotion, soap, etc? Who needs 40 bottles of relish? 100 cans of soup? 50 bags of chocolate chips?

Beyond bursting at the seams, how much of these massive collection will still be good 5 years?

On a cleaning kick last night I started going through my fridge and pantry, throwing out everything that’s expired. I moved into my apartment in February of 2008, so anything in my apartment, food wise, is no more than 4 years old. Until recently I never knew how quickly, even canned goods went bad.

This is a short list of what I threw out:
butter (I didn’t even know butter could go bad)
4 cans of soup (2 years expired)
3 bottles of salad dressing (1 unopened)
an almost-full bottle of corn syrup
hot sauce
plum sauce
molasses
lime juice
bbq sauce
baking powder

What on earth are these extreme couponers doing hoarding these ridiculous quantities of food products? Is your family of four really going to eat ALL of that food before it expires. Not likely, unless you are going to eat a bowl of soup with instant mr. noodle on the side every day for a year. For a kick of flavour, add some relish? You’ve got 40 bottles. Why not have a bag of chocolate chips for dessert? And just throw your toothbrush away after using it. You’ve got another 1000 to last you for the next 3 years.

I get it, these people “buy” these items in mass quantity because they can. The high. The thrill. The rush they must get knowing their walking out of a store, legally, with hundreds of dollars worth of product that they didn’t pay a cent for. But seriously? Why are you spending 40 hours a week searching for coupon deals so you can stock up on food that will likely expire before you can consume all of it?

I’m feeling pretty bummed knowing that I just threw out probably $50 worth of expired food. I don’t have the patience to coupon. Plus it’s a lot harder to coupon to the extreme in Canada because our stores don’t “double up” deals like they do in the states. I will admit since watching this show I have learned some really important things that I can apply to my personal spending habits. Such as, as good of a deal as it may be, don’t stock up on unnecessary quantities of items that have an expiry date. And a LOT of things have expiry dates. Even if it’s free, it always makes me sad knowing something is going to waste.

From now on, I’m going to be more selective when buying items to stock my fridge and pantry. I’ll ask myself  “If I buy this will I use 10% of the product before it goes bad and I have to throw it out?” If the answer is yes, I’ll spend the money to drive out to my parents place to “borrow” some from them. Or I’ll be a little less anti-social and introduce myself to my neighbours to borrow a cup of _______.

Since the debut of this series, these “extreme couponers” have been getting quite a bit of media coverage . You can find a few amusing, and kind of ironic news stories here and here.

April 15, 2011

Addressing the Workplace

by Robyn

I have, in one form or anther been working in the service industry since I was 15. I started off working in a restaurant kitchen, then at deli counter, followed by a grocery store, and for the last four years, I have busted my balls for a little company known at Boston Pizza.

This company, according to profilecanada.com has sales that range between $500 Million and $1 Billion, and employs over 16,000 people. I am one of them. Now I don’t know how accurate the information on profilecanada.com is, nor can I say that it’s a reliable source, but I do know that Boston Pizza earns lots of money. They are one of the most popular chain restaurants out there. They put Pizza Hut practically out of business in a matter of a few short years. With even the most basic knowledge of the money they earn, it’s easy to conclude some of they things they can afford. One of those is putting money into outsourcing proper training programs to teach their managers how to communicate with their staff. Too bad, they haven’t made that investment yet.

I don’t serve because I love the work. I serve because I have amazing co-workers, and we’re all there for the same reason – to make a quick buck.

If I was to be summed up on one word, it would probably be opinionated. I always have an opinion about something, and in many cases I’m rather vocal about it. I try not to be crude, or crass, or outright mean to people’s faces, but yes, it happens from time to time. Never in my life, until now have I done this. I’m more prone to bitching, complaining, whining and stomping my feet with the faint hope that someone will take notice and make some sort of change. Of course, no matter how much I make a stink about things in the workplace, things don’t change, and yesterday was the final straw that broke the camels back.

So this morning, I picked up the phone and called Boston Pizza Head Office to make a formal complaint about communication issues at my store. Or rather, lack of communication?

It’s sad to know that I can count, for every shift that I have worked in probably the last 2-3 weeks where something was not properly communicated by management to myself as well as co-workers. This has caused stress & confusion amongst staff, which results in poor customer service and me making no money.

I was yelled at last night for not attending to a table after they had been sitting, unattended to, in the restaurant for over 15 minutes. The reason I didn’t go to them was because they had been seated in my co-workers section. Too bad, my co-worker had been cut for the evening and management had just forgotten to tell me this. Just like they forgot write me into the floor plan for that evening and left my co-worker to get upset thinking the closer wasn’t coming in. Just like they forgot to tell me my relief wasn’t coming a few weeks ago and I missed the first 2 hours of a staff appreciate party, which I ended up ditching because I was so upset over the whole thing. Just like I got screwed into working an 11 hours shift because they forgot to tell the closing supervisor I was working a split.

It’s been one thing after another, and it happens on every shift. And if I’m not working several hours beyond what I should be, I’m usually being yelled at for something that isn’t my fault. Something that could have been avoided with communication. Some people have told me to quit, or transfer to a different store. My boyfriend really wants me to quit (he’s the one who has to listen to my end of shift rants).

I’ve dedicated over 4 years of my life to this company. It’s allowed me to survive living on my own while still in school, financed several trips, given me valuable work experience, and I’ve gained some really good friends and work references. I’m hoping that by having made the call, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. Get your shit together or I’m jumping ship. If things don’t change, I’m leaving and finding something else, where they will treat me like a human being, and not a gypsy mind reader.

The gratification of making that few extra bucks is nothing when you feel like a mistreated animal half the time.

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