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An Authority on Nothing

A place for me to say some things to some people

Amish People Ride Trains

I saw two Amish girls on the subway today. They were eighteen or so, wearing windsocks on their heads, orthopedic shoes on their feet, and looking on with the same glow Charlie displayed as he toured the factory.

More wet bodies shuffled on to the subway, and I tensed up. The girls loved it. As they swung around on the pole, bumping into pedestrians; they giggled Mennonite giggles, and they chuckled Mennonite chuckles.

They recited each metro station loudly, and fell into those standing next to them whenever the train overcame its inertia. Uproar of Mennonite hehe’s and haha’s pummeled the ears of those that were not drowning them out with their Beats by Dre’s.

Then someone threw a breakfast sandwich at them.

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Initiative 77 – Who Wins and Who Loses?

We have been talking a lot about Initiative 77 in Washington, DC.

The question seems to be, should customers tip, and allow restaurants to pay employees $3.89 (As of July 1st, 2018), or should we pay higher prices for food, and / or risk employee layoffs throughout the industry, while seeing a reduction in overall tips?

First off, $3.89 would have made an employee at a 1920’s Jolly Green Giant canning facility in Blue Earth, Minnesota very happy.

That’s not a lot of money, but that is what the business model is built off of. Not many restaurants can take this rapid acceleration from strong salaries for an era circa Japanese Internment Camps in the 40’s, all the way to a living wage for an era dominated by Latino Internment Camps of the future? (The future ones have TVs)

Our values haven’t changed, but the value of money has.

I’m from California where we have always lived without a “tipping” minimum wage, and people still tip their wait staff. A lot of people reference this when predicting how DC will dish out its gratuity, but these aren’t parallel comparisons.

The service industry shouldn’t be worried about the people that already tip well. They should be worried about those 1-15% tippers. Those people are only tipping because there is a societal pressure to do so.

Those are the guys that wrap their receipts around their pen when they sign the bill so no one can see their open disregard for human beings.

If that guy, let’s call him Chad, needs the threat of embarrassment to give any tip to his waitress, who is paying for law school, and is compensated in a couple shekels and 30% off meals, then yeah, raising the minimum wage will dissuade him from tipping.

You’re giving him an argument to not tip.

I don’t mind the Chad’s of the world as much as the Tiffanies. Tiffany is a sociopath that announces to the group that she didn’t tip because there weren’t enough raspberries on her mango sorbet.

Bitch, you know the waiter didn’t make the sorbet….

What type of mafia micro-aggression is that?

Mafia Voice: You tell the chef what I did to you. Let him know, if they push me again, I will hurt people close to him… But not necessarily related to him.

Give me a complimentary scoop of mango sorbet, with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a little half strawberry; or I will flood your social media with negative reviews.

SIDE NOTE: If you leave negative reviews on Yelp, You. Are. A. Dick.

Unless there is a severe health concern, you aren’t doing anything but ruining another human being’s life with your negative review. There is a family that has uprooted their life, and given up all they had to roll the dice in the restaurant industry, and with one, two-star review:

“Carnival Cruise had better veggie lasagna, and also I don’t like capers.”

You take thousands from the pockets of someone whose only dream was to support her family by doing what she loves; making food for people.

If it’s a severe health issue, I get it.

THREE-STAR REVIEW:

“The chicken mole was divine, but I had to take two stars off the review on account of the giant hole in the women’s restroom which is currently spewing molten lava.”

That’s a health hazard. You are doing a good deed by bringing that to light.

SIDE NOTE ENDED:

Some people are chomping at the bit to weasel their way out of tipping. Someone on Facebook suggested that if we tip the wait staff, even though they make the same minimum wage, then what stops us from tipping everyone?

I agree to a certain extent. There are some people we should stop tipping, or just stop paying in general:

I’m looking at you, “Guy in the bathroom handing out paper towels.”

You’re always putting me in this awkward situation because I didn’t want to wash my hands anyway. I am only doing it because of the social pressure to do so, and now you’re watching me. But now I am presented with a new social pressure – Do I tip this man for the service I didn’t ask for? I feel like you squeegeed me at a red light right there.

I usually just throw my hands up in the air and run out of the bathroom.

I don’t like that robots are taking people’s jobs, but I think it is equally annoying that people are taking robot jobs. I was perfectly okay having my hands dried by a machine on a wall. I did not need to add humanity to this particular equation.

So, do you want my completely uneducated prediction for 77?

I think it’ll pass, and minimum wage will go up. Prices for food will go up, and hours will be cut during slow seasons for people in the service industry when employers have to make up the difference in missing tips.

And people will stop tipping, but it will only be the people that were barely tipping anyway. So if anyone will win this battle, it will be the negative Yelpers and the receipt rollers, but then maybe, since they don’t have to tip, they will give better Yelp reviews because of their cost savings? And then maybe, because of the better reviews, more people will eat at said restaurants!!

Which people will lose out? Most likely the guys handing out paper towels in the tapas bar that plays loud Top 40 music on Thursdays. A machine can do the same work he can for half the cost nowadays.

I got an MBA from Villanova University, and did not apply any of it to this blog post.

I Wish I Was Racist

I wish I was racist

The world would be so much easier to navigate.

My neighbor recently complained about money disappearing out of his bank account.

I told him to call customer service.

He said, “There’s no need. The Jews took it.”

I was awed that someone could be so certain about anything, and so nonchalant about perceived robbery. I spend so much time trying to keep my finances in order, and this guy maintains the level-headedness of a Tibetan monk while his account evaporates. Some people reach a Zen state through meditation, or drugs. He’s achieved clarity through his hatred for another group of people. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

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Jan 10, 2017 – October, 2017

They say that psychologically, time passes slower when you consistently immerse yourself into new experiences. Sometimes someone else dunks you into those experiences against your will, but it’s

 

the same end result.

That’s why a week of looking at spreadsheets makes you want to rip your fingernails out while grinding through the process, but when you look back at the end of the week, it feels like you haven’t done a damn thing. On the other hand, traveling to a new place for a week makes it feel like you have Monarch Butterflies in your urethra (in the good way), and days seem to last forever.

This last year and a half has been a long one for me.

Jan 10, 2017:

The day I was fired. I changed my Linkedin account to show that I was open to looking for a new job, so that only recruiters c

 

ould see it. A recruiter in the area found it, happened to be friends with my CEO. He told my CEO, and my CEO fired me on the spot, which created a vacancy in the company. As luck would have it, the recruiter

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Week 5 – Whoa, are you like, using Facebook, or is Facebook, like, using you man?

 

Facebook is the killer of all creativity and individuality.

How can you think for yourself when you are hit with a constant barrage of suggestions on how to think?

You like Michelle, and she likes Jill Stein, so maybe you like Jill Stein too. It sounds silly to articulate but how many of us are making decisions solely off of the opinions of others? I saw one two-minute clip of Jill Stein and was on board – no questions asked. I’m embarrassed to say I was swayed so quickly, and after looking deeper, we could have elected a TeleTubby with the same do-good attitude as well as the same intellect, but how many of us are basing important decisions (i.e. electing the President of the United States) solely off of the opinions of others on social media?

Do you see a movie because of the trailer, or because of the reviews from other people?

Continue reading “Week 5 – Whoa, are you like, using Facebook, or is Facebook, like, using you man?”

Week 4 – Micro Diary – Homelessness and Tuna Sandwiches

 

I bought a dude a Tuna sandwich that was sitting outside of a Trader Joes – Well like, I bought the sandwich inside the Trader Joes.

The dude – He was sitting outside of it (the store)

I walked toward him, and a kid wearing a Gerogetown Law T-shirt told him to “get a job” (Not like, in a motivational way)

I walked up to the guy and he was clearly shook by the comment – I didn’t really know what to say so I just handed him the sandwich and prepared to keep walking.

He looked at it, handed it back, and said “Thank you brother but I don’t like tuna fish.”

So the first reaction – “Homie you’re sitting on the streets. You don’t have much room to be picky” – and before the thought was completed he said, in a super sincere fashion – “Only white people eat mayonnaise”

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Week 1 – Because “That’s the way it’s always been done” isn’t great rationale

I know a guy who is overcome with anxiety if he doesn’t flip a light switch three times before he leaves a room. He thinks forgetting to do so will cause another mass shooting. That is wild to me.

My thought: “Thank God I don’t have any mental issues like that.” To ensure I remained sane, I knocked on the coffee table three times before the thought was finished. “Holy shit. I have OCD, and it’s learned.”

Like a ghost vibration – You check your phone multiple times throughout the night because you think you feel something jingling around in your pocket. That’s not normal, but it’s accepted as commonplace.

If I was to get up and open the front door three time, and there was no one there to let in, you’d think I was a nutcase.

Continue reading “Week 1 – Because “That’s the way it’s always been done” isn’t great rationale”

Week 2 – Self-doubt, perspective and 50 Cent (The VitaminWater guy)

It’s hard to maintain self-worth when you’re unemployed. You don’t have a concrete direction, and you’re not in a position that you’ve been told a college education and a master’s degree will afford you. It is difficult to fight back the feeling that you, personally are the problem. It’s the equivalent of when you’re four-years-old, and your mom tells you “It was no one’s fault” your goldfish died, but you have the sneaking suspicion that if you would have fed it, this toilet funeral could have been avoided.

The thought of self-doubt was followed by cursing a system that requires you to fit into a nine-to-five mold. It’s easy to become jaded, and ponder if people would be where they are if it weren’t for social class, nepotism, race, gender, etc. It’s easy to forget the privileges you have been provided. It’s easy to fall into a rut.

Then you run into the gas station attendant, riding into work singing Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball, while the song blares from a boombox bungee corded down to the back of his bike. Everything in society is telling that guy he should be in a deeper rut than me. Why isn’t he?

Continue reading “Week 2 – Self-doubt, perspective and 50 Cent (The VitaminWater guy)”

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