Monday, October 27, 2008

The quandry of tips

So at my job - we don't keep the tips. Every month we pick a different non-profit that they go to. I try to make them run the gambit: religious/not, buying animals, coffee related, NOLA rebuilding, soup kitchens, invisible children, etc. Most people are pleasantly surprised by this - our tip amount doesn't really change month to month (I find that interesting). Every once in awhile I get comments about our giving the tips away. Once a guy noticed the charity and said, "Finally, you've got a legitimate charity here." Um, every month they're legit.....

A couple weeks ago this younger (ie. my age!) guy comes in and as I am turned around making his drink he says, "So the altruistic bastard you work for doesn't even let your tips?" I wisely wanted to take a few moments to decide how to answer him. One of my thoughts was "this dude just called me a bastard AND somehow doesn't think it's possible that I'm the boss" Even though I have thought about this time and time again and have a pretty standard answer ("All of us who work here make a good living - we choose to share our tips with those who might not have as much"), I had no clue how to respond to this guy. So I turned around and said, "I made that decision and yes, we give our tips away."

As I was relaying this story to a friend he commented, "You know - Jesus was both altruistic AND a bastard." Well, when you put it that way - I guess the altruistic bastard I "work" for does challenge me to live on my more than enough wage without the tips and to give the rest away....

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I figured I would post this here for those of you who haven't seen it yet, these are the games I have been working on since I started at Merit .asp. I have worked a little on almost all of them. I am now mainly working on finishing up one game while consulting/working on another one that I had been a programmer on. Also my name is officially in the credits, so if you get the small chance of going to a place with one of our machines with the new software you will see Grant Shonkwiler :).
Other than work things are going great I went on a cooking frenzy today and have enough food to survive the next few days. I have also been very excited about how the Phillies are doing it is great being in a city so excited by their team, everywhere you look there is red. :) Well time to go back to reading things about my industry.

PS I learned yesterday that I am able to write off games on my taxes this year, Ha who would have thought. :p

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Spend October

Every year since I've been here some of the guys at church have observed "No Shave November". Sometimes it's just 2 people, sometimes more. We have hairy men by the end of the month.

Last week I read an article in Reader's Digest about a family who went a whole month without spending any money (with some exceptions for fresh produce).

Both of those events have prompted me to try for a No Spend October. I thought about November so it could be as cool as No Shave, but I don't think I can with the holidays approaching. There will be exceptions, the big one being that this is mostly no New spending (ie. I'll still pay off my student loan, my regular IRA amount, health insurance, internet, etc.). I will be allowed new spending for:
1. My dress that has been at the dry cleaner for 2 weeks, I don't want it to get donated while I'm not spending!
2. The box I was planning to send to Iraq
3. The piece of art I was in talks to buy before September ended.... and I will allow myself to be a piece at the Atlantic Antic, if I love it.
4. Hardware to finish "the" chair. I was almost finished repairing a chair and need 2 pieces to totally finish it so we can actually use it.
5. Fresh fruit/veggies. I will alot $20 per week that I can spend only at the Farmer's Market. If I don't make it to the market, I don't get to spend it.

It will be a month of sacrifice, but also a month of maybe some creativity. I currently have 6 books in my "to do" pile and plan to finish those. I have full cabinets (that I didn't stock beforehand, as I was out of town), so I'll have to be creative in how I cook & eat. I tell you reader maybe as a form of accountability. So here's to the beginning of the month!