Boston Pizza

Fall is here which means hockey. I’m not a huge fan but I do love the game. It’s not about the puck, lines on the ice or even the net; it’s the several times a year my brother and our friend partake in a live game. It could be basketball, tennis or fencing but for me it is an excursion in friendship.

The first London Knights game they took me to was on a weekend pass from the forensic hospital I lived in. I don’t think that memory will ever leave me. For 3 hours I was not unique, I was one of 10 000 fans. Priceless!

On the topic of value and as a direct result of a home team loss I have some observations to share. My first question is who does a colour blind person cheer for in these instances? None of the players are truly local so a person could cheer for either side with as much intimacy. It is basically a matter of a jersey colour that defines allegiance and affection. It would make more sense to cheer for the fans themselves who actually live in the city. I’m not sure why people choose teams to root for and I don’t know if I’m weird but I often cheer for the other team at first just to make things interesting. If it has to do with proximity I’m no more mad than anyone else.

My next question is why does a beer in the arena cost 5 times as much as the ones I drag home myself and up two flights of stairs? With a tip it cost more for three beers than it would for a case of 24.

My main question is why a business that is clearly gouging me and my friends has to have a cup for the poor bartender to receive tips? Should I have to pay for your Mercedes and the help you hire? Tipping confuses me. Being gluttons for punishment or simply gluttons we walked across the road from the arena to see how far our dollars stretched there for a beer. It wasn’t much better. We paid with a stack of 5 dollar bills and were returned with over seven dollars in coins. Hint, hint. If the waitress had a degree of honesty she would have returned one of the 5 dollar bills and mentioned that we had overpaid. Instead she trolled for as much of the remnants as she could expecting coins to be easier to part with than a bank bill.

I realize it is my choice to stay home from these occasions and that I should be thankful I am able to partake in such luxuries but why should going out on the town mean I have to have a psychological wrestling match with my server? Employers could and should pay a proper wage. For me a tip is an excuse to overcharge, make useless calculations and rationalize the more or less of an evening or moment I simply want to enjoy. Often I am left with a full belly and some sense of indignation or guilt for not leaving some defined or acceptable amount of tip.

Shouldn’t I just be able to enjoy my meal or drink and not have to analyze a person’s performance or the timing of their service which may be more in the control of the employer than the employee? Why should every dining experience be an employee performance review? Shouldn’t the employer be doing that before, after and during? If it is my responsibility I should to be compensated for it; give me the tip; no? It all becomes indigestion and a silly pastime employers themselves could and should solve.

Why should it be my responsibility to reward or punish your employees? I’m only there to enjoy the experience but instead I’m backed into a corner of calculations, judgement and mental maneuvering where I am forced to decide if your pimped out, overworked and underpaid employee is worthy of whatever spare change I have or they decide to divide my bills into. Maybe it would be simpler to have a donation box at the entrance of each establishment so I can subsidize the greed of the restaurant industry without thought. That at least would be unbiased.

McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s employees are run off their feet for minimum wage but I am not expected to subsidize their incomplete remuneration. If someone can’t make a profit from selling 10 000 beverages at ten dollars with an investment of two, they can only be an idiot or a capitalist pig.

There are hundreds of occupations where people are paid minimum wage but the food and beverage industry wants public subsidies. This habit leads me to believe people like Jim Treliving who owns Boston Pizza is just scraping by. The truth is Jim Treliving is scraping you and me and his employees. Would you like an appetizer with that?

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