A chip off the olé otle
I received a $25 gift card to Chipotle Mexican Grill for a birthday gift. Now I don’t know Chipotle from a hole in the ground but, ostensibly, it still seemed like a reasonable gift. I knew it was a chain restaurant of some sort so I figured I’d get a meal of out the deal.
At the time we’d been in the big city for six months. I had never seen a Chipotle. Luckily, a check of the internet maps revealed there were nine to choose from within a 10-mile radius. We chose the closest and embarked on a big city adventure.
The adventure really took off in the parking lot. It was tinier than a postage stamp’s sphincter and, wisely, allowed cars to enter from both directions at the same time. So I was in a really good mood by the time we entered the eatery. (I will deliberately eschew the word “restaurant” for the remainder of this review.)
Although we waited for a space, a car pulled in and assumed it was theirs, not knowing that we had waited six hours. It was an honest mistake but the angry look on the dude’s face did make for awkward times a few minutes later when they stood six inches behind us in the line.
That brings me to the next feature of this diner: The Line. We walked into the place and the most prominent feature, the thing that really captured your attention was the humans in a queue. I looked at my wife. She looked at me. We shrugged and said the same thing. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”
All in all not a bad first experience.
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An offer you can’t refuse
How do most people handle “invitations” from the boss for company events on your off-duty time?
The word “invitations” is quoted above, of course, because when my boss is involved, the matter might be phrased in such a way that attendance seems to be optional but really it’s not.
You … will … be … there. Or else.
My boss has a long history of making off-duty invitations that had better not be ignored. As always what he wants is of paramount importance.
One time he wanted an office Christmas party – on fucking Dec. 24th of all things – and he only provided a few days of notice! I told him – surprise surprise – that I already had plans with my family that afternoon. I wasn’t even lying. Imagine that! Families having plans on Christmas Eve? Who could ever foresee something like that! If only there was a way!
Long story short, we played a cat and mouse game that ended with him threatening my Christmas “bonus” if I didn’t attend. He flat out told me, “If you don’t go, you don’t get a bonus.”
I said, “Then that is the way it shall be, since I still got these plans, yo.”
That says a lot, doesn’t it? “I’m your employee. I won’t spend Christmas with you at your little tea party even if my yearly bonus hangs in the balance. Merry Go To Hell! Ho ho ho.”
As we all know, he turned every screw in his arsenal against me and I eventually capitulated – thus earning myself a legendary $50 gift card to Wal-Mart. Oh poop.
Another time it was an employee potluck on fight night. Yes, the boss just loves him some pugilistic delights. He does all the pay-per-view bullshit and will jizz in his pants over humans hurting each other. Again we respectfully declined, mainly because we don’t like hanging with the boss, our free time is precious to us, and we don’t fucking enjoy his sort of “entertainment.”
If you truly care about someone and invite them to an activity, you do so because you want to be nice and do something nice for them. It’s not about control and getting what you want. In that scenario when someone graciously declines you accept it without complaint. You might feel disappointed but you would probably recognize the fact that other people are human beings and not your personal Barbie and Ken dolls to play with.
Of course my boss doesn’t care, doesn’t see things that way, and is all about the control and squeals like a stuck pig until he gets his way. No matter the cost. You will show your neck to him for him to rip out with his bare teeth.
So that brings us to present day…
All of the employees have been “invited” to a “celebration” at a company dinner. It turns out that myself and one other employee have been with the company for five goat-fucking years. And that is something of significance that demands recognition – in the form of more torture during our off duty hours. Things that I would really appreciate, like a cash bonus, a paid day of, or even a gold Casio, are, of course, completely out of the question.
Incidentally that other employee threatened to quit today and un-RSVP from the party! LOLOL! Yeah, you might say morale is low around here. I plan to publish the results of my special employee job satisfaction survey soon. I’ll probably be done gathering data by tomorrow.
Anyway, I was studying the “invitation” and realized it just reeked of my boss’s special control stylings.Things like:
- NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES.
- RSVP is required for reservation.
- RSVP ASAP
Sounds like something fun is in the horizon, eh??? 🙂
“Yes, boss! Right away, boss. Thank you, boss. May I have another, boss?”
Oh, and the kicker? They’ve picked the local shithole disgusting restaurant for this little shindig! Yep, someplace I really don’t care for at all. It’ll be a low-brow festival of pain and hog wallerin’. As usual it never occurs to him to think about what someone else might want and enjoy. Just decide for them. They’re probably too stupid to know, anyway. Thank God boss-man is here to save the day!
Maybe if I live through it and not kill anyone I’ll be able to report back later on how it went…
Walmart gift card is so lame – why steal one?
Women Stole Giftcard from 9 yr-old, Publicly Humiliated
If you want a Walmart gift card so bad, you can have mine. 🙂
Have yourself a very taxing Christmas
A previous post I wrote where I bitched, moaned, sniveled, whined, griped and complained about receiving a Walmart gift card instead of a Christmas bonus raised a question:
Did my boss select a gift card instead of cash or a real bonus to gain some sort of advantage on his taxes?
I did a bit of quick checking and, as far as I can tell, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Don’t worry, he’s still evil. But apparently that evil didn’t come into play … this time!
What I learned is that the IRS treats cash and gift cards exactly the same. The gross amount for both types of gifts must be reported by your employer to the IRS as “compensation.”
A gift certificate to a local restaurant would be taxable. Taking employees out to dinner at that same restaurant, on the other hand, would still be considered “non-taxable.”
Small gifts, like a Christmas turkey or a fruit basket, may be considered de minimis by the IRS and not subject to reporting as compensation.
For me the issue isn’t one of taxation. It’s that I’ve taken on a ton of additional responsibilities in the last 12 months and I’ve come through time and time again for the team. As such a $50 gift card to a store I don’t like feels more like an insult rather than a reward.
This post is based on information I found on this page on Law.com.
Edit: I just realized this post doesn’t address the main point that was intended. D’oh! Sometimes I’m freakin’ dumb. I guess I still don’t know what approach offers the best tax deductions for the company. So maybe that did still play some sort of role. Who knows? At this point I am so beyond caring.
Ghost of Christmas Past: Walmart Redeux
Back in 1993 I wrote about my trip to Walmart after my previous employer gave me the ever-so thoughtful gift of a $50 Walmart card in lieu of a Christmas bonus. (I since reposted that bit of text on this new blog.)
As John McLane is wont to say, “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean? I mean, I know we’re dummies up here, McClane, so give us a little taste of your brilliant genius! I mean, you talking about a hijacking, a robbery or what?”
“Somebody’s about to seriously fuck with this employee!”
Ho ho ho. Merry Christmas. Yep, it happened again. The Ghost of Christmas Past dropped by and had a little bit of holiday cheer for me. A $50 Walmart gift card. Oh noes, not again!
At the Christmas party, Mrs. Abyss was in attendance and is an eyewitness, our manager explained we were lucky to have our jobs and we were also lucky that hours hadn’t been cut, right before giving us the gift of a Walmart card. Like I told Mrs. Abyss, even a $50 Walmart card is better than nothing or a kick in the face. But all in all it mostly just offended us.
Why a gift card? Why not a nice crisp $50 bill that we can spend and use any way we want? Why tie the strings on our “gift?” I fucking hate gift cards. And it’s for a store I fucking hate. How … thoughtful.
So I found myself at the local Walmart. No, unlike before, I won’t turn it into a short story. I’ll just concisely say that I picked up two bags of cat food, a container of kitty litter and a bottle of Pine Sol. As I loaded up on these “gifts” I’m sure that nearby shoppers could pick up the sound of me singing my favorite holiday refrain: “Merry Christmas to me.“
I’m a winner!
Wow. Are things going my way or what?
First I received a $20 gift card to Starbucks from my mom. It’s the thought that counts, right? Even though I’m not that into coffee and the nearest Starbucks is 30 miles away.
So I decided to take Mrs. Abyss on the trip and make a date out of it. (The gory details of that excursion are documented here.)
While there the “barista” talked me into getting a 12-pack of Starbuck’s “VIA” instant coffee. Two fancy trendy coffee drinks and some instant coffee – POOF! My gift card was shot.
The “barista” also talked me into entering their contest. I normally don’t fall for that, but this time, what the hell. I gave in. Lo’ and behold, a week later I get a phone call and I was informed I had won a prize! Woot. That never happens to me. But, like an idiot I failed to ask what I had won.
So we make the 30 mile trip to get the “prize.” Can you guess? Yep, it was three individual packets of VIA. A retail value of about $2 bucks. I figure I spent about four times that amount on gas so my prize cost me about $6. 🙂
Today at the grocery store, though, I actually won a real price. The checker asked my name and then broadcast on the store’s PA system, “Congratulations to Tom who just won $20.” I was so stunned I voided by bowels. (Woot for the “poop” tag.)
Lastly, an honorable mention for site traffic yesterday. My “Sarah Palin is a liar” post got hit by a troll and I set a new all-time traffic record. In fact, my previous record was tripled in a single day. Something seems askew with that. I think WordPress must be counting “views” as multiple visits from the same two people who were bantering in that post. Apparently visitors are not tracked by “sessions” so repeat visits keep adding up on my little stats graph. Still, I’ll take it and call it a “mini-win.”
Woot. Look at me. I’m a winner!