Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Prime example

I don't usually feel terribly comfortable taking advantage of Microsoft employee discounts at local businesses. There are a lot of these, and employees and their spouses carry around a "Prime card" to identify themselves as such. I can get 10% off at the salon, or buy one entrée get one free at the restaurant. But it just feels weird. It's some physical reminder that I'm getting paid more than the person accepting the card, and that's unpleasant.

But in the end, it's just business. There are tens of thousands of Microsoft employees in the area. We talk, we email, and there's a lot of word of mouth that goes on. Any little thing to get more Microsoft employees to come to your establishment is very good for business.

11 comments:

ianonymous said...

Good Lord: you're on a real roll today.

I think that it is pretty presumptuous to assume that you, as an MS employee, are paid more than someone in the service industry. If you were handing that little card of yours to the owner of that salon I suspect they could take it with no shame, realizing that they likely make more than you do ... that is, if they even gave a shit about something like that in the first place.

Louise said...

Ianonymous - jeez you are bitter!

Travis, you and I have talked about the Prime card before. Trust me, the companies involved in the program are not getting the shaft at all.

ianonymous said...

unpleasant? sure. I don't know about bitter. I'm just bothered by emphatic, "no room for any other possibilities", "you can't teach me anything", "I'm god ..." type statements. Everyone clearly knows that only Larry Ellison and I are ever confused with God and I just like to chide my good friend Spomey about it ... even if he doesn't think of me as his good friend Ian.

Truthfully, it is all in good fun. If I thought he lost any sleep over it I would stop.

Luke said...

I wouldn't feel guilty about making more money than someone else. They get paid doing what they choose to do, making an amount according to how in demand they are.

Really, how much money someone makes doesn't really tell you much about the person.

Is that forklift operator in St. Louis just some guy or the next president of France?

Louise said...

Yeah - I will give you unpleasant. I guess the problem I am having is that this is Travis' blog, therefore it is his opinions. I hardly see Travis as being egotistical enough to apply statements like the ones you made towards him (are we even talking about the same person here??) We are all allowed our opinions (just like you are allowed to believe that you can be confused with God) I'm sure no one is losing any sleep over any comments made.

Travis said...

Oh, I know that the companies involved are not getting the shaft. I don't feel bad for the companies. Heck, I don't feel bad for the people who work there.

I'm sure that an owner or a manager of a salon makes more than I do. But I'm not handing the card to them, I'm handing it to the person who cuts my hair at a place that charges $14 - 10% for the cut. I don't think that they make more than I do. If they do, perhaps I should ask for an application next time my head gets furry. Now, restaurant waitstaff tend to make some pretty decent money. I guess that I'm pretty uncomfortable taking advantage of discounts at all, even back before I worked at MS, when I was considerably poorer. I don't know what's wrong with me.

I think you misinterpret my intensely negative opinion of Elbaum as a professor, a few selected posts on a blog that is quite obviously dedicated to all things me, and my natural tendency to defend myself and get into pointless discussions, as some air of intellectual superiority. I just don't think it's there.

Travis said...

On a side note, it's interesting that so many posts that make me look like a jerk came up in a row. I just have a tab in a OneNote file where I list things that I should blog about someday, added since I started this thing. Since I'm on vacation and had some spare time, I just picked a bunch of them at random and wrote about them. It's just weird coincidence which ones came up.

What does it say about you when a random selection of topics that were at one point interesting all make you look like jerk?

Louise said...

I just made the comment about no one is getting the shaft, because I had a hard time at first with the idea of the discount...especially when going to the Seattle Aquarium, the Woodlin Park Zoo, or the Pacific Science Center. I felt better about it when I realized that these places get big donations from the company.

stolee said...

If you're so worried about stealing money from people, why don't you tip the difference, or even half of it? That way, you still save money and no one is at a loss for it.

By "no one" I mean anyone other than those who offered the deal, be it the salon owner or Microsoft itself.

Travis said...

I usually increase the tip by the discount when it's something small like 10%, or a portion when it's something more like 40%.

Louise said...

We usually just tip off of the original bill (when eating at a place that offers the discount). Never used the discount for hair or anything like that.