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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Popcorn and a drink - $12.50? [OUTRAGEOUS concession prices at theaters and elsewhere!]

I estimate a family of four will spend $60 to take their kids to see a matinee. Call your local theater and tell them that you are tired of their gouging for refreshments. Enough is enough!
Really hollywood 4 text

Sherry and I went to a matinee last Friday, and on top of the $6.75 matinee ticket price,  Hollywood Theaters in Columbia Missouri charged me $12.50 for a large popcorn and drink. I figure their cost at about 50 cents for both - MAX!

Theaters have extremely low staffing costs because most of the employees are part-time school kids and get no insurance or benefits. So why have theaters and sports venues historically been able to gouge 10 X the usual price for food, candy and refreshments?

At my university, when they host the state high-school basketball (and all other events), they have people at the entries that search every camera bag, purse and container that paying patrons bring in. When I asked what they were looking for, they said "contraband, it's for security reasons."

Just a peek ma'am, for security reasons - It's just wrong.

As I stood to the side and watched, I saw them make a woman throw a small bag of peanuts and a candy bar from her purse into a waiting trash container before they would let her in. How embarrassing - for them, not her. I feel much more secure knowing someone won't blow me up with an explosive candy bar. In fact, it is blatant protection of the vendors' ability to overcharge for their wares.

A good solution would be to charge a reasonable price for refreshments so everyone can enjoy them, and sell a few more to make up for it. Tell your local theaters and venues that enough is enough. I sent Hollywood theaters an email telling them that I will skip the next 3 good movies there, make my own popcorn and drinks and rent the DVD in a few weeks. It'll cost me $5 instead of $30 for us to see the movie in the comfort of our home. Maybe we should all do the same for awhile and let the theaters stew a little.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yes, I admit it - I have a clogged drain.

So, being a fan of craigslist, I put an ad in for someone to run a snake down there and root it out. I have had 3 responses. The first one wanted to do the work, but flaked out on 2 appointments, not even calling for one of them. I kind of expect that from craigslist postings; about 1 in 4 are unreliable.

The second two were more interesting. They both said that they wanted $125 or $150 to show up at the door and that maybe they could do the job for $150. My response was that I would pay $150 cash when the sink worked, Both had some lame lament about them coming all that way (20 miles) and not getting anything for it. I said that life's a gamble and since I was paying $150 for maybe an hour's work that I should expect a firm commitment to a positive outcome for my money. They then became uninterested in the job. In other words, they were looking for a sure-thing payday whether or not they got the drain cleared!

I spent 20 years working as an electrician.  I never charged a client anything if I could not perform the work they required - ever. I think it is an unethical act to show up, get money, drag out your tools and fritter around a bit and then say "jeez, I'm sorry but it'll cost twice what you payed to actually fix the problem," or give some other lame excuse for not doing what you were paid for. Charging for a service call without satisfactorily completing the service is just plain wrong. Anyone got a plumbing snake and want to make $150?