Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ferris Wheel Scalper

We went to the fair, and  I had already bought my tickets in advance. I paid half price, because advance tickets were on sale.No waiting in long lines a the ticket booth! Score! It was 'dollar ride night' or 'one ticket a ride' night, because the tickets were one dollar a piece.

Simple, right?

Well, MY tickets are different, they are striped and printed on them is .50 because they were a special deal. The man at the giant slide handing out wool blankets explained to the girl taking tickets that the striped ones were some 'online deal' and they were good.

Every ride accepted them as one ticket. The Tilt-a-Whirl dude had no idea what special was going on, just took whatever you gave him. He looked at our tiny ticket squares - that's what they were this year - with amusement, and also like they were psychedelic. He was really nice, but I think he had just woken up. I had the feeling he'd probably let us on for a sandwich... but I digress. Just because I was frugal, didn't mean my tickets counted any differently.. until the ferris wheel.

I (and my son) get up there and the man says, "He needs to ride with you."

And I say, "Yeah, there's two tickets."  I give an encouraging smile.

"No ma'am, it's dollar ride night, these tickets are 50 cents. It costs a dollar."

Confused, I attempt to straighten him out. "I paid a dollar PER ticket, it's one ticket to ride."

"Look Ma'am, this says 50 cents. It's a dollar to ride." He shows me the ticket, where the .50 is printed clearly.

"These are ADVANCE tickets. Each ticket is WORTH a dollar. The lady said.."

"Well she told you wrong! Take it up with her! Go on." So I turned and ushered my son back down the entrance ramp.

"Fine." (I always have to have the last word, don't I?)

"Mom, we aren't going to ride the ferris wheel?"

"He kicked us off, he wanted two tickets instead of one."

The man watched me for a good 30 minutes after that. He was thinking I was chicken for not going to the office and complaining right then. He was thinking I had PLANNED to dupe him, that I was devious.

Hopefully, you people know me better than that.

While my post is mostly about a miscommunication in the terms "Dollar ride night" and "One ticket per ride night", I was reminded of this story (rant) by a link to this crazy policy in a New York restaurant.

After reading about the way the man was treated over some 'policy' (It's always easier to blame the system isn't it?) I was thinking of the daycare policy that made me leave the daycare.

The contract sets forth that parents who pay cash must pay the daycare provider during holidays and vacation days that they are closed and not working. I was not working either, and not getting paid, so I was unable to spend money I didn't have. I explained that I could pay her back over time, but that was a breach of contract. If they let me do that, then they had to let ALL the OTHER parents do it too. If I did not pay, and chose to withdraw my son, I could never return. I didn't.

Rather than accept a late payment by a parent who pays cash, they chose to fill that spot with a kid on assistance from the state, WHO DOESN'T PAY WHEN THE CHILD IS NOT IN ATTENDANCE. The state doesn't pay them for vacations, so why should I?

I get that a business needs to know it's costs and income, but partial payment is better than no payment. Even the state sometimes pays them late.

In this case, the anti-discriminatory policy discriminated against ME, the PAYING parent.

Policies are weird.

So are carnies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Deserve A Cookie! Extrensic Motivation

Oh how we bribe ourselves! Sweet, luscious treats for a job well done.

Something annoyingly trivial, mind-numbingly menial, repetitively monotonous? Give yourself a tasty morsel or a fun reward when you get through it!

It’s not every day that you do something offhand and get immense praise and gratitude for basically doing nothing at all. If life were like that, we’d all be self-righteous.

Of course, this self-rewarding thing can get out of hand: “Didja see that? I just picked up that litter and threw it away! I deserve a cookie!”

So to balance us, we need to remember to get through dinner first. If we don’t eat our dinner, we don’t get dessert.

That said, self-discipline is hard to master. Skipping to dessert is so much more fun, less time consuming, and it feels more rewarding. The short term happiness feels nice. But then we kick ourselves because the job is still not done, sometimes people are angry, and we may even have to do it the hard way or all over again, but now, the cookies are all gone.

And you can’t buy more.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Consumed By Dreams And Creativity

I've been so CONSUMED by thoughts of my potential job lately that I've lost sleep over it. I'd really like to know whether I have it so I can get on with my life!

Life has not stopped this summer while I have been planning for a job that might not turn out to be my future.

1. Since we have had a drought and record highs, I've been a good dog mommy, giving him a place to cool off.

I had him in the garage, but it was beginning to stink up the whole house, so as soon as it was cool enough, out to the pool he went!

Swimming has been huge this summer, both at home:

And away. 5 year old can swim without floatation devices in the shallow end. 9 year old is diving for sticks at the bottom of the deep end. :) I'm so proud!

2. We saved up and went to Holiday World this year, and spent 5 hours in the water park. Sorry, no pictures. I was swimming and sliding! It was just too much hassle to wrangle an expensive camera and the locker would have been too hot and wet for it.We also got to enjoy the Dive show. I felt like I was exposing my boys to some culture. :)

3. This week we will enjoy our local fair. I'm hoping to see two of my (potential) students there. They have horses entered in the Horse and Pony Show, which is going on today and tomorrow. I am going tomorrow (Monday), but much later than the show. I have already bought the ride tickets (at half price, woot!), so after we walk around in the heat and see all the animals, we will meet up with hubby and ride the carnival rides. This will conclude all summer activities we had planned. Then the month-long stretch until school begins August 14th.

4. We have been to the library twice to check out books. If the 5 year old 'reads' 13 books he will earn a new library tote bag and a frisbee. He said, "Hmm.We need a new frisbee," as if he were analyzing the potential of purchasing something expensive and weighing the pros and cons. If he'd had his little hand on his chin, it would have been perfect!

5. I have also managed to be creative, which always makes me feel better. I did some creative journaling, adding designs and pictures to quotes, worked on the counted cross-stitch I've had for 10 years, and wrote the beginning to a fabulous novel. 

I cleaned out my scrapbooking stuff, in the hopes of making more room, but instead I created more piles of projects! Then I contemplated getting out my special art supplies and showing the boys how to use them.

We did get out the modeling clay. The boys had a great time with it, even though we made a mess on my table cloth. It is vinyl, so it cleaned right up.

The more I do, the more I want to do. Summer is a great time to catch a creative bug!