Saving the environment and charity cons you fall for every day...

Way overdue on my follow up... unfortunately, I just got time for a short post (which turned into a long off topic rant)  been tied up with other stuff since the IP tournaments.  I'll explain later.  Now, I'm just going to bitch.  Hope I don't sound like a 99%er (cause I only agree minimally with a small portion of their complaints... like 1% of them). 

Anyway, todays rant is about rampant coporate greed and conning you by citing the environment or charity everyday and most people not even seeing it--three complaints:

1.  Starbucks doesn't issue receipts, locally.  Used to be they'd ask but the last few times now you have to ask.  Other stores are following their lead.  Yes, they are saving minimally a small portion of printing costs but it adds up with all their franchises.  They'll tell you they are saving trees.  Why this is bullshit.  Ever worked for minimum wage?  I have and of my co-workers probably 1 out of 4 would or did steal if they could get away with it.  That means shorting you on the change, stealing from the register eating on the job, drinking on the job whatever.

I go to Starsbucks and these barristers probably make a little more than minimum wage, and I give them my debit or credit card and you want me to feel comfortable with them just handing it back without a receipt.  I don't think so.  No offense, but user error (which they have plenty of) is enough to fat key a mistake, and hey, with no receipt you won't ever catch it.  Or maybe you will when you get your bill and then you got no proof you didn't order 10 drinks but just one... casue you don't have a receipt

Course, today when I requested my receipt they couldn't find it.  Or print one.  Or offer an alternative because they don't have official starbucks paper.  Is that even legal?

Why don't they give you a receipt?  The answer is to save money though they'll pitch it to you under the guise of saving the envirnoment.  Oh, I'm a bad person because I want to cut down more trees by asking for the receipt?  No, I just want to make sure you are doing your job right. 

Hell, sometimes your job pays you back for meals and expenses, you mean everybody that's in that spot like salesmen has to request a receipt?  And hope they can provide it.  On my taxes I take out expenses for work trips... if I don't use my credit card how else can I prove I drink $20 worth of Starbucks.  Bullshit.

If you put your faith in the company, fine, but perhaps they should share the savings of "helping the environment" or more accurately their bottom line.  Maybe it's less than a cent, well to incentivise a motive for you to help their cause give you a rewards point or something for every receipt not taken.

2.  Save the environment and don't wash your sheets when staying at hotel.  More aptly save our bottom line and laundry costs.  Same deal, if I don't get my sheets washed I should profit from being enviromental responsible not the hotel.  Put a deposit for whatever that cost is--even if it's one cent on the hotel room and give it back to me when I check out.  If you are going to put those tiresome signs making me feel like a bad guy because that 2 by 2 towel of yours can't get dry and I want a fresh one, you better give me an incentive that's not some transparent bullshit.  They don't care about the environment they care about their bottom line and are trying to con you.

3.  Ever been asked at check out, "Do you want to donate to my charity?" or even worse "How much do you want to donate to our charity today."  How about screw you, and how about this, I want to just buy an item without anybody asking me to donate to some bullshit charity I can't  research in the two minutes I'm at the register, and I want these corporations to stop training their employees to give me a guilt trip about it.  My wife and I give money to four or five charities, we've vetted, where most of the money goes to the casue and not the overhead, the bosses, or annoying fundraising mailers.  The Salvation Army being one.

Why are all these charities popping up at every counter?  Some corporate lawyer or accountant told them that they could collect the money and then get credit for donating it.  Yes, by donating your money and claiming it as their own, their taxes go down.   Their incentive is not to raise money for the charity but essentially for you to pay their taxes.  Nice scam huh.  Hey, readers I'm sending a check to United Way, just send me a check and I'll include it in a bigger one.  I'll also get to claim your money on my taxes.  Yes... so moral of the lesson is ttop paying for charities at the register.

My mother has pointed out well there is a greater good here, even if the business is being shady about it, because there is money raised for a charity that wouldn't normally be given.  People at checkout might never give to charity except in that spot.  I remind her, some of those business have just decided to use those register donations as their own.  So it cuts into the charity profit there.  Instead of donating 1 million of their own dollars, they donate 1 million of our dollars.  Used to be there would be 1 million for them and whatever else we gave.  Now their is just 1 million.  So, there is a loss there.  If everybody would have given anyway (which isn't true but just for example's sake) you've  essentially halved the charity proceeds (2 million becomes 1).  There are folks who don't cut checks to charities any more because they always give at the register.  Sure, one or two people who never give may be guilted into giving but not enough to overcome the other monies.

Then... you have to trust the guy at the register, the guy he gives the money to, the guy he gives the money to, all the way through the chain to get it to the charity without them taking some off the top.  I remember the shady folks I worked with and I don't want a jar of money sitting in front of them especially next to their tip jar.   No... give directly people.  Stop letting the corporations con you.

Obviously, there are some great charities and some great corporations.  Some match whatever is raised...  For those that do... Please donate.  Though don't feel compelled to because it's double the money... usually there is a cap on the matching and it's a number they easily reach.  And remember they are still claiming your donations as theirs.

Still, being aware that companies match is helpful.  Next time you are given the guilt trip at the register ask if the corporation is matching.  And I've yet, to hear an affirmative (either it's ill informed employees or everybody's scamming us in the name of charity... though I know some genuinely match).  If the answer is no or no idea, then cite that as a reason not to give and return the guilt trip five fold.  One clerk told me they don't match but they gave $500,000 last year.  I corrected him... no their customers gave $500,000 and they got a $500,000 charity donation on their taxes. 

If they do match then make your choice.  I advise only donating if you buy using a credit card or electronically as nobody has the chance to get frisky with the pot so to speak before it gets to the right place.  I'd also advise not donating when asked, going home looking up the charity to see what percentage of the money is actually going to the people in need and getting it double the next time you come back if you think it's a reasonable amount.

Wow... so much longer than I thought it would be.... 

**By the way, I found that Humane Image on the internet I have no idea if that is true, so look it up for yourself if you donate.  But it is appropriate considering how many "charites" gobble up your donations on salaries and things unrelated to the areas you want to help.

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