Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The limitations on loyal shopping...

So recently I purchased a shotgun so that I could teach my 12 year old daughter how to shoot. We have already covered firearm safety with the .22 pistol, so I thought that in addition to the .22 rifle I would get a manageable shotgun as well.

I decided on a 20 gauge, and since I prefer to support local business, I went with a nearby gun shop that a friend works at. I also went ahead and checked the other stores in the area (both big box and local gun stores) to check pricing and customer service. Two of the gun stores did not get my business because of the attitude when we walked in, as well as the pricing on their firearms. The attitude was the bigger issue for me.  The big box stores was a disappointment mainly because I live in the bay area. Most don't carry firearms anymore, and those that do have poor selection.

The purchase of the shotgun went well (as well as can be expected in California) with a small paperwork snafu at the pickup time.  This was mainly due to someone not putting the forms in the correct file when I completed them at the time of purchase.  But all was well in the end.

However, I recently went to visit family in Oregon and out of curiosity looked at the prices at the local Wal-Mart.  I was both happy and disappointed to see the prices and selection in the case.  I could have gotten a similar shotgun for a C-Note less.  Ok, I understand that it is a different state, different economic area, etc…  I consoled myself by picking up a box of 100 shotgun shells for substantially less than I can buy them at home.  Still, it irked me.

Then, while cruising the big box located 20 miles from home, I noticed that they actually had firearms as well.  And they were priced well.  20 miles could have saved me $75. 

All this brings me back to the title of my post.  I want to support my friend’s employer.  I like supporting local firearms stores, since there are too few in the bay area as is.  However, they have most of their product as “I can have it here by the time the waiting period is complete”.  And, in this case, I ended up with a color that was not what was originally requested (my wife hates RealTree, and that is what we now have) due to supplier issues.  I want to support the local gun store, but I can’t.  Money is too tight.  The extra money spent was a couple cases of clays and the range fees.  I don’t have the money to spend on loyalty like that.  It sucks, but then reality can be like that.

Journalism at it's finest...

I was amazed that The BBC News managed to keep the death of Amy Winehouse in slightly smaller print that the tradgedy in Norway.  Now that the autopsy results are out, I am amazed that the media is managing to keep it just below the "not a war" in Libya. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Other people's money...

My company finally came through on training budget to send me to technical classes.  Every quarter for the last five years they would tell us "let us know what classes you would like to take, we set budget aside for it".  Then when we select classes and notify them we get the "ooh, we don't have the budget for that this quarter".  It became an entertaining game and running joke within our group. 

Well, they fiinally came through and I got to go to a training class for Windows 7.  The training facility was really nice and the teacher was excellent.  What amazed me was that several people didn't show up for the class.  The cost for the class was approaching $3000, which I can tell you I personally don't have.  And the cost is non-refundable, so either way the money is gone.  But even though it was not my money, I can't comprehend blowing off 3K of my employer's money.  I look at this like it is my money.  One of my co workers attended with me and he was less than attentive, repeatedly late and generally acted like he had something better to do with his time.  Now, since I was directly asked how his attendance and performance was in class, I can guarantee that he will not be getting another class paid for byt he company.  Normally I would resist this, but since he did the same thing during an office move in another state and left people hanging, I don't feel bad.  Every class that he screws off in is a class that I can't attend because money was wasted on him.  Even though its not my money, I still respect that it should be used wisely.  I guess there is no accounting for some people's children...