Posts tagged “budget”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Ont. parents suspect Wi-Fi making kids sick [] – ["Proving" something is causing health problems is tough; but our willingness to believe with full certainty is powerful. We see this perception as a barrier to adoption in many categories of products and services.] A group of central Ontario parents is demanding their children's schools turn off wireless internet before they head back to school next month, fearing the technology is making the kids sick. Some parents in the Barrie, Ont., area say their children are showing a host of symptoms, ranging from headaches to dizziness and nausea and even racing heart rates. They believe the Wi-Fi setup in their kids' elementary schools may be the problem. The symptoms, which also include memory loss, trouble concentrating, skin rashes, hyperactivity, night sweats and insomnia, have been reported in 14 Ontario schools in Barrie, Bradford, Collingwood, Orillia and Wasaga Beach since the board decided to go wireless, Palmer said. "These kids are getting sick at school but not at home," he said.
  • [from steve_portigal] Budgets Tight, School Supply Lists Go Beyond Glue Sticks [] – [A cultural reframe moment; retail is there] Schools across the country are beginning the new school year with shrinking budgets and outsize demands for basic supplies. On the list for pre-kindergartners at McClendon Elementary in Nevada, TX.: a package of cotton balls, two containers of facial tissue, rolls of paper towels, sheaves of manila and construction paper, and a package of paper sandwich bags.Retailers are rushing to cash in by expanding the back-to-school category like never before.Now some back-to-school aisles are almost becoming janitorial-supply destinations as multipacks of paper towels, cleaning spray and hand sanitizer are crammed alongside pens, notepads and backpacks. OfficeMax is featuring items like Clorox wipes in its school displays and is running two-for-one specials on cleaners like gum remover and disinfectant spray. Office Depot has added paper towels and hand sanitizer to its back-to-school aisles. Staples’ school fliers show reams of copy paper on sale.

Lame Budget practice

I rented a car from Budget earlier this week. I probably won’t do so again. They have a new practice, presented as a time-saving feature. If you drive less than 75 miles, they add $9.00 to your bill as a flat rate for gas consumption.

If you filled up yourself, present the bill and they’ll deduct the amount.

I didn’t pay that close attention upon renting when they asked me in their script-like manner if I planned to drive more than 75 miles. I mean, who the hell knows? I didn’t realize until checking the paperwork later that it wasn’t an optional program. I guess I could have used the odometer in the car to track my mileage to see what was going to happen, and then do some estimating math to see if the price of gas available locally at the car’s typical MPG would be more or less than $9.00. But I didn’t. I filled up the car myself, and remembered to have the receipt handy.

When I pull in to the return and am unloading the car, the usual parking-lot-Borg comes over with all their electronic gear, and when I ask about the charge, they tell me I have to go inside. So they ring me up, effectively charge me the amount including the $9 and then I have to take my bags back inside and wait for the one employee working inside to look over my receipts (one for gas, one for their service) and issue me a new version of the latter.

This is not a time- or money-saving feature for me. It probably makes money for them based on some estimated cut-off level, etc.

It’s not optional; I’m forced to alter a fairly traditional way of managing things to suit them. I’m not doing it. I’ll go somewhere else. It’s pretty much a commodity business anyway.


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