Sunday, January 22, 2006

Socks To Be You

Well, I had a rather amusing end to my evening running the club tonight. After we had everything cleaned up and all the staff were sitting around having a beverage after work, someone started banging at the side door. One of the staff opened it, to see what the commotion was about, and one of our best customers walked in.

In boxers. Nothing else. For those of you from around the globe, this is January in Canada and it is not exactly the best time of year to be wearing nothing but boxers.

Apparently, the gentleman in question had offended his girlfriend somehow. This was not surprising to us, after listening to his alcohol-induced speech impediment for about thirty seconds. The lad was sloshed, and in Olympian proportions. The fine young lady whom he dates had apparently been unimpressed by his level of intoxication, and fired him out into the streets at 2am, sans pants. Nor shirt. Nor socks or shoes. And locked the door behind him to prevent re-entry, just to make sure the message got through.

I was humbled and flattered that in his alcoholic haze he decided that our Pub was his best refuge, but after video taping his antics for a few minutes, I paid for his cab and sent him on his way, wearing my own socks. Shelley just bought me new sneakers, so I couldn't quite part with those.

I've never given my socks to a customer before, no matter how significant the time of distress. Let me just say, however, that tonight it was "well worth the price of admission."

Zach, I'm having a big fat Jack Daniels and Coke right now. A great big cheers to you - customer of the month!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Scotiabank Visa Problems

Today I became extremely frustrated with Scotiabank and Visa. The problem stemmed from the fact that I was trying to buy a large liquor order (for the club) from our local liquor store. The card (which was not anywhere close to being over its limit) was declined and the machine suggested that the clerk needed to call Visa to obtain authorization for the transaction.

The problem was that this was the fourth time in three weeks that this has happened. Each time, it took half an hour on the phone, several transfers to other departments (about five), and a lot of explaining from me as to why I spend several thousand dollars per week on booze. It apparently doesn't matter that I have been running the club for about fifteen years, that I always buy my alcohol from the same merchant, and that I have had my Visa (a gold card) even longer than that. And apparently it doesn't matter that I keep doing the same thing, week after week.

Today's "customer service" rep suggested that I should go down to my local bank branch and get them to "put a VIP flag" on my card. When I replied that I had been told the same thing each of the last two weeks, and had done exactly as suggested with no apparent success, the telephone representative was less than forgiving. I refused to go back down to my branch for a third time, so I made a suggestion at this point myself, something along the lines of indicating my willingness to cut up my card and switch to a Bank of Montreal mastercard.

Perhaps the allure of talking to a man who spends $150,000 per year on alcohol tempered her subsequent reactions, because after I gave her the phone number of my branch and a couple names of people to talk to there, she said that she'd see what she could do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that they have security procedures in place so that if someone steals my card, they aren't likely to be able to rack up a whole lot of purchases on my account. However, I'm curious to see what will happen next time I try to ring through a pallet of beer. I am fully confident that it will be declined, and the liquor store clerks will immediately go postal on the debit machine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My New Blog ... and Robert Schumann

So here we are, I now have a blog. I have thought about putting one of these together for a long time, mostly just so I could occasionally vent my frustrations about idiocy that I encounter in daily life. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of it these days.

You may wonder what the title ("talent works, genuis creates") refers to. It's a quote by Robert Schumann, a German composer who lived from 1810-1856. One of his more memorable quotes was, "I have arrived at the conviction that with work, patience, and a good teacher, I would be able, within six years, to surpass any pianist. Besides... I have an imagination and perhaps a skill for the individual work of creation." I like his attitude. I think that a person can do just about anything if he or she puts their mind to it.

Here we go ...


Edited, November 18th, 2006: I just changed the title to, "From the Ridiculous to the Sublime," which is loosely based on a quote by Napoleon Bonaparte, and more directly based upon my life, in a nutshell.  Sorry Robert.