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And now what did you do TODAY?


morphsci
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One of the kids knocked over a floor lamp a few years ago and the CF bulb in it smashed into a hundred pieces. So, no more CF bulb in any socket remotely reachable by kids.

They seem to be ok.

The third eye that developed on their foreheads has receded and is hardly noticeable any more! ;)

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The third eye that developed on their foreheads has receded and is hardly noticeable any more! ;)

 

 

LOL

 

Have you eaten any tuna lately? A lot more bioavailable mercury in tuna.

 

Well, I don't eat tuna or any other seafood but that is just cuz I don't likey... not because of the mercury.  

 

If I start saying really weird stuff, you can blame it on [Freddy] Mercury.  

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"Dear Erick,

 

Look, I understand that this is what you do -- you get people to contribute, while keeping your costs down.  And I can see why from our exchange how it is that you're very good at what you do.  But you have to realize that this is what I do.  There is a lot involved -- I have to plan when in the year to start growing my beard out, and when to start bleaching it in such a way that it will still grow out the next year, for example.  And I have been doing this for years.  I have become very good at what I do.  There are a very few events that I will do at cost, and fewer yet that I will do for free.  And even in many of the cases where I choose to do it for free, I am still offered compensation which I refuse (for my own personal reasons), or I am implicitly offered an exchange of goods or services which is always appreciated.  Which of these and for why is none of anyone else's business but mine.  But I will mention that they are very few and for very personal reasons.

 

For future reference, it is only polite to offer to pay costs.  I realize your event may have started small -- more like a pot luck party where there is no hired help, everyone contributes in some way or another, but it has gotten big enough that it should be managed like a business.  And once it got to that point, you need to separate your contributors from the hired help.  You wouldn't ask the caterers to bring the food for free, would you?  Such as it is with me.  And a little advance notice is also in line with running this professionally as a charity.

 

Even then, don't expect anyone else to do this at cost on an annual basis.  If you want to elevate this to the next level, then please learn to manage your costs.

 

Sincerely,

Wayne aka the Santa Claus"

 

Erick == Entitled RICh Kid.

Wayne == keep things personal

the Santa Claus == remind him this is your profession

I'm just seeing this post now. You've actually hit on many of the key issues. It's almost like you know this guy! I just didn't appreciate the way he tried to manipulate me. Treat me like an adult, dude. Call, or send an email that says, "Listen, we're in a bind, and would really appreciate it if you could help. Unfortunately, there's no money left in the budget this year, so if it's too much to ask, I'd totally understand. One way or another, we'll figure something out, but I thought it was worth a shot to try you first." Boom. I'm there. Done. As I think about it, he didn't really have to ask what my fees would normally be, nor did he have to offer to pay me out of his own pocket. He just needed to treat me like an adult, and not try to guilt me into it.

The thing is, I've kind of "asked for it" (if you will), because I did the Santa thing either entirely for free or for a small fee that was donated directly to a designated charity for 10 years or more. It's a small community, so word gets out. I think his assumption was that I was still doing it strictly for charitable purposes, and thus I probably would be happy to help his charity of choice... and his business publicity event... as well.

In reality, that assumption on his part it still somewhat true. Last year, I did 66 events, 17 of which were for free (various community events to support children from poor families, events for the elderly, mentally challenged, etc.), and another 10 or more that were discounted heavily -- schools and preschools mostly -- or to visit a single mom with 4 kids working at Subway who can't afford to spend $25 for pics at one of my public events.

But that still left quite a few corporate and family events that I was well paid for. Subtracting all of the costs involved for last year (wardrobe, accessories, 150 pounds of candy and many other giveaway items, dry cleaning, etc.), I might have come out $1,000 ahead. Then I bought a $2,700 TV for a good friend of mine from back home who had a brain aneurysm 14 years ago and now is 3/4 paralyzed and lives in his mother's and step-father's living room. It's not easy on any of them in any way, and especially not on Ken. Insurance only does so much, and they spend over $40k per year for a full time live in care taker. About all he has for entertainment is a TV, and the old one had been on the fritz for a long time.

Anyway, I had no idea that I was going to do that. The mood just struck one day, so I called his mom and asked, "Santa wants to get Ken something for Christmas. What does he really need?" She said, "Nothing really... he's Ok." Then with a bit of coaxing, I got her to talk, and it really bothered her that they couldn't afford any of the "extra" stuff. So that was that. I researched it and got him a top of the line 55" Sony LCD LED, which was much better than plasmas in low light conditions. Can't expect them to live in the dark during the day for sake of his TV viewing. Done. He's a avid sports fan, and absolutely loves his new TV. He still doesn't have a clue where it came from.

Santa did that. Not me, just the Santa in me. I know that I'll spend whatever money I make beyond my costs in one way or another to help someone in need. I just don't know how or why until something hits me. Several years ago, Santa gave $5,000 ($6,000 in US terms) worth of roofing materials to a family who had survived Hurricane Ivan fairly well but then had a fire caused by an electrical fault that burned the roof off of their house. Concrete block construction, so the walls still stood, but everything else was charred. They had all sorts of people willing to provide the labor, but no money for the materials. Then one day a truck pulled up, and there it was. I've never met these people, don't know their names, or even where they live. I just heard about this young family with 3 little kids from a trusted friend who does social work, and went to the lumber yard with her and their materials list in hand.

To me, that's what Santa is all about. I get enough out of it just being there with the kids and watching their faces light up. That's a great reward in itself. Thankfully, I don't rely on whatever income I might be able to make by donning the suit. But for some reason, I do at least like to be able to control where and to whom (and for whatever my reasons might be), the fruits of Santa's labor might best be applied. This year, I stared out in the hole because of my over spending on Ken's TV last year relative to the small profit that Santa made during last year's season. So maybe I'll be a grinch and keep this year's profits for myself until the next time something hits me and I feel compelled to make a difference again.

I find that approach much preferable to working with designated charities as I did in years past, who -- although very appreciative -- always seemed to be extremely concerned with the "how much" question, as opposed to just being happy that I was doing anything at all on their behalf.

Edited by Wmcmanus
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I'm just seeing this post now. You've actually hit on many of the key issues. It's almost like you know this guy!

Yeah, I've worked with organizations that received their primary funding on grants.  Unfortunately, I don't know you as well -- I just don't know that many givers in real life, go figure.  Otherwise I could've tailored it even better.  Ah, well...

 

You're a great and generous guy.  Seems like the costume has seeped in under your skin.

 

Yay for Vicki, too!

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+1 Wayne. First flight with the baby. Been on board for an hour sitting at the gate. Baggage computer screw up and waiting to reshuffle to take-off. This is not the flight I want to delay. ;) EDIT: Missing baggage down to ~60.

Edited by blessingx
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Did errands.  Despite the cold, my ankle felt close to normal, which is good.  I'm going to get on my bike tomorrow and see if I can get maybe 10 slow miles in.  I wanted something crunchy to munch on this evening, and everything I love is a current no-no, so I made kale chips.  Was easy, fast and not bad.  Can't believe the day blew by as fast as it did.

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Did errands.  Despite the cold, my ankle felt close to normal, which is good.  I'm going to get on my bike tomorrow and see if I can get maybe 10 slow miles in.  I wanted something crunchy to munch on this evening, and everything I love is a current no-no, so I made kale chips.  Was easy, fast and not bad.  Can't believe the day blew by as fast as it did.

 

Love kale chips!

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Vicki - glad you're up and round "for realsies" now.  Don't trip on any christmas things and pull anything, please!

 

Wayne, sometimes I just hang my head and wonder when I hear stories like that.  But some people just don't "get it", and never will.  I'm glad you continue to do this on the side and give pleasure to others.  

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