Monday, August 16, 2010

When you need help, consult the professionals

I averted a major crisis this weekend with the passing of the resolution by the cheap-assed Board of Directors to allow me depart on the pending FTI Roadtrip to New York City without finalizing our succession plan.  Our two faithful readers will note that this could have been a major stumbling block into a successful journey, but, that issue has now been tabled due to the need for further study.  The BOD's are content with the policy in place and we will address it upon my return. 

A  new incident was revealed yesterday, however, that now has me recalculating the cost of this trip as it has suddenly exponentially exploded.  The main goal of the roadtrip is to visit with  Kfred Jr. 2 and spend the weekend in the city doing some tourist things and enjoying the sights.  The original agreement was that we were to go out with young Kfred Jr. 2 and a few of his friends and parents to celebrate the beginning of their final year at West Point.  Included are a dinner at Ninja,  a high end Japanese restaurant, in New York City on Friday night.  I received a call from  my youngest offspring yesterday informing me that an email was presently being forwarded with some descriptions of  various meals of the restaurant in question and that I should pick one of the entrées in advance.  Perusing, I saw some interesting choices that looked appealing.  I told young Kfred it looked wonderful and thanked him for being such a gracious host.    There was a slight pause and he replied, "Um, yeah.  The restaurant will be hosting you".  I again then looked at the choices and realized the numbers next to the descriptions were actually costs.  The cheapest was $38 and advanced to $88 for the largest meal featuring a Kobe Beef ribeye steak.  As I was invited, I assumed that I would be hosted (TRANSLATION:  "hosted" (n) 1: a guest of, 2: completely paid for, 3: your money is no good here), but, suddenly realized that was no longer the case.  Upon reflection, I realize you only live once, the kid is a good kid, I am on personal time (with a small stipend from the FTI petty cash account), and what the heck; no big deal.   I made my choice, relayed it forward, and realized I will be at FTI a year longer than presently planned in order to pay this trip off. 

Later, recognizing that we have an expert cheapskate within the Misfits, I phoned Dickie the Peap for how he would have dealt with this type of unexpected request for funds.   I explained the circumstances, outlined the potential costs, and relayed the significance of the event to the short-armed whiner.  Consulting  his checklist of finely tuned questions and scenarios (locations of nearest exits, proximity of table to restroom for excusing oneself when check arrives, oft-used complaints of food quality to avoid paying, deliberate planned shortage of actual cash and no credit cards on self with promise to "catch it next time", etc.), the Peap advised that ultimately he would simply buy a can of $1.79 albacore tuna in advance, roll it in a lettuce garnish off the plate of one of the other diners, and consider it a suitable substitute for the Sushi entrée served by the restaurant itself, and use the $38 savings toward  something more important.  Like contributing to any efforts dedicated to delaying the funding into studying the causes of alligator-armed syndrome.   

Professionals.  They really are worth what you pay them.

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