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This is a question Tightwads

There's saving money, and there's being tight: saving money at the expense of other people, or simply for the miserly hell of it.

Tell us about measures that go beyond simple belt tightening into the realms of Mr Scrooge.

(, Thu 23 Oct 2008, 13:58)
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I hate seeing food wasted, I hate seeing supermarkets or shops pour all their days leftover fresh produce into bags and dump it in the bin,
I much prefer when they sell it for less when it's late in the day or give it away in the last 10, enough folks will still want their dinner at dinner time and only old folks and/or the very poor ever wait around for the slightly spoiled food, your average working man will not be doing that, and it also gives the staff something nice and fun to do at the end of each day.

So already from that standpoint you can see how the following story would upset me.

I knew a few homeless folks in York, just guys I'd got talking to on the street and liked and occasionally helped out, one was quite proud of managing without charity, soup kitchens and such, he didn't like them, so finding food was a priority for him. He was also quite a neat and polite fellow, you wouldn't immediately guess he lived on the street.

He told me he used to get the leftovers given to him by a local bakers shop (of the type like Gregs but I forget it's name) but they had a change of management and now they put it in the bin instead.

So my friend started to wait by the bin and take it back out, so they stopped using plastic bags and tipped the produce in directly, so he started laying down fresh newspaper first over the other rubbish in order that he could recover at least a pasty or two, but they then got wise to that and started pouring bleach over the produce once dumped to render it inedible no matter what he did.

Why? To stop one homeless man from getting a free meal once a day. How selfless of you.

Oh and I just remembered a similar one, I had a mate who everyday had a sandwich for his tea in my local pub, he was retired on a good pension and this was his daily treat, it came with a salad that he never ate so if I was around he would let me have that as at the time I was a veggy, and as I've already said I hate seeing good food wasted and it would otherwise be thrown (it wasn't exactly a meal I'd just nibble on it whilst we chatted).

However, after seeing this happen a few times, one of the barstaff started getting actually enraged at this, he would come across and berate me for 'taking food I had not paid for' and try and remove the salad from under my nose, even though my friend was right there and had paid for this and given it to me, 'it's our policy that people should only eat food that they themselves have bought here'.

I ended up having to ask my friend to just ask them not to make him the salad anymore.

What is it with some folks about other people occasionally getting something nice or needy for nothing, why do some folks get so upset about that and seem to take it as a personal slight? Especially when it's only going to be wasted or destroyed otherwise, what's the problem?

It's just some kind of bitter spite I think.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:02, 28 replies)
The salad story...
Fuck that - (if they really had to continue eating there)I would have asked the friend to keep ordering the sandwich with the salad and as soon as it arrives, make a big show of standing up and throwing the salad in the bin.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:12, closed)
Sod that for a game of soldiers
If I buy a sandwich and it comes with salad it's none of their fucking business if you give the salad to a mate or not. And I'd make a point of ordering extra salad.

If I was treated like that anywhere I'd complain to the manager and, if there was no joy, I'd stop going there and go somewhere else instead.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:21, closed)
Well this was my fave pub and this guy was only one of the staff who worked there and he didn't serve drinks later in the evening,
and as pubs are very often rules unto themselves and can just bar you for no reason if they like I didn't want to risk the management taking his side.

But this guy was just a bitter little twat basically, you got the impression he hated his life and rather than try and get a little joy into it by being nicer to folks or making a few friends he preferred trying to make himself feel better by just sucking all the joy out of other folks' lives he saw as being 'luckier' than himself.

I'm sure you've met the type, there's always one everywhere you go, some miserable joyless fun vacuum who goes around scowling at anyone who looks too happy, liked or lucky, not realising that if they didn't they could be 'lucky' to get a bit of that too...
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:41, closed)
I call them
"social vampires", sucking the lifeblood from any sociable situation.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 3:37, closed)
Some people are just very greedy
They utterly despise the idea of anyone doing something selfless without obvious reward because deep down they know that they can't do that because part of them is a bit broken. The food thing, especialy. I used to work for a place cleaning where the policy was to take the bins inside. I asked why cos it seemed rather pointless, they weren't on display and was told that otherwise the homeless used to get the sandwiches out of them. I worked there for half a year and I never took the fucking bins in once. They also used to destroy perfectly good stock in case the binmen took it. When I asked why this was such a bad thing they looked at me like I was speaking a forgien language
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:31, closed)
That last line, yeh, that's entirely my point, WHY is it seen as such a bad thing?
It's not like your regular paying clients are gonna suddenly refuse to pay and instead wait by the bins in the hope of getting one for free is it?
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:53, closed)
That baker story is just awful!
And I do agree supermarkets should put their waste to good use. I also would like to see them recycle more instead of throwing so much plastic away.

However, items do get reduced for less. They get reduced three bloody times. Giving the staff something fun to do at the end of the night? You forget that we're at work, and as such, have things to do. There is barely time to do all my close down at the end of the night, you think I'd find it fun to know I have to somehow make time appear out of nowhere to do these extra "fun" activities of making sure all the food gets given away?

It would be far more sensible to have the waste collected as one and taken to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:37, closed)
That does happen actually, I found out, some places like M&S will give owt they have left over that's still edible to such places,
but as a lot of these places come with strings attached (a bit of bible bashing or moralising about drugs and such) a lot of homeless folks don't like them.

But a well known pasty shop in York that also sold sarnies and such would reduce stuff to half price at 5pm and then in the last ten minutes as they were closing just walk out and pass out a few freebies to anyone who wanted them, and they seemed to enjoy it and it put a few smiles on folks' faces.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 11:47, closed)
I think there are still places that will do this. My old head of sixth form used to go and collect all the food from the bakery that hadn't sold at the end of the day and travel around the city giving it to the homeless.

I also used to be the person reducing the produce at the end of the day. It is still done in all of the supermarkets I live near. And not too much gets thrown out. But I guess there are still the few bits that do that can't get sold (because the shops would get their asses sued for selling out of date food) that could be put to better use. It just needs people to do it.

Out of interest, do you ask around food shops to see if they will let you give out their excess?
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 15:49, closed)
I don't know about other supermarkets, but I used to work for Sainsbury's and all of our plastic packaging would be recycled. We had a bailer for cardboard and another for plastic so it could be bound up and taken away. Which I always thought was rather good.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 15:44, closed)
I work a Morrisons...
... And we too have a cardboard and plastic bailer. The cardboard gets recycled, but it's the plastic that annoys me.

There's just so much of it! Sooooo much packaging, lined up the the ceilings, in boxes everywhere, that you just know people are going to chuck in the bin at home. It hardly seems like much at home but when I'm looking at it all it seems stupid. Also, we can't put any bits of food in the plastic bailer, or paper, obviously but that doesn't stop everyone from throwing all the plastic rubbish in the normal bin bags and just chucking it.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 21:57, closed)
The salad story ... ...
is just plain stupid on the part of the pub. Nothing like an idiot to upset the regulars (who provide the majority of turnover)

The waste from the bakers however is a different tale. I'm sure I remember a story a few years ago where someone took a leftover prawn sandwich from the bins outside a local supermarket (thrown away because was past it's sell by date), got food poisoning, successfully sued the company. If that is true, and intimately knowing the ridiculous amount of regulation regarding waste that has been imposed on the catering industry, I can understand why the baker would want to make sure that it's waste was not used after it was thrown away / past it's safe use by date or time.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:06, closed)
You surely couldn't have a case for suing someone for becoming ill after eating out of their bin!?
That is an angle I hadn't thought of, but it seems very unlikely...
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:09, closed)
It's true
we have to completely destroy all our waste to make sure no-one tries to claim they had bought it, and it made them ill.

You have to be careful with the bleach thing though, if someone rummages in your bin and gets bleach on them, they can sue you for that too.

(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:17, closed)
aren't there also
laws/regulations for disposing of things like bleach correctly?
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:25, closed)
why not massively securely overkill lock the bins?
you've got to remember,allowing scavenging is a step closer to the moral and spiritual collapse of society.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:45, closed)
we try to lock our bins...
Someone was caught taking out-of-date meat from our bins, and trying to sell it on and/or claim refunds (after it's been out of refrigeration for 24hours or longer).

But some people just break in anyway. It was getting ridiculous, the amount we were having to spend on new locks and bin repairs.

Of course, until they recently started shredding, there was a risk of confidential data going in the bins as well; so that was another reason to secure them.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 19:56, closed)
It's a mad freakin world,
it really is....

I've learned quite a bit from asking this question, I tell thee!
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 16:35, closed)
Well, that's a bit sad, but I guess it makes a certain sense,
that's the trouble with doing something nice for the general populous, there's always some dodgy bugger who sees an opportunity for perverting it for their own personal gains.

I think we need a more 'You're an adult, take responsibility for your own life' attitude to stop such litigious nonsense.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 12:56, closed)
Isn't that what receipts are for?
If you claim you bought it but can't produce a receipt, where's the proof it wasn't thrown away? Burden of proof and all that.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 13:35, closed)
That salad story is ridiculous
So presumably they refuse to allow a man to buy a meal for his girlfriend, then?

Or what about if a family comes in to eat: do they demand that that children pay for their own food, with the money that they earned (sweeping chimneys?)

(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 15:53, closed)
I used to work in a Somerfield bakery bit when I was at uni. We would reduce most on date items by closing time and try to get them sold.
Unfortuantely, about 75% of the staff appeared to be lobotomised and didn't understand/were far too lazy to stock rotate. Hence a few days after the sell by we would find whole cases of produce we were unable to sell.
Apparently there used to be a deal where any unsold food would get passed to homeless shelters. That was untill Sainsburys got sued by one of them for food poisoning. So that put and end to that and I had to crush any day-old bakery products in a bailer before putting it in the waste bin outside.
They also had a security camera on the bins.
It was fucking heartbreaking.
(, Sun 26 Oct 2008, 17:10, closed)
I used to work in M&S, and it was much the same
That's consumerism for you, I guess.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 7:59, closed)

No, it's not consumerism, it's stupid litigation.

The supermarket should have slapped a big label on the free food they gave the shelters, stating; "This is waste food. We do not guarantee its freshness. Eat at your own risk."

Otherwise known as the BEGGERS SHOULDN'T BE GOD-DAMN CHOOSERS clause.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 18:10, closed)
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 3:32, closed)
...just because the cretins who ran your Somerfield branch believed in OMG EVIL HSE LAWSUITS!!!!!! doesn't actually mean they happened...
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 1:24, closed)
Years ago when I was doing my A levels
I worked in BHS in their cafe and any cakes at the end of the day would all go down the waste disposal unit. Only once did the tight git of a manager offer all the staff the cakes to eat there and then.

He should have given us a cake at the end of every Saturday instead of chucking them.

Everything else was made to order so we didn't have any waste to send off to the local homeless shelter.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 15:51, closed)

I used to work on Stock management at Safeways, which involved reducing stuff going out of date, then wasting stuff that hadn't sold.
I used to hate throwing out the stuff we hadn't sold, so much so that I ensure everything was so well reduced that it always went before the end of trading.
We had big bins with locks and security cameras to stop people going through them. I don't think my town had any homeless - I think it was to stop scallies.
There was always baked goods left, but I think that if the staff had been allowed to take/eat stuff that hadn't been sold then in the end they wouldn't have made an effort to sell the goods before hand.
(leeeeeenghty. apols.)
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 13:06, closed)

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