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The Cake of Guilt

Posted on 2007/01/30 07:00:00 (January 2007).

[Friday 26th January]
The company I work for has a social event at the end of the working day on Friday. At the California office this seems to comprise something different every week - this week there was a rock band in the large hall on campus, along with the usual beer and party food. Having brought my car in I had initially decided not to drink, but alas I got chatting to some fellow employees and inevitably a beer or two ensued. So in the end I decided to just leave my car at the office, and the evening's entertainment continued on from there.

A group of us - me, a couple of Italian guys, a Canadian and a Polish guy - went into the town centre for a spot of dinner and a few more drinks. This is only really the third night out I've had in the town centre here, and already I think I've exhausted all the places there are to go to, several times over. So in a similar vein to the previous night, the venues were pretty uninteresting, but the company was quite fun.

One of the Italian guys brought along a "Happy Birthday!" balloon. I initially assumed it was his birthday, but it turns out this was in fact just a tactic to see if we could get any free stuff. Sure enough, just as we were leaving the place where we had dinner, the waiter stopped us and said "Hey - I didn't know it was your birthday - go sit back down!", and shortly afterwards a cake emerged. I personally was wracked with guilt just by association, but I guess it was rather funny nonetheless.

We just went to one more bar after that, which wasn't all that much fun, before deciding to call it a night. Still, that aside it was quite a positive note to end an otherwise quite dreary week on - it's always cool to have the opportunity to meet people from other countries!

Comment 1

Ha! Yeah, I would have felt sooo guilty too!! However I now feel I can see the "dark-side" of a certain well-known Internet-based company which constantly promotes it's "goodness"! It's all a con to acquire large amounts of cake, clearly!! ;))

Posted by Nigel at 2007/01/30 07:13:07.

Comment 2

Now that's a very Italian thing to do, is he from Naples by any chance? Rome maybe? A northerner wouldn't do it probably, but best compliments, honestly the idea is GRAND!!!

Posted by Lox at 2007/01/30 10:10:35.

Comment 3

Apparently he was from Milan.

The same guy also told me about a great trick at the airport. He had a hire car, and was going back to the airport again to pick up his girlfriend, but didn't want to have to pay the extortionate parking fees you always end up paying at airports.

So he went and parked it back at the rental car place (which was strictly no parking), and then went to the desk asking if they could split his contract. I.e. he asked for a receipt for what he'd used so far, and then a new contract for the remainder of the time he'd need to use it. This was on the basis that he needed to be there more than a month, but wanted to file his expenses monthly, which seems quite reasonable. So after picking up his girlfriend, he could then show the security guards at the exit a brand new contract for his car, and he didn't have to pay a penny in parking.

Genius! I never cease to be amazed by the cunning of the Italians!

Posted by John at 2007/01/30 17:35:42.

Comment 4

John: WOW even better, but the trick only works if you hire in a period that crossover two months correct? Still Genius SQUARED for this idea!

Posted by Lox at 2007/01/30 19:52:36.

Comment 5

Hmmm - you could always make up some crap about how your company's monthly accounting period is from the 17th to the 17th of each month (insert any date here) and then even if you only hired a car for a week you might be able to get away with this free parking trick half way through that week.

...of course, it only really helps where you find you need to go to an airport part way through a period when you're hiring a car (which you also hired at that airport)...

Posted by John at 2007/01/31 05:18:44.

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