Tuesday, November 4, 2008

HP Tuesday --- #2

On Rosh Chodesh my family likes to go out to eat to celebrate. This past Rosh Chodesh we decided to check out a new place. My father got an e-mail from a credit program he was enrolled in, that said if you dine out by one of the selected restaurants you can get 15 points per dollar. These points are equal to free miles.

So we all went and ordered lots of stuff to get more points. We even ordered dessert. We had a great time, the food was great and everything. Then a Breslov chossid came in with those little pamphlets to get tzedaka. So he came over to our table and handed over to my father a booklet that said “Don’t be disappointed”. My father asked if the man had anything more positive, so then they gave 4 more things, and my father gave some more tzedaka.

Then after 3 hours of dining, we go to the register to pay. So my father takes out his credit card, imagining the 1500 miles he just earned. However, when he hands over the credit card, the person behind the register said “sorry, our machine is broken, only cash”.

My father got a bit frustrated that now he wouldn’t be able to get his points. That we had come to this place specifically because they were on the list of qualifying restaurants. So he asked the man if he can give over his credit card number and the man will try again the next day. But the man said he can’t do that, that when he closes the register it has to have the money in it, or else he will have to pay himself.

My father tried to figure out a way that he can still get the points, but no idea came up. When suddenly he remembered the pamphlet the Breslov Chossid had gave us. It had said “Don’t be disappointed”. What perfect timing to get such a booklet. So my father realized there’s nothing to be done, so he didn’t let it upset him anymore.

My mother then came up with the idea, that perhaps my father can pay with a check and then send the receipt with the check number to the points program, and perhaps they will still give us the points as if we had paid by credit card. So we did that, and we are still waiting for a response from them.

14 comments:

Child Ish Behavior said...

The fact that the Breslov guy gave that pamphlet is pretty cool. Personally, I would have though a better choice in pamphlet would have been, "Enjoy your food, you don't know, you may be paying more than you bargained for." Now that would have been HP.

Lion of Zion said...

"Then a Breslov chossid came in with those little pamphlets to get tzedaka."

do you have any idea what type of tzedaka that money is going to?

"On Rosh Chodesh my family likes to go out to eat to celebrate."

that's really nice that you mark the day that way. most people don't even realize it's rosh chodesh except for a longer tefilah. and if i don't make it to shul, half the time i don't even remember to say the extra stuff.

jr actually had to wear special clothing last week for rosh chodesh. i wanted to ask him about it but forgot to.

"So we all went and ordered lots of stuff to get more points."

you should never buy anything merely for the sake of getting points. but as long as your father thinks it makes sense, he can treat us for rosh chodesh kislev.

The Babysitter said...

Childish: lol

Lion Of Zion: I'm not sure what kind of tzedaka it is, but I've seen it once before so I wasn't surprised by it. I can find out what it goes for, but I would guess it has something to do with Breslov.

yea, we try to make it a special day. It also gives us something to look forward to. My family likes Chinese food, so this way it gives us a chance to get it.

Usually they tell the kids to wear a white shirt for Rosh Chodesh. I remember those days...it makes the kids feel exited that they get to dress up and feel fancy.

Your right, about not racking up a bill for the sake of points. I think I was exaggerating a bit, but that's what we were thinking. Like we were more ok with ordering more stuff than we would have been if there was no reward.

I actually always offer to use my credit card to buy stuff so that I can get points for it, for free hotel nights, but then I never have to pay for the bill so I don't mind, lol.

Anonymous said...

You should know, a lot of the restaurants do that because they'd rather you pay cash. It happened to us once, and my husband just said "sorry, we've no cash on us" - which was true. The guy comes back in 10 minutes and says, "ok we've fixed it." This happened to us more than once.

The Babysitter said...

anonymous: we tried that, we told the person that we had no cash, he said he is willing to let us go to the bank and come back with cash. He also felt bad that we wouldn't be getting the points and offered to give us a discount. But of course no 8% discount is equivalent to 1500 miles. But he was very considerate and everything. He even tried using the credit card, but it just wouldn't work. He said they had someone come the day before to try to fix the machine, but it wouldn't work.

frumpunk said...

Thats nice. We usually get donuts or something from my dad for Rosh Chodesh, and of course in high school we had special breakfasts with food I dont like. I did a post on that, if I remember right.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Rosh chodesh is nothing special in my house we maybe get doughnuts but that rarely happens.

The Breslov guys. I tell them Ill give you more if you dont hand me your book.

arnie draiman said...

nice idea of eating out for rosh chodesh.

and i agree with lion of zion - watch where your tzedakah money is going.

it is a very very very important topic that must be discussed on every blog and in every forum.

i have been preaching for over 15 years that you MUST check out the place you give to.

i will even say that while rickismom is right about seeing if they are real, and sending directly to them, those are NOT the MOST important (though important they are!).

the most important is that the organization you have chosen for your sacred tzedakah shekels must use the money wisely, efficiently, and effectively. otherwise, you have wasted your tzedakah shekels, and maybe (just, maybe) actually done damage and not good.

two quick examples:

a) if you give $100 to the american friends of israeli purple chairs and they have an overhead of 19%, then they will send $81 over to the israeli purple chairs association. but, the IPC has their own overhead of 22%, so that only $64 of your original $100 is actually being used for what you thought.....

b) when you are not giving properly, judaism is clear: you are stealing from the poor person, since tzedakah money was never yours to begin with! (al tigzol dal, ki dal hu - (al tigzol dal kee dal hu - mishlei/proverbs 22:22 and the various comments on it, particularly bamidbar rabba 5:2)

happy to discuss this with anyone and everyone. i make a living by doing due diligence on tzedakah organizations (i represent about 15 foundations, philanthropists and tzedakah funds....)

The Babysitter said...

FrumPunk: Yea, I think I remember reading about that. That's cool that you get a doughnut for Rosh Chodesh.

MikeInMidwood: that's interesting that so many people get doughnuts for Rosh Chodesh. That doesn't make sense to tell them not to give it.

But it's actually funny, I forgot to mention, that the Breslov guy was leaving the place, and he had skipped a table that had only a girl by it. So the girl said "excuse me" so then he came back to her. Then he gave her a booklet, and she asked for a different one, then I guess she changed her mind cause she gave the money and said forget about the booklet. I suppose that's because she already had all of them.

arnie Draiman: Thanx, yea I know you have to be careful, but if it's just a dollar, it's not worth the investigation.

I remember seeing you comment that on Ricki's Mom's blog. I see the importance of being careful where your money goes to. But then again, once you did the mitzvah and gave your money, your not responsible to what happens with it. Even if the money falls out of the persons pants pocket you still accomplished the mitzvah.

The Babysitter said...

Update: A couple of things, first of all I just hit the 613'th hit, pretty cool considering it's a Jewish related blog.

Second, guess what? it really all does work for the best, at the end, the airline miles place responded back and credited my father the miles! So we didn't loose out.

frumskeptic said...

how cool you got the points!!

Everytime I'm out and the Breslov guy hands over the books, I always decide I'll actually read it. lol. I once read the first page of one. lol.

:-)

my old school, on Rosh chodesh we didn't have to wear uniform, but had to wear fancy stuff. So it was like a fashion show. Such fancy clothes I tell ya. lol. I LOOOOVED it. The days the school was colorful :). Now I hardly ever remember its rosh chodesh. usually get a txt from a freind as a reminder

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: yea!

yay, congrats on reading the first page of one of them! I actually never read them yet, but maybe over shabbos I'll read one.

I heard some schools were like that. I can imagine it being like a fashion show. lol, sounds like fun to look at everybody's colorful clothing.

Leora said...

Your family sounds nice. It sounds like you work well as a group. That's precious.

Glad your father got the points.

The Babysitter said...

Leora: Thanx!

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