Wednesday 28 July 2010

Tight Fist Tip #42: 5 Activities Destroyed By Suits With Expense Accounts

Public Enemy #1

Damn Suits seem to be everywhere these days. In London, they basically own the place, driving up the prices of bars, cafes, and restaurants for a wide radius outside their lair, the City of London. But worst are the Suits who love to jump on planes and ruin things for people in other cities. They flaunt their corporate credit cards without regard for prices, making certain items unaffordable for the rest of us. As a dedicated Tight Fist, you must learn to recognize these items and avoid them at all cost. Here are some examples:

1. Airport Food - With the long trip to the airport and the prospect of a long foodless flight, your time at the airport should be a great opportunity to get a snack and maybe even a beer. But why should airport restaurants serve food for the masses when instead they can defraud corporations of millions via expense accounts? The other day in the Toronto airport I saw a measly piece of 80% water ham stuck in between Wonder Bread for 11 bucks. Highway robbery! Note that certain chains buck this trend and charge standard prices at the airport. Shout out to Pret, Eat, and Boots (all in the UK) for not reaming their customers!

2. Hotel Bars and Restaurants: If you arrive late at night in a new city, sometimes the easiest place to eat is a local hotel as their restaurants are open late. But be careful! Have a close look: Are there any Suits? If so, run away! Any hotel that caters to business travelers is going to bump up those prices for the expense accounts. Remember, Suits LOVE to drink at the hotel because they can just add the drinks to the hotel bill and expense away.
And This Is Why Dad Had to Sell A Kidney

3. Airport Internet - There are certain times when it would be really useful to have internet. Like if you're flying to a new city and you need to figure out how to get to your hostel or maybe your flight has been delayed and you need to alert a friend. And isn't it great that now most airports have WiFi? Just load up the page, connect, and WHAT!?!? 10 BUCKS FOR ONE HOUR! HOLY CRAP! That's right, what could be an extremely useful service is ruined again by the Suits. Quick shout out to Dubai airport for having free Wifi- the last of a dying breed.

4. Taxis - Thanks to Suits, these motor armies crowd the street and cause havoc for cyclists, yet are too expensive for normal people. You might as well just read my full post about stupid taxis.

5. Cell Phone International Roaming - As any good Tight Fist knows, you have to turn off your cell phone (or find a local SIM) as soon as you leave your country. But why does it have to be this way? Surely cell phone carriers could charge a reasonable rate such that normal people would use their phones abroad, thereby increasing their profits. So why don't they? You know, I don't think it takes a genius to figure this one out. IT'S THE SUITS! Since the company pays for the cell phone, they could care less about the roaming charges, making it more profitable for the companies to keep the rates high.

6. Hotels and Airport Express Trains: Yes I know I said there were only five, but hotels in general and all things that hotels sell also fall into this category. (Read my previous post about hotels here.) Ditto with Airport Express Trains.

Damn Suits.

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Wednesday 14 July 2010

Tight Fist Tip #41: Airport Express Trains are for Suckers

Welcome Aboard the Train for Idiots!

It's been a long plane ride. And to make matters worse, you picked the slowest line at immigration and your baggage was the last to come off the belt. All you want to do is get to your place of residence (that is certainly not a hotel). Like a recovering alcoholic in the liquor aisle, you gaze longingly at the taxi queue, but you know it would just make you feel bad about yourself in the morning.

Then suddenly you see a shining beacon of light: "Airport Express: Fastest Way to Downtown!" That has to be perfect- A train must be cheap, right? WRONG! Here, let me translate for you: "Airport Express: The Train for Business Travelers Who Don't Give A Crap Because They're Traveling On The Expense Account."

It is seriously amoral the way airports advertise their stupid express trains or buses or whatever. You can't get out of Heathrow without seeing a thousand signs begging you to take the stupid Heathrow Express, advertising how it is '15 Minutes to Central London'. What the stupid signs don't tell you is that this train costs 18 freaking pounds, and you could instead take the normal train for a third of a price and it only takes 10 extra minutes. Or you could just take the subway for a fifth of the price and as a bonus you don't end up in crappy Paddington. Note that the same applies for the stupid Gatwick Express as well. THESE TRAINS ARE ONLY FOR SUITS AND SUCKERS!!!

It's not just London and it's not even just buses. I was just in Prague, where they try to convince you to take the 'Express' bus even though the normal bus follows the same route, has only three stops, and costs half as much! In Copenhagen, you can take a normal bus instead of the stupid 'Express' train for again, a third of the price.

Remember, no matter where you are, locals and employees also have to get to the airport so there has be been some type of affordable option for them. Unless, of course, you are in a city where everyone drives. In this case you are probably screwed.

This is one example of an extremely important tenant of Tight Fist thought. There are whole product categories are priced exorbitantly due to the free-spending of mindless suits with expense accounts. Normal people should never buy these things, which will be the topic of the next post.