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  #41  
Old 24 January 2013, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
I beg to differ. I came out to admit that I'm far less than perfect in ways that I remember well, but without pride. Do you honestly believe Avril meant that she was worse than I was? I think ninety out of a hundred would see it my way.
There are more than two ways to see it. I don't think this thread is about my imperfections, but I did not claim to be perfect. I disagreed with the way you universalized your experiences to claim that college students could more or less be counted on, as a population, to ruin Panera's project.

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So I find it hard to imagine someone being unaware of how students - be they actually poor or merely contrary and belligerent - can be that way. If they weren't like that, then I can only assume that they had a privileged, ivory-tower existence. Too rich to have limited resources, and too noble to admit that they ever did anything the least bit wrong. (Those who are in that ivory tower tend to think that way of themselves.)
I'm not entirely sure what this means. However, it's not like student status magically makes people contrary, poor, or belligerent. They can get that way by many routes. Do you mean to say that if students weren't poor, contrary, or belligerent, they came from privilege?

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I'm sorry to have shared my anecdote and experience. Obviously I'm not fit for such noble company. This seems to happen every time I admit to doing anything wrong - even if I admit to being a snarky and less-than-perfectly respectful teenager - and I get called a "little shite", or get the "well I am not like that" comparison. Have y'all forgotten your own "human" imperfection? Is everyone so worried about admitting to anything less than perfection? I have to say that I feel a certain amount of pride in being able to admit this, and the most important part that's lost here is that I have changed.
You know, you are totally missing the point here.
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  #42  
Old 24 January 2013, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by TurquoiseGirl View Post
I saw it more as a counterexample to the conclusion that Mike drew about "I was this way. So was everyone".
That's not how I interpreted his post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
much like most every other student, there was a tight budget,
...I'm sure I'd be eating there, and I'm sure I wouldn't be paying very much.
...I know I'm not alone in that thinking either.
...How do I know I was not alone in this as a student? Because back then, the people who were my friends and colleagues were not well off...we tried to have our cake and eat it too, and if it came down to paying less than full value for a meal, we had no shame. That's just the way we were at that age.
He's saying almost every student had a tight budget, not that almost every student was cheap or dishonest. He's saying he wasn't alone in acting the way he did, which is in no way contradicted by evidence that some people weren't like that. His point was that some people have a very liberal definition of "needy" when thinking of themselves, that this attitude is common among college students, and that therefore a place that gives and doesn't ask questions might be taken advantage of, particularly if they're located in a college town. It's not necessary that all or even a majority of college students think that way in order for his concern to have merit. Therefore, I don't see the point of presenting counterexamples of individuals who weren't like that. It did sound a little judgmental to me, too--and I say that as someone who also was never like that.
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  #43  
Old 24 January 2013, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I don't see how you can say that, since Avril didn't describe herself, except to stay that she wasn't like Mike, which isn't terribly specific.
Except this:
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Originally Posted by Avril View Post
I worked my way through college. I had scholarships that covered most of my tuition, but I bought my own books and paid my own living expenses. My parents contributed nothing, financially, to my education. I grew up in a very poor family. As it happens, my father had a stroke when I was a sophomore, however.What do you think? I occasionally volunteered and/or collected for the food bank. I did not ever take food from it.A lot. I was kind of obsessive. I don't drink and didn't then. I was very ill in college anyway, so I was often home throwing up or sleeping when I wasn't at work or school. Providing a contrasting anecdote is all. Suggested donation, probably. But they probably wouldn't have had anything I was allowed to eat. I was on a very restrictive diet to curb the vomiting.
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  #44  
Old 24 January 2013, 12:30 AM
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I stand corrected.

I still don't see any judgment coming from Avril, nor do I see any need for a the tsunami of self-pity in Mike's last post.
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  #45  
Old 24 January 2013, 12:50 AM
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Avril only described herself in a point-by-point response* to Mike's post (or should I say, attack on her), which had already declared her to be judgmental of him, and "holier than thou," just because she said not everyone was like him, and that she wasn't.

I didn't see any judgment in that post, and nothing that warranted any of Mike's responses since then. It's odd, really, that he thought a response to his relatively innocuous post was an unwarranted attack on him, and so has responded with an unwarranted attack on a relatively innocuous post.

*I don't think it was intentional, but with the quotes all removed, it looks deceptively like just a paragraph of description. But there was a quote in between every line or two in the original post.
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  #46  
Old 24 January 2013, 12:53 AM
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Yes, frankly, the description I gave was in response to rather inflammatory questions, including one asking if I had a trust fund to prevent me from taking unfair advantage of charities.
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  #47  
Old 24 January 2013, 01:06 AM
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I didn't intentionally remove the questions she was responding to; that's just how it came up when I hit the "quote" button. As far as I know, there's no easy way to preserve the quotes within a post you're quoting; I would have had to copy and paste them in with code individually.

I also didn't say, nor mean to imply, that her answers to those questions were judgmental. I said that about her original I-wasn't-like-that post, which I still don't think contradicts anything Hero_Mike said.
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  #48  
Old 24 January 2013, 01:09 AM
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That's why I said I didn't think it was intentional--the normal operation of the board removes quotes within quotes, so they won't be shown without quite a bit of extra work.

I still don't see how Avril's original post was judgmental and "holier than thou." I think that reads a whole lot into a pretty innocuous statement. And frankly, even if Mike thought it was judgmental, it still wouldn't warrant the level of vitriol in response.
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  #49  
Old 24 January 2013, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I still don't see how Avril's original post was judgmental and "holier than thou."
(Edited to add quote above and the following statement for clarity: I can't speak for HM, but here's why I caught a whiff of judgment in that post.)

If a "counterpoint" doesn't actually counter someone else's point, I look for a way to logically connect the two statements. (I think the term is "Maxim of Relevance.") If I say, for instance, "I find it easier to stick to my diet if I don't keep sweets in the house," and another poster says, "Sure, you can avoid keeping sweets in your house, but you're going to encounter them wherever you go," it's natural and reasonable to assume that's meant to be read as "you should learn self-control instead" or similar. Since Hero_Mike's stated concern that some people may take advantage of Panera, based on his recollection of how he and his friends were, does not require everyone or even most people to behave that way, a post saying "I wasn't like that" doesn't make sense as an argument invalidating his concern--unless it's meant to paint that behavior as representing only a below-average minority. I don't believe that was Avril's intent, but it's important to consider the way your words are most likely to be interpreted, especially when you're responding to someone who has just made himself vulnerable by admitting to something he's not proud of.
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  #50  
Old 24 January 2013, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
There are more than two ways to see it. I don't think this thread is about my imperfections, but I did not claim to be perfect. I disagreed with the way you universalized your experiences to claim that college students could more or less be counted on, as a population, to ruin Panera's project.
All of them? Most? I'm sorry if you think I implied that, but I wall say that there will be many who are poor and unashamed. But even in that group there might not be so many who will go so far as to get an undeserved free meal. It won't be all of them or most, but there are likely to be enough of them that should even a small number - let's say a dozen, or even twenty - decide to come in for a free meal - then a lot of good will have been undone. Because those 12 or 20 free meals will have a meaningful cost.

A dozen or twenty, out of a student body of many thousands. I'm hardly painting them all with a black brush, but if there was any "group" where I could see people who were more likely to take advantage of this kind of voluntary charity, it would be college students. They are not all about volunteering and protesting and doing good for the world. Many are there because they need the education to improve their lot in life, and have nothing to fall back upon. Some are merely doing this for show, because it's the thing to do, and whether or not they graduate, there is money and employment and networking opportunities.

You may very well think that I'm some kind of selfish bastard because neither I nor any of my close friends and colleagues took a semester off to join the Peace Corps or Habitat for Humanity or whatever. The people who were my friends were cut from the same cloth as me - and we could not afford that. Not then. And I dare say I was not alone. Now that we're educated, employed, earning a good living and paying taxes as society demands of us, maybe now we can earn a trifle of your respect by paying for our own lunch, and maybe throw in a bit for someone else's. Not enough, you say? Tough beans.

Yes, you're right, you're not like me. Do tell - what colour is the sky in your world?
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  #51  
Old 24 January 2013, 02:32 AM
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I don't think this is the same thing as finding it easier to not keep sweets around. It's more like saying, "Well, I hope you can lose weight, but I can't because I keep sweets around. And lots of people are like that."

Here is what Hero_Mike said after all that stuff about gaming the system and cheating the bar:

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Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
That said, I hope this works out, and I do support it. I only hope that, well, there aren't too many "starving students" around to spoil it.
To me this was saying that college students would, by virtue of being college students, ruin everything. And this is what I said.

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Originally Posted by Avril View Post
People often have differing understandings of what they can afford, true. ...

Plus, I wouldn't necessarily say that all student populations are like you were. I wasn't like you at all when I was in college.
Meaning that college students would not necessarily, by virtue of being college students, ruin everything.
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  #52  
Old 24 January 2013, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
You may very well think that I'm some kind of selfish bastard because neither I nor any of my close friends and colleagues took a semester off to join the Peace Corps or Habitat for Humanity or whatever. The people who were my friends were cut from the same cloth as me - and we could not afford that. Not then. And I dare say I was not alone. Now that we're educated, employed, earning a good living and paying taxes as society demands of us, maybe now we can earn a trifle of your respect by paying for our own lunch, and maybe throw in a bit for someone else's. Not enough, you say? Tough beans.

Yes, you're right, you're not like me. Do tell - what colour is the sky in your world?
Your responses are becoming more and more bizarre. I can see that it is highly unlikely that we will be able to have a rational discussion of this matter.
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  #53  
Old 24 January 2013, 02:34 AM
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I can see where you'd interpret the "starving students" statement that way. To me, the quotes indicated that he wasn't talking about all students, or even all poor students, but those who thought of themselves as needy and acted cheap and entitled as a result.
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  #54  
Old 24 January 2013, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Your responses are becoming more and more bizarre. I can see that it is highly unlikely that we will be able to have a rational discussion of this matter.
I have gone back and re-read every word I've written in this thread. Surprisingly absent are the places where you think I said that "all" students were like this, or even most. Me, my friends and colleagues, were the ones whom I described as being the ones to take advantage of discounts, sales, and coupons to stretch our limited dollars. You know, other people might call that frugal and responsible. I even mentioned specifically how imperfect we were, and how easy it was for some of us to get into debt with credit cards.

So how on earth you feel that this reflects poorly upon you is beyond me. You are neither my colleague nor my friend, nor are you one of the people I was speaking about. I don't know why you feel the need to distance yourself from my generally acceptable anecdote and generalization, with your declaration of superiority "difference". And I've made every effort to explain how it wouldn't take many students - poor or not - to ruin this for those who really need it.

I'm sorry we all can't be more like you. Is that what you want to hear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
I can see where you'd interpret the "starving students" statement that way. To me, the quotes indicated that he wasn't talking about all students, or even all poor students, but those who thought of themselves as needy and acted cheap and entitled as a result.
Yes, thank-you. It's exactly like that. It wouldn't take many of them to do that, but given how large the population is at a university, it wouldn't be hard to find them.

I keep trying to put this into perspective with anecdotes as best I can. I knew maybe 300 people out of an enrolment of 25,000, and in that number I knew...
  • a student who burnt through his 4-month meal plan in 5 weeks by using it at the on-campus bar
  • a student who was "cut off" by his parents and forced to sell his stereo and instruments at bargain basement costs
  • a student who lived the entire 4 months in his girlfriend's (single occupancy) dorm room, scamming free meals in the cafeteria by using other people's meal cards
  • a student who spent the last month of term using his 9 low-limit credit cards to pay for food, phone bills, etc. because he was really and truly broke
  • a student who held a full-time job while living in residence, then having to explain to his parents that after 4 full years of university he had only completed 3 semesters successfully
  • our residence "Don" who appeared to be lazy by taking only night classes and often sleeping until noon, except that he was up at 4am every day delivering newspapers to all the residences, to pay for his tuition because he was from a very poor background
  • a student who was, effectively homeless, because his parents were in the process of a messy divorce and he couldn't stay with either of them
  • this isn't quite the same but my high school math teacher lived on the couch in his "office" for two years while he was a grad student, using his gym membership for shower, and getting his food on a residence meal plan

It takes all kinds. But any one of the above - and I'm not judging their actual morality - could have easily felt justified in taking that free meal if these other claims are indeed true. Would they do it once or every day - I don't know that answer. But these people I mention are just a handful of thousands. None of these people were literally starving. Thus the quotes around "starving". Obviously YMMV.
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  #55  
Old 24 January 2013, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
I'm sorry we all can't be more like you. Is that what you want to hear?
I think we have established that this is not the case.

Avril no statement that she felt that way. And no matter how many times you insist she does, it does not change that. You cannot change reality, even to give yourself an excuse to vent your spleen.

Last edited by TurquoiseGirl; 24 January 2013 at 05:45 AM. Reason: iPad
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  #56  
Old 24 January 2013, 01:30 PM
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To shift back to the OP for a moment, can any business allow you to volunteer your services in lieu of paying your bill? I mean I know there is the old "You can't pay?! Wash dishes for an hour!" thing on TV but I wasn't sure if that was actually real or not given things like insurance and such.

I can only speak for volunteering in emergency services which, obviously, require a much more extensive validation process but they also do a fair bit of background work for when I volunteered at a few homeless outreach programs and habitat for humanity.

So I guess my question is if you ate here regularly sure you could just set yourself up but if it was a one-off thing could you realistically volunteer your 'time' instead of paying paperwork wise?
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  #57  
Old 24 January 2013, 02:49 PM
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I would imagine the volunteer work would be in non-food areas like mopping or trash removal as the lack of food-handling training could be a heath code violation.
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  #58  
Old 24 January 2013, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
To shift back to the OP for a moment, can any business allow you to volunteer your services in lieu of paying your bill? I mean I know there is the old "You can't pay?! Wash dishes for an hour!" thing on TV but I wasn't sure if that was actually real or not given things like insurance and such.
I would doubt it. That's probably true of some businesses, but it would also depend on such things as the size of the business, the age of the volunteer and what work was being offered. OSHA (and its equivalents) not only cover safety practices, they include training requirements. Wage and hour laws deal with how much has to be paid and what can legally be deducted from wages. I suspect that as a spur of the moment think it's basically impossible to do without running aground.

Seaboe
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  #59  
Old 24 January 2013, 04:33 PM
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The OP did say that people could work in exchange for a voucher for a meal. That implys that it is a more formal process, possibly including some paperwork.
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  #60  
Old 25 January 2013, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
To shift back to the OP for a moment, can any business allow you to volunteer your services in lieu of paying your bill? I mean I know there is the old "You can't pay?! Wash dishes for an hour!" thing on TV but I wasn't sure if that was actually real or not given things like insurance and such.
When I saw this depicted on TV - like from the 50's or 60's - it seemed more like the restaurant was doing people a favour by letting them work off their debt, rather than have the police involved. Attempting to leave without paying the bill is theft, and while the restaurant might accept someone's IOU as a promise to pay them back later, they wouldn't be obliged to do so. Given the choice between arrest and washing dishes, I'll take the dishpan hands any day.
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