News and notes from around the interweb:
- The Burger King crown is what just absolutely makes this JetBlue passenger’s racist tirade more than just another day in the skies. Not safe for work language, which is why I’m not embedding the video.
- I hate the equilibrium where guests are expected to tip housekeeping instead of hotels paying their wages directly. But are guests still expected to tip housekeeping when hotels aren’t providing the service during their stay? (The room is, presumably, still cleaned prior to their arrival.)
- A month ago I wrote that American Airlines will no longer send elite membership cards but that elite members could call to request employee recognition certificates to hand out (since those wouldn’t be proactively mailed, either). American will no longer enter employees receiving those into a drawing for cash. The airline tells me,
Even though we may not be drawing names for quarterly awards these days, team members still receive recognition for providing outstanding service or a job well done. When a team member receives a recognition certificate from a customer, they enter that certificate into our recognition platform where their leader can see it. Certificates are worth recognition points in the platform, and those points can be redeemed for gift cards and other items.
- The government plans to require reporting of a lot more international funds transfers
The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [on Friday] proposed to reduce the transaction volume threshold for when banks must collect and retain information on funds transfers and remittances that start or end outside of the United States. The proposal would reduce the threshold from $3,000 to $250 for when insured depository institutions must comply with the recordkeeping and travel rules under the Bank Secrecy Act.
- The Briggo coffee robot, which was my go-to source for fuel at the Austin airport – order from the app when I arrive curbside at the airport, pick up using a code as I walk by the machine once I’m through security – has been acquired by Costa Coffee, which itself was acquired by Coca Cola two years ago.
- Reportedly staff at Balthazar decanted two wines for two different tables – a 1989 Mouton Rothschild and an $18 Pinot Noir – a mixed them up, sending each wine to the wrong table. And the folks who ordered the cheap wine didn’t know the difference. The story is too good, right? And did the restaurant realy pour the bottle listed for $2000 outside of the diners’ sight?
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One night at Balthazar four Wall Street businessmen ordered the restaurant's most expensive red wine: a $2000 bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. One of the two managers transferred the Bordeaux into a decanter at a waiter's station. Simultaneously, a young couple ordered the restaurant's cheapest red wine, a $18 Pinot Noir, which they wanted pouring into a decanter. These two very different wines were now in identical decanters. Mistaking the $18 decanted wine for the $2000 Rothschild, the first manager formally poured the cheap wine to the businessmen. According to the manager, the host considered himself a wine connoisseur, and showing off to his guests, tasted the cheap wine before bursting into raptures about its 'purity'. The young couple who ordered the $18 Pinot Noir were inadvertently served the $2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. On taking their first sips of what they believed was cheap wine, they jokingly pretended to be drinking an expensive wine and parodied all the mannerisms of a wine snob. Five minutes later the two managers discovered their error and, horrified, phoned me at home. I rushed to Balthazar. The businessmen's celebratory mood was clearly enhanced by the wine they had mistakenly thought was the restaurant's most expensive. This put me in a dilemma: whether to come clean and admit the manager's mistake, or allow him to continue drinking the cheap wine in blissful ignorance. Taking the latter route would certainly be the easiest. Also the cheapest. It was unthinkable at this point to pull the real Bordeaux from the young couple's table. Besides, they were having too much fun acting out drinking a $2000 bottle of wine. I decided to veer from my normal behaviour, and tell both parties the truth. The Wall St. businessman responded by saying, "I THOUGHT that wasn't a Mouton Rothschild!" The others at the table nodded their heads in servile agreement. The young couple were ecstatic by the restaurant's mistake, and told me it was like the bank making an error in their favour. The trouble was, it was me who was down $2000, not the bank. Both parties left Balthazar happy that night, but the younger of the two left happier.