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Thread: Cards in the Fish Bowl

  1. #1
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    Cards in the Fish Bowl

    Whenever I go out to dinner at a restaurant and I see the offer next to the exit (as I am leaving fully satisfied) which states "put your business card in here for a chance to win a free lunch", of course I am always going to put my business card in. Now I should make it known that I work as a Planner for the public sector. One of the reasons that I do it is because I am of the belief that I will not win (so optimistic!).
    Well I received a call the other day which stated "congratulations you have won a free lunch at X!" At first I was so excited about the situation (and the fact I could take out my co-workers); however, after I thought about it a second, I thought, am I allowed to do this ethically, personally, and most important what would the municipality think?

    My question is: Can I take it?

    Thanks so much. I am getting hungy just thinking about it!

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Seeing as how you won the free lunch in a raffle format that any schmuck could have potentially won and not as some reward for being a planner, I don't see why not. Bon appetit!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Yes, you are not accepting the meal in order that they may gain business from your place of work or otherwise obligate your employer. It is a personal gift from them to you - has nothing to do with work, other than their business card. It's like how Doctor's offices give out pens, restaurants give out meals - It is their way of advertising.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would say yes. Despite the hard look this state takes at ethics and gifts to municipal employees, it is not something which is related in any way to the work you do, and you are not in a position to influence an action you are now considering. If you won some non-profit raffle prize, would you need to give it back? Can you accept the $10 gift card Lowe's sends out to welcome you to the neighborhood? This is really the same thing.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    "Yeah I've got a business card because I want to win some lunches.
    That's what my business card says,
    "Mitch Hedberg potential lunch winner. Give me a call, maybe we'll have lunch .... If I'm lucky!""

    ~Mitch Hedberg
    @GigCityPlanner

  6. #6
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    Good stuff

    Good responce! Thanks for the advice!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I just dropped a card off at the Chipotle. Here's to them picking me. (I was greeted at the till by a lovely looking woman and a Family Guy fan. It was a welcoming atmosphere).
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    NOOOOO. The AICP/APA code of how to run your life prohibits you from doing anything that does not further planning in China. If it is a Chinese restaurant, then never mind.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha Ha Ha.....

    Quote Originally posted by cololi View post
    NOOOOO. The AICP/APA code of how to run your life prohibits you from doing anything that does not further planning in China. If it is a Chinese restaurant, then never mind.
    *Classic......just Classic......Come on.....China is such a hotbed of planning......I mean really......where else can you put a heavy metal spewing factory adjacent to a child care center of 1,000.....where the mortality rate is nearly 20%........

    As for cards in the bowl....I've won this several times and enjoyed the lunch from local restaurants......I've also won a lunch for 15 that turned out to be a big sales pitch for American Express!! Luckily I asked enough questions before saying yes....that I got out of that one.....Read the fine print on the front of the fish bowl......then call and complain to the restaurant that allowed it to be displayed! The american express lunch turned out to be at SUBWAY, not even the place the fish bowl was located






    *The one made this up....but is fairly certain that if someone? could look into it.....they would find this sittuation somewhere in China.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Dinner's on your own time, so your winnings have no relation to your job.

    It would be different if you were calling into radio contests while at work....

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Take the lunch... unless the owner of the restaurant has a current development application pending review.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mentos08 View post

    My question is: Can I take it?
    I put a card in a bowl once after I moved here... and won lunch for the entire office. (and we have a big office)

    It was some advertiser thing for an insurance company who wanted to buy us lunch and give us her business card. She wanted to give a presentation thing, but we informed her that she could not do that. Also we had to have it in the break room and not our office... Our HR department suggested that we not accept those in the future.

    So, I would check with your lawyer, council, the mayor, the HR department, and the old woman who comes in to complain about everything under the sun before you accept.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  13. #13
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I won a $150 golf club from the Iowa League of Cities annual conference last month.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  14. #14
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Since my City strictly forbids the use of company resources for private gain, I would be weary about dropping a company card into a draw.

    Out right threats and bribes on the other hand are quite appropriate.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  15. #15
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57 View post
    I won a $150 golf club from the Iowa League of Cities annual conference last month.
    I took pens and can coolers from the display tables of the consultants at the Florida APA conference.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Gifts, Luck, & Ohio's BWC

    I have done the card in the fishbowl thing. What a waste of time.....this Bear is one of those dudes who NEVER wins anything, large or small.

    Our company does have a policy about gifts, etc. It is specifically directed at and written for those in decision-making positions who could be swayed by football game ducats or free housing at a resort, etc. A small example from the past would be when a trucking company would send in a huge container of cashews, as a Christmas gift. Without the policy, the person who it was addressed to at our company would often walk off with the gift. With the policy in place the cashews (or chocolates or whatever) are placed in the lunch rooms.....for all to grab.

    A friend of mine is an inspector with the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation. Because the Ohio BWC has made not-so-positive national news, relating to political party favoritism, mis-managed funds, etc., they have greatly tightened their rules about gifts.

    When my friend, Mike, conducts a safety inspection at an Ohio company he is prohibited from taking or accepting ANYTHING. He cannot even accept bottled water, even if it is given to the employees of that company he is inspecting as a free benefit.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  17. #17
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    You thought your last statement was funny...

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    I put a card in a bowl once after I moved here... and won lunch for the entire office. (and we have a big office)

    It was some advertiser thing for an insurance company who wanted to buy us lunch and give us her business card. She wanted to give a presentation thing, but we informed her that she could not do that. Also we had to have it in the break room and not our office... Our HR department suggested that we not accept those in the future.

    So, I would check with your lawyer, council, the mayor, the HR department, and the old woman who comes in to complain about everything under the sun before you accept.
    MY RESPONCE:
    It seems that you were making a joke about contacting everyone to make sure it is okay...well I spoke with my superior and he wants me to check with everyone under the sun to make sure "they are okay with me winning a random lunch". Should I be so frustrated? I feel I have overwhelming responce from everyone saying "hey go for it, this is your time, it was random, etc, etc."

    I guess that is part of the fun!
    Last edited by Planderella; 09 Nov 2006 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tags

  18. #18
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally posted by Mentos08 View post
    MY RESPONCE:
    It seems that you were making a joke about contacting everyone to make sure it is okay...well I spoke with my superior and he wants me to check with everyone under the sun to make sure "they are okay with me winning a random lunch". Should I be so frustrated? I feel I have overwhelming responce from everyone saying "hey go for it, this is your time, it was random, etc, etc."

    I guess that is part of the fun!
    This is silly.....go eat the lunch already.....it has nothing to do with work....right?
    Skilled Adoxographer

  19. #19
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    This is silly.....go eat the lunch already.....it has nothing to do with work....right?
    Yeah go eat already. The only problem we had was with the Vegan we employ...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  20. #20
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I did that once at a pizzeria in downtown Baltimore and won a free lunch for me an 10 of my co-workers. It turns out, that it was a marketing ploy for AmEX Financial Services. In order to get the lunch, we had to sit through a 15 min. presentation on "Blue can do for you".
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

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