I like to flip between talking about matters of finance and travel. Life is a bitch, and we have to figure out how to get through it. In the past I have talked about ‘game everything’. The idea is to move beyond the world of ‘points and miles’ to expand the philosophy into all aspects of what we do. When you strip away the nonsense, points and miles are just rebates, and there are many different types of rebate.
However, I’ve been feeling a bit ‘awkward’ recently. I guess it is hard to avoid in a group of people who follows the mindset of gaming things, but there have to be limits. I guess this is a comfort zone thing, but there is a lot to be said for integrity of a deal and relationships.
Drawing from my past, one prime example of this was a guy we worked with on the Cruise ship. He was out there saving as much money as possible to send home. Admirable cause. However, he would always accept drinks from others when bought in a round, but when it was his turn, he would only ever buy himself a beer. He gamed us. You could see the same thing happening if you had a get together of MSers, imagine that happening there. At the end of the night he ‘won’ and gamed the system, but he’s never going to be invited back.
I personally get this feeling when someone +1s my negotiation. I hate it. When I carve out a deal that already cuts prices significantly, and give my word on something I really don’t like people coming along to game it further. After all, everything is game-able, but what happens to the relationship if you press it too hard? I actually see it happening at times with our upcoming DO in Firesky.
Sometimes, you just can’t get what you want, such as an upgrade every time, and sometimes you need to leave a little something on the table.
I’m trying to figure out the root of this, and I think it harks back to the days of good faith. Something that we forget about because of the behavior of corporations. As they constantly seek to screw the consumer, the consumer toughens up so as to not be exploited. But there are times when even the biggest corporation can connect on a personal level.
Going back to Firesky, I think we got a great deal, and I think we are going to make a big splash there. However I think we need to keep an eye on how we are perceived in the process. Are they going to look at us as a great group of people who do cool things and have fun, or are we a headache that is always complaining to get the the upgrades and free comps? Would they want us back?
I guess it doesn’t matter what they think if all you have is a transaction orientated ‘win’ mind, but sometimes it’s better to think about the big picture, and buy a round, even though you don’t ‘have to’. An example of me doing this is that I missed out on the fact that beer wasn’t included in our social hour pricing. I was left with a few options:
- Screw the beer drinkers!
- Make it a Cash Bar for beer
- Make it a Cash Bar for beer and pick up the tab
I missed it, I’m not going to make Firesky feel bad about my mistake, they have already been great in dropping prices and accommodating us. I am not going to add on to the ticket price (weird?) and in the end, I am not going to make the beer drinkers pay. Though you might see me drinking the wine and commenting on how delicious it is in order to game people into trying it, since it is included in the price 🙂