OT: What have you gotten for free ala Jameis Winston?

Submitted by Go Blue Eyes on April 22nd, 2015 at 7:56 PM

While the debate rages as to what Jameis Winston (and other college athletes) got or didn't get for free, it got me to thinking what I have gotten free on a regular basis that ordinary people just don't. 

Perhaps the best thing I ever got for free on a regular basis was free gas for almost a year when I worked in Carlsbad, California in the late 80's.  I knew the guy who worked the payment station, would pull up and wave to him, pumped the gas and then simply drove off.  It was pretty cool not to have to worry about gas prices for a long time. 

Just curious to see what others have gotten in their past or present that would qualify as "preferential treatment."



April 22nd, 2015 at 8:18 PM ^

We were on vacation in the outer banks.  My wife, her sister, my wife's nearly brother-in-law (he was nearly married to my wife's sister) and all our kids.  We went to the restaurant where my cousin was the manager.  We had a great meal and lots to drink.  At the end my cousin comes back to the table and whispers that she has comped our $180.00 bill.  I say thank you very much, but we should still tip the waitress, right?  My cousin says, yes, please do.

I tell the adults the meal has been comped and our nearly brother-in-law proceeds to put his wallet away.  I tell him we still need to tip the waitress.  He gets a pained look on his face and pulls out his wallet and a $5 bill.  I tell him we need to both tip $20 each for a total of $40.  He reluctantly complied.  Cheap fuck.

Full disclosure, my wife, her sister and the nearly brother-in-law are British (Welsh) and folks don't tip in the UK much.  That said, they know the protocol here.


April 22nd, 2015 at 8:19 PM ^

I've found that using your P's and Q's will get you free (cheap) things. Multiple times I've gotten free scantrons at school or fries in a drive thru just because I use my manners. Kinda sad when you think about it.. Should be a natural thing IMO.


April 22nd, 2015 at 8:25 PM ^

I worked at a popular bar in town so I never had to wait in a line for a bar my entire time in college. Tons of free shots and many nights drinking at Ricks until 4-5am. Probably can't put a monetary value on that in college

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Hardware Sushi

April 22nd, 2015 at 8:26 PM ^

I stay at the same Marriott 2-4 nights per week going on 5 months now and basically get free drinks whenever. The problem is I got kinda fat (relatively) over the winter so now I go to the hotel gym after leaving the office and free drinks are just a temptation rather than a bonus. Plus how wasted can you really get when you have to deal with people you don't really know at 9 am the next morning?

First world problems, I guess...


April 22nd, 2015 at 8:45 PM ^

I got my wedding cake for free from the pastry shop I was working at. It was probably a $1200 cake, retail. 


Edit: Now that I think about it, not the same as Jameis. I was not famous, and they weren't trying to hook me up, starfu**er-style. Nevermind. 


April 22nd, 2015 at 8:38 PM ^

I started paying attention to how often I get something free or for less than I should be charged after I read something that suggested it wasn't happening just because of my obviously winning personality. It happens roughly once a week, and at random places from people I basically don't know. Usually nothing big, but often I'll spend 4 or 5 hours drinking coffee and writing at a diner and they'll just wave me away when I approach the counter to pay. I never know any of the people in advance, although I am a regular at some of these places, and there is the occasional waiter who will come over to my table and shake my hand and ask what's up.


April 22nd, 2015 at 8:38 PM ^

With Rick Novak, who owned Rick's. Never paid cover, never paid for a drink. Had a budget for pitchers shared, like no more than 4. Never had to wait in line, banged waitresses all the time. Say what you will about Rick's but was a sweet hookup back in the day.

Had something similar at Moe's. Wont divulge source, but i always had new shoes and M gear.

Kilgore Trout

April 22nd, 2015 at 11:24 PM ^

Trying to stay away from politics, but you're paying more to essentially subsidize people with low incomes and to bring the quality of insurance across the board up to a minimum standard (whether that is right or wrong is a whole different and substantially political conversation). Government run entitlements like social security and Medicare are actually incredibly efficiently run from an administrative cost standpoint.

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April 23rd, 2015 at 7:29 AM ^

For Medicare, by efficient, if you mean "We pay for everything, and then retroactively go 'Oh Shit, this is probably fraud", then yes, you are correct.

They may not pay as much as commercial insurance, but you can almost always rely on Medicare to pay at the 30 day mark.

That "efficiency" while go out the shitter when ICD10 is implemented.  Gleefully anticipating the chaos that will reign.

Kilgore Trout

April 23rd, 2015 at 6:00 PM ^

As I said, from a perspective of administrative cost. Not going anywhere near the political debate, just saying that the amount they spend on administration as a percentage of their overall budget is very low.

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Autocracy Now

April 23rd, 2015 at 6:31 AM ^

Some plans have experienced largeish increases in premiums, but on average premiums have not increased under ACA. Or, in some markets, they have increased, but a rates lower than before the law's implmentation. Remember, health insurance premium growth was outpacing inflation for a very long time, and quite a bit. 

You're not paying for the government to to manage care, etc. What you are paying more for is the the fact that now all preventative care is covered and people are guaranteed coverage. Your insurance company is passing on some of those costs to you. The funding stream for subsidies for people getting care in the exchanges is separate. 


April 23rd, 2015 at 7:36 AM ^

Most of the articles/figures I have seen cited in the lay press have demonstrated marked increases in individual premiums, especially for those unfortunate enough to have to buy insurance on their own in the commercial market.  Employer-based coverage almost always goes up anyways, so you will need a few years to determine if this is significantly higher than the typical annual increase.

Your second paragraph is partially correct: Yes, Obamacare mandates a certain level of coverage that many stripped down policies did not have.  However, if you are a young, single, healthy male in his early 20s, why exactly should you be mandated to pay for OCPs for women, prenatal/OB/postnatal care, psychiatry, chiropractic care, mammographs/colonoscopies, etc (none of which are necessary for a male in his 20s)?

Obamacare can be boiled down into a transfer of wealth: Younger, healthier, or more well-off people are subsidizing older, sicker, less well-off people.

The great thing about this debate is that there has not yet been a documented study that demonstrates preventative medicine decreases medical costs.  If anything, increased access to preventative care has ALWAYS demonstrated increased costs due to the finding of incidental-omas (benign masses on colonscopies that require biopsies, benign cysts on mamos that require biopsies, random lung nodules that require serial monitoring, etc etc etc) and the med-mal consequences of NOT chasing down these most-likely benign findings.




April 23rd, 2015 at 8:46 AM ^

You should mandated to pay because healthcare should be a right, not a commodity for only those that can afford it. It's called the common good. Perhaps you failed to learn that while studying social studies in elementary school.


April 23rd, 2015 at 12:42 PM ^

Part of the lay rationale posed for Obamacare was the protypical Millenial "invincible" without insurance who got ran over by a car and thus had $50K of hospital bills after his pelvis needed to be ORIF.

Well, you can mandate stripped down coverage for catastrophic incidences WITHOUT forcing a percentage of the population that tends to have LESS money, to give to a population that tends to have MORE money (older people).

The problem I have with Obamacare is that it mandates a Cadillac for everyone, without taking into consideration that most people can get around with a Elantra, thanks.  

And ultimately; YOUR crappy lifestyle SHOULD have consequences.  So much of the resources devoted to the US healthcare system are PREVENTABLE.

You smoke, you drink, you do IV drugs, your fat, you eat like shit, you are out of shape: Holy crap!  You get COPD/Lung cancer/Liver Cancer/EVERYTHYTHING/Heart Problems/Strokes/Diabetes????  No shit?  So why do I (I try to eat healthy, cut down caffeine, exercise a lot, don't smoke, limit drinking booze even though I love it, won't get near drugs) get to fund your shitty lifestyle?


Autocracy Now

April 23rd, 2015 at 8:43 PM ^

It is true that the ACA is partially built on the individual mandate, which requires younger, healthier people to get in the insurance pool. Insurance is about spreading around risk. Otherwise, only high risk people would buy it and it would be unaffordable. It makes a lot of sense once you understand the basics. However, older people can still be required to pay three times as much for their insurance as younger people. That seems reasonable. Also, to your point about younger people having less money--ok, that is true, but there are also subsidies available for people whose insurnace plan is going to cost them more than 10% of their income. That also seems pretty reasonable. 

Good on you for watching your health. But you know what? A lot of people who get sick don't get that way because of their personal choices. Various things likes genetics and bad luck have a lot to do with it. Why should we not help those folks?

And I wouldn't say the ACA requires a Cadillac plan for everyone--people can still be required to pay $6000 out of pocket in addition to their premiums each year. That seems a rather barebones. In fact, there is a proivsion in the ACA that discourages super high-end plans--this is called the "Cadillac tax". It assesses a fee on unncessarily costy plans to discourage them. 

Ok, I'm done. I sincerely hope it helps.