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Old 05-15-2013, 03:32 PM   #21
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Interesting thoughts, and quite logical too. Definitely agree that the 16-20 oz cup is what people think of as "normal" nowadays, which could help explain the increasingly insane aggressive driving behavior in our area.

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Maybe I'm ethically challenged but I don't see a problem with it. I imagine the cost of the coffee vs the cost of gym membership is de minimis. I did some quick calcs and it looks like the rocket fuel I drink is around $0.10 to $0.20 for one of those "16 to 20 oz big gulps".

If they come in every other day during the month and fill up on coffee at each visit, then they are perhaps consuming $3 per coffee per month. Maybe $5 if you throw a little sugar and creamer in.

What is the ethically allowed serving? 1-2 6 oz cups per gym visit?? Cost will be very similar, and you consume one of the cups they are paying for (at least a couple pennies in value). Say the in house drinker consumes $3 worth incl. cream, sugar, and disposable cups.

So the Mr Big Shot has managed to eek out an additional $2 in value from the gym each month. As compared to a ~$50 membership? Not a big deal. All types of consumers patronize facilities like the gym, and some consume more resources than others. Maybe some shower there, others don't. Some use lots of toilet paper or hand soap, others use none (they should really wipe though). Some use lots of towels and generate more laundry, others pack their own. Some may only use the gym a few times a month.

I would even hesitate to classify a 16 to 20 oz container as a big gulp. I think that is the standard size for travel mugs. When I read Big Gulp I figured somebody had their 64 oz trucker mug from the gas station in there emptying the coffee carafes. My mistake!

I imagine the patrons that take the coffee are in a hurry, and value the 5-10 minutes it saves them versus waiting in a drive thru or stopping at a coffee place on the way to work or wherever. If they had unlimited free time they could probably sit down for a spell and sip on a 6 oz styrofoam cup or two of the brew. Regretfully people have busy schedules, and after their self indulgent work out they are probably off to the next agenda item of the day.

I wouldn't hesitate to bring in my (roughly) 14 oz travel mug and fill it about 2/3 to 3/4 full of the gym's delicious brew if I had stopped by the gym on the way to work. It would be a convenience that might make me prefer one gym over another since the time saved in coffee prep or buying would partially offset the time spent working out. I like a little more than 6 oz of coffee but don't really want 16-20 oz (probably isn't good for you). And I like the coffee cool enough to drink comfortably. As a result the 6 oz styrofoam cups wouldn't serve my needs well. I'd rather take my 6 oz allotment and let it sit for a little while to cool down. Which lends itself to the to go travel mug.

If the gym really wanted to control their costs on coffee, they could put up a sign that said "for consumption in the gym only" and/or "no travel mugs" or "use provided cups only" or "no to go coffee". I doubt that is their intent. It is a value added service that is convenient for patrons and they probably aren't bothered by the pennies they are losing on the Mr Big Shot Big Gulpers.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #22
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I'm such a coffee snob. I find most of the "free" coffee offered in hotels, offices, many restaurants even, completely undrinkable.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:17 PM   #23
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Since there are many frugal people here, I thought this small matter may interest some:

The local gym has a couple of coffee urns for the patrons' convenience after workouts. The staff make the coffee. Small 6-oz cups are supplied.

We have started seeing a number of men leaving the gym after having filled big, 16- or 20-oz travel mugs from the gym coffee urn. Mr. A. calls this "stealing." I don't consider it stealing, but I do think it's greedy, and over time could result in the gym starting to charge for coffee, instead of including it in our membership dues. Others probably just see it as a practical, frugal thing to do.

Thoughts?

Amethyst

When I was in business we would label people like this "mooches".....and, many times they screw it up for everyone else.....I would never consider people that did this amognst my friends.......they are the same kind of folks that make a bathroom visit just as the check arrives when you are at a restaurant.....not my kind of people.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:35 PM   #24
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I do the same coffee thing when I leave my HOUSE every morning, and don't refill it with anything but water during the day.

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Old 05-15-2013, 10:08 PM   #25
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Interesting thoughts, and quite logical too. Definitely agree that the 16-20 oz cup is what people think of as "normal" nowadays...
A new espresso shop opened up down the street from one of my sons. They won't sell anything to go, only to be consumed on premises in porcelain demitasse or standard cup and saucer. They don't even want to do an Americano, but will if begged. And look out if you ask for milk or foamed milk or syrup, or anything but one of several coffees and modes of preparation. They will provide cream and sugar.

The attitude on display in some of these hipster places is hilarious. There is a place near my apartment that beats them all. One of the baristas is a really pretty mid 20s woman who only works in a heels and a pretty dress. She is a joy, after all the tattoo covered multiply pierced women and men in most of these places.

Ha
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Since there are many frugal people here, I thought this small matter may interest some:

The local gym has a couple of coffee urns for the patrons' convenience after workouts. The staff make the coffee. Small 6-oz cups are supplied.

We have started seeing a number of men leaving the gym after having filled big, 16- or 20-oz travel mugs from the gym coffee urn. Mr. A. calls this "stealing." I don't consider it stealing, but I do think it's greedy, and over time could result in the gym starting to charge for coffee, instead of including it in our membership dues. Others probably just see it as a practical, frugal thing to do.

Thoughts?

Amethyst

I don't sweat the small stuff. I totally get the argument and I guess I got to that place in life that these dollars don't phase me. Or is it still cents? No clue what gym coffee goes for now n days.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:33 AM   #27
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People can ruin a free lunch.As Jerome stated,they usually ruin it for everyone else.You may also be surprised of the economic status of the folks who are taking the most.Entitlement mentality.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:54 AM   #28
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From my upbringing, the coffee is provided to be consumed on the premises. If you are going to push it and take the coffee with you, you do so in the provided cups, not by filling up your own cup. That is equivalent to going to someone's house, having them serve cookies, and filling up your purse with all you want from the plate, to eat later.
I think Indigo pretty much spelled it out. Those people are not poor and can afford coffee anywhere, but they show up anyways at the trough.
Kinda like this is the way I see it:
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:54 AM   #29
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A new espresso shop opened up down the street from one of my sons. They won't sell anything to go, only to be consumed on premises in porcelain demitasse or standard cup and saucer. They don't even want to do an Americano, but will if begged. And look out if you ask for milk or foamed milk or syrup, or anything but one of several coffees and modes of preparation. They will provide cream and sugar.

The attitude on display in some of these hipster places is hilarious. There is a place near my apartment that beats them all. One of the baristas is a really pretty mid 20s woman who only works in a heels and a pretty dress. She is a joy, after all the tattoo covered multiply pierced women and men in most of these places.

Ha
These kind of places are funny. I was at a bar recently celebrating someone getting a new job. They advertised 80 beers on tap. Being a connoisseur of fine domestic megabrews, I ordered a miller light or high life draft or something like that. The snooty waitress (maybe I should call her a beer sommelier??) quickly informed me that they don't carry those on tap. Ok, what domestics do you have on tap? She replies "oh we don't carry any of the domestic brews here, only uppity microbrews".

So I had to drink my High Life out of a bottle. I mean I managed to survive the experience, but nonetheless it left me a little shaken in my faith in humanity.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:02 AM   #30
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Maybe I'm weird, but when I have friends or family visiting at the house, I like to offer them coffee and/or a bottled water when they leave if I know they are going out for the day and it would save them the time/hassle/expense of stopping to buy a drink. It costs me almost nothing (maybe $0.10-$0.20). Just seems like good hospitality, and maybe the gym is trying to extend the same hospitality, given that it is a cheap way to garner good will. After all, gyms are selling a relatively commodity good (a place to move things from one place to another over and over) and differentiate themselves based on things that appeal to the patrons.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:57 AM   #31
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These are the same people who empty the hotel ice machine to fill their giant ice chest, rather than spend $5 at a store to buy ice. They leave everybody else in the lurch.

It's not fair to the people who obey the rules to allow this to continue. In the name of fairness they should be told to limit their coffee to one or two cups, consumed at the site. Why are we so scared of offending the scofflaws, but don't care a bit about screwing the people who obey the rules?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #32
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We don't really know if the coffee folks are scofflaws, do we? It seems more like an interpretation of what common courtesy is regarding "free" coffee. It probably costs the health club virtually nothing, and they use it as a marketing tool to keep some of their membership happy (for me, the idea of a hot cup of coffee before or after a workout is just not that appealing, so someone else would be enjoying that "perk" hahah). I would probably approach the management with my concerns if it bothered me that much, as there could be a politely worded sign placed near the coffee to remind the members to enjoy it at the club only (and like I said earlier, my very nice DH would not have thought taking some to go would be considered a problem, but he certainly wouldn't take it if there was a sign telling him not to. I think.).

I don't know about the ice machines either (we fill an ice bucket upon checking in and that's it for us), if it really costs the hotel much since it's just water and the ice machine has to run anyway? It's more an inconvenience for the next guest who finds the bin almost empty as the machine needs to refill, but as long as a paying guest is the one taking the ice, I wonder if the hotel really cares since most people don't do it. I really can't remember finding an empty ice bin in our hotel experiences.

My favorite interpretation of someone taking advantage of a place's "free" amenities was a very well-to-do couple who told us they always stay at Hilton Hotels near a Hampton Inn so they can eat the complimentary breakfast at the Hampton (they have the impression that Hampton expects them to do it, being part of the Hilton chain).
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:18 AM   #33
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I fail to see how the "cost" of something is pertinent to whether taking advantage of something not meant for you is right or wrong.

At my old megaconglomocorp, we used to have "spreads", as they were called, sometimes potluck for a holiday, and sometimes company provided, as for a retirement party. I watched people pile their plates so high that they wouldn't hold another molecule of food, even before everyone had a chance to get a plate. You'd have thought they hadn't eaten in days, morbid obesity notwithstanding.

The way I was raised, you waited until everyone was served before getting seconds. It's called manners, and assuming that whatever the hell you want to do is okay is bad manners.

Years ago, I took my son to a Ranger game, and we stood around after the game to try to get an autograph. The grown men were pushing and shoving their way to the front, crowding out the kids, and anyone else not willing to bully their way to the front. No rule against it. Not "costing" anyone. Okay?

It is NOT okay to take all the coffee, take all the ice, cut in line, run the red light, etc. They say that character is how you act when no one is watching... So take your cheap, coffee pilfering ass over to McDonald's, and buy a freakin' cup...
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:35 AM   #34
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I fail to see how the "cost" of something is pertinent to whether taking advantage of something not meant for you is right or wrong.
.....
It is NOT okay to take all the coffee, take all the ice, cut in line, run the red light, etc. They say that character is how you act when no one is watching... So take your cheap, coffee pilfering ass over to McDonald's, and buy a freakin' cup...
+1

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:40 AM   #35
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Maybe I'm weird, but when I have friends or family visiting at the house, I like to offer them coffee and/or a bottled water when they leave if I know they are going out for the day and it would save them the time/hassle/expense of stopping to buy a drink. It costs me almost nothing (maybe $0.10-$0.20). Just seems like good hospitality, and maybe the gym is trying to extend the same hospitality, given that it is a cheap way to garner good will. After all, gyms are selling a relatively commodity good (a place to move things from one place to another over and over) and differentiate themselves based on things that appeal to the patrons.
Perhaps if they only took one cup to go, your explanation would better apply IMHO.

I think the thread was started, however, when folks were showing up with their own gigantic cups.

This was the sort of thing (32oz, 64 oz "cups") that really annoyed those of us at w*rk who were volunteering our time to operate the coffee club.

-gauss
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #36
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Well, I'm happy someone drinks that sludge and leaves the good coffee for the rest of us. In a way it's an indirect price subsidy for the growers and roasters by giving them an outlet for the low quality stuff. On behalf coffee snobs everywhere, thanks!
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #37
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I hope you guys all complained to the management about it rather than internalize the stress.

I never indulged in the kind of behavior described above, and I promise to stay off your lawns .
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:55 AM   #38
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I hope you guys all complained to the management about it rather than internalize the stress.

I never indulged in the kind of behavior described above, and I promise to stay off your lawns .
Re: complaining, we're obviously outnumbered by people who see nothing wrong with that type of behavior.

As for my lawn, bring a mower...
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:58 AM   #39
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Do any of you ever get into a recursive loop of politeness?

No, you first.
No, you first.
No really I insist, you first.
No, you first.
No I really insist, you first.
No, you go ahead.
No, manners prevent me from going first; you first.
I follow the same set of manners, so you first.
Well, we can't simultaneously go through this door, so you first.
No, you first.
It appears we are at an impasse, so you go first.
And be cast as the villain? You first.
No, you first.
....
etc etc ad nauseam
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:13 PM   #40
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Perhaps if they only took one cup to go, your explanation would better apply IMHO.

I think the thread was started, however, when folks were showing up with their own gigantic cups.

This was the sort of thing (32oz, 64 oz "cups") that really annoyed those of us at w*rk who were volunteering our time to operate the coffee club.

-gauss
I think we have reviewed two different sets of facts. While the OP qualitatively characterized the cups as Big Gulps, she then goes on to specify a quantitative size that is much more in line with a standard serving of coffee these days (16-20 oz).

I get it - 64 oz cups are somewhere around 3-4 times larger than a 16 oz cup. That would be a little greedy, taking 64 oz of coffee.

From an ethical stand point, I would (personally) draw a distinction between taking advantage of a mutual group of sharing (the coffee club) vs taking advantage of a business (the gym). The coffee club is founded on sharing, the gym is founded on profit maximization for the owner. Maybe if the gym were structured in a mutual form of ownership, then I could buy into the theory that it is ethically wrong to take more than a certain allotment of coffee (as determined by the group of mutual owners).
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