Center Camp/coffee debate

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Guest

Post by Guest » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:46 pm

Chai Guy wrote:Just a note: Our Free Chai Revolution was a huge success!
indeed! vida and i stopped by (dressed as the domo-kun and the kitten) on friday afternoon and y'all were hoppin'! congrats.

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HughMungus
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Re: Free the tea too!

Post by HughMungus » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:05 am

solaritea wrote:Maybe next year I can find someone who wants to brew up gallons of coffee or chai and we can go out there together?
We were making coffee for our neighbors and wondering how long we could get away with giving away coffee in center camp...someone told us that Larry Harvey himself might show up to cap us. :(
It's what you make it.

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Post by HughMungus » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:09 am

"A tip is a gift, right?"

At Center Camp, yes. In the real world, no.
It's what you make it.

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KellY
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Post by KellY » Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:48 pm

Isotopia wrote:
A tip is a gift, right? Especially at a coffee counter, as opposed to a sit down restaurant where tipping is pretty much mandatory. Why did people get upset about freely offered gifts?
When tips are audibly solicited - especially by the person (manager) in charge - I find the 'gifting' idea completely bogus. When there's an expectation of someone freely giving then the gift and all that lies behind it becomes contaminated.

My .02
Good point. I'd like to point out that actively soliciting for tips is against cafe policy and those who do so should heartily be told to fuck off. I'd also like to say that in my considerable time spent in the cafe I've never personally witnessed any active tip solicitation (aside from outrageous flirting).
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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Post by geekster » Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:50 pm

I was in center camp, I can't remember the day but I think it was either Saturday or Sunday morning. There was a person who would periodically come from behind the counter, jump up on the counter with the megaphone and make an announcement. His announcement included the fact that center camp was short on sugar and was soliciting donations. He went on to state that everyone behind the counter was a volunteer and ask that they be gifted with "money, trinkets, extra drugs, whatever" or something pretty close to that.
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Post by Organgeboy » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:54 am

Wow, this thread has gone on quite a bit. I started it!

I've given up coffee. That's the update...

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Post by diode » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:29 am

This was the first year I bought nada at center camp. I realized my playa experience was colored by the fact that all my trips seems to eventually intersect with the center camp cafe, coffee and a monetary transaction.

I didn't miss it much. The small amount of time I spent in center camp was colored by the cheerleader ethic at the cafe. I swear one morning some yahoo got up with a megaphone to incite the crowd to whoop, holler and generally freak out, then the volunteers did a dance number on the cafe counters.

A friend told me the cafe clears a million bux in its limited run. That's a lot of dinero if true. I think the cafe is antithetical to the values espoused by the org. and the community. I'd rather see more stages than coffee drinkers buying hits.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:08 pm

I officially refuse to spend a freakin' nickel at the cafe...
There's a few certain cafe workers (well, one) that I'm extremely fond of, and I mean them (well, her) no disrespect, but I don't like the idea that they are vending at a "no vending" event. Can't anyone make their own coffee? If not, it's usually available free, with your choice of yummy high-octane additives, on my boat. If the money is really needed to schmooze the local charities, I'd sooner pay another $20 for my ticket than have the coffee shop.
However... I'm catching myself in a bit of double-standard about ice sales... I buy no ice myself, I come prepared to make my own, but I know that Antarctica saves a lot of people's asses. (ices?)
Where do I go to renew my hypocrisy license?
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:26 pm

Ice for gifting drinks is one thing. If you have a bar why not an ice maker. But to have to buy ice for camp? I meam you are not prepared for a trip to the desert. Just another plea to hold your hand. Whats next? You want the Captain to hold your .... while you take a leak already?
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Post by KellY » Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:07 pm

diode wrote: I swear one morning some yahoo got up with a megaphone to incite the crowd to whoop, holler and generally freak out, then the volunteers did a dance number on the cafe counters.
You know, a lot of people would look upon the scene you just described as a good thing.
diode wrote:A friend told me the cafe clears a million bux in its limited run. That's a lot of dinero if true.
It's not. If you don't believe me, do some math. To clear a million bucks, the cafe would have to sell something like 333,333 lattes during the event - like 10 per participant. How likely do you think that is? Of course, that would be the gross, not the net. To really "clear" a million, the cafe would probably have to sell about twice that much.

Not to be snotty (okay, I'm being snotty, I admit it), but try thinking things through a bit before believing (and spreading) playa rumours.

unjonharley wrote:Ice for gifting drinks is one thing. If you have a bar why not an ice maker. But to have to buy ice for camp? I meam you are not prepared for a trip to the desert. Just another plea to hold your hand. Whats next? You want the Captain to hold your .... while you take a leak already?
Sounds to me like you're taking the whole self-reliance ethic to an illogical extreme dude. An icemaker? Don't forget the generator to power it, and all the extra water to freeze. Expecting people to bring enough ice to last a week in the desert is kind of out there, in my humble opinion. If you're trying to keep perishables safe, then you'd have to bring at least two or three extra chests just for ice, wouldn't you? Why not just decree that no one's let in the gate without a Ryder truck or an RV, then?
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:18 pm

KellY wrote: Sounds to me like you're taking the whole self-reliance ethic to an illogical extreme dude. An icemaker? Don't forget the generator to power it, and all the extra water to freeze.
Well... that's what I do...
It's all about illogical extremes.
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:54 pm

KellY wrote:[quote Sounds to me like you're taking the whole self-reliance ethic to an illogical extreme dude. An icemaker? Don't forget the generator to power it, and all the extra water to freeze. Expecting people to bring enough ice to last a week in the desert is kind of out there, in my humble opinion. If you're trying to keep perishables safe, then you'd have to bring at least two or three extra chests just for ice, wouldn't you? Why not just decree that no one's let in the gate without a Ryder truck or an RV, then?


/\

Three in our camp with three ice chests. I arrived homme Tue. late evening. Wed. morning there was still ice enough to keep the food.

Don't know how you plan you ice. It's just not that hard to do. I wrote to this board four or five times tellig how to ice. Don't want to listen to an old time. Old time don't want to listen to your whining. I know enough to plan a camp. Up until a few years ago I was a extrem camper and climber. No fcken store to run to.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:07 pm

Unjon, you crotchety grump, you forgot to call me ugly...
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Badger
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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:07 pm

I was in center camp, I can't remember the day but I think it was either Saturday or Sunday morning. There was a person who would periodically come from behind the counter, jump up on the counter with the megaphone and make an announcement. His announcement included the fact that center camp was short on sugar and was soliciting donations. He went on to state that everyone behind the counter was a volunteer and ask that they be gifted with "money, trinkets, extra drugs, whatever" or something pretty close to that.
We must have been in the Center Camp at the same time. This is exactly what I witnessed. I'll also note that this was from one of the managers of the coffee bar.
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Post by Simply Joel » Sun Sep 12, 2004 4:02 pm

Badger wrote:
I was in center camp, I can't remember the day but I think it was either Saturday or Sunday morning. There was a person who would periodically come from behind the counter, jump up on the counter with the megaphone and make an announcement. His announcement included the fact that center camp was short on sugar and was soliciting donations. He went on to state that everyone behind the counter was a volunteer and ask that they be gifted with "money, trinkets, extra drugs, whatever" or something pretty close to that.
We must have been in the Center Camp at the same time. This is exactly what I witnessed. I'll also note that this was from one of the managers of the coffee bar.
Stories like this make me think not going was the correct course of action.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:01 pm

Simply Joel wrote: Stories like this make me think not going was the correct course of action.
Hey, Joel... It wasn't ALL bad... Get your elusive ass out there next year and meet everyone and have some fun. That's an order from the Captain.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Post by diode » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:55 pm

KellY wrote:
diode wrote: I swear one morning some yahoo got up with a megaphone to incite the crowd to whoop, holler and generally freak out, then the volunteers did a dance number on the cafe counters.
You know, a lot of people would look upon the scene you just described as a good thing.
Guess I'm not one of them.
diode wrote:A friend told me the cafe clears a million bux in its limited run. That's a lot of dinero if true.
It's not. If you don't believe me, do some math. To clear a million bucks, the cafe would have to sell something like 333,333 lattes during the event - like 10 per participant. How likely do you think that is? Of course, that would be the gross, not the net. To really "clear" a million, the cafe would probably have to sell about twice that much.

Not to be snotty (okay, I'm being snotty, I admit it), but try thinking things through a bit before believing (and spreading) playa rumours.
[/quote]

Thanks for the lecture, dad. Where's the fun in that?

Anyway, I get that 10 counter persons selling 173 drinks per hour for eight days straight at 3 bux per pop is a million bux. Okay, maybe that's not very likely, or extremely unlikely. I withdraw the rumor.

One thing I'm fairly certain of is that nothing said on this board pro or con the coffe counter will stop it's being back next year.

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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:03 pm

The other point that seems to keep getting buried in the discussion is that the $ from the coffee vending like the ice sales, goes to local community grants.

Not saying that's a bad thing. In fact it make s the idea a bit more palatable to me. My objection has been the incessant keening for tips by the 'volunteers' who work behind the bar. I've said it enough times throughout the board so I won't go into detail but I will not that I've never heard active solicitation from the DPW, greeters, lamplighters or Rangers for anything. I know that were Rangers ever to do such a thing that negative peer pressure (both collective and individual) would collectively rain down on them in torrents.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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Post by unjonharley » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:02 am

The DpW asks for food. I foregot this but will bring a case of food 05.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:04 am

My 2 cnetts (What's a cnett? Wouldn't you like to nkow.)
i'm still on the fence about the cafe.
It doesn't function as my favorite cafes in the real world function. The rest of the playa comes closer to that.
I respect Technopatra and KellY and think they have added good stuff to the debate.
Demanding tips is foul.
Ice sales are a health issue--so no hypocrasy liscence needed, Captain.
I'm sorry I missed your protest, Chai Guy.
Badger--as I recall from earlier in the year, the procedes go to the cafe and the LLC, not local charity. although the cafe is apparently self-supporting.
Went twice, too crowded.
It's Larry's baby and it will stay.
Being on the fence is good for me. I can be such a purist sometimes.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:05 am

Oh, and gifted coffee (and I presume Chai) is
incredible.

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:15 am

Crypto,

I may have mis-spoke. I know that the ice sales definitely go towards the local projects and the benefits have been substantial - especially in a state that spends so little on social infrastructure. Will ask around about the coffee thing as I'm more curious than anything.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:18 am

No problem. I think we went through this last year and that was the upshot, but I'm not wading around through old posts to double check. . .

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Post by Chai Guy » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:54 pm

My question is this

Why does Burning Man LLC post so much information in their fiscal reports about seemingly everything except the Cafe! It seems pretty simple to say the cafe made X amount and spent Y amount for a total profit of Z amount which we spent on food for the volunteers. My guess is that the reason they don't do that is because the amount of money they make would blow everyone away, and it would be obvious that in fact the reason behind the continuation of the cafe in a "no commerce" event is because it makes an obscene amount of money for the organization.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:37 pm

Dang it Chai--I'd forgotten the commisary connection. And this year they had contractors for the food. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

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Post by kikidelosfeliz » Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:52 pm

Quote: "would like to see a burger joint"

For some reason, I don't mind a Starf**ks at Center Camp, but a Hack-in-the-Box? Nooooooo...

Well, maybe if there were happy meals with little surprises inside...!

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Post by Badger » Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:37 pm

Quote: "would like to see a burger joint"
<sitting in my rocking chair, laying my cane across my lap>

Back in the early 90's there was McSatan's for several years. They actually served some tasty ass burgers for nothin'.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:37 pm

Wasn't that Flash, the same one with the big Whale in '02 and '03?
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Post by missmann » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:52 pm

i find it funny how every time someone writes the word "volunteers" its in quotations. Like all the people who are writing this have actually looked into the issue and can definatively say otherwise. and like the volunteers set the prices for the coffee. and like anyone who chose to be involved with it was part of a huge conspiracy to make your coffee buying experience shitty because you really wanted to recieve the same service you get at starbucks, and have your real name put on the cup so that you didn't have to think about your favorite smurfs name or put any effort into the experience other than opening your wallet,and wouldnt have to lighten up and have some goddamn fun outside of your regular box.
i'm bringing it up coz i was one of those volunteers and no, i did not get paid (save the awesome gifts that people passed on my way- to the gentleman who gave me a clif bar the morning i slept a bit late before my shift, you are the shit!) and i had nothing to do with how much the coffee was, or with the fact that sometimes the machines didn't work because of the dust or we ran out of sugar or chocolate. i found it interesting that 3 out of five times when i would say hi and ask someone how their day was going they would bark a coffee order at me, and refuse to acknowledge the fact that i was trying to be friendly and interact with them. i found it startling how many people purchasing coffee seemed to think that the majik coffee faeries would instantly have their dry low fat half cappo half mocha with 6 shots of espresso and 2 vanilla flavour shots (like we even had that, read the menu) appear even though we had 14 cups lined up for the barista at our station. i found it disgusting how many people seemed to think that since there was money involved there didn't need to be any manners involved on their part. WE WERE IN THE DESERT AT BURNINGMAN- WHAT THE HELL!!???
despite that, i had a fucking awesome time working in the cafe and would do it again in a second... i'd also suggest that anyone who is interested in theorizing where the money goes should get involved and voluteer or, hell, contact someone in an authority position from the cafe and ask the questions you really want answered. might be a little more productive than spending time typing your woes over the volunteers dancing instead of fetching your hot beverage.

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Post by missmann » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:54 pm

i find it funny how every time someone writes the word "volunteers" its in quotations. Like all the people who are writing this have actually looked into the issue and can definatively say otherwise. and like the volunteers set the prices for the coffee. and like anyone who chose to be involved with it was part of a huge conspiracy to make your coffee buying experience shitty because you really wanted to recieve the same service you get at starbucks, and have your real name put on the cup so that you didn't have to think about your favorite smurfs name or put any effort into the experience other than opening your wallet,and wouldnt have to lighten up and have some goddamn fun outside of your regular box.
i'm bringing it up coz i was one of those volunteers and no, i did not get paid (save the awesome gifts that people passed on my way- to the gentleman who gave me a clif bar the morning i slept a bit late before my shift, you are the shit!) and i had nothing to do with how much the coffee was, or with the fact that sometimes the machines didn't work because of the dust or we ran out of sugar or chocolate. i found it interesting that 3 out of five times when i would say hi and ask someone how their day was going they would bark a coffee order at me, and refuse to acknowledge the fact that i was trying to be friendly and interact with them. i found it startling how many people purchasing coffee seemed to think that the majik coffee faeries would instantly have their dry low fat half cappo half mocha with 6 shots of espresso and 2 vanilla flavour shots (like we even had that, read the menu) appear even though we had 14 cups lined up for the barista at our station. i found it disgusting how many people seemed to think that since there was money involved there didn't need to be any manners involved on their part. WE WERE IN THE DESERT AT BURNINGMAN- WHAT THE HELL!!???
despite that, i had a fucking awesome time working in the cafe and would do it again in a second... i'd also suggest that anyone who is interested in theorizing where the money goes should get involved and voluteer or, hell, contact someone in an authority position from the cafe and ask the questions you really want answered. might be a little more productive than spending time typing your woes over the volunteers dancing instead of fetching your hot beverage.

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