Archive for the 'Rant' Category


Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Today is my birthday. I decided to treat myself to a frozen pizza.

I went over to Safeway and got a pizza. All I had was a $100 bill. All she had for change were $1 bills. So I got 94 one dollar bills and a pizza.

She said “Go over to customer service; they can trade it up.” But there was nobody there. After five minutes of waiting, a cashier decided to call on the intercom for customer service. After 10 minutes, they called again. After 15, I gave up.

Frankly, it annoys me that Retail stores assume their customers’ time is worthless. By making us wait longer, they save money by not having to pay one more employee.

And where does the money go?

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

I usually avoid posting commentary on news stories, but I can’t figure this one out…

117 year old school to close due to only 9 students enrolled

The article states that the annual budget for running the school and the enclosing school district (which contains only this school) is $450,000, and that $50,000 per student is not feasible.

My question: Where exactly does that $450,000 go? What are the costs that aren’t obvious?

  • The article states there are two teachers at the school. Teachers are paid rather poorly, so figure they make $45,000 per year each.
  • Add in benefits, employer portion of taxes, etc at 25%: $22,500 per year.
  • The article mentions there is a combined principal / school supervisor, but doesn’t say whether they are also one of the teachers. Assume not, so add another $45,000 + $11,250.
  • The building won’t have a mortgage – it’s been a school for 117 years! It has to be long since paid off.
  • Figure $400/mo for combined power, water, and sewage; $4,800

Total so far: $173,550

California average per-pupil spending: $7,081 [1] (which technically already includes the salaries above, but I’ll be generous – figure this is the cost only of texts, labs, supplies, small capital, &c.)

Times nine students = $63,729

Total so far: $237, 279

Where did the other $212,721 go?

Source for [1]: