Did you know that if you order the Country Boy Breakfast at Cracker Barrel it comes with unlimited hash browns and fried apples? Probably not because it’s not on the menu, and at one time it was only known by employees. That’s my secret discovery; so now check out these secrets revealed by employees of some of your favorite places.
At Godiva, ALL chocolate dipped strawberries (which retail for around $6 a pop) left at closing are thrown away. Try to go in just before closing and be really nice to the sales associate and they might give you some.
If you have Comcast as your cable provider and live with another person, you can continuously get their 6-month promo deals, by doing a “service take-over” after your promo is up. Just pretend you’re moving out, and the other person is moving in. They will give the new person another 6-month promo, and won’t have to do another install, it just changes whose info is on the account. Almost nobody uses service takeovers and therefore don’t really keep track of you doing it.
It’s not really confessing a secret BUT: If you go to Starbucks and every barista knows you by name and rushes to make your drink as you walk in the door, it’s because you’re a fucking asshole and we want you to leave as soon as humanly possible. I’ve also just given you decaf.
4. Restaurant VIP Service
Fine Dining Chef here, worked in 4 three michelin starred restaurants. Wanna instantly get VIP status at your table when fine dining? Bring some beer for the kitchen, maybe two $7.99 cases of PBR and you’re golden. Hand them off to the hostess or Maitre’d, “these are for the cooks”, and you‘ll be hooked up every time. Extra courses, soigne cuts of meat, table side truffles if in season, etc.
I work at Subway, and one of our greatest secrets is if you ask one of our “Sandwich Artists” to microwave your cookie, we’ll do it. Ask for 5 seconds and you’ll have a perfectly warmed, soft, and delicious cookie.
If you ever need help with your iPhone, call AT&T first and they’ll connect you to Apple; if a customer is transferred from AT&T, Apple must provide technical support for free.
7. Hotel Room Upgrades
Quietly slipping the desk agent a $20 bill can get you some very nice free room upgrades. Stick it between your credit card and license when you hand it to them, and ask if they have any upgrades available. This works especially well in Vegas or places with other very large resort style hotels. $20 is a great little tip for the agent, and they have full authority to bump you to a nicer room without getting in trouble.
I used to work at one of the nicest restaurant/bars in town. Any time anyone ordered a dirty martini or a similarly-heavy mixed drink with top-shelf liquor, unless they were sitting right at the bar we’d use the cheap stuff and mark down the difference to the employee liquor fund, for our own happy hour at the end of the week.
9. Hotel Corporate Rates
I used to travel a lot as a consultant. We got “corporate rates” at almost all of the hotels we stayed at…for example the Pepsi rate, the Coke rate, the Deloitte rate, the IBM rate etc. When you want to book a hotel you can look up the businesses with offices nearby and then ask if they have a rate for XYZ company. They never asked for a corporate ID and just give you the “negotiated” rate. Good way to save a few bones on a hotel room.
10. Contacting Your Senator
I work for a senior senator. We do not care about anything you say on the phone, mail us, or fax us. If you call to voice your opinion, the intern answering the phone will listen to you for a minute, tell you that they will be sure to let the senator know, hang up and continue surfing facebook. If you mail or fax a form letter (a prewritten letter from an organization that you just sign) it will get thrown out without a second glance. If you hand write a well thought out, calm letter, it may go into the mailbox of the legislative correspondent dealing with the subject matter, and you may receive a general prewritten letter on the subject a few months later.
11. Reality Television
I sometimes edit reality television and (this should come as no surprise to anyone) very frequently what you’re seeing happen in no way relates to what actually happened. This is a bigger deal on shows like “Whale Wars”, where we routinely faked whole conversations/conflicts. Yeah, that boat pitching around like crazy with people flying everywhere–cobbled together from 10 different moments…
Almost anything can be returned, at least for store credit as long as it was bought at a Walmart. Sometimes you won’t even need a receipt unless it’s a very expensive item. Lots of people buy stuff like pools (especially pools), grills, awnings, etc. for the weekend and return them Monday.
If you complain to a manager you will get your way.
13. Hotel Discounts
I’m speaking as a person who has been in the hotel business for most of his life. When you drive into a hotel parking lot and you see that it’s not full, that means the hotel’s probably not full – unless there’s a bus or something. There is no such things as a fixed hotel price. You’re given automatic discounts for AAA, AARP, senior citizens, membership clubs, etc., but you can easily get 20% off the rate the person at the front desk quotes you by hustling and haggling. It’s better to sell a room for 80% of the asking price than not sell it at all, right?
14. University of Phoenix
I used to work at Apollo, the parent company for The University of Phoenix. We wouldn’t hire UoP graduates because we knew our degree programs were shit.
15. Jiffy Lube
– That was not actually synthetic oil
– That washer fluid was water
– Ya, we stripped the bolt, but you took it somewhere else so the warranty is void
– That was not Quaker State, that was a no name brand that gets pumped into the tanks
– “Engine Flushes” do nothing, they are just low viscosity oil
– “Stop Leak” bottles do nothing
– “Fuel System Cleaner’ does nothing
– You don’t need your transmission oil changed so soon, those are “Extreme Conditions” recommendations
– You don’t need your oil changed every 3 months or 5000km, check your owners manual
– That “$64.99″ cabin air filter cost us $7
– Your air filter is not clogged, it just has a little dust
– We don’t get commission, we get Bonuses
– Also if you go to a fast lube 5 min before they close FUCK YOU. we have to serve you and now we are staying at work an extra 35 min unpaid (service and clean-up)
16. Gas Station ATMs
ATMs in the US that charge $1 (or $1.25, $1.50, whatever it’s up to now) for non-bank cards will sometimes not charge that if you ask for a different language (Spanish, French, Chinese, etc). I assume they don’t always bother translating the “I’m going to charge you now” page to airtight legal lingo in every language and just skip it. Some will present a translated version of it, but it’s worth a shot when stuck needing to use one. They also often don’t charge for non-US cards so if you have another account out of the country they’re free in many more cases.
17. Cash America Pawn
Some of you may know this, but at Cash America Pawn shops, on every price tag on a product they are selling is a collection of letters from the word “MARY LOUISE”. The letters are a code for how much the pawn shop paid out for the item, how much they’ve invested. The code is that ‘M’=1 ‘A’=2 ‘R’=3 and so on. The ‘E’ = 0. Say that the price for an item is 400 bucks. You look at the price tag, find the code, and it has the letters AAEEE. This means that Cash America paid out $220.00. Once you find what you want, make sure you’re talking to a manager or assistant manager. They are the only ones who can go really low. For the example used above I would offer $250, then $275 then we would probably settle for $300.
18. Turbo Tax
If you call TurboTax technical support (1-888-777-3303) and tell them you bought a disk and it is broken, or your computer refuses to recognize it, or some other nonsense that prevents you from installing from the disk, they will provide you with a free download of the software.