For over 30 years we have had a little cottage at the beach. It only 1100 square feet and sits back 3 blocks so we barely have a view of the ocean.
We have been going down there for all of those thirty years as frequently as we can while renting the cottage as much as possible to pay the taxes.
Over the years we have noticed a change in the work force. In years past the summer work force at the restaurants, retail stores and even lifeguards had been American college kids. But in the last few years American college kids have become too sorry and too lazy to take these beach jobs. As a result the restaurants and grocery stores have had to import help from Europe. These well educated clean cut college kids from Eastern Europe filled all the jobs in the restaurants and stores. We always admired their initiative to come to the U.S. to work to pay for their education. We also lamented at how worthless Americans have become. In the news we hear about high unemployment but apparently there are some jobs that Americans are now too good ((or too sorry) to do. Clerking in stores and serving in restaurants is beneath Americans in resort areas despite the fact that the jobs pay much more than the minimum wage and the tips are good.
Our usual practice is to go to breakfast the morning after we arrive because we have no food in the house and we don't like to haul it down there. After breakfast we go to the grocery store and fish markets to stock up for the week. We don't eat out many times while we are there but buy fresh seafood and cook it ourselves.
Yesterday we received our credit card bill and on it were the charges for the beach. Also there were dozens of Skype charges. I have never Skyped, I did not even fully understand what Skype was.
We reported these charges to our credit card company to have them removed and after a few minutes of investigation they told us there were hundreds of charges pending. And guess when all this Skype communication began- less than 2 hours after we first used our credit card at the beach. And I will give you 2 guesses where all these Skype communications went- Eastern European countries. According to the credit card representative the fraudulent use of credit card numbers is rampant in resort areas where European labor is being imported. The credit card company cancelled our cards and will be reissuing new ones.
I don't know which is more disappointing; that American kids are too sorry to work or that the Eastern European kids ripped us off and who knows how many others. Of course I didn't have to pay for the fraudulent charges but someone loses money in the bargain and we all end up paying somehow. The credit card company has to deal with all of these fraudulent charges and that costs them money. We all pay for this activity in the increased cost of doing business. We will be using cash from now on to buy at the beach.
And to think I tipped these kids generously because I felt like I was helping them get money for their education....