July 24, 2023

stiffed in the tournie & letter writing: I'm here for it

I'm home . . . briefly. I leave this morning for the art museum bucket list tour. 

I drove to ND Friday, grabbed Curly, drove to Hamilton, OH where she played a game Fri (missed an earlier one) & Sat. Won all those games. Curly played amazing in the Sat. game. I saw the first game Sunday before driving home. We were down 23, fought back and ended up losing by only 4. Bummer. We just needed another minute to pull it off. They won the next game Sunday evening. She plays two more games today and a dad is driving her home. 

More caddy tales:  One golfer, who the kids find a tad odd, introduces them to other golfers as follows:  "This is Mini. She's a Shenanigan. The Shenanigans are Tall Oaks Club Royalty (fake club name). Seriously, very important family. Long line of great caddies."


Tank made $500 at the member guest. At a tournament earlier in the summer, Ed made $900. Even Curly, a B level caddy, made $240. Reg made a boat load too. Poor Mini, she was paid $175 . . . for 45 holes. 

What now? 

She worked for like 12 hours. In the heat. She's an A caddy. There were tears. As an Evans scholar, she doesn't get great loops, which we understand. She doesn't NEED the money for tuition. But scholarship or not - she deserved to be paid for her time. Her golfer is the BIL of one of our close friends. The dude's niece is one of Mini's best friends from high school. 

And the golfer WENT TO NOTRE DAME. 

Coach was quick to point this out to my dad, a proud ND alum. 

The next day, Tank was back at the caddy shack. Some people take a day off after the big, exhausting tournament. Not Tank or Reg.   

Tank told the caddy master, and if you are wondering - yes, that IS a legit job title,  that Mini's payment wasn't right. The caddy master agreed and we think he'll have a chat with the ND BIL. Caddy master did that earlier in the summer when Reg was stiffed. As a result, the golfer forked over an extra $50. 

In the meantime, Nana, my mom, walked over to our house with an envelope full of cash. Mini fought her off bravely, but Nana is not one to take no for an answer. 


Who should I address my letter to? - I asked the kids this and they were like, MOM, STOP IT. YOU AREN'T DOING THAT. Well, I'm ready and willing to address the shortcomings of the club. 

I bought this shirt for Tank
a few years ago. It has
 birds sitting on golf clubs. This is before
 he went golfing for 36 holes.
 Note:  the mess in the
 background is real life. There are ALWAYS
 shoes a mere inches from the mudroom
 or bags of stuff on a counter and
 water bottles and backpacks. Of course. 
1. They serve elaborate lunches for the members at these tournaments, and then the caddies are allowed one hot dog. Not two. And not a food item that is NOT a hot dog. Once they ran out of dogs, so they cut a sausage, that was intended for members', down the middle and had the caddies split the sausage. Come on, now. Most of these caddies eat like full grown men - at least mine do. Feed.your.damn.employees.

2. And, most golf courses allow the caddies to golf on the course on Mondays when the course is closed,. This course rarely allows the caddies to golf.  

Fun fact:  Coach, his two brothers, and my two brothers caddied together at a course in the North 'burbs back in high school. Both my dad and Coach's dad caddied in their respective south side Chicago and Cleveland, OH back in the day. All golfed most Mondays. Or swam in the pool. 

Have you seen the movie Caddy Shack? Remember the Baby Ruth getting dropped in the pool? I believe it's when all the caddies show up for the small window of time they have to use the pool. 

A rare Monday golf game:  Tank asked if he could golf on Monday - after the big tournament and they said yes. He golfed more than 36 holes. Mostly by himself. Poor Ed was in Orlando and Reg was at ND Vision, a spirituality camp - so they missed out on a rare golf opportunity. Tank bumped into the pool manager and golfed the back 9 with him. He told Tank to stop by the pool sometime and he'd hook him up with a free meal. Of course he did.

Do you know any caddies? Have you ever been stiffed at a job? Are you the letter writing type? Do you feel better afterwards or have much success getting issues addressed? I just completed a very long, detailed letter to Tank's college about the many ways the study abroad program failed. We are suggesting that they discontinue sending kids to University of Limerick. I'll keep you posted on the response. 


Bijoux said...

My husband worked at a golf course throughout college, but it was in the pro shop. He has his own stories about golfers, tee times, and the crap people used to pull. That hot dog business is ridiculous!

I’ve sent some emails to businesses I’ve been unhappy with, but it’s been ages since I wrote a formal letter to one.

Pat Birnie said...

Wow your caddy stories! My fave is from last year when you commented on how your brothers were paid so much more to care for the precious clubs than you were to care for their children. My husband caddied when he was a kid (maybe mid 1960’s) and made about $10 to carry two bags. Once he caddied for a pro who threw a club at him after he made a bad shot.

I was watching Jeopardy last week and one of the questions was about ND tuition - said it was $62,000 per year!!! Thank goodness for the scholarships!

Kara said...

Are the golfers giving Mini lower tips because she's female?!?! Absurd, but not surprised.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I have never been golfing before so I have a lot of questions! So the golf club hires and pays the caddies? Why is there such a vast difference in payment?! Or does the club pay a nominal amount and then the individual golfers hire a caddy? Or is there a tipping culture? I would definitely be upset if I made $175 while my brother made $900!!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I've never golfed, unless you count Mini Golf. And that didn't include YOUR Mini, so it wasn't that fun.
So, it's like a tip? Do they have a minimum, or a standard so the golfers know how much to give the caddies?

The hot dog situation is crazy. I know your boys could put away several hot dogs alone..sespecially after working those long hours. I think they should give all the caddies frozen (cause it's hot) baby Ruths when they're done with their shift as well as a nice lunch.

I've not had to write many letters of complaint and it makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

I love that your kids come from a long line of Caddies!

Ernie said...

Bijoux - There ARE so many stories from the golf course. The hot dog thing is nuts. They can buy burgers or something (anything) in bulk at Costco in order to feed the masses.

Emails - that is what I meant. I write letters, but they are in the form of emails. I have sent a few - the most recent one was to Tank's college about the abroad program. I really want to send an email to the course and tell them to feed the caddies.

Ernie said...

Pat - You remember that story. So true. Oh my gosh, that used to irk me so bad. My dad used to make a few bucks a round, I think. My kids have witnessed clubs being thrown. They are aware of a few members who have been kicked out of the club because of mistreating a caddy.

Damn - that is a lot of money for tuition. It is so crazy to think about - Mini would NOT have been able to go to Notre Dame. I can't imagine how she wouldn't have met the group of friends she has. Mind blowing.

Ernie said...

Kara - No. I don't think that is the case. This guy typically doesn't pay well. Mini gets lousy loops a lot, because she has the scholarship - but this was really extreme.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - These are great questions. So, there is a base pay. The golf club does NOT pay the caddies at all. They urge, maybe insist, that golfers take a caddy (unless the course is too wet, maybe?). The caddy master pays the caddies, techincally - but the golfers have an account so the money is charged to them. I believe. The base pay for an A caddy is like $60, but with a tip an A caddy usually makes somewhere between 100 and 150 for 18 holes. Usually the member pays the caddy, but a guest can tip a caddy on top of what the member plays. A tournament, especially one that goes for 2 days and so many holes - translates to getting paid more. The club has a caddy program and I believe all members are required to support the program- the money they contribute I think goes towards the scholarship like the one that Mini got.

Ernie said...

Suz - Ha ha, Mini golf. If it weren't for the caddies in my life, I would not know how the whole system works. There is a base pay - it is suggested, so it isn't mandatory. A caddies, which is what Mini is, usually make like 60 as a base pay, but with a tip they usually get like 100-150ish. Tournaments usually end up meaning that caddies make more - ESPECIALLY if they caddy for two long days. Good grief.

Frozen Baby Ruth's would be a step up from a single hot dog. It's gotta be against OSHA, right?

You are n ot doing something wrong - you are just lucky that no one is messing with you or your people. I just sent the email to Tank's college about all the issues that happened with Tank's abroad program.

My brothers and Coach's brothers were big time caddies, but none of their boys caddy. Our kids are keeping the tradition alive.

Beth Cotell said...

I have no caddie stories but Sarah is working as a lifeguard at a country club this summer (with a golf course so maybe that counts) this year and has been MISERABLE mostly due to management of the club treating the life guards (who are outsourced by a pool management co.) extremely poorly and the entitled attitude of all of those members of the club. UGH!

I'm so sorry Mini got such poor pay but look at your mom coming through with $$$!

Jenny in WV said...

Poor Mini! At that pay rate, I'd want to look for a different summer job! And just because she doesn't need tuiton $$$, there are still probably many other things she would like make money for. Are Evans Scholars required to continue to caddy throughout college?
I looked up the difference between an "A" and "B" caddy, (Because I know nothing about caddying) and they was surprised at all the useful things they do. I had assumed it was just carrying the bag. I've been golfing once in the past 10 years and I could have used a ball spotter and someone to hold my bag, at least at the hole by the pond, I couldn't find a spot of ground without water fowl doo-doo to set it down!

I once wrote a letter to a dentist office that I felt gave me poor and misleading service. I had just moved to a new area and started a new job a couple months earlier. I made an appointment and they only did an exam, said I'd have to come back for a cleaning. They also did an oral cancer screening without telling me it wasn't a part of the standard exam and cost extra. I switched to a different dentist who was more upfront about costs and didn't expect me to take an extra day off from my new job to get my teeth cleaned! I doubt the letter changed anything, but I did feel better after sending it.

Ally Bean said...

Do you know any caddies? Have you ever been stiffed at a job? I don't know anyone who worked as a caddy, barely anyone golfs anymore. I've been stiffed at a job, I waited tables while in college. What more need I say!

Are you the letter writing type? Do you feel better afterwards or have much success getting issues addressed? I used to write letters to companies who disappointed me, but stopped doing that when I wrote to Marriott to explain about our lousy experience while on Maui at one of their hotels. I received a form reply, no appreciation of how they'd almost ruined our vacation, and thought: "That's it. I'll help no more businesses get better."

I answered your question on my blog today! Thanks for asking.

Nance said...

Hot dogs: My husband and sons used to put away four or five each. I've personally witnessed my husband--in his heyday--eat an entire package (with buns). One per male is silly, unless that male is a toddler.

Nana: Love that she stepped up. Let her throw her money at your kid! It's a Love Language.

joymariecooks said...

Oh Nana! I find it sweet and hilarious that she said the office called her and told her too. Your stories of how your parents treat your family often make me sad but this was a happy change. (Or is your dad more of the problem grandparent?)

Ernie said...

Beth- Entitled . . . yes. Our kids have seen it all. So many members are good to our kids but some people are clueless.

Nana is and has always been all about trying to smooth things over and right wrongs. She is always ready to make the kids tough moments feel less awful. * and since Alzheimer's she has gotten even more of a habit yo slip the kids cash.

Ernie said...

Jenny - there is a requirement that mini needs to caddy a certain number of times in order to keep the scholarship. I think after this summer it doesn't matter. She will probably get an internship next summer because I think the rule ends after this year.

Ernie said...

Jenny- that dentist thing was BULL CRAP. Goodness. That was wrong. I'm glad you wrote a letter.

Ernie said...

Ally- I can imagine working as a waitress in a college town might not always lead to great tips.

That canned response would irritate me to no end. That is a sure way to lose customers.

Thanks for the heads up on your most recent post. I enjoyed getting caught up on blogging while taking a break between art exhibits.

Ernie said...

Nance- That is a LOT of hot dogs. So you can see how a dog per hard working caddy is ridiculous.

Nana has always been one to slip kids with a good test grade or a great bball game or a great dance competition a five dollar bill, or more. This last year she has stepped up her game. It makes yhe kids feel special.

Ernie said...

Joymarie- You don't miss a trick. But to clarify my dad has no filter. He is bot a smooth operator and often says things he shouldn't. My mom dotes on all the grandkids. My dad is crazy about all of them but hurts feelings at times with his remarks about how smart one is vs the rest, etc. He has said some unacceptable things about ADD. He is very bright and loves to read and I wish he would have armed himself with knowledge about ADD.

Growing up my parents had favorites. As the middle child I was glossed over a LOT. I never felt like I measured up as they raved about how bright Pat and Marie were. How sweet Ann was and how cute and athletic Mike was.

My sisters are very tight and have little to do with me. They are judgemental and narrow minded and do not like that I say what I think and address issues openly as they happen. They regularly plan lunches or weekends away without me . . . when my mom was well, the 3 of them did things without including me, like girls' weekends out of town. I would find out later and as much as my sisters drive me nuts I was hurt. Since Ann's divorce the family jumps thru hoops as in POOR ANN. So they would do what they could to keep her happy and if that meant spending time without me because she doesn't care for me- then so be it.