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The scratchcard ballad

Di Antonio Caneva, 8 Maggio 2014

A couple of friends of mine manages a large tobacco-shop near my office, where, in addition to tobacco products, you find automated gaming machines, lottery and similar games, the possibility to pay fines and other dues and, quite prominently, various types of scratch-and-win cards from one to 20 euros.
As I walk by the shop, I occasionally stop for a chat, and I was made curious when I noticed a person, foreign-looking, humbly-clothed, inspecting the contents of the waste bins used by customers and collecting the discarded losing scratchcards. Having witnessed the same scene several times, I asked who that person was, and what he was doing.
The explanation was: “He collects the thrown-away cards to take them home and check if there are any winning ones that were discarded inadvertently, because the win had not been recognised. He then comes to cash the winnings every morning, quite successfully I should say, as every day he collects 20 / 30 / 50 euros, and sometimes even 500. It is estimated that 6 % of the winning scratchcards are not claimed by their purchasers and are thrown away. Ultimately these people (there are others who search the bins of the nearby shops) don’t do anything wrong, and – in the end – it is preferable to stealing!” The need to be creative.

In Laigueglia, there is a hole in the wall which sells Ligurian flatbread, in a very plain way, without drinks, and is extremely popular (and certainly makes good money). People line up to buy a slice as they come back from the beach or from the disco. The main feature: they are open seven days a week, 24 hours.
No laziness!

I recently had in my hands the CV of a restaurant worker who had gone through training, and had achieved qualifications, as sommelier / beer sommelier / oil sommelier; water sommelier; coffee taster; grappa and brandy taster; salami taster; cheese taster.
Specialise in order to differentiate yourself.

We are certainly going through a difficult period, but we should not lose heart. We need to be creative and proactive: out there, there is somebody who is waiting for us, if we can offer what is expected, in the correct way.

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