Thursday, June 27, 2002

Another Job To Avoid
Here is a job with some nutty details:

"Seeking a energetic, multi-task, dedicated, go-getter, responsible candidate with organization and detailed skills. This job is a very high pressured job with long hours. This job requires great communications skills. If this describes you please e-mail or fax your resume."

So you get to work your butt off in a high stress environment working more than 40 hours a week. What is your compensation for this?

"Salary: USD 32,000.00 per year"

Seems a bit low to me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Those Evil Conservatives
Slate's review of the major news stories for today contained this blurb:

The Post notes inside that President Bush signed a bill that allows death benefits to be paid to the domestic partners of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty. The paper notes that the White House announced the move "with a minimum of fanfare, sending a one-sentence e-mail Monday night" shortly after Bush's Mideast speech. The Post, meanwhile, decides the move deserves some fanfare. A teaser headline on the frontpage reads, "BUSH SIGNS BILL THAT BENEFITS GAYS."

I predict this will get zero play in the media and in a couple of weeks or a month or so we will have some major bashing of the Bush Administration by gay rights groups. It will be the usual triumph of spin over reality. Sort of a gay rights version of "Ashcroft and Bush are secretly arresting all Muslims."
Martha Stewart
Headline on Yahoo says: "Martha Stewart Says She'll Be Cleared". Why is this news? Of course she is going to say that. It is only news if she says "I did it. And I'd do it again because I'm rich and I can!"

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Doing Time, Unpaid, At Walmart
The New York Times has a big story today accusing Walmart of forcing employees to work off the clock to avoid having to pay them. I've written on Walmart a number of times talking about their impact on small business and their use of technology. I'd probably be described as fairly pro-Walmart, at least in the sense that I don't immediately link their name with Satan. They are competitive and that is part of our economic system.

However competition that breaks the law is not ok. Not following labor laws is not acceptable behavior for Walmart or anyone else. This is not going to go away, so Walmart better take a pro-active approach and nail those store managers that practice this. I'm willing to accept that in a company of 3,250 stores and one million employees that there will be a few bad apples. But Walmart needs to take this as the signal to prune the tree of all the bad apples. They should consider:
  • Setting up a confidential 800 number that employees can use to report payroll violations.
  • Setup an internal task force to investigate- not just reported cases but some undercover work. Make their misson statemet revolve around helping the average Walmart employee.
  • Pick some high profile suits and cooperate in quickly settling the suits and punishing the managers responsible.
Anything less than a full court press is going to serious damage Walmart's image. And if they want to expand they will have to contend not only with those who fear the destruction of local businesses, but the fact that the Walmart jobs that replace them will be tainted by this scandal.