Category Archives: business

Boundaries

Over the weekend, I lost a former co-worker of mine. He was murdered in his home.

We don’t yet know the full story, but it appears to be a familiar one; it seems he may have tried to help someone he knew as a client a little bit too much by pulling him into his personal life, and the client snapped and killed him for some reason. There have been no arrests to date.

This comes on the heels of another former coworker of mine who had a client show up on her doorstep earlier this year and ask for a sandwich. She complied, fixed him the fucking sandwich, and then he used the knife she used to stab her multiple times. Thankfully, she made a full recovery.

When I get back to work tomorrow, the first thing I am going to do is inform my staff that if they allow the professional to cross over into the personal, they will be fired. I know that they are caring people, but some of their clients or their clients’ associates may be dangerous people. In good conscience, I cannot allow them to think that the professional and personal lines can be crossed.

I’m really sad and grieving, but also fucking pissed off that my former co-worker took that kind of a risk. It’s just too tragic of a loss.

If you work in the social services, especially where they deal with the homeless, mentally ill, or victims of abuse keep your private life private. Get an unlisted phone number. Don’t give rides to your clients unless it is on officially sanctioned business. Keep your private life to yourself.

If you want to give good care to your clients, you also have to take care of yourself. Mixing those two lives lessens your ability to assist your clients.

But most importantly, you must remain safe. Don’t take any stupid fucking risks that will remove you from the world and leave your friends, families, and co-workers behind suffering because of your loss.

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Mexican Supreme Court to Walmart: You Can’t Pay Your Employees with Company Scrip

Good move:

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s top retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, violated the constitution by paying workers in part with vouchers only redeemable in the chain’s outlets, the court said on Friday.

Wal-Mart de Mexico, also known as Walmex and a unit of U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc, gave store coupons as part of salaries, harking back to exploitative labor practices of over a century ago, the court said.

Snip

“A labor contract that requires workers directly or indirectly to buy items in certain stores violates the constitution and will be declared null and void,” the court said in a statement.

Yeah, we all know the problems with Walmart, but paying their employees in Mexico with company scrip? Unbelievably wrong, even for Walmart.

New Job

Have you ever started a job where the challenge given to you is far greater than what you were told it was?

Did you ever have the challenge to turn the organization around to make it viable in its community again?

Have you ever panicked and thought that the new place you are working is far more dysfunctional than previously imagined?

That’s how I am feeling right now.

The situation in my new job is REALLY bad.

Dog Blogging

Sorry, please allow me this indulgence.

Someone once said that the closest you can ever get to God is when a stray animal comes to stay with you.

Robie, the dog in the picture just showed up one day and has since refused to leave. He’s a great dog.

Do you have a good story about a dog that you found on the street, but who ended up becoming your most trusted ally?

Waterboarding as a Team-Building Excersise

Torturing employees can motivate and boost sales!

From the Washington Post:

PROVO, Utah — No one really disputes that Chad Hudgens was waterboarded outside a Provo office park last May 29, right before lunch, by his boss.

There is also general agreement that Hudgens volunteered for the “team-building exercise,” that he lay on his back with his head downhill, and that co-workers knelt on either side of him, pinning the young sales rep down while their supervisor poured water from a gallon jug over his nose and mouth.

And it’s widely acknowledged that the supervisor, Joshua Christopherson, then told the assembled sales team, whose numbers had been lagging: “You saw how hard Chad fought for air right there. I want you to go back inside and fight that hard to make sales.”

What’s at issue in the lawsuit Hudgens filed against his former employers — just as in the ongoing global debate over the CIA‘s waterboarding of terrorism suspects — is the question of intent.

Snip

We’re not the mean waterboarding company that people think we are,” said George Brunt, general counsel for the firm, which sells a combination of online and personalized instruction — packaged as “coaching” and running $3,000 to $15,000 — to customers who are solicited by telephone.

Chad Hudges, the guy who volunteer to be waterboarded weighs in:

“Keep in mind,” he said, “the last time we did a team-building exercise outside, we did an egg toss.”

See? Waterboarding is no less awful than a long staff meeting where Jim from accounting goes on and on and on. And on.