Archive for the ‘Corporate Stupidity’ Category

There’s a subtle, tyrannical, effort in modern society to make everything and everyone “Crisp and Clean”.  Some would say this is merely a symptom of humanity’s need to distance itself from it’s connection to the natural world.  A savage and uncontrollable world that bides it’s time bound under shackles of concrete, asphalt, and antibiotics.  Waiting for the perfect time to shrug us off into oblivion.

Does this smug, antiseptic, reality tunnel serve any purpose other than to trick us into thinking we’re ultimately in control here?  I think it does.  I think it’s the most efficient brainwashing tool humanity has ever seen.  I think if corporate America (or corporate anywhere, really) had to choose just one tactic to keep humanity enslaved to a lifestyle of mass consuming servitude, it would choose The Cult Of Crisp And Clean.

Many of us have seen direct evidence of this ever-growing cult in the changes that recently took place back on Myspace.  I personally have seen Sean Percival (director of Myspace marketing or something like that) use the term “Crisp And Clean” at least three times in addressing the forced changes that were implemented with the unveiling of New Myspace.  Many of the more complacent Myspacers have told us “Well if you don’t like it, then leave.  You don’t own Myspace, so deal with it!”  And so we did.  It’s a good thing we did, too.

A handy side effect of living within a society that’s obsessed with enforcing a crisp and clean lifestyle upon it’s populace is it makes citizens desperately crave any form of self expression or individuality.  This is a perfect way to keep your citizens actively consuming.  The more individuality you strip away, the more pre-approved and corporate packaged “individuality” you can sell to the masses.

Self expression is now primarily confined to consumerism.  We can’t express ourselves at work.  The customer must always be right and we must always adhere to the uniform standards of the workplace.  Oh and keep that top button buttoned or the world might come to an end.  It’s getting to where our children know almost nothing of self expression or individuality as more and more schools adopt uniform codes.

They say it’s to prevent gang violence, yet Walmart keeps cutting checks (donations if you will) to school board members for “development projects”.  Breaking the expressive souls of our little children.  Creating an empty place for them to yearn to fill.  A smart and sound investment for the largest retailer in America.

Why do you think performers like Lady Gaga are so popular?  Because they do things normal citizens only wish they could do.  The more celebrities act out and wear bizarre and revealing outfits, the more the public eats it up.  This is because these cultural icons represent something that is missing within the lives of everyday citizens.  After spending 8+ hours a day bored to tears and bound within some stuffy corporate uniform policy, folks want nothing more than to live vicariously through some celebrity that snorts cocaine in public or wears a crazy looking dress made out Day-Glo dildos.  And they’ll pay through the nose for the privilege.

I still marvel at how business execs could personally own every Lady Gaga CD, yet spend their professional days firing employees for disregarding corporate uniform standards.  I remember when I worked for a national chain of music stores I ran into this same type of thing.  One week they decided to forbid warehouse workers from wearing shorts solely for the purpose of making the store’s staff look more “crisp and clean”.  The next week they sent out a life sized cutout of Dimebag Darrell wearing ripped shorts and throwing up devil horns to be mandatorily displayed by the Washburn/Dean guitar section in all stores nationwide.

How is it that every place of business operates under the belief that everyone in the world is a tight-assed prude, yet at the end of the work day, our televisions operate under the belief that everyone wants to see tits, ass, sex, skin, and violence?  The cult of Crisp And Clean makes it’s living of off our repressed desires.  The sin isn’t worth buying if it isn’t packaged in luxurious gobs of taboo.

It’s amazing this culturally enforced duality doesn’t drive us totally insane.  Perhaps it has.  Who are we to say we’re not insane.  Look at all the crazy hoops we jump through on a daily basis out of some misplaced sense of conformist obligation.  If that ain’t crazy, I don’t know what is.

You’ve already agreed to wear their uniform.  You’ve already dressed your child in their uniform.  You probably went out and spent money you didn’t have in order to make that happen.  Now the customer is always right, no matter how mean and vindictive they become.  How many relationships have you seen get destroyed due to the demands of the Crisp And Clean Cult?  I was told once by a regional manager to keep my wife on a tight leash or she might end up costing me my job.  At that point, my wife had said less than ten words to him.  He didn’t know her, he just knew he didn’t want anyone’s spouse interfering with the will of the Crisp And Clean Cult.

I’ve seen people forced to take out loans to buy new automobiles because “their appearance reflected directly upon the company”.    I once knew a district manager that was so obsessed with Crisp And Clean, he bought a second house just so he could have a perfectly manicured Show House to host business meetings at.  His wife and children were trained to show up before the meetings and pretend everything was business as usual as if they actually lived there.  These are true stories, folks.

So here’s the big question:  How far will humans go in order to please the leaders of the Crisp And Clean Cult?

The answer lies within each and every one of us.

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I told you so.

I fucking told you so!  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.  Told you so.

What’s the use in knowing what’s about to happen when no one will listen to you?  I don’t think this quite qualifies as a Cassandra complex but it’s the only thing I can relate to it.

Back in August, I knew what was happening to Myspace and I tried to tell people about the monumental shit sandwich that it would become by the end of the year.  Some listened.  Fewer agreed.  More blew it off as childish, indulgent, bitching.  A hand full of folks ridiculed anyone that spoke out.

Below is a repost of a few blog entries I made in August.  This is my “I told you so!” post.  This is dedicated to the few bloggers out there that tried to warn the ridiculing masses of the coming shitstorm known as New Myspace.

You’re All A Bunch Of Frogs!

Original post date August 10, 2010

I’m sure you’ve heard the old blurble about boiling a frog.  You put a frog in a pot of water and you slowly heat the water up to the boiling point.  The frog dies because the it doesn’t notice the slow increase in water temperature, so it never says “Fuck this shit!” and jumps out of the pot.

I don’t know if this really works, because I don’t do cruel shit to animals.  Besides I love frogs.

Well, for quite some time, our culture, our governments, our name brands, our pop stars, our employers, our peers, and our Myspace have all been turning up the heat on our individuality pots.

Sure, we’re told to be individuals and to express ourselves…through mass consumerism…through our choice of TV channels…through our willingness to suck down every last ounce of crap they sell to us.

But don’t you dare expect individuality for free!  Hell no!  Individuality, like freedom, is not yours for the taking.  It must be bought and worked for.  It must be begged away from the powers that be at the price of your bloody, overworked, fingers and your undying subservience to their big fucking machine.

Now Myspace wants you to quit having opinions that last longer than 140 characters.  Now Myspace want your profile (your personal expression of yourself) to match perfectly in with all the other conformist dittohead profiles over at Facebook.  Myspace doesn’t want you to have an intelligent conversation or the exchange of any ideas other than “LOL, I made a poopy” and “OMG, I just bought some new shoes, LOL!”

It’s been a slow process, but the heat has been rising for quite some time.

I’ve seen comments on blogs saying “Change is part of life.  I think we can learn to deal with these new changes. I don’t want to leave this place because everyone I like is here.  We should all just adapt to this.  Things will get better.  You’ll see.”

Yeah, you just keep fuckin’ that chicken and see where it gets you.  Enjoy those table scraps.  Enjoy those tiny crumbs of individuality that are allowed to you by the millionaire investors that sell adspace on this site.

Maybe when you’re profile looks like every other fucking profile on the internet, they’ll be nice and let you pick out a color or two.  Maybe they’ll let you keep your screen name for a year or so before you become “User # 102399843”.

Well, I’m here, with the irreverent and swaggering ghost of Jim Morrison to tell you “You’re all a bunch of fucking frogs!  Now what are you gonna do about it?!”

Are you gonna grovel like some conformist slave or are you gonna take charge of your own free will?  Are you gonna try to shut up all the other slaves so as to not upset the master?  Are you going to shred your personal Declaration Of Independence before it even gets a chance to be written?

It’s not just Myspace.  It’s our entire culture.  If you can’t rebel against the fascist actions of a social network, how the hell do you ever expect to fight for the freedom you’re supposed to have in real life?

Watch and learn folks.  This microcosm shows us more about people’s real personalities than we could have ever thought would be possible.

 

 

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Polishing A Turd

Original post date August 11, 2010

This is what your future looks like
http://www.myspace.com/upgrade-profile

Throughout all of the blog “glitches” and emails to Myspace corporate, we still haven’t seen any feedback concerning the upcoming forced profile change.

There’s a petition going around to try to keep us old-schoolers from being forced into this Facebook style format.
http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/keepmyspaceprofiles/

I don’t think Myspace corporate is going to change course on this though.  This is all part of the ongoing emulation of Facebook.  This is part of Myspace’s inability to come up with an original moneymaking, user drawing, idea.

For several years, Myspace has been given the reputation of being the backwoods, racist, ghetto of the internet.  Just ask any intarwebz hipster.  They’ll tell you exactly that.

I think Myspace is desperately trying to find a way to reinvent itself and shake off the ghetto stigma that’s been attached to it.  The problem is, this can’t be fixed through Facebook imitation.  This problem is embedded in the culture of Myspace.

This problem comes from simply deleting profiles of trolls, stalkers, and reoccurring assholes instead of banning their IP’s from the entire website.  This problem comes from allowing dipshits to keep coming back after they have terrorized a large crossection of Myspace’s most loyal users.

This comes from putting statistical membership numbers above user enjoyment as a means of showing your worth to future investors.
This comes from embracing the fundamentals of total cluelessness that cloud the heads of upper-management teams worldwide.  Don’t fix the problem, pad the numbers instead.  Don’t believe in yourself, play the system for one more fiscal quarter.  Don’t fix the leaking ship, secure your golden parachute first.

The Facebookinization of Myspace will not reinvigorate new user numbers.  It won’t put Myspace in the What’s Hot category.  No one likes a poser.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is I don’t see Myspace backing off of the forced profile change.  They’re trying to change the culture of Myspace through appearances.  In their minds, if all of Myspace looks like Facebook, then they’ll be able to get Facebooks users to come back to Myspace.

They’re doing what my father-in-law refers to as “Polishing A Turd”.  That’s where someone takes a totally crappy car that’s on it’s last legs, and details and waxes it until it shines brilliantly in order to sell it to some unsuspecting schmuck.

Your “Ghetto” profile is hampering the turd polishing process.  Enjoy it while you have it.

* Just a side not here:  Isn’t it funny how it took an act of congress to dig information out of Myspace about these “blog glitches” that have now been “fixed”, yet they somehow find the time to send out those “What’s new to Myspace” mass emails every time they get one step closer to Facebook?  Kinda shows you where their true priorities are.

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Battered Blogger Syndrome

Original post date August 11, 2010

FOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL STAGES OF
THE BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROME
DENIAL- The woman refuses to admit–even to herself–that she has been beaten or that there is a “problem” in her marriage. She may call each incident an “accident”. She offers excuses for her husband’s violence and each time firmly believes it will never happen again.

GUILT- She now acknowledges there is a problem, but considers herself responsible for it. She “deserves” to be beaten, she feels, because she has defects in her character and is not living up to her husband’s expectations.

ENLIGHTENMENT- The woman no longer assumes responsibility for her husband’s abusive treatment, recognizing that no one “deserves” to be beaten. She is still committed to her marriage, though, and stays with her husband, hoping they can work things out.

RESPONSIBILITY– Accepting the fact that her husband will not, or can not, stop his violent behavior, the battered woman decides she will no longer submit to it and starts a new life.

Something is missing from this table.  Something I call The Backlash.

The Backlash consists of:  The day after you pull an abusive husband off of his wife, she calls you up and blames you for trying to keep her from being beaten to a pulp.

AKA “Good riddance to the dissenters!”

How quickly we forget the reality of three days ago.  How quickly we tell ourselves it won’t happen again.

Yeah, I’m still bitching.  Ask anyone I’ve worked with in the past.  I do a lot of bitching before I burn a bridge.

For all you people who left Myspace.  For all you people who followed through on your grumblings.  You are now to blame for this.  Don’t ask me how, but you are.

And don’t you ever say anything bad about Myspace anymore.  He’s a good man.  He only gets “glitchy” when I deserve it!

* Stay tuned as I continue to irreverantly crash this ship into even more rocks.  I spent two years building this blogging warship.  I deserve to have some fun destroying it.  Let the drunken viking tirades roll!

Since New Myspace won’t give me a URL to repost this, I had to copy and paste it.

You’ll notice there’s a lot of steps involved with getting rid of your Myspace profile.  I guess it was too much hassle to put a “Delete My Fucking Account!” button in amongst the forest of broken buttons they incorporated into New My_______.

All the better to keep your lazy and apathetic ass logging in, my dear.

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How do I delete my profile?

Hey, we hate to see you go. Keep in mind that cancellation removes your profile and all its contents from Myspace. Once you delete your profile, you can’t get any part of it back! So if you’re not sure, you can preserve your profile, playlists, and photos, yet limit others’ ability to view them, by deleting all of your friends and setting your profile privacy to “Only my friends.” This way you can still enjoy cool features like Myspace Music and Video.

If you’re absolutely sure you want to delete your profile, here’s what you do:

  1. log into Myspace
  2. hover over My Stuff (in the upper nav bar) and choose Edit Profile (on the left)
  3. click About Me (on the left)
  4. remove all the content from the About Me content box
  5. type “REMOVE PROFILE” in the About Me content box
  6. click Save changes
  7. then visit Help
  8. click Contact Myspace (on the right side of Help) 
  9. select Your Account as the Category, and Delete Profile as the sub-topic
  10. tell us you want to delete your profile, and provide us with your friend ID or vanity URL
  11. we’ll take it from there

Important stuff to know:

 

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So there you have it.  It’s not quite as difficult as spinning five plates on sticks while blowing a rabid goat, so I guess I should be happy.

I’m not deleting my Moosehammer profile yet, but I will be deleting some of my other backup profiles.  There’s supposed to be a mass logout protest on the 15th.  I don’t think I’ll delete my profile for it, but I plan on not logging in that day.  My backup profiles will be gone by then, so they’ll count.

I saw someone say that Myspace has been losing about 6% or so of their users with each passing month.  I have a feeling this month is going to be a rough one for them.

So now that My ______ 3.0 has been inflicted upon most of my friends, I’m starting to see a lot of panic.  Some of the folks that called me crazy back in August are starting to see the real deal behind these changes.  I seem to remember a couple of Myspacers taking great delight in calling us Chicken Little types a “bunch of whiney Baby-boys”.

In the immortal words of Bob Dylan:  “Now you don’t talk so loud.  Now you don’t seem so proud.”  I’d post screenshots and humiliate some folks, but that would be pointless and just downright mean.  And being mean to people is generally a bad thing, so screw that noise!

Anyway, I’ve seen a repeat of the same behaviors that ran rampant back in August when all this glitchy-changey stuff started.  People are calling for petitions to be signed and for login boycotts, etc.

I’ve seen three different petitions go around since the “glitches” started a couple months ago.  I’ve seen the replies that people have gotten when asking Myspace higher-ups about the forced changeover too.  Every single one of them glazed over the concerns of the user and pushed a “oh but you’ll LOVE the new Crisp And Clean look!”.  A while back, Sean Percival himself made an appearance on World B Free’s blog and said he wanted to address concerns of users.  Many people voiced their concerns, but he didn’t offer any solutions other than “it’s Crisp And Clean and you’ll love it”.

Truth of the matter is Myspace isn’t earning enough money to keep investors happy.  Ad revenue was down by $70million in the last quarter and Rupert Murdoch is coming down on admins like an iron hammer.  So they’re not going to change horses backwards in the middle of the stream considering their jobs are on the line.

This is a failed hail mary pass on their part.  The format change has failed and it has failed too late in the game.  I personally think they’re just going through the motions now and hoping they can find alternative employment before the ship gets sold out from under them.

There is no going back now.  No amount of emails or petitioning will make Myspace admins reprogram the site to a format that failed to bring in enough ad revenue.  No amount of boycotts or bitching will bring back the blogging community format that was the backbone of an aged and haggard Myspace.  Blogs will forever be featured within a tiny slit on your homepage, bordered and encumbered by wide swaths of ads, half-naked celebrities, and app invites.  I’m sorry Virginia, but Santa Claus has left the building and the elves have put you on their block lists.

NEWMYSPACE

It’s time to forge new paths and build new empires.  It is inevitable that some of us will lose track of each other along the way.  It is a sad reality, but hey, that’s life.  Some of us will manage to stick together.  Either way, we’ll all find new friends and networks along the way.

Change is good.  It forces us out of our comfort zones and it forces us to find new tools and networks that better suit our needs.  While some of our tribe will simply default themselves over to Facebook, many of us will slap on our coonskin caps and blaze trails out into the great unknown.

It’s an exciting time to be a blogger without a country.  The possibilities are endless.  Thank you, Myspace!

OK so I logged into Myspace today to see if they had forced my profile into compliance with the new “Crisp and Clean” format of Myspace 3.0.  I was glad to see I still had my oldschool 2.0 profile (for now anyway).  I got a chuckle out of seeing a friend of mine’s status that read “XXXXXXX just upgraded to the new profile!” which was quickly followed by a comment posted by XXXXXXX that said “No I didn’t…” followed by an angry tirade.

Isn’t it interesting how they’ve set it up where it looks like everyone is chomping at the bit to downgrade into the new profile?  All the better to banner ad you with my dear.  $moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney$

Speaking of Myspace ad revenue, I should quit rambling about stupid shit and get the actual point of this blog…which is…you guessed it…stupid shit.

While I was checking on the towering inferno formerly known as Myspace, I saw this little jewel in my sidebar:

wtfgame

OK, now.  What the fuck is this shit?  No really!  What the fuck is this shit?!

Yes. I know it’s an advertisement for an app.  But really.  Are we supposed to believe the young ladies in the picture above are on their way to a wet t-shirt contest somewhere near the enemy lines?  I’ve heard of The Battle Of The Bulge, but this is ridiculous.  If I was a WWII vet and I saw this ad, I’d be ready to beat someone to death with my walker.  I’ve got a walker myself, so I can say stuff like that BTW.

In all seriousness, could they have thought up a better way to mock everyone who fought and/or died in WWII?  I know T&A sells, but to use it like this is tasteless.

war3 Here’s more Dawn of Nations promo material.

What’s next?  Are we going to see ads depicting women in striped concentration camp uniforms, half unbuttoned, with their breasts hanging out called “Concentration: A Game Of Mammary”.  Or perhaps they’ll do one that’s a wet t-shirt contest superimposed onto a backdrop of the bombing of Hiroshima.  They could call it “Getting Bombed II: Spring Break Boogaloo!”

wtfgame1 Here’s one I threw together.

It seems a bit more tasteless when it’s based on current events, doesn’t it?  It’s not as easy to forgive when it involves our legless and shell-shocked buddies that just got shipped back home.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  The real horrors of war have been downplayed at every possible turn by mass media and the government.  Video games like Modern Warfare and other war simulation games have been targeted directly at children and young adults for quite some time now.  War is a game.  Join up now and see if you can rack up a high score!  Sex and violence are fine if they’re done with approval from the war machine.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have anything against T&A (tits and ass), D&A (dicks and abs/ass), or Apps (browser based games).  I just feel there’s an appropriate time and place for all of the above.  Selling war to the masses as fun via a wet T-shirt contest is not appropriate.  Thousands of brave WWII soldiers gave their lives to insure our generations a better life.  They didn’t give their lives to sell apps for a bunch of soulless fucking suits.

So Obama is about to give in to the Republican schoolyard bullies and extend The Bush Tax Cuts for the rich.  Because everyone knows once you give up your lunch money, the bullies never come back to demand more.  This is bound to work out great.  My ass!

Call me a cynical bastard, but I don’t believe giving billions of dollars to people who already have billions of dollars is the solution here.  If jobs were going to be created, they would have already been created.  The money has been there, it has just been hoarded.  Trickle-down is a lie and has been destroying the American dream for decades.

trickle

Let’s start with the numbers:

It’s hard to dig up exact figures on the real cost of The Bush Tax Cuts.  I dug around and found a couple different estimates.

Some say $5 trillion over the next decade.

Some say $3.7 trillion over the next decade.

According to this report, 14.8 million Americans are currently unemployed. 

 

Now to crunch the numbers:

$3.7 trillion divided by ten years gives us a cost of $370 billion per year.

Divide that by say a $25,000/yr salary and you get 14.8 million. (kinda strange how perfectly that works out)

This means the yearly cost of extending The Bush Tax Cuts could essentially be used to directly employ all of America’s unemployed citizens.

For some folks, $25,000/yr is a pittance, but let me assure you it is more than adequate.  I’ve spent most of my hardworking life living modestly yet happily on less than that.

 

Yet instead of employing everyone right-out, we choose to give the rich and powerful a free ride in the hopes that they take pity on the peasant class and create minimum wage jobs for them to toil themselves to death under.  Instead of putting the jobless to work rebuilding the infrastructure of this country and converting it over to sustainable energy, we choose to jump through all these backwards hoops in hopes for a handout from the ruling top 2%.

There’s a reason why these folks became filthy rich to begin with.  They hold on to their money and they don’t spend it unless it’s going to other rich people within their power circle who will in turn spend money with them.  They aren’t going to create jobs with a few extra million dollars each in tax breaks.

The whole idea behind these tax breaks is insane.  It’s like cutting quality lumber down into toothpicks and then trying to build cabinetry with those same toothpicks.  We don’t need an elaborate, Republican masterminded, Rube Goldberg machine to fix our economy.  Taxing fairly and applying that cash directly to the bottom line will work just fine.

I say we tax the rich proportionately and make real, decent paying, America-building, jobs for ALL unemployed Americans, thus freeing them up to buy all sorts of useless shit.  Anything else is a lie meant to keep us peasants groveling in the mud and looking for a handout.

 

Crime

Original post date July 13, 2009

Table turning:  The term used in the restaurant industry for processing customers as quickly as possible in order to maximize profits during peak business hours.

Turn times:  The average time it takes to turn each table in a restaurant during an hour.

Our story begins…

(MH answers a call from the district manager after lunch rush is over.)

MH:  Hello?

DM:  Hey, MH.  I’m calling to see what your table turn times are for lunch today.

(MH sighs, knowing very well that DM has already seen the numbers.)

MH:  We’re sitting at 18 minutes.

DM:  Hmmm.  Yeah, that’s just not good enough.  You know we talked about this during last week’s conference call.  18 minutes just isn’t acceptable MH.

MH:  Yeah, I know.  I’m not trying to come up with any excuses here, but we did our best today.  Most of the tables turned pretty quick, but we had some lawyers in the back that set up camp in the back of the dining room.  They stayed for about an hour and a half.  It blew our average for the day.

DM:  Why didn’t you cash them out and start a new tab for them?  You know we discussed this last week.

MH:  Well, I tried, but they felt like we were chasing them out the door and got pretty pissed.  I thought the best thing to do would be to leave them alone.  You know they’ve been coming in all week.  They may ruin our turn times, but they spend a ton of money with us.  Just their drinks add up to a lot of money.

DM:  Look MH!  I’m not looking for excuses here.  No excuses, just results!  Now if you can’t live up to the expectations we hold for all of our managers, we’ll find someone who will.  All the other managers in the district have kept their turn times well below 15 minutes.  There’s no reason why your store should be any different.  Do I make myself clear?

MH:  Yes sir.  I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’ll make it happen.

DM:  Alright.  Keep at it.  I expect to see some results tomorrow.  If you need any pointers, you might want to call EM at the XXXXX XXXXX store and see what he does to keep his turn times in check.  He’s one of our best, and he’s always thinking outside the box.

MH:  Alright.  I might just do that.  Thanks.

DM:  Sure.  Now get back out there and make some smiles today.

MH:  Um.  Ok

(MH hangs up and looks across the office at MA who’s snickering and flipping him the bird)

MA:  Ha ha ha!  Man, DM must have really ripped you a new one there.  You looked like you were going to chew a hole through the wall there for a minute.  What did he want?  No, let me guess.  Turn times again?

MH:  You know it.  You know this shit is pissing me off.  How in the hell are these other stores getting such short turn times?  I know good and damn well the XXXXX XXXXX store can’t possibly be running a 12 minute average.  Hell, it takes 8 minutes just to cook a damned burger.  There’s no way they can be turning them in 12 minutes.

MA:  Yeah, I know.  Someone’s bullshitting somewhere.  Either that or they’re just lying to us cause they think it’ll make us work faster.

MH:   Well, I don’t know, but I’m going to call EM and see exactly what it is they’re doing.  Something’s got to give or I’m about to go postal.  DM’s threatening my job again.  Knowing good and damned well that no one wants to transfer here in my place.  This is fuckin bullshit.

MA:  Well, hang in there man.  I gotta get back in the kitchen and see if Scott put those bakers in the oven.  Let me know what you find out.

MH:  Sure thing man.

(MA leaves the office as MH picks up the phone and calls EM)

EM:  This is EM.  Can I help you?

MH:  Hey man, this is MH over at the XXXXXX store.  How’s it going?

EM:  Pretty good man!  How you doin’?

MH:  Not to hot actually.  DM is riding my ass over turn times.  He said since you’re the master of turn times, I should call you and get some pointers.

EM:  Ha ha ha!  Man, you mean you still haven’t figured it out yet?

MH:  Hey man, I came from the kitchen.  I don’t know shit about all this floor manager bullshit.  If it was up to me, all my shifts would be in the kitchen.

EM:  No man.  Look.  It doesn’t matter where you’re from, because it’s impossible anyway.  Do you really think I run 12 minute turn times here every day?

MH:  Hell naw!  That’s just crazy.  It’s impossible.

EM:  It’s impossible to do, unless you cheat the system.  I’ve talked to everyone in our district and they’re all cheating on their ticket times.  Well, except for XXXXXXXX.  They’re so slow, they don’t have to cheat.

MH:  Well, thank God.  I thought I was going nuts.  I mean I’ve been trying everything I could think of.  Even MA doesn’t know how to get the times down, and he’s a genius on the floor.  Hell, he’s a genius everywhere for that matter.

EM:  It’s cool man.  I’ll tell you how to do it.  I think that’s what DM wanted anyway.

MH:  What?  He knows your cheating?

EM:  Yeah man.  This turn time bullshit is just something they came up with at the home office during one of their brainstorm sessions.  You see, they decided if we could keep turn times below 15 minutes, it would make a spike in profits just in time to offset the usual slump in sales this time of the year.

MH:  Aren’t they worried about pissing off customers?  Some of them get super pissed because they can tell we’re trying to chase them off.

EM: As long as it gives them “an innovative new approach” to sell to the investors, they don’t really care what happens.  The DM who’s district has the highest increase in sales and the lowest turn times gets a bonus kicker for the quarter.  You know how they operate.

MH:  Yeah I do.  Almighty dollar and all.

EM:  You know it.

MH:  O.K. So how do you do it?  What’s the trick?

EM:  It’s really simple man.  All you do is start a new table on the macros, ring up a glass of water on it.  Then you go back a minute or so later and close out the table.  Since water is free, it doesn’t screw up your sales numbers or inventory, but it will lower the average turn time.  Just do this over and over and keep checking your turn time report until it gets where you want it.  Just don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a blatantly impossible turn time.

MH:  What?  Like 12 minutes?  Ha ha ha!

EM:  Hey now!  Don’t give me any shit.  I just gave you the keys to the kingdom.

MH:  Ha ha ha!  Thanks man.  You just saved my ass.  I’ve gotta go try this out.

EM:  Sure thing man.  Anytime.  Tell MA I said his mom’s a dirty whore.

MH:  Ha ha ha!  Will do man!  Thanks again!

(MH walks out of the office and tries out the new trick on the macros system.  It works like a charm.)

MA:  So did he tell you how he’s been breaking the laws of space and time?

MH:  Sure did!  Here let me show you.

(MH shows MA how to take perfectly believable turn times and reduce them down to the “acceptable” point of absurdity)

MA:  Damn man.  That EM is a sneaky little bastard.  God bless him.

MH:  Yeah he said your mom’s a dirty whore too.

MA:  That fucker!  I outta …..(omitted due to the fact that no one wants to hear the depraved stuff he actually said)

MH:  Damn man.  That’s some sick shit.  Funny as hell, but sick.

MA:  Thanks.  So how the hell haven’t the bigwigs caught on to this trick?

MH:  From what EM said, they already know about it.  They’re just doing the “Turn Time Initiative” as a way to build investor confidence.

MA:  So they made up some bullshit busy-work to drive us all crazy with, and when it all comes down to it, it’s totally pointless?

MH:  Yep!  Isn’t it great?  The scary thing is DM was probably going to fire me over it too.

MA:  Well, we fired Tim and Jessica over turn times last week because DM told us to weed out subpar performers.  Other than their turn times, they really didn’t suck that bad.

MH:  Yeah I know.  That was the first thing I thought of when I got off the phone.  We’ll be lucky if we make it out of this company with our souls intact.

MA:  Speak for yourself man.  I’m shooting for a spot at the home office.

MH:  Well, you’ve definitely done your time on the front lines.  If anyone deserves a shot at it, you do.

MA:  That’s what your mom said last night!  Hoowah!

MH:  Hardy-har-har!  Get back in your box, you worthless schmuck!

MA:  I love you too dear!

(The next day DM calls MH after lunch rush)

DM:  I trust you’ve got some good news for me today MH?

MH:  Yep.  We beat our sales goal.  We only had to comp a couple meals due to a slight kitchen crash.  Other than that, it was a pretty good lunch.

DM:  Don’t give me all that.  You know what I really want to know about.

MH:  Our turn time was 12 minutes today.

DM:  See?  Now what did I tell you?  EM knows what he’s talking about.  That turn time is what beat your sales goal today.  It’s just like we told you on the conference call last week.

MH:  I see.

DM:  Well, good job MH.  I knew you could do it.  You just had to apply yourself.

MH:  ……

DM:  Well, look, I’ve got to go.  I’ve got to catch a flight back to the home office. We’ve got a big investor’s meeting coming up and I’ve got to get there in time to get our materials together.

(Click. Dial tone)

MH:  I’m sure you do.