29 August 2009

Omnibus post

I haven't posted in a while. Here's a few random things flitting through my skull that I never quite made a full post about.


Got into a debate about bosses at work- the gist of which is ours all stink- but a few of us started taking a historical view of the matter. History gives a few examples of good and bad managers, and a lot of those who fall somewhere in between.

One of the examples from the past that came up was Henry Ford. The man had his problems- believing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were authentic was one; being Hitler's personal hero was another- but he also had his strengths. One of them was that he paid his workers well for the time, to the point that thousands of men would apply for a job when a position was posted. Ford paid his men well even as he eroded skills and the need for skilled labourers because he knew that if his own workers could not afford his cars then he was dead.

Now compare this to Sam Walton. Another megasuccess, without the racism or Hitler thing going on, but he did not pay his workers well, to the point that he even applied to congress to have Walmart exempt from paying its workers the minimum wage. Looking at him is like looking at Ford through a fun house mirror. Rather than paying the workers enough that they may buy the products, he is playing them so little they may only shop at Walmart, and because the stuff sold there is by and large crud, they will have to buy it there again in a few months time. Walton didn't want to give his workers money. He only let them keep it warm for a little while.

There was also a story I heard about Walton's final year or so. An amateur pilot, he began flying around the country after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer because he wanted to see every Walmart in the land. I've been with a few people as they lay dying, visited them in their final illnesses. Until I heard this, I never heard anyone say "I wish I spent more time at the office." A father and a grandfather, he wanted to see his stores. There is just something terribly wrong with this, yet I read that story in a management book, praising Walton for his dedication to his stores.

Heard at Work, the last word in political incorrectness:

Co worker to incompetent female manager: "Shouldn't you be at home, ruining your husband's dinner?"

Teddy Kennedy


I prayed for his soul, and hope he finds mercy even as I hope to find mercy.

I also wonder what Anne Coulter will write about now. A lot of people like her. I am not a fan, although I sometimes agree with her. I find her thinking shallow and unsophisticated, and her writing full of ad hominem attacks and non sequitors. I thought about her because every article of hers I ever read always had some comment about Ted Kennedy and his drinking, no matter what she was talking about. It cheapens debate in an effort to score cheap points. I wonder what easy target she'll squeeze into her sights now.

School is Starting soon:

Cue the music: It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Talking about talking about sex

Something I noticed a long time ago: married people can't talk about sex, at least not with their spouses. I know, we shouldn't even want to, and it's not that I want to, or that I even would, it's that I can't. No one is interested or wants to hear. Seriously. My wife and I could have the most wild, insane sex of our married lives, sex so good we feel we should go to confession, just to be on the safe side, and no one would care. But if one of the Casanovas at work were to come in from the weekend and start talking about a mediocre quickie they had with some primordial flooze they picked up at some cheap meat market, they would be guaranteed a rapt audience, hanging on their every word.

McDonald's Canadian Olympic Team Ads

While I am glad the athletes are getting some money from somewhere, I feel there is an irony about having McDonald's support athletes. Plus, I can only laugh at the ads where patrons in McDonald's run into the athletes eating there. Yeah. Right.

Canadian Olympic trivia: Canada has hosted the Olympics twice. In both Olympics our teams never won a gold. We are the only host country to not win gold, and we did it twice. The worst part is an old Italian saying my wife says from time to time: Never two without three.

Of course, if the athletes really are filling up at McDonald's, that third time is a real possibility...

Speaking of Athletes

Why doesn't Usain Bolt just change his first name to Lightning and be done with it? I find myself inexplicably liking the guy. Can't explain it, I just do. I've heard a lot of accusations about him using drugs, and I hope they're false.

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