Workers of the world, unite!
And then your employer will try to fire you for doing it…
As you might have already heard, a woman named Frances Haugen quit Facebook and started airing their dirty laundry which would take a clothesline that stretches from somewhere in Winnipeg, Canada to Tierra del Fuego which is either the southernmost part of South America or a mid-sized SUV made by Toyota.
So I’m thinking a company that puts profit before people is a pretty good cartoon subject, but then think:
“Wait…what company doesn’t put profit before people?”
Which led me to think about those Chick-fil-A ads where customers who seem to spend way too much time at Chick-fil-A sit on a couch and talk to Chick-fil-A employees about their deeply meaningful relationships, which seem like a fucking nightmare because I don’t want to have to answer questions about my health or how my kids are doing or pretend to be interested in someone else’s personal life every time I want some waffle fries.
At this stage of life I’m looking for fewer personal relationships, not more.
And those customer/fast-food worker relationships also seem kind of sad because as we all know you don’t develop deep, meaningful relationships with fast-food restaurant employees; you develop deep, meaningful relationships with complete strangers by visiting dating websites where you can reject someone based on their looks or accept someone based on the completely false impression they’re trying to make on people who don’t know them and can’t call them on their bullshit.
“I love romantic walks on the beach” sounds pretty good as long as the psychopath who wrote that leaves out “and then killing and burying the body of the person who was batshit crazy enough to join a complete stranger on a long walk on a deserted beach late at night.”
But enough about my imaginary dating profile.
Wanting to know more about Chick-fil-A and whether those ads are accurate, I Googled: “Is Chick-fil-A good place to work” and the first article I found was:
“7 Reasons It’s Awesome to Work at a Chick-fil-A Restaurant”
Which, considering today’s standards for believing something, seems like irrefutable proof that Chick-fil-A is an awesome place to work, right up until you notice the article is posted on a Chick-fil-A website. Nevertheless – just in case you’re wondering – here are the seven reasons:
1. You learn leadership and management skills.
2. You can earn a college scholarship.
3. You’re off every Sunday.
4. The food.
5. You’ll make lifelong friendships.
6. Celebs love it, too!
7. You’ve got a path to a fulfilling career.
All of which sounds pretty good if you don’t think about it too much and start wondering what kind of C-list celebrities hang out at Chick-fil-A, just how many chicken nuggets you can eat and still want more and why your social life is never going to get any better so when you reach old age you’ll still be hanging out with short-order cooks you met when you were 19.
So that’s the first article that came up on Google and this is the second one:
“Workers reveal what it’s really like to work at Chick-fil-A.”
Turns out you get Sunday’s off because the company founder was a fundamentalist Christian and it also turns out the company president is a religious conservative who believes in “traditional marriage” (one frustrated man married to one pissed off woman) and angry Liberal customers take it out on Chick-fil-A workers which really makes me wonder what kind of nut case you have to be to go to Chick-fil-A to berate a teenage counter worker who doesn’t have jack shit to do with what the company president believes.
Looking on the bright side:
Apparently Chick-fil-A workers get a big kick out of customers trying to say the word “Polynesian” (they have a sauce called that) and customers will say “Parmesan” or “polyester” or “Pomeranian” instead, which would seem to indicate a fair number of Chick-fil-A customers aren’t exactly MENSA candidates.
In any case, here’s that article if you want to read more, but I’m ready to move on because I think we’ve spent just about enough time on your weird obsession with Chick-fil-A and maybe you should see a therapist about that, or at the very least, offer to star in a commercial and reveal to the world that you’re so sad and lonely you celebrate your birthdays at Chick-fil-A.
Capitalism’s track record
So I was under the general impression that a lot of business put profit before people, but wanted to do about three minutes of research to back up my opinion (which is way more than most people on Facebook are willing to do) and found an article about employers who treat their workers like dirt and according to that article, at one time or another:
Amazon was accused of using disciplinary action against inconsiderate employees who got cancer or got pregnant.
Target was accused of being anti-union, threatening to close stores if workers voted for a union and forcing workers to take “training days” which consisted of watching anti-union propaganda.
Microsoft was accused of using “stack ranking” which, when you put it into actual English, means the managers ranked their employees and fired the ones with the worst rankings, which means if Jesus, Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa worked in your department, one of them would have to go, which in turn meant the employees got busy stabbing each other in the back to make sure somebody else got a crappy ranking and a pink slip and I’m guessing it would be Mother Teresa because Al could probably fix computers and Jesus could provide snacks for the company picnic if you gave him one fish and a loaf of bread.
(I was going to mention his ever-popular water-into-wine party trick, but these days I feel 100 percent sure the HR department would step in and tell the J-Man to knock it off because there were liability issues. I mean what if someone wrecked their donkey on the way home from Galilee?)
In 2013 Microsoft quit using “stack ranking” and instead switched over to trial by combat in which employees were given knives and locked in a dark room and the one that come out alive was made CEO; a story I just made up, because while they did stop stack ranking Microsoft did not start using trial by combat, but I’m guessing that’s because nobody thought of it until now so if Microsoft immediately starts using a Hunger Games corporate structure, all I can say is my bad for suggesting it.
The Gap was accused of using child labor in sweat shops based in foreign countries like Cambodia and in 2014 when the workers agitated for better pay (they wanted the princely sum of $160 a month) the government didn’t mind breaking up meetings with violence.
Disneyland Paris (which seems to exist because some idiots go to Paris, France and decide they’d rather see some teenager wearing a mouse costume) has been accused of using six-day work weeks and having an accident rate higher than the construction industry and circus knife jugglers (one of which I just made up) and maybe they had such a high accident rate because nobody could see out of those costumes.
Walmart has been accused of paying workers starvation wages and if you’re thinking, “Well, sucks to be them” you might want to have some pity for yourself because according to the House of Representatives, one Walmart was costing taxpayers $1 million a year in food stamps and public assistance due to low wages for their workers and according to the internet there are 4,743 Walmart stores in the U.S. so do the math and that seems like a lot of taxpayer assistance.
Merrill Lynch has been accused of working interns like galley slaves and they might work a “bad 9-to-5” which is a shift that goes from 9 AM to 5 AM the next day, but if those interns are the kind of suckass kids who wear suspenders in their mid-twenties and make snarky comments on the internet and then go on to be self-absorbed adults who drive BMWs and insult waitresses and send wine back just to show who’s in charge, I think we can all agree they should be treated like crap while we can still get away with it.
Apple has been accused of making their workers in Chinese factories put in 60-hour weeks and go without a break for 18 days and not allowing them to sit down no matter how tired they are which I believe was the same method used to break Paul Newman’s spirit in Cool Hand Luke.
Sears has been accused of using sweatshop workers who were paid about $500 for nine months work and food was so scarce 251 people had to make do with a single 2-pound chicken and if you were the 251st person in line to eat that day, I’m guessing maybe they just showed you a picture of a chicken and said, “Bon appetit!”
If you want to read more, here’s a link to the article:
Alert readers might have noticed that the article was written in 2015 and if you’re thinking, “Well sure, maybe those companies used to treat their employees like galley slaves who have yet to form a union, but six years later I’m sure they’ve all cleaned up their acts” I won’t try to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge...
But could I interest you in a low-mileage Tierra del Fuego?