Case one: 1
Me: I don’t understand why your restaurant charges extra on your “meal combo” when I bring my reusable cup. I thought this reusable cup was supposed to reduce waste.
Manager: The reuseable cup is larger.
Me: But you offer free refills.
Manager: Only in the dining room.
Me: So I buy the “meal combo” with your disposable cup for less cost, fill up my reusable cup using free refills, and then throw away the disposable cup. I don’t see how that helps the environment or helps your company make money.
Manager: Have a nice day. Next!
Manager: The survey shows that we’re doing poorly.
Me: That survey has major methodological problems.
Manager: This is the survey the industry uses. Our scores are normalized to everyone else’s.
Me: So if another site has a bad month, our scores could go up? Or vice versa?
Manager: So let’s start getting those survey scores up!
Oh, and let’s not start mentioning things like having managers quote the anonymous employee survey (recently lampooned in Dilbert, but all too real).
What bothers me about all of these things is that they don’t even make sense from a short-run point of view. They all seem to indicate that the managers – and perhaps even the corporation – are working toward different goals than those publicly stated.
And that makes me very, very nervous.
Corporations are inherently sociopathic. They are beholden to create short-term wealth for stockholders. No individual bears any consequence to their actions. Even long-term consequences are not held by the stockholders – who can just as easily move to a different company.
That’s not capitalism. In capitalism, the society – and social shunning when businesses are unethical – are supposed to act as a check and balance – but that doesn’t happen anymore. It’s at the core of our frustration over the financial collapse – it was all freaking legal, and nobody was “really” responsible.
Who knows when we’ll wake up to all of this. I just watched “Planet of the Ood” last night, and this quote really struck me:
Donna Noble: A great big empire, built on slavery…
The Doctor: It’s not so different from your time.
Donna Noble: Oy! I haven’t got slaves!
The Doctor: Who d’you think made your clothes?
1 Details changed to protect the guilty.