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View Diary: Daily Kos Labor digest: Boss gets $800,000 bonus while workers don't get office supplies or coffee (69 comments)

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  •  That's an excellent argument (6+ / 0-)

    for improving the quality of the coffee in the office.  Morale and productivity will more than compensate for the modest additional cost.  But again, I confess that my socialist lifestyle might make me a less than ideal candidate to evaluate purely profit-motivated decisions.  People in the business world often seem a bit senselessly dickish to me, and self destructively so.  Especially with an $800,000.00 bonus.  I mean, really, take some of that money and give your people some decent freaking coffee.

    After I posted, I remembered something I read once in Frank Herbert's Dune.  I include it below:

        "She asked me to tell her what it is to rule," Paul said. "And I said that one commands. And she said I had some unlearning to do."
         She hit a mark there right enough, Hawat thought. He nodded for Paul to continue.
         "She said a ruler must learn to persuade and not to compel. She said he must lay the best coffee hearth to attract the finest men."
         "How'd she figure your father attracted men like Duncan and Gurney?" Hawat asked.
    :-)

    "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

    by quillsinister on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:27:51 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Unless you bring in somebody (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thomask, rainmanjr, hnichols

      to be in charge of the kitchen, the employees have to clean th machine. But due to universal office dynamics, no one wants to b the one stuck with cleaning the thing, so eventually the gunk builds up, which affects the taste of the coffee. People also leave the pot burning on the hot plate, further ruining the coffee.

      •  Simple solution: (5+ / 0-)

        Assign, by name, a different individual each day.  Nobody gets stuck with it any more than any other, but everyone does a small amount to steward a common resource.  Depending on the size of the organization, you might do this once a month or every few days.  Either way, the time involved is negligible while the cost of a daily venti mocha is not (though I indulge in those occasionally myself).

        By the way, you're neatly evading the main issue, which is that the boss gets $800,000 while the workers don't even get coffee.  Hell, for that $50,000 I mentioned, this boss could actually hire someone to do nothing but take care of the coffee mess, and he'd still get that three quarters of a million dollars!  If the company was in trouble, and the boss had to sacrifice as well to keep the company solvent, that would be one thing.  Most people would be cool with that if there was a need.  As it is, he's getting a giant pile of money and placing the cost cutting squarely on the backs of his workers.  And this when the thing in question could be stocked and operated for cheap and directly contributes to productivity!

        This is the kind of bullshit I can show my sailors to convince them to reenlist.  That should be some kind of private sector litmus test to show how poorly a company is being run.  Well, keep up the good work, I guess.  Uncle Sam's ships need to be manned.  :-)

        "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

        by quillsinister on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:05:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're a very good writer. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shypuffadder, hnichols, quillsinister

          I was wavering until I read your comment.  I mean, I can see the argument that staff should buy their own coffee but I think it's petty, dickish, so I reject it.  But I can see how the wealthy boss might see it that way.  You know, Scrooge was visited by 3 ghosts for thinking that way but that seems to miss people's attention.  Funny, in a society so hugely into Christmas, but ignorance is like that.

          "When you think about the money spent/on defense by the government/& the weapons of destruction we've built/we're so sure that we need/then you think of the millions that money could feed/How long?" J Browne

          by rainmanjr on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:13:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Apple solution.... (7+ / 0-)

        About 25 years ago when I worked at Apple the employees in our smaller building lobbied for an espresso machine.  An Illy Cafe espresso machine, coffee grinder, the full professional coffee house stuff.

        Most of us lived in San Francisco, a surprisingly large number of us in North Beach, but we worked in Cupertino (40 miles south). Starbucks did not yet exist outside Seattle. There were no real coffee houses in Cupertino.

        Someone went so far as to produce a life-size color mockup of the machine, placed it on the counter and for quite a while that space was not violated. Grousing about the execrable pale product of the Gunn drip machine led to threats from the freelancers and contract employees to raise their billing rates to cover hazardous duty.

        We all offered to chip in to buy one and buy our own coffee. After a year or so of complaining some wise manager realized that squeezing $5k out of the budget to improve morale might be worth it. Or perhaps it was because one of financial types analyzed the lifecycle cost of an espresso machine relative to the productivity of a highly caffeinated  staff.

        The shiny red Illy showed up on the counter one day. Joy ensued. Lessons in proper care and treatment of the steam valve became a priority in orientation. Morale soared. It became a focal point for impromptu meetings where people shared ideas and solved problems.  

        People cleaned up after themselves for years. Those of us who remembered the old days of execrable Gunn pale drip would remind newbies of our shared struggle and their role in preserving our future.

        With the Illy we rolled out some kick-butt products like the sleek PowerBook 170. Under the Gunn we did the pathetic Macintosh Portable.  The only thing it did was serve as a decent 16 pound barbell replacement.

        If you ever need evidence that good coffee makes a better product we were the case study.

        •  Great story. Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hnichols

          I sometimes forget what great story tellers we have here on DKos.  This diary seems to have sprouted some fun conversation about a fun topic, coffee. That serves to highlight the story's relevance.  Revolutions are started over some pretty small things.

          "When you think about the money spent/on defense by the government/& the weapons of destruction we've built/we're so sure that we need/then you think of the millions that money could feed/How long?" J Browne

          by rainmanjr on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:19:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Apple is the exception. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quillsinister

          It's one of the most innovative companies on the planet, possibly Apple is the greatest company ever. Most people who work in their headquarters are either business or engineering geniuses, or both. You people at Apple probably dealt with your coffee room very intelligently. But pretty much everyone in America is a Neanderthal compared to your typical Apple employee.

      •  The way it is worded implies that the company was (0+ / 0-)

        paying one of those coffee service vendors who stops by the office with a fully stocked and equipped van and handles everything 'coffee' for the employees, like supplying the equip, fixin's, and keeping the machines brewing:

        no longer be able to supply coffee service in our newsrooms.
        . Goes on to state that the employees would henceforth have to pool together and do the coffee logistics on their own.

        My guess is that the lost productivity will cost the dickhead CEO  a lot more than the formerly provided, now dropped, coffee service cost the company.

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans!!. . Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

        by Bluefin on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:45:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My guess is that the ceo had nothing (0+ / 0-)

          to do with this decision. He told managers to cut costs, and they idiotically went too far with this decision. But most ceos won't reverse an underling's orders unless it's necessary. This is one of those decisions that gets reversed in a couple of months.

    •  Very nice. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks, I enjoyed your comment.

      "When you think about the money spent/on defense by the government/& the weapons of destruction we've built/we're so sure that we need/then you think of the millions that money could feed/How long?" J Browne

      by rainmanjr on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:06:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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