Monday, June 4, 2007

A Postcard to the Wonderful Executives at Circuit City


This postcard was posted at http://postsecret.blogspot.com the week of 5/30/07

Found this wonderful postcard at the PostSecret blog.

Just in case you're not up to speed on the story, a couple of months ago Circuit City announced they were firing 3,400 of their employees because they were making too much money. The company told the dismissed employees they could reapply, in ten weeks, for any openings at Circuit City...at a wage lower than their original pay scale.

For more posts on Circuit City, see:
Even more about Circuit City!, More on Circuit City and From Hedgehogs to Warthogs.





Saturday, June 2, 2007

THE WORLD IS FAT


This book, which has been a popular business read, begins well enough with a first chapter entitled, “While I Was Snacking.” The author, Mr. Freedme, discusses his experience sitting on a couch, his coffee table littered with debris from McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Starbucks, Taco Bell and Baskin-Robbins. At that particular moment, he happens to be watching the world championships of Sumo wrestling when, lo and behemoth, Torsten Scheibler, a 440-pound wrestler from Germany captures a gold medal.

Initially Mr. Feedme’s observations are lucid, acute and scintillating. He asks provocative questions about globalization, the retail economy and vividly paints parallel trends in international sports and the fast food industry as a metaphor for more broad-reaching sea changes. He astutely explores how a sport such as Sumo, whose very essence is Japanese, has become become embraced internationally, attracting both fans and athletes from around the world.

From there, the book’s promising beginning is utterly obliterated as Feedme launches into a bloated and turgid premise that gives rises to a series of chapters entitled, “Ten Forces that Fattened the World.” The author have may begun with the belief that the Sumo wrestlers he saw on the TV screen that day, alongside with fast food debris on his coffee table, could be woven into a coherent set of ideas. Alas, Feedme's intellectual drawbacks become abundantly evident as one peruses the chapter titles for each of the Fatteners:

- Fattener #1. 4/19/75 – Double-Stuff Oreo’s introduced

- Fattener #2. 11/8/87 – First online menu appears

- Fattener #3. The blueprint is drawn for a Starbucks within a Starbucks
- Fattener #4: Weird Al releases his music video, Fat.
-
Fattener #5. The Jenny Craig Heresy
- Fattener #6. The Global Calorie
- Fattener #7. The Cooking Channel in High Definition

- Fattener #8. Ingesting, inhaling, insourcing and indigestion
- Fattener #9. Boink: Eating without thinking
- Fattener #10. Atlas bulks up on steroids so he can shrug more easily

This is a book filled with cute inanities and readers are more likely to find intellectual substance in an assortment of Twinkies and Devil Dogs.

Friday, May 18, 2007

E.A. Hanks first recipient of the B.S. Cutter Award of Merit



The Cantankerous Consultant has teamed up with the folks at B.S Cutter Whiskey to present a new award: The B.S. Cutter Award of Merit. It goes to the worthy individual whose commentary cut through the bullshit and bring those blue-skying, buzzwordly, hype-mongering, grossly guruish consultants back to reality!

Our first recipient is the inimitable E. A. Hanks whose impudent ways enliven
Huffingtonpost.com. Kudos for her commentary entitled, Innovation Is Nothing: A Look Inside Clinton Guru John Kao's Douchey "Manifesto." When I saw the adjective "douchey" used to describe "Manifesto" my cantankerous little heart went pitter patter. Sigh!

Ms. Hanks' subject is John
Kao, who was hired by the Clinton campaign as an advisor and was paid $70,000 to offer tidbits of wisdom such as, "Ideation instigates innovation." Ms Hanks, in a response that should win her a Nobel Prize for blogging, notes, "Apparently, alliterative assholes assume adults appreciate this kind of adolescent absurdity."

And so it is with great pride and pleasure that we present the first-ever
B.S. Cutter Award of Merit to Ms. Hanks. Well done!

The Cantankerous Consultant would also like to add his two cents about Mr.
Kao. As part of his “transformation manifesto,” Mr. Kao suggests hiring a “chief destruction officer” instead of a “chief innovation officer.” Ugh! Time to renew my membership in the Barf Bag of the Month Club. So let me get this straight, that mean Harvard will now offer a MD (Master of Destruction) in addition to its MBA degree? If so, here is a hint to anyone applying to get into the program. On your essay, try using the following quote which is a favorite of destructor wannabes, “Harm is the norm. Doom should not jam.” It is eloquent without a lick of alliteration. (FYI: It's from Vladimir Nabokov's Pnin).


Note: The
B.S. Cutter brand of whiskey is a no nonsense victual inspired by the adventures of the venerable ship, B.S. Cutter. According to legend, it was the irascible Captain Farley Craized who was the first person to utter the immortal phrase, “Damn the buzzwords, full speed ahead!” The folks at B.S. Cutter also sponsor the Public Service Announcements who slogan is, "Sail safely. Throw the damned consultant overboard!"

Friday, May 4, 2007

Thursday, May 3, 2007

GET THE BONUS YOU DON'T DESERVE!

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HOW TO GET A BONUS
Even if you don't deserve it!

IT'S TRUE...FEDERAL BONUSES ARE THE SECRET WAY TO BUILD WEALTH!
Working for the Fede
ral Government can be more lucrative than most people realize. The secret? Bonuses!

THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN THE FEDERAL PAY SYST
EM
If you are like most federal employees, you are probably thinking, "Bonuses? There's hardly any money for bonuses!" Well, you're wrong! Did you know there is a Strategic Bonus Reserve (SBR) built into the federal budget? Similar in concept to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the SBR is network of money caches that stockpiles bonuses at strategic locations throughout the country.

LEARN HOW TO TAP INTO THE STRATEGIC BONUS RESERVE
Originally the SBR was intended to be use only during
times of national emergency. But thanks to an oft overlooked loophole, there is a way that any federal employee can tap into it, even if there is no crisis! Yes, you read correctly. Any federal employee (i.e., you!) can make use of the BSR. And there's no need to wait for an emergency.

LEARN F
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The faculty workshop has been recruited from the experts at the Verterans Administration. Recently the Associated Press rep
orted how senior VA officials got big bonuses: "WASHINGTON - Months after a politically embarrassing $1 billion shortfall that put veterans' health care in peril, Veterans Affairs officials involved in the foul-up got hefty bonuses ranging up to $33,000. The list of bonuses to senior career officials at the Veterans Affairs Department in 2006, obtained by The Associated Press, documents a generous package of more than $3.8 million in payments by a financially strapped agency straining to help care for thousands of injured veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan."

As the chart below demonstrates, these folks know what they're doing!


DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! We're so so confident this system will work for you and that our expert faculty can literally put more money in your pocket that we'll give you double your money back if you don't get a hefty bonus within a year of taking the workshop.
---------------------------

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

HOW BIG IS YOUR GOLDEN PARACHUTE?



The folks at the CEO Advocacy Group, Save the Salary, have published a new book on how to get rich by getting a Golden Parachute. This essential corporate missive:
  • Makes a compelling case that losing your job should be lucrative, but only if you happen to be the CEO of your company.
  • Explains the behavior psychology of why Golden Parachutes for CEOs actually motivates rank and file employees to work even harder...well, sort of, in a hypothetical way that boggles the imagination.
  • Uses a proprietary schocastic model to prove that binge-purge personnel practices (i.e., pay a lot money to hire a CEO and then pay even more to get rid of that person) builds corporate character. Yes folks, spending upwards of $100 million to unload a CEO is 100% pure common sense!
For a hilarious salute to the CEOs who make millions for leaving, check out Sailing Away on a Golden Parachute by Brian Unger of NPR's The Unger Report.


Note: For background, read the article,The Upside of Being Out - How Taxes, Takeovers Figure Into Golden Parachute's Cushion, in the Washington Post by David Hilzenrath.