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primesuspectprimesuspect Detroit, MI Icrontian
edited Feb 2012 in The Icrontic Pub
I know we all order tons of stuff online; this is a pretty interesting article about the life of a megawarehouse worker. Makes you think a bit about the conditions we're willing to tolerate in order to get our stuff.

Comments

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    Yeah, I just read that. Making me reconsider my "almost always Amazon" ways.
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related Icrontian
    Reminds me of this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle

    This is the disgusting result of a society where everything revolves around making as much money as possible. Oddly it's consumer demands that force companies to create conditions like this in order to stay in business. It's because people feel entitled to things like free shipping and getting their order in just a few days that workers are held to such unrealistic expectations for fear of customers taking their business somewhere else. It's pretty sad to see that the standards created to improve the factory work conditions of more than 100 years ago don't seem to apply to the relatively new business of an online shopping warehouse.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    @Canti, "Only through education, through remembrance, and through constant vigilance can we ensure that the tragedies of the past serve as clear lessons for the future."

    From the Israeli representative to the General Assembly of the UN, link. This is referencing the slave trade directly, but is appropriate in a whole slew of contexts.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Sometimes I think I do lean towards socialism. The older I get and the more I see, the more I realize that capitalism is really the root cause of many of these ills.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    INB4 "but free market will solve all the problems"
  • JokkeJokke Nuvsvaag, Norway Icrontian
    Terrible. I almost feel quilty for shopping so much from Newegg. It's almost getting to the point where one cannot buy anything in fear of where it has been and where it comes from.
  • IlriyasIlriyas Magician, Sunbro, Grossly Incandescent Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    The world of Capitalism is one where a company is allowed to do whatever it takes to beat out their competitors and make the highest maximum profit and to hell with all the individuals who make it possible, all that matters is how much money the company bigwigs and shareholders can stuff into their pockets.

    It's terrible that in a world where 'human rights' are valued so highly by society that conditions like this are allowed, not only to exist, but to continue.

    Although I've made very few purchases from online sources I still feel horrible for doing it because I KNOW that people are experiencing such horrible conditions specifically so that my order can arrive within 3 days of placing said order. That said I've made it a habit of grabbing most everything I want from local shops/stores regardless of a price increase compared to online businesses but I can't and won't use that as a 'moral high ground' conditions within the Capitalist system are terrible period and until society as a whole takes a different stance on consumerism we will be forced to live in a reality where situations like this not only exist but are encouraged by the system itself.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    Oh gad. Staying away from this thread.

    No matter what economic system you choose, you're going to have those that abuse it. Rather than focusing on the corporations at the top, try thinking about how the system we have benefits the many, many small to midsized businesses that account for a much, much larger part of the economy as a whole.

    ...or just stick to the talking points of the internet. That's cool too.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    I wouldn't call that massive, in-depth, personal experience "talking points". That was a well-researched story.
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    Since we're within the capitalist system, the onus is on either individual consumers or government regulation to avoid situations like this. I desperately hope we can avoid predictably polarizing opinions on our economic system that lead to closing the thread and us not having nice things.

    What I wonder is if we were outraged enough when GameStop removed OnLive vouchers to call for a boycott... why can't we boycott Amazon for treating their workers poorly?
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    I wouldn't call that massive, in-depth, personal experience "talking points". That was a well-researched story.
    Was responding to comments in this thread, not article.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    Oh gad. Staying away from this thread.

    No matter what economic system you choose, you're going to have those that abuse it. Rather than focusing on the corporations at the top, try thinking about how the system we have benefits the many, many small to midsized businesses that account for a much, much larger part of the economy as a whole.

    ...or just stick to the talking points of the internet. That's cool too.
    Based on these numbers (specifically, Table 2A), that argument doesn't seem to ring true in terms of total paid employees, annual payroll, or total sales and receipts (which my non-finance brain is guessing = revenue).

    Size of Firm
    Number of Employees (%total)
    Annual Payroll (%total)
    Revenues (%total)

    Small ( <250 )

    28.9
    24.1
    20.3

    Medium (250 < x < 750)
    10.5
    9.7
    10.6

    Large ( >750 )
    60.6
    66.1
    69.0

    Simplified math from my excel-ing, please feel free to correct. I'm staying non-partisan, dearest mods!
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Detroit, MI Icrontian
    The funny part about this system is that we can boycott Amazon and it won't change much; Amazon's management (the people who can change these situations) are most likely totally unaware that these conditions exist. That's one of the biggest flaws with a system that provides financial incentive to maximize efficiency at every step. The top says "this could stand improvement" and the lower down you go, the more depraved it gets; each "boss" up the chain merely likes the improvements they see. The top doesn't know what's going on six steps down the chain, but they do like the fiscal improvements and they reward the subordinate for improving.
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    Even if that's the case, they know now that there are multiple news reports of these conditions. This is just like the Apple/Foxconn controversy. Amazon is hardly the only company involved, but they drive a great deal of the demand and make a great deal of money from the practices.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    Even if that's the case, they know now that there are multiple news reports of these conditions. This is just like the Apple/Foxconn controversy. Amazon is hardly the only company involved, but they drive a great deal of the demand and make a great deal of money from the practices.
    Agreed, but the article discusses the degrees of separation between decision makers at all levels and the actual (almost always, temp) worker at the end of the chain and how that ends up creating situations like this.
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    This reminds me of local food movements where people are demanding to know more about the production of what they eat. I don't know enough to say whether those movements are driven more by consumers or artisan food creators (say, Jeni's Ice Creams in CBus), though.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    @Tushon PDF Warning: http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/sbfaq.pdf

    Fine, we can use those numbers

    Small firms:
    • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
    • Employ about half of all private sector employees.
    • Pay 43 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
    • Have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17
    years.
    • Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
    • Hire 43 percent of high tech workers (scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).
    • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
    • Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
    • Produce 16.5 times more
    I'm not sure why you took this outside the PM, and we're not really accomplishing anything, but for the sake of it sales =/ revenues. There are costs of sales associated with each product, which chew into the revenue of a company many times over, depending on your market. Payroll is misleading, IMO, due to various industries and payscales associated with such.

    If you want to focus solely on number of employees hired, fine. As I said in the PM I feel a company as large as 1200 employees is still small, IMO. Large enough to be publicly traded might make the best benchmark (since everyone on the internet loves the bottom line argument), but even then small firms and startups can have IPOs to market (and produce absolutely no revenue, either).
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    I worked for http://www.fastenal.com/web/home.ex for a short time some years back. I saw what they do to their warehouse slaves in Scranton PA, it was deplorable. They abuse people way past any reasonable hour, they did not offer reasonable wages for people working over in order to meet increased demand. Horrible company. Basically you stayed until all the orders were filled, and if you missed your kid's ball game, that's tough, they just did not care about the people working for them.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    Not being critical of you, just putting that into public perspective. Just a conversation, friend. Sorry if opening the discussion up didn't look that way. No offense meant! I also do think we are accomplishing something (relative increase in knowledge)

    I appreciate your input there, and if you adjust the numbers as you stated (for what I have available), the argument gets much closer! I don't know that I agree that large enough to be publicly traded is the best benchmark, but I'm also much less knowledgeable than you and others about that issue (I've been much more aware of politics than financials over the last 5 years or so). Large enough to be publicly traded would just be hard to pin down due to companies like Koch Industries, Cargill, et al being enormous but private. Where would you draw the line as "large enough"?

    After adjusted numbers (employees):
    small x <1250 ---------- 42.4%
    Medium 1250 < x < 5000 -- 8.3%
    Large x > 5000 --------- 49.3%

  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    So the standard two options in a situation like this is A) hire more pickers/workers/wage slaves, or B) pay the existing ones more. Would any wage justify the same "work impossibly hard until you're done" mentality? Would everybody be equally all right with paying an extra 60 people the standard crap wage if it made everybody's jobs just a tiny bit easier? Say you're the business owner: which way would you go?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Toronto, ON Icrontian
    Reminds me of the franchulates from Snow Crash.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    Sigh, sorry @Tushon I'm not sure what was going on last night, apparently I was in a mood. Apologies for lashing out.

    Issue with raising hourly rates for these workers is that it ultimately raises the rate for the "skilled" labor you're also hiring in, say, a general and administrative category of cost expense analysis (your supply chain management graduate, for instance). Costs go up across the board, which in the long run ends up doing more harm than good. It's a tricky balance.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    Does it, though? You can make the argument that your pickers are worth more than your manager to your success, and that they do a harder job. You can certainly still pay the manager a bit more, but that gap can be lowered to appreciate and provide for your hardest physical workers.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    Does it, though? You can make the argument that your pickers are worth more than your manager to your success, and that they do a harder job. You can certainly still pay the manager a bit more, but that gap can be lowered to appreciate and provide for your hardest physical workers.
    Hence, how many countries have a much more "reasonable" payment structure for executives vs average employees (1950s US = ~50x, vs current times anywhere from 350-500x)
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    Does it, though? You can make the argument that your pickers are worth more than your manager to your success, and that they do a harder job. You can certainly still pay the manager a bit more, but that gap can be lowered to appreciate and provide for your hardest physical workers.
    Right, but even if that happened, one of two scenarios occurs: either the manager's pay gets reduced and that money gets absorbed into the bottom line increasing profits ever so slightly, or it gets rolled into pay raises for all the workers...for a grand total of about $0.02/hour. Before taxes.

    Any significant change for the positive is going to cost the first company to implement it a ton of money because people are just going to shop elsewhere because it's cheaper...and no company wants to be first on that front. Everyone would have to implement at roughly the same time. The drawback there is that product and/or shipping prices would increase a slight amount, affecting the (largely uninformed and uncaring) consumer who will endlessly scream about how the companies are all colluding to increase profits on the backs of the consumer. Doesn't matter what the truth is.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    Or... these companies could take a slight hit on their profit, pay people more and not raise prices. The market wouldn't like that though. Profits must always go up, every quarter, all the time.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    ^ This is what I was getting at.

    The stock market itself has corrupted things in a lot of ways. A single business owner with no shareholders gets to do things as his morality dictates, and can probably realize that his quality of life is not significantly impacted by putting 100k of his $1 million salary back into the company to improve wages and benefits. A CEO reporting to thousands of shareholders has to keep them all happy and increasing the company's value, personal values be damned.

    Seems like it's that way most of the time, anyway. There are exceptions, of course, but being beholden to shareholder returns is one of the great drivers of the "nothing but the bottom line matters" mentality.
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related Icrontian
    So the standard two options in a situation like this is A) hire more pickers/workers/wage slaves, or B) pay the existing ones more. Would any wage justify the same "work impossibly hard until you're done" mentality? Would everybody be equally all right with paying an extra 60 people the standard crap wage if it made everybody's jobs just a tiny bit easier? Say you're the business owner: which way would you go?
    1. Hire more people because unemployment is a problem.
    2. Not treat people like shit and get mad when they can't meet impossible goals.
    3. Go out of business or loose my job for caring about something other than maximizing profits.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    ^ This is what I was getting at.

    The stock market itself has corrupted things in a lot of ways. A single business owner with no shareholders gets to do things as his morality dictates, and can probably realize that his quality of life is not significantly impacted by putting 100k of his $1 million salary back into the company to improve wages and benefits. A CEO reporting to thousands of shareholders has to keep them all happy and increasing the company's value, personal values be damned.

    Seems like it's that way most of the time, anyway. There are exceptions, of course, but being beholden to shareholder returns is one of the great drivers of the "nothing but the bottom line matters" mentality.
    One of the many reasons companies make a move to become publically traded to have access to more liquidity to do exactly what you're proposing: hire more workers, open a new plant, boost R&D, begin operating in more markets, etc.

    All these moves will usually result in the request for more workers in some way shape or form. When it gets ugly is when those same markets you were selling in begin to contract (like EVERY market, it seems, right now) and you're forced to make tough decisions. Those decisions are partly requested by those individuals who have now become part owner of what they deemed to be a profitable business choice: invest in X because they do Y well. When Y isn't doing well , those shareholders expect something to be done.

    To continue operating at levels of negative growth or profitability is insane - you risk EVERYONE'S job when you do that , from the little mom and pop to the fortune 100s you guys like to focus on. These same companies invest tons of money internally to grow from within, because its cheaper that way. College continued education programs, management training, procedural analysis, ect.

    The market demands you stay profitable to maintain a market.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    Does it, though? You can make the argument that your pickers are worth more than your manager to your success, and that they do a harder job. You can certainly still pay the manager a bit more, but that gap can be lowered to appreciate and provide for your hardest physical workers.
    I don't dispute the ability to pay the workers more, just so were clear on that. But I will always dispute the claim that those workers would be worth more than the manager supervising them. Sure, you can have some really shitty managers and I know they exist, but the ability to follow a pick list presented to you does not mean you're more valuable than the individual who put that list together based on internal goals, market strategy, or customer buying patterns. One requires a much larger understanding of very complex issues.

  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    SPOILER: The pick list is generated by a computer. The manager does nothing but yell at people for not running fast enough. At least in the article this thread is about anyway.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    And I did say you should still pay the manager more. Outside of the context of this article, yes, they can have skills that are reflected differently than the grunts/pickers that justify a higher salary. I'm just saying the gap could be closer.

    And nobody's advocating operating at a loss. The examples we're all thinking about, however, are the multi-billion giants that fire ten thousand people because profits declined from 541 billion to 530 billion.

    Again, nobody's saying their business should fail. I'm merely advocating that a higher portion of the profit margin can safely be put into the people below rather than being aggregated at the top or spread out over investors. It's the bum rush and mad fluctuations of the stock market that prevent people from taking measured steps - eating a chunk of profit this year to improve employee healthcare, keeping people on through a temporary recession while you still have cash reserves to do so, etc.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    Correct, but there's someone controlling that computer. The line/floor manager, who is the one doing the yelling in your example, does not.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    And I did say you should still pay the manager more. Outside of the context of this article, yes, they can have skills that are reflected differently than the grunts/pickers that justify a higher salary. I'm just saying the gap could be closer.
    Gotcha. Agreed executive pay is a bit extreme, particularly relevant to the current market conditions. Public perception of a job well done changes, even if you did manage to be successful in a terrible economy, when individuals are getting laid off.

    And nobody's advocating operating at a loss. The examples we're all thinking about, however, are the multi-billion giants that fire ten thousand people because profits declined from 541 billion to 530 billion.
    Right, but I'm trying to explain that that 530B comes from many individual markets, each with their own successes and failures. We often times don't have access to this depth of information, only the net total at the end of the day. It really tells you a lot, though.

    Again, nobody's saying their business should fail. I'm merely advocating that a higher portion of the profit margin can safely be put into the people below rather than being aggregated at the top or spread out over investors. It's the bum rush and mad fluctuations of the stock market that prevent people from taking measured steps - eating a chunk of profit this year to improve employee healthcare, keeping people on through a temporary recession while you still have cash reserves to do so, etc.
    I'll try to get to this later when I'm at a computer, much larger discussion than this touch pad can handle :-)

  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    I have a hard time taking the author of this piece seriously. I get it. Her back hurts. 800mg a day. Somebody told her the managers are all mean. The bathroom is stinky. She might cry. Boo-freakin-hoo.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    Correct, but there's someone controlling that computer. The line/floor manager, who is the one doing the yelling in your example, does not.
    Yeah, someone is controlling the computer. The programmers that wrote the software that automates everything. Not managers.

    This thread in a nutshell: People claiming insanely profitable companies could spend some of their profit making the lives of their grunts better vs. people claiming that the only way to have capitalism is for companies to make billions of dollars while treating their employees like disposable wage-slaves. I have a hard time taking the latter seriously.

    Real talk.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    Seriously though, it's possible to be a successful company while not treating your employees like shit. Case in point, Dr. Bronner's. Marysia and I made a resolution this year to try and buy from US companies that have positive business practices as much as possible. I know two people won't make a difference, but if enough people commit to that it will.
  • CammanCamman NEW! England Icrontian
    Or... these companies could take a slight hit on their profit, pay people more and not raise prices. The market wouldn't like that though. Profits must always go up, every quarter, all the time.
    This right here hits the nail on the head, it is the root of so many problems.

    I scratched my head the other day when I read this headline "General Motors recorded its highest profit ever last year, though fourth-quarter earnings and revenue fell short of expectations." And the article went on to say how, despite making $500 Million dollars, the the market was 'disappointed' because earnings were flat. Is it not enough to make $500 Million in profit? Do the "market participants" really believe that every company can grow exponentially one quarter after another?

    I guess I was just dumbfounded that a company could make a massive profit, and then a year later make the same massive profit but this year it's considered a failure because it didn't make an even MORE massive profit than last year. This is the shit that drives companies to treat their employees like garbage to be sure and make every last cent for their stockholders. I understand that investors need to see some return, but let's try to set some slightly more realistic expectations instead of just assuming each quarter should always be MORE profitable than the last into infinity.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    edited Feb 2012
    I hear you, but consider this: I run a business you own. I'm expected to make $100. I make $50. It was a good year, despite not hitting target. However, I was expected to do better, and the market was set up to allow me to make $100, but I didn't. You'll be unhappy with me, because while I still had a great year, I could have (and likely should have) had better. Twice as good, in fact.
    Seriously though, it's possible to be a successful company while not treating your employees like shit.
    Christ, you don't think I know this? How thick do you think I am? Just because I'm trying to start/carry/continue a conversation or present a varying viewpoint from your own doesn't mean I entirely disagree with you.

    Do you understand how difficult it is for someone on these boards to have a conversation with you? Don't ever finish a comment with Real Talk and expect a serious response.

    To your initial comment: fine, we can be cute and accept that a programmer programmed the computer to automate the system, but there is still human input dictating what needs to be done, according to market forces. Computers can't do that for us. This is why we have executive management.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    Who are the people who say you "should have" made $100? This is something that has always confused me. Just because some people on Wall Street expect you to make X, everybody assumes you will make X? And if you don't, you're a bad buy?

    I know there are some companies that publish their own expectations for a year/quarter etc - maybe all do? (Legit questions, not being snarky.)

    My view is just that if these organizations only had to report to a bank, which is getting interest on its repayment, instead of shareholders, which are getting portions of the overall company value, owners would be able, in my opinion, to make more humane/ethical? choices. I don't really want to call it an ethics or humanity issue, but it seems more or less like what it really is. Here's my hypothetical (certain oversimplification warning):

    Business A and business B are two of the same kinds of business - let's say car manufacturers. Business A only takes loans from banks; business B is listed on the NYSE and gets its capital that way.

    Both take an initial loan/offering that gets them 5 million dollars. With 3 of that, they build a great plant, and with 2, they hire workers. Now they begin selling cars attempting to recoup their initial 5 million dollars for repayment. Let's say they both make 40 million from the cars they sell across two years or so. Company A has to pay off somewhere between 7.5 and 15 million depending on interest rates from the bank (accurate, Nights? Too low/high?), but then they're scot-free - that's between 25 and 30 million dollars to put in the bank for next year's recession, or improve worker benefits, or build a new plant/buy new machinery. Assuming business keeps up, they can safely build another plant in the third year and still have cash reserves to weather storms for a while.

    Company B sells 40 million worth of cars, too, and as a result, people are thrilled with their progress and buy loads more stock. Stock worth goes up, 50 million dollars of capital are infused. The owner now has a few choices:

    1) Hold onto it for the coming recession. Profits stay roughly the same. Stock owners don't like this; dump the stock.
    2) Use it to improve workers' lives through benefits, hiring more, whatever. Profits might actually decline. Stock owners don't like this, dump the stock.
    3) Use it to buy 3 more plants and more workers. Profits go up slightly - due to new overhead, it's not as grand as predicted. Stock owners aren't super happy, but stocks maybe stay where they are.
    4) Use it to buy two more fully-automated plants requiring no workers. No extra personnel overhead means higher profit margins. Stock owners love this, buy tons more.

    Meanwhile, recession hits, and profits dip. Stock owners don't like this, dump the stock. Since the "save it for a rainy day" scenario is frowned upon in the stock market, there's no immediately-available cash to ride it out. Company B needs to close the new plants they just opened. Hundreds of workers lose their jobs, or a large investment in high-tech equipment depreciates rapidly.

    It just seems like most people on the stock market are banking on tomorrow's profits, which leads to a decline in what companies are willing to spend today, all in the interest of maximizing profit so they can keep the stock engine running. Contrast that with companies where the CEO recognizes an impending recession, gets his debts paid off ahead of time, and slashes salaries for people at the top in the interest of being able to keep production going and keep people in jobs for as long as possible. I'm not saying such a situation can't happen in a company traded on the stock market - it certainly has - but the general game doesn't appear to be played that way.

    Corrections and debate welcomed.
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    I can only speak from personal experience, but solely reporting to a bank won't inherently allow for more "humane" choices. My company (privately held) recently had to complete a HUGE business plan document for review by a bank, not because we're soliciting any loans (we have no debt) but because we're one company in a larger portfolio of investments owned by our founder. I'd speculate he is looking to secure financing for another one of his ventures and the bank wants to review his entire portfolio.

    My understanding is, in this case the bank could tell him to ditch my company in order to secure funding for his other ventures because we're a start-up and riskier. Financially prudent? Maybe. Humane? Eh.

    Our business plan had to include a five year plan with projected growths and expenses and is nothing more than a semi-educated guess on how we think we can sell a product that's still in development. We had to make a plan that'll work for us but also make us look good to the bank.

    Why a small business like mine (with no loans) should have any impact on a separate, 200+-employee company's ability to get funding is anyone's guess. The ball is in the banking sector's court here.

    tl;dr
    Banks have lots of leverage so you want to keep them on your good side.
    Banks ask for financial projections which is about as genuine as looking you in the eye and saying "lie to me."
  • TimTim Southwest PA Icrontian
    I would not last long in a place like that, that's for sure.

    Last summer, after having to move from CA back to PA, I ended up at an American Eagle warehouse though a local temp agency for 2-1/2 days. My job was to take stacks of the empty plastic bins (I never liked calling them totes, despite the fact that every other person in the place did, so I will call them bins) and putting them back on the conveyor belts so that the pickers could fill them and send them on their way. There weren't actual conveyor BELTS, but rather they were driven rollers, so the bins could be slid along. No one was constantly on my ass to hurry, me and another guy just went from line to line, making sure there were empty bins for the pickers to use. 4 floors high with steel grating floors, so you could stand on top and look over the edge. It didn't take me long to find spots where I was surrounded by boxes and out of view of the security camers so I could just chill out for 15-20 minutes at a time. I used to see and talk to the people doing the picking job, and they didn't seem to be in a huge panicked hurry, they moved at normal speeds.

    Anyway, after 2-1/2 days, I decided I was too good to be there, so I just left. Without telling anyone. I later heard from the temp agency that since I left without telling anyone, they had supervisors running all over the place trying to find me, thinking maybe I fell down and was hurt somewhere. Good! :)

    The only downside was that the agency got all preturbed about that and refused to hire me anymore, and I might have gotten some decent paying electronics work through that place too. Oh well, I deserve more money than any electronics technician job pays in this area too.

    I'd like to see a lawsuit against a company that slave-drives warehouse people like how this article says, and the company has to pay out big time.
  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian
    edited Mar 2012
    I was too good to be there
    I deserve more
    image
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    Easy answer
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Icrontian
    In Pete's example, I'm operating from the founder's point of view. Since all he does is report to the bank, he's the one with control over whether he dumps your company to strengthen his portfolio - whereas an underperforming division of a traded company will typically get dumped like lightning to keep profits climbing and investors happy. Sure, the bank may not give him the loan he wants, but he's one person weighing the consequences of essentially firing your entire company rather than the mob calling for your heads. I'd like to think it's a more balanced decision that way.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    Also, he could always find another bank to get his loan from. A publicly traded company has no control over who buys their stock.
  • CammanCamman NEW! England Icrontian
    I hear you, but consider this: I run a business you own. I'm expected to make $100. I make $50. It was a good year, despite not hitting target. However, I was expected to do better, and the market was set up to allow me to make $100, but I didn't. You'll be unhappy with me, because while I still had a great year, I could have (and likely should have) had better. Twice as good, in fact.
    I get what you are saying, but the problem is the expectations of the people who collectively "own" these businesses (stockholders). Just because I can go buy GM stock doesn't mean I know how to run a car company, so who am I to tell GM what the correct amount of profit they should be making this year? I guess the root of it to me is that "the market was set up to allow me to make $XX" is the subjective part, no one can predict the future and just because some stock broker's analysis says that GM (or any other company) should have made more money, doesn't make it so, and it certainly disconnects those shareholders from the employees of said company and their mentality is to do whatever it takes to drive that share price up.

    I work for a publicly traded company and hold stock in said company as part of a retirement plan, as such I have a vested interested in the performance of the company and try to do my part to increase the value of the company, however small that may be. Stockbrokers and daytraders have no interest in the success of my company, just an interest in trading in and out of the stock to grab a quick buck. I realize this is part of having a publicly traded company, I'm just saying I have little regard for earnings projections created for the benefit of short term stockholders trying to steal value from the long term holders of a companies stock, in this case employee retirement accounts that are paid out in company stock.


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