It would not unseat the presumptive and early-declared winner of the 2014 Ethics Alarms Corporate Asshole Of The Year Award (of which, by the way, there is new news: the consumer Comcast got fired for complaining about its lousy service is suing), but sandwich chain Jimmy John’s outrageous noncompete clause in its employee contracts puts it in an enviable position of strength to be runner-up Corporate Asshole, if that is its aspiration.
It must be. Non-compete clauses are roundly detested in the law, often illegal, and frequently struck down by courts as unconscionable. They are justified, if at all, when an employee has a management-level position in a high tech or sophisticated knowledge and innovation field, or when he or she is a prominent industry figure who could instantly harm a company by leaving and launching direct competition. Increasingly, however, companies have been using tight job markets to foist noncompete provisions on lowly service employees too, as fine-print additions to contracts that the employee is unlikely to have thoroughly read or understand. The New York Times reported on a Massachusetts man who sprayed pesticides on lawns for a living, and who had to sign a two-year noncompete agreement to do it. A standard textbook editor was required to sign an agreement banning him from working for another publisher for six-months if he left his position. A marketing firm pressured a newly-minted Boston University grad to sign a one-year noncompete pledge for an entry-level social media job, and a even summer interns at an electronics firm had to agree to a yearlong ban. Continue reading
The statement by the nurses union in Dallas describing the Three Stooges level breaches in safety protocols surrounding the treatment of Thomas Duncan, the nation’s first Ebola fatality is shocking, but it should be no surprise, ironically. By now, Americans should be used to being told that our benevolent overseers in the government have matters well in hand, our best interests at heart, and the expertise and resources to do the job governments are supposed to do. They are also used to discovering, especially lately, that the expensive systems and professionals we have been instructed to trust are in truth lazily administered, incompetently run, staffed with too many sluggards just waiting for a paid retirement, and most of all, well aware that failure carries little or no accountability. In the recent past it has been the Secret Service, the Veterans Administration, the State Department, Homeland Security, the IRS, HHS and our military that have shown deficits in management, oversight, planning, professionalism and common sense undermining our trust. Now it is the Center for Disease Control. Continue reading
Yeah, just try getting Comcast to fix your service issues, and you may find out exactly what it cares about when you get your severance paycheck…just ask Conal O”Roarke.
I don’t want to spoil the suspense or anything, but when a company gives a customer horrible service, keeps botching its attempts to address it, and then calls the customer’s employer about the persistence of his complaints, getting him fired as a direct result, attention, as Mrs. Willy Loman memorably said, must be paid.
Here is the whole awful story, as first described in Consumerist.
Conal O’Rourke subscribed to Comcast in early 2013. The company charged him, he says, for set-top boxes that hadn’t been activated; some of his bills were not being delivered as well, because they had his name wrong on the account. He met with a Comcast rep in May who said all would be resolved. It wasn’t. The problems got worse. In addition to still being charged for unactivated devices in his house, Comcast charged him twice for an additional modem he did not have.
He decided to to cancel his service from these bozos in Oct. 2013, but says a Comcast rep convinced him that the billing issues would be resolved and that he would get free DVR service and The Movie Channel for three months as compensation. I’ve been there, with DirecTV…except that my satellite service actually did what it said it would. Not Comcast, apparently. It sent Conal O’Rourke about a dozen pieces of equipment that he never ordered and didn’t want–DVRs, modem, standard boxes other stuff—and billed him $1,820 for it. Continue reading
Yes, I hate my job, and yes, my clients are the scum of the Earth, and yes, my life sucks. But think of all the kids I can help get de-wormed!
When I heard about the Harvard Law Record’s essay by law student Bill Barlow titled “Want To Save The World? Do Biglaw,” I mistakenly assumed that he had made a persuasive, or at least coherent, utilitarian argument. After all, some fairly distinguished blogs took notice, and set about rebutting him. I was shocked when I actually read the piece. From what I can tell, Barlow understands nothing he was writing about—not the profession of law, not charity, not careers, not values, not law firms, not ethics, not money, not life. Why is someone who thinks like this in law school? What are law schools accepting people capable of writing this? Why is Harvard allowing someone this naive and shallow to display a Harvard degree?
This is literally all there is of substance to the article:
“So there you have it—be a corporate lawyer, donate 25% of your post tax income to charity, and save 150 lives a year, or de-worm 25,000 kids. Alternatively, go into Public Interest, Government, or Academia, and feel warm and fuzzy about yourself. Sadly, when people at this school talk about public service, they mean the latter, rather than the former. If only people applied the same amount of cognitive skill used in just one LSAT logic game to the most critical question of what to do with their law degree, hundreds of lives could be saved.”
Ugh. Where to begin? Continue reading
In my post on the matter, I called out to Barry Deutsch, a.k.a. Ampersand, an accomplished political cartoonist and blogger who has graced this space in the past, for his professional reaction to the controversy over the Boston Herald’s Jerry Holbert suggesting, in a cartoon about the recent Secret Service debacles, that President Obama would use watermelon-flavored tooth paste. He was kind enough to register a rapid, and typically thoughtful, response.
Here is his Comment of the Day on my post, “9 Observations On The Boston Herald’s “Racist” Cartoon”: Continue reading
I don’t think “blood money” means what she thinks it does…
Having just criticized Rush Limbaugh for one of his irresponsible uses of his influence, I think it’s an appropriate time to shine some harsh light on one of his unethical critics.
Merritt Tierce is a feminist author whose first novel Love Me Back chronicles her time at a high-end Dallas steakhouse. In a recent interview, she recounts how she twice served Rush and a guest. Both times the radio host left her a $1,000 in tip on bills that would normally call for a fraction of that even if she had given the best service in the history of her trade. Was she grateful? Oh, no, she says. The cash felt like “blood money” to her, she explained. Since Tierce served as the executive director of the Texas Equal Abortion Fund during her waitressing period, a non-profit group that provides financial assistance to low-income women seeking abortions, she donated the tips to her charity. “It felt like laundering the money in a good way,” she said. “He’s such an obvious target for any feminist or sane person. It was really bizarre to me that he gave me $2,000, and he’s evil incarnate in some ways.”
“You’re welcome, Merritt!” Continue reading
Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Charity, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Professions, U.S. Society, Workplace