Obama Blamed for Sanford Affair

     Leaders of the Republican party today blamed President Obama for SC Governor Sanford’s affair with an woman from Argentina. Rush Limbaugh led the blame game with his astute analysis of how frustration with Obama’s policies is leading right minded Americans to just “give up”.
     There was a time when the cornerstone of the Republican philosophy was personal  responsibility. People are responsible for their own actions. They preached that every person has free choice and what they do with their lives shows what kind of person they really are. Good people, good families, people with strong values, these people were good Republicans. They made good choices and worked hard for a good life. They didn’t need government bailouts or social relief programs, they didn’t need Head Start or Affirmative Action or welfare. They stood on their own.
      But more recently, as moral scandals have rocked the party, Republicans have abandoned personal responsiblity. Now they blame other people for their problems.  Of course, they most like to blame Democrats for their problems. The party of personal responsibility has become the party of finger pointing. They are no longer responsible for what they do. 
      President Obama takes his own wife on a “date night” and talks about the importance of fathers taking care of their children on “Fathers Day” while Governor Sanford, father of four, skips town on “Fathers Day” and flies to Argentina on State money to be with his other women.  Rush thinks that’s Obama’s fault. I think Rush is hitting the pills again.

But Will He Include the Public Option


Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

President Barack Obama meets with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White AP – President Barack Obama meets with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, …

Campaign Against Rival Could Haunt FedEx

The word bailout has gone from descriptive to derogatory.

The FedEx-sponsored Web site BrownBailout.com (brown is both U.P.S.’s color and nickname) says that U.P.S. is “quietly seeking a Congressional bailout designed to limit competition for overnight deliveries.” Along with a “bailout-o-meter” showing U.P.S.’s revenue, and a spoof of a U.P.S. commercial, the site includes statements like, “This is a bailout, plain and simple, and the American people won’t stand for it.”

FedEx’s casting of a labor-law dispute as a bailout has raised ire at U.P.S. and at the Teamsters union, which said on Tuesday that it planned to respond with its own public relations campaign.

Some advertising experts said FedEx was putting its own brand at risk by so aggressively attacking a competitor and accusing U.P.S. of taking a federal bailout.

“Hinging so much of this — even the site itself and the URL name — to a bailout brings some pretty significant risks,” said Scott Elser, a partner in LaunchPad Advertising, which is not working with either company. “It’s arguably one of the most controversial terms that you can define in politics today. They draw you there based on that, and you don’t have to surf very long to realize that this is clearly not a bailout as most consumers and business people would define it, which is writing a check to a troubled business.”

“It’s a little bit of a bait and switch,” Mr. Elser said, which “has the ability to potentially harm their brand.”

“FedEx is appearing to spend millions of dollars to try to convince Congress that a FedEx driver delivering a package is different from a U.P.S. driver delivering a package,” said Malcolm Berkley, a U.P.S. spokesman.

FedEx’s labeling of the legislation as a bailout was wrong, he said.

“There’s clearly no way we’re seeking a bailout. In fact, what we’re doing is working to eliminate an earmark that has been given to FedEx for some years,” he said.

“I give them credit for inventiveness,” said Steve Centrillo, a principal at A-Team Advisors, a consultant to advertising agencies that is based in New York.

Pinning the problems on U.P.S. rather than on unionization helped FedEx avoid sticky labor relations questions, he said.

But, Mr. Centrillo said, the use of bailout was “the most questionably ethical thing on the site.

“It’s taking a word that is extremely loaded right now, and implying that somehow, the government is writing a check to U.P.S., which is clearly not the case.”
Inside NYTimes.com

Telematics=Potty Profit

Another delivery from Big BrownThe company has shown it’s hand for the real use of Telematics. The use is to harass drivers into using their break to cover Poop and Pea times. The company feels that any use of time for anything other than productive delivery is a theft of time from the company, and they call it excessive break. Drivers are being told that they do not have the right to break trace or wash their hands after they use the bathroom. Telematics shows the break in trace as a red line, with a heading of “no delivery made”.
     Drivers are being harassed for such breaks as a theft of time from the company. The other use is to claim drivers must count their break from their last stop, to their return to delivery, even though they are still operating a company vehicle, and subject to all of the potential problems associated with that. If they have an accident, or get injured, it will all be considered UPS time, but the driver must use their time to cover the drive to and from break. Is the company demanding we leave the vehicle in the middle of the intersection in order to walk to break? They don’t make it clear.
     We are being held responsible for the safe operation, and parking of that vehicle, but they don’t want to pay us for that time. Sounds like a theft of time from the drivers to me. Again, folks, it’s all about harassment. Telematics has no other function than to harass drivers, and the company is using it for no other purpose.
     Zero information has come from the Union regarding the harassment. My feeling is they are purposely being quiet about it, because they are afraid of the consequences of fighting such cases. Politics and all that. Our contract is very vague in these areas, and the company feels they can do whatever they want. I feel we should just go in a bag, and leave it in the back of the package car, or use the newly required PUD, (personal urinary device),installed in each car, (usually a Subway cup, or a Burger King cup, or for the girls, a 7-11 Big Gulp). The company has reduced it’s harassment to the ultimate in Brown. The new add will be, “what kind of Brown did you take for the company today?”
     Many of you will chastise me for having this conversation on these pages. The fact is, these are the kinds of discussions we are having in the office every day, with a Telematics printed sheet in front of us. They have argued with me on the Brown Cafe, and other sites, and the fact is, “Telematics is being used as a harassment tool”. Out of hundreds of meetings we have never had a discussion with a driver over excess backing. We have never had a discussion with a driver over seat belt usage. We have had a thousand discussions over where a driver took a dump, and how he charged the time.
                                                                     The company has a new motto directed at the drivers!
                                                                                   Sh-t on Your Own Time!

All UPS Supervisors Moving to California

UPS loves to abuse their supervisors. And their managers. But in California, supervisors are saying, “The buck stops here.” And after reading the following news article, I’ll bet there isn’t a supervisor the country that isn’t thinking about packing up and moving to California. Read on….

LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — A unanimous federal jury awarded former UPS supervisor Michael Marlo $162,992.85 in unpaid overtime, missed meals and rest period compensation. The nine-person jury found that UPS improperly classified Marlo as an exempt employee and wrongfully deprived him of meals and rest periods and overtime compensation in violation of California law.

“We are pleased that the jury found in Mr. Marlo’s favor. UPS has routinely overworked its supervisors and intentionally misclassified its supervisors to avoid paying overtime and deprive them of meals and rest periods that UPS is required to provide under California law. This has allowed UPS to deprive its California supervisors of substantial amounts each year,” said Mark Peters, attorney for Mr. Marlo. “We hope that the jury’s verdict will send a message to UPS to follow California law, as well as reduce the excessive workload and the number of hours it forces its supervisors to work.”

The Marlo case is the first of 55 currently pending supervisor overtime cases against UPS in California to be tried.
Wall Street Journal

I’m NOT that Old

     I was in Einstein’s Bagels the other day and it took them about a half an hour to make my order. I guess exceptionally slow service must be a hallmark of Einstein’s Bagels because they have installed a video screen above the counter for the amusement of waiting customers.
     The monitor was playing a series of  questions with 4 answers, removing one answer at a time until just the correct answer was left. These games can be kind of fun and I started getting into it when, to my surprise they asked: “What were the names of the four members of the band called The Beatles?”  Then it gave 4 choices, like “John, Paul, George and Sting?” or “Jeff, Paul, George and Ringo?”
     My God, am I so old that I have outlived the influence of The Beatles?
For anyone out there who has forgotten who The Beatles are, I offer the following video.


And for anyone who is too young to remember:   It was John, Paul, George and Ringo !

Those Damn Unions

     With so much argument about the Employee Free Choice Act going on these days, it seems the whole country is dividing up between Union lovers and Union haters. Union lovers see organized labor as the only thing standing between the middle class and mass poverty. And as Unions shrink in size, so does the American Dream. We may be the last generation in a long line of generations where the kids had a higher standard of living than their parents. Our children will hard pressed to get better jobs and benefits than we have. Even the good Union jobs are taking a few steps backwards these days in wages and benefits. 
     As the automakers stumble and fall, the Union haters are quick to point out that it was the Unions that did them in. “High wages and benefits (the backbone of the middle class) forced the companies into bankruptcy”, they howl, “It was the damn Unions.” These same people who seem to loathe the middle class never point their fingers at greedy corporations. They never accuse the carnivorous CEOs of breaking the back of a once successful company. All they can see are those Damn Unions. 
     Well here is a Damn CEO story. You may have seen it on Yahoo. “Judge orders Scrushy to pay $2.9B to shareholders.” Yes, his name is really Scrushy! Richard Scrushy, the former head of HealthSouth. 
      After reading the following description of Scrushy’s activities and using the same thinking that the Union bashers use, I think we can assume that it is management that’s ruining America. Upper management thugs are masterminding it and their low-level goons are carrying out the destruction. Shouldn’t we treat them with the same repulsion that they have for us.

Circuit Judge Allwin E. Horn, who heard the case in Birmingham without a jury, ruled in favor of HealthSouth shareholders who filed a lawsuit claiming Scrushy was involved in years of overstating the company’s earnings and assets to make it appear the company was meeting Wall Street forecasts.

Horn wrote in his ruling that Scrushy “knew of and participated in” the faked reports filed with regulators from 1996 to 2002. He said the HealthSouth founder also “consciously and willfully” violated his financial responsibilities as CEO.

During the lawsuit trial, an attorney for shareholders, John W. Haley repeatedly confronted Scrushy over what Haley described as obvious conflicts of interest. Among them was HealthSouth’s purchase of 19 acres of land next to Scrushy’s suburban Birmingham estate for $1.9 million, then giving him the land three years later. Scrushy said he got the land instead of a bonus one year.

Haley, sounding incredulous, recounted how Scrushy took an $82 investment in a company that purchased property at a discount from HealthSouth and turned it into a personal profit of about $12 million in four years by leasing the property back to the corporation.

“That’s the way it works in America,” Scrushy said.

Haley, said Scrushy was “a man of substantial means” who earned more than $226 million from the time the fraud began until he left the company in 2005. The fraud cost the company $1.8 billion.

Do the Math

        Have you ever gone into the office to represent a driver and had your manager whip out the calculator and start pounding in numbers. He’ll say this poor slob of a driver is not using the methods and he’s not keeping his nose to the grindstone and he’s costing the center money instead of making the center money. The manager will have a stack of reports to back up his claim: the WOR showing the driver is over allowed; Sparky, showing which stops the driver wastes time at; previous OJS rides showing demostrtated levels of performance and so on. Take charge
        But the ultimate hammer is the calculator. If the guy is 2 hours over and that’s at the OT rate of $42.25, then he’s literally stealing $84.50 from the company every day. That’s $422.50 per week. Or almost $22,000 a year. If 50,000 drivers did this, that’s……oh my God, all the profit the company makes!! We can’t afford to have you around, you’re going to bring down the whole company! This justifies a 3 day ride and all future harassment…just look at these numbers! 
        But there is some math that managers never do. How about these numbers. Let’s say this poor slob of a driver comes in every day and spends just 15 minutes in his car before his start time looking for misloads and checking out his Next Day Air. That’s 15 minutes he doesn’t have on the end of his day where it would be paid at the OT rate. That’s one and a quarter hours per week at $42.25 or $52.82. Or almost $2700 a year. If the guy works 25 years, he has given the company $68,000 in free labor by looking over his load every morning for just 15 minutes a day.
        Let’s say he also skips his lunch. That’s 5 hours a week at $42.25, or $211.25 a week. That’s $11,000 a year that the company gets in free labor. Let’s say 20,000 drivers are skipping their lunch everyday. That’s…..well it’s a lot of money every year in free labor that UPS is getting. Then there is the tax savings for them because they don’t have to pay Federal or State tax on that amount. The savings to UPS are huge.
         But managers never do that math in the office. Stewards need to do that math and have it written in the back of their contract book so they can quote it. We can crunch numbers just as well as they can.
        Fight fire with fire.

My Normal Delivery Day in Colorado

This is a normal delivery day in the great plains of Colorado. When I messaged the OMS that I might need to evacuate, she told me to be safe.

Working 50 Years of One Hour’s Pay !

Some hedge fund managers made over a billion dollars [in 2007]. Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made a clever bet against subprime mortgages, made close to $4 billion.

How much is 4 billion dollars? If you work as a sales clerk in a retail store, you’d have to work 200,000 YEARS to make 4 billion dollars. If you have a steady $50,000 a year job as a laborer and work for 50 years, in all that time you’d make as much as the hedge fund manager gets in one hour at the office.

4 billion dollars would pay a year’s salary for ALL the public school teachers in New York City.

Yet this money goes to one individual.

When something goes wrong with hedge funds or others in the finance industry, executives still collect their bonuses. But think how much you’ve heard about how teachers’ unions are one of the big problems with education today, standing in the way of efficiency. Think how much you’ve heard about auto workers being the problem in their industry—when they work for decades to earn what this one hedge fund guy takes in in an hour. And at least auto workers produce cars instead of the economic crisis that’s been the major thing to come out of Wall Street recently.

It’s time for the traditional media to take a hard look at their assumptions about profitability and fair wages, to recognize that working people are not the problem.

Main Street

UPS driver information