Category Archives: Business

For Shiggles is going to Detroit!

MotorCity

My job requires me to travel sometimes so I can get out in the trenches and meet potential clients face to face. I enjoy it, because 99.7% of my time is spent on the phone, so the in-person stuff is fun.

More often than not I go to local networking events and hang out with the same group of people and basically discuss business… and drink beers.

Every once in a while, I get to work a major tradeshow in Las Vegas and, up until this year, have jumped at the chance to do it. I passed on Vegas this year, because a week without my kids would tear me up…

So, instead, I get to do a small show in Detroit tomorrow. I was just looking at Google Earth to figure out my trip, and the freeway system around there appears to be a major clusterfuck! If I get lost in Detroit I may actually be shot! Or end up in Canadia! Not sure which is worse! Either way I must be careful!

BUT I WANNA SEE 8 MILE ROAD BECAUSE OF THIS DUDE…..

… and I won’t ’cause I gotta get in, get some work done, and get out! That there is one of my theme songs for reasons I’ll unveil at another time…

Right now… enjoy any of the updates I may provide tomorrow….

With Horseshoe Casino Cleveland Opening Shortly… My Thoughts!

Starting at 9:30 this evening, Cleveland will finally have a casino! Woo hoo! Ya know what that means to me?

Absolutely nothing.

I don’t gamble. I work too hard for my money to lay it down and, ultimately, have it taken away from me. Ask the guys I work with. They invite me to Hold ’em tournaments (through their church, so totally legal) just so my $50 gets added to the pot! I guess my downfall was that I never really listened to Kenny Rogers… don’t know what to do and when. I was shocked to make it a couple rounds the last time!

And Blackjack? There’s some money to be made there… but it all comes down to luck.

I’ve been told your best shot at winning is card games and I suppose if I put some effort into learning the nuances of the games I’d have a better success rate… or lose money slower!

But slots machines? Those things are an insult to my intelligence. One of the times I was in Vegas for a tradeshow for work I tried one of ’em; for about 17 seconds. They use all the lights, sounds and buttons to attract those who have the intellect of a three year old. Didn’t hold my attention at all…

See what I mean? A slot machine is nothing but a glorified lottery scratch off… there is no strategy. It’s 100% chance.

Speaking of lottery scratch off tickets… I wish part of the Ohio casinos deal had a clause in it that would’ve removed all those Ohio Lottery scratch of tickets from gas stations and convenience stores. I hit the store to quickly grab a couple things and get stuck in line for twelve minutes waiting for Gertrude to pick 27 different tickets with the $5 she just won on “Luck o’ the Draw”.

They should put those kiosks that you can buy scratch offs from between the banks of slot machines. That way, when you lose interest in the Star Wars machine you just pumped $67 (BUT I WON $20!) into and the Wheel of Fortune machine begins beckoning…

… that reminds me! I think every Vegas casino has the stupid Wheel of Fortune machines. I’d be fifty yards away from them and, about every five minutes, hear “Wheeeeeel OF Fortuuuunneee!” Ugh! It took three days away from Vegas to shake that noise from my head!

Anyway… I voted for casinos in Ohio. I’m glad we got ’em! I believe they’ll help the state from a financial standpoint; provided the politicians don’t mess it up. At the very least they’ll keep people from going to bordering states to gamble and, instead, allow them to blow their cash here, in Ohio.

For sure I’ll go check out Horseshoe Cleveland sometime… and probably soon. The pictures of it I’ve seen thus far have been quite impressive. And it can only make downtown a bit better, right?

Now the ones who are gonna go to Vegas will continue to go to Vegas. That choice is simple..

There:

Or here:

Apple is Evil, CEO Tim Cook is Evil, and So Was Former CEO Steve Jobs

When Occupy Wall Street (or whatever area they choose to congest)  protesters aren’t busy shitting in public or pissing on each other, they’re condemning corporations and capitalism. Big corporations are evil, their CEOs are evil.

The Occupiers will, however, overlook select corporations and their CEOs in their condemnations.

Apple Inc. is one such corporation… Because the Occupiers gotta tweet their gibberish from their iPad or iPhone, or ask Siri where to go to get a free test for Hepatitis A.

From THIS NY Times article (I encourage you to read the entire article as I’m not gonna put it all here):

In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing.

However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.

Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.

This is true of ANYTHING made in China; I’m well aware of that. But every Apple owning zombie I know claims that Apple is different.

Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant (Ed. I highlighted that shit).

Will Siri Know How to Set Up an Advanced Triage??

Apple was warned long before explosions that caused deaths occurred. Fuckers.

I have to listen to shit like this from Apple zombies all the time: “But Steve Jobs was different than any other CEO out there.” Nope… he wasn’t. And neither is his successor, Tim Cook. Hell Apple sounds worse!

A quote from the “squeaky clean” Steve Jobs:

“I actually think Apple does one of the best jobs of any companies in our industry, and maybe in any industry, of understanding the working conditions in our supply chain,” said Mr. Jobs, who was Apple’s chief executive at the time.

“I mean, you go to this place, and, it’s a factory, but, my gosh, I mean, they’ve got restaurants and movie theaters and hospitals and swimming pools, and I mean, for a factory, it’s a pretty nice factory.”

That’s bullshit, Jobs…

Others, including workers inside such plants, acknowledge the cafeterias and medical facilities, but insist conditions are punishing.

And a former Apple executive says what?

“We’re trying really hard to make things better, but most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone or iPad comes from.”

I will say the Occupiers are quietly urging, via petitions, Apple to work with their suppliers to improve working conditions in China… They won’t change things, though..

What about from the suppliers’ perspective….

Every month, officials at companies from around the world trek to Apple’s headquarters or invite Apple executives to visit their foreign factories, all in pursuit of a goal: becoming a supplier.

When news arrives that Apple is interested in a particular product or service, small celebrations often erupt. Whiskey is drunk. Karaoke is sung.

Then, Apple’s requests start.

Apple typically asks suppliers to specify how much every part costs, how many workers are needed and the size of their salaries. Executives want to know every financial detail. Afterward, Apple calculates how much it will pay for a part. Most suppliers are allowed only the slimmest of profits.

So suppliers often try to cut corners, replace expensive chemicals with less costly alternatives, or push their employees to work faster and longer, according to people at those companies.

“The only way you make money working for Apple is figuring out how to do things more efficiently or cheaper,” said an executive at one company that helped bring the iPad to market. “And then they’ll come back the next year, and force a 10 percent price cut.”

Now here’s something that’s been back page news; which, in my opinion is even worse. This is all specific to Foxconn, Apple’s largest Chinese supplier:

Apple’s factories in China are employing tens of thousands of students, some of them on forced internships. Some of these kids are as young as 16.

In December, 1,500 students were sent by just one vocational college in Henan, China’s most populous province, for internships at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which Apple CEO, Tim Cook, visited last week. The Yancheng Evening News, which exposed the practice, interviewed students who said they were going against their will and that their schools were acting as “labor agencies”.

This intern deal has been largely ignored, by Apple, in labor quality discussions.

Students of nursing, languages, music and art are being corralled into internships of between three and six months, during which 10-hour days and seven-day weeks are not unusual, according to Sacom and a number of Chinese media reports, which claim colleges and universities are acting as employment agencies, sending their pupils to Foxconn not for relevant training (again, highlighted by ed.), but to bolster the workforce during summer and winter holiday periods.

In the summer of 2010, when Foxconn was in crisis after several suicides among the workforce at its largest plant in Shenzhen, 100,000 vocational school students – mostly in their late teens – were sent from Henan for three months.

China Daily reported that some students at a vocational school in Henan’s capital, Zhengzhou, were not told of the work until nine days before they were due to leave home. Teachers told students they must leave “as ordered by the provincial government” and that all those who refused would have to drop out of school.

Apparently, Foxconn hires an average of 27,000 interns a month, for an average tenure of three and a half months. Foxconn says the interns’ working day should not exceed eight hours for five days a week, and they should never work seven days in a row.

The Guardian’s own inquiries have confirmed that 10-hour days and six-day weeks are standard. The FLA said conditions for students were difficult to regulate because under Chinese law they were not defined as employees and no employment relationship exists between the factory and interns.

So the youngest workers have the least protection. Unreal…

I fully understand that the above is true with all companies that outsource labor to China and other crappy places to save money. It would be awesome if American companies could keep all facets of their businesses within our borders. Unfortunately, the American consumer doesn’t want to pay the premium for a true American product.

What’s also unfortunate is that the American consumer doesn’t realize the trade-off involved when their product of choice is made more affordable because of offshore labor. The human factor.

There’s a 100% chance that some young man or woman, who had a hand in the manufacture of your iPad, iPod or iPhone (or even my Droid) is living a crappier life than your cat or dog.

I get pissed because of the lack of media outrage, the blindness of Steve Jobs’ freakin’ cult like followers and the unwillingness of Americans to demand an American product.