Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:27 pm

Brekkie wrote:They congratulate themselves on the social good of their unions by telling anecdotes about WalMart, etc, raping their work force by turning 1 full time job into 2 part time jobs for no other reason than so they can squeeze just as much work out, while not providing any benefits at all to anyway, and providing no livable-wage jobs to that community.


I have no experience and precious little knowledge on how unions function in the manufacturing field, though my tendency is to say "who cares?". Manufacturing jobs are dying, and they are not coming back. If you don't like the way manufacturing trade unions operate, don't worry about replacing union workers with non-union workers, just replace them both with robots.


I'm going to reply to these 2 paragraph's individually.

I think there's a lot of truth ringing to that anecdote about WalMart. It's no secret I worked at GameStop for quite awhile (Almost 2 years). They seperate their store-level employee's by 5 levels. SM = Store Manager, ASM = Assistant Store Manager, SGA = Senior Game Advisor, LGA = Lead Game Advisor, GA = Game Advisor.

Now SM is a salary position, making roughly 40-50k/Year, at least in Washington state (which is a livable wage) ASM is an hourly, full-time position (Guaranteed at least 36 hours a week.) NOT TO EXCEED 40. This part is important. GAMESTOP DOES NOT ALLOW OVERTIME in ANY instance. If an ASM is reaching 40 hours, he/she must change the schedule, call in an SGA or LGA to cover for them because they cannot go over 40 hours. They are paid about 15/Hr. Which is...BARELY livable wage without any opportunity for overtime.

an SGA is a minimum wage position, rate goes up with tenure. + $2/Hr (You get a raise during your annual review.) Same with an LGA, but +$1/Hr instead of 2.

All 4 of these positions are only held by 1 person in each store, and all of them can call themselves a "Manager" When speaking to customers, all are key-holders of the safe/store/backroom.

a GA is just a entry-level employee.

Now, at my store we were a tier 1 store, which means we ranked in the top 10% of the company for sales volume. Every week our SM would get a # of hours he could schedule for the next week. For an Example he would get 120 hours for the week. This does not count himself, since he is salary.

You would assume, since the LGA/SGA's have tenure and have proven themselves to be trustworthy employee's that the hour distribution would go something like this.

SM = 40-45 hours a week
ASM = 40 hours a week (80 left.)
LGA = 20 Hours a week (60 left.)
SGA = 20 Hours a week (40 left.)
GA's = 40 Hours a week.

In reality it went like this.
SM = 65-70 Hours a week
ASM = 36 hours a week (84 left.)
LGA = 15 hours (69 Hours left.)
SGA = 15 Hours (54 Hours Left.)
Ga's = 54 Hours split amongst 6-7 GA's.

This meant noone was really given a livable wage except for the Store manager, and the ASM depending on how good he was at saving his money/living somewhere cheap.

Now the reason it went like that in reality is because that's what the SM's are told to do. Not work so many hours themselves, but they are told that they cannot "Favor" Employee's by unfairly giving them hours over others. And are forced to over-staff their stores.

I had a new manager come into the company as a SM, Great guy by the name of Ron. (Still talk to him today, great guy!) He had the Idea that he would make life for all of us a little bit better, by moving the Management to Full-time, reliable employees (which we all wanted.) and only having a handful of Lower staff to work the rest, and cover when needed. Which we all agreed would've been a great idea. It would work as so.

SM = 40-45 Hours
ASM = 40 hours (80 left.)
LGA = 30 hours (50 Left.)
SGA = 30 hours (20 Left.)
GA's = 20 hours, between 2 people.

We did this for about 2 months, and things were GREAT. The Management was happy (Which led to better customer service), the GA's who were told upon hiring that it was a PART TIME position were happy. When we got the extra hours some weeks, the LGA/SGa's would move upto 40 hours a week, and the Ga's were given as many hours as they wanted. After we did this for awhile, we were getting more positive reviews from customers, pre-order/membership %'s went up. Everything was GREATT. Until the upper-management at corporate heard about it.

Our SM was promptly Fired (for "Selling an M rated game to a minor" Which never happened.) Our ASM quit shortly after, and they brought in new managers from Corporate who were complete tools. Numbers tanked, and pretty much the whole staff quit shortly after.

The reason For this was that they didn't want to risk having to offer the LGA's or SGA's the option to pay for benefits through GameStop.

We were also told throughout this process that we HAD to hire more GA's. We hired 1 more to satisfy our District Manager, that wasn't enough, he wanted at least 6 GA's on staff. Never given a reason why, never given enough hours to even give them 10 hours a week without sacrificing everyone elses hours, even then, nobody was getting 10.

I'm not even going to get into the fact that I was an SGA Without a pay raise. I was still working for Minimum wage (Plus my 4 cent an hour raise from my annual reviews.) for a Year and a half, while being in the system as an SGA, having my own set of keys and being a Keyholder. Multiple calls PER WEEK to Corporate to implement my pay-raise because of my promotion. Never happened.

I've kind of gotten off track here, but my point is. Large corporations DO screw over employees to save pennies wherever they can.


As to the Manufacturing jobs comment: I don't think they're going to be leaving, just upgrading. At least in the Seattle/Tacoma Area of Washington the Manufacturing industry is booming. The Jobs ARE requiring a slightly more skilled work-force to keep up with industry advances, but the jobs aren't leaving as badly as you would think, just evolving.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:40 pm

Stories like that from a friend who worked for them when it was still Software Etc. before all the corporate merges and my own horrible experiences with Gamestop are one of the reasons I don't shop at that store. Horrible experiences at my first job at a movie theater because one of the managers took money out of my count every time she totaled my register were why I quit that shitty job for my first tech support position.

One of the powers of the market place is that negative customer experiences can and will shift sales which can prompt even assholes like the ones you mention to have to shift practices or face going out of business. A shit-ton of folks won't deal with EA Games anymore due to how terrible their experiences have been.

One of the reason a lot of companies put on at least the face of being "green" or recycling is the perception that customers want to see that. It also lets them charge more, but that's beside the point. Gamestop and the theater I worked at can get away with it because customers keep giving them patronage, and there are a steady stream of high school/college students et al willing to staff the shitty positions.

I hope you've moved up and on to better and brighter things. And I hope you let everyone know how shitty Gamestop is to its employees.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:45 pm

I do try to inform everyone of how shitty GameStop is every chance I get. But the problem is what alternative is there? If you want to buy games, and you don't want to do it digitally. (I don't care how convenient it is, nothing beats picking up a game I REALLY want at midnight, and with a physical copy in my hand.) There is nowhere else to turn. What we need is to pressure distribution companies to stop the monopolies that the larger corporations have, and promote small business again. But I am not going to claim to know much about how all that works. Just complain about the end-result on the consumer and employees...

And yes, I've moved to a job as a CNC Machinist, with a much better pay rate, and an actual career with pretty big opportunities in my future if I can keep up the quality of my work. I enjoy it quite a bit. =]

God, I hope this election comes faster, so I can stop writing posts with content in them, and go back to replying with "lol" or a picture of a cat.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:33 am

I don't mind posts with content, or actual discussions of issues. What we have now is a settup where both major parties hurl invectives at each other rather than a real debate of ideas, because it's easier to stir up fear and anxiety in their followers. I don't really like having conversations with most people about politics or religion because most people aren't seriously open to being challenged in their heart of hearts, so it's really a worthless enterprise. Plus you tend to piss your friends/coworkers off because you don't agree with them.

That said, here are some PA Gamestop comics. I hope you appreciate them.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Thalia » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:12 am

My best employee came from GameStop...they only give him 3 hours a week.

And they pay him on some form of card...I don't know, it is so weird, I was like WTF? You mean they don't give you a check?!

Suffice to say, ya, I don't understand how they think they will get more productivity, enthusiasm, commitment, and drive from their employees, which = better customer service and sales, if they treat them like a number.

When things grow so big, when they become centralized, and they can't see what is working the best in certain areas it often goes to crap. Especially if they try a one-size fits all mentality.

As a comic store owner this rings so true. When I first did my order for the store I went and looked at a trending list for the previous month's best selling comics throughout the USA. Well I have a 40% off sale going on right now to get rid of all those comics I over-ordered 2 months ago. I learned that in Bellevue, Washington, people love the independent comics more.

Our best selling series is Lady Mechanika and Adventure Time!?@ lol And we have Bronies already subscribed to the Friendship is Magic Comic which is not out until late November. Also the Doctor Who Comic is also there up with our top 5. People here are crazy for Doctor Whoa and our Doctor Who Merchandise (like sonic screwdrivers) fly off the shelves.

Point being, this is partly why I am on the right side of the political spectrum. I see how centralization is not the best way to run anything efficiently. So I see how much the fed government has grown and is taking over areas that where never their business. I am more for states and localities taking on responsibilities because they know better what their constituents need.

IMO, people in Staten Island are still crying in hunger, dumpster diving, waiting in mile long lines for gas, freezing because they can't get any supplies in. This really only affected a handful of states, and though FEMA is trying, they haven't been able to get the help where needed as fast as it is needed. If FEMA can't handle this situation better...that reinforces my feeling that the central government will do a crap job of running Obamacare for the entire nation.

Anyway.

I am glad you are in a better job Aubade. Dedicated, hard-working people should be treated as such by their employers.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:23 pm

Brekkie wrote:That's one perspective.
It's not the only one.

Red states love demonizing unions and talking about how they lead to mediocre worker performance, stifle competition, an suck business owners dry.
They congratulate themselves on their "Right To Work" state laws.

Blue states view things differently.
To many liberals, "Right To Work" is a sick farce. It is really "Right To Get Fired/Exploited". Blue states love demonizing greedy corporate leaders who will pursue profits to the point of socially destructive immoral behavior.

They congratulate themselves on the social good of their unions by telling anecdotes about WalMart, etc, raping their work force by turning 1 full time job into 2 part time jobs for no other reason than so they can squeeze just as much work out, while not providing any benefits at all to anyway, and providing no livable-wage jobs to that community.


So what is the truth?
As with most issues, probably somewhere in the middle.
People love to demonize non right to work states because it's and obvious an gross violation of personal liberties that ought be demonized by everybody. Forcing someone pay for representation that, they don't want, don't need, and may well lobby against their personal beliefs or...they are not allowed to have a job in their field, is nothing short of appalling.

It's not merely my perspective, states that support that position are clearly and objectively out of balance from a competition perspective, and that is taken advantage of to nearly everyone's detriment.

Also, the whole full/part time thing has very little to do with unions, but it's the side effect of well intentioned, but ultimately poor government overreach.

Brekkie wrote:My only personal experience with unions was back in my days of doing work as a theater stage manager and lighting designer.

In professional theater, there is a labor union called IATSE, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. It served mainly as an indicator of excellence, and the barrier of entry was relatively high.

In order to qualify to join IATSE, you had to accrue a set number of hours of work on productions which were crewed by IATSE members. Effectively, this meant you had to be good enough at your job to be hired independently over any potential union-member competitors.
This was pretty difficult, and thus an IATSE member card was a great way of separating the true professionals from the wannabe amateurs, which is an important thing from a hiring standpoint in something as subjective as the arts. A producer may not know enough about lighting design or sound equipment operation to be able to figure out who to hire, and a resume is just going to be a list of plays each candidate participated in which doesn't always tell you a whole lot.

The benefits of being an IATSE member were largely networking and expanded job opportunities, which is a big factor in theater as work is so temporary. Additionally, all the IATSE members of the crew would have the advantage of having a professional contract negotiator to help represent them during the hiring process, instead of having to fend for themselves. A talented stage manager or props craftsman isn't necessarily also going to be talented at negotiating contracts.

Union rules protect members from abuse by producers or directors, which is also important in a field as high-pressure as the arts, where the temptation is high to make unreasonable demands of your cast and crew. If a particular producer or director got a reputation for being abusive, IATSE member technicians would simply not work for him any more, which would likely have a huge impact on the quality of productions they could put on in the future and likely drive them out of business. Can't get much more free market than that.


Great, but that's not anathema to a right to work state. Unions exist in those states and do all of the things you mention. In those states you have an even playing field, so neither side can generally "rape" the other, as it ought to be. Unions still have plenty of power, but they have to compete like everyone else.

About the only thing that concerns me with what you mention is the barrier for entry that you describe. Barriers to entry for unions have notoriously been rife with nepotism and demographic inequalities, particularly when corporations are compelled to always use union labor. Fortunately, it's vastly improved these days. Anyhow, if the only way to be member is to have worked in the field, and the only way to work in the field (without your future representation picketing your employer) is to be a member, then there is an obvious problem. In that case, there ought to be a third party competency certification program. Other than that, you are talking about basic collective bargaining which also must be maintained (and is) to keep corporations in check.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Malthrax » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:42 pm

"No, no, no -- don't boo, vote! Voting is the best revenge."
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Paxen » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:26 pm

Fridmarr wrote:About the only thing that concerns me with what you mention is the barrier for entry that you describe. Barriers to entry for unions have notoriously been rife with nepotism and demographic inequalities, particularly when corporations are compelled to always use union labor. Fortunately, it's vastly improved these days. Anyhow, if the only way to be member is to have worked in the field, and the only way to work in the field (without your future representation picketing your employer) is to be a member, then there is an obvious problem. In that case, there ought to be a third party competency certification program. Other than that, you are talking about basic collective bargaining which also must be maintained (and is) to keep corporations in check.


I have to agree with Fridmarr here. That trade union sounds more like a guild than a proper labour union, and the purpose seems to be to help the members vs unorganized workers (even though it is legitimate to certify that the members are competent). That's mostly not how european unions work. First you get hired, then you join (one of) the union(s) at your job.

An example: My cousin works for the Oslo Police force, as a civilian - he's an operator on the phone lines and is mainly responsible for screening emergency calls so that the officers aren't bothered by lonely four year olds or drunk lunatics. He's eligible to join the Policeman union, but elected not to and joined a different one instead (mostly because he doesn't trust the leader of said union). All it takes is to be employed at a relevant place, and you're eligible to join, even if it's a union that consists mostly of police officers (who all have studied police work 3 years beyond high school).
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:19 pm

Malthrax wrote:"No, no, no -- don't boo, vote! Voting is the best revenge."


RIP "Hope and Change."
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:02 pm

Malthrax wrote:"No, no, no -- don't boo, vote! Voting is the best revenge."



You keep posting these quotes, without any associated commentary.
I assume we are supposed to find something wrong with them and join you in your outrage? Are you just a mindless troll?

What, precisely, is wrong with encouraging people to vote?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:40 pm

Nothing is wrong with encouraging voting. However, the motive of seeking REVENGE as a catalyst for heading to the polls seems somehow askew from the message of moving "Forward." If that's what we're heading towards, I'll take feet dragging any day.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:36 am

The Redskins lost - I'm looking forward to tomorrow's coverage to see if the rule holds up.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:03 am

Fivelives wrote:The Redskins lost - I'm looking forward to tomorrow's coverage to see if the rule holds up.

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Nooska » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:42 am

Well the Redskins rule has already been broken, was it Bush jr.s reelect I think?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:49 am

they actually amended the rule... so it would fit the narrative...

*'The modified Redskins Rule stipulates that the party which won the popular vote in the previous election will lose the current election if the Redskins lose the game. In 2000, Al Gore (D) won the popular vote but George W. Bush (R) won the election, therefore the rule still holds true.
Last edited by Klaudandus on Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Nooska » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:55 am

So they rewrote it once (8 years ago, if memory serves), the interesting question isn't if the rule holds true then, but whether "they" need to rewrite it again.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:56 am

It only counts when both candidates are white

There, I just rewrote it.

And then it's not just the Redskins rule.

There's also the
- Halloween Masks rule (which side sells more) - Obama
- Kid Vote (school mock elections) - Obama
- Summer Olympics (Olympics being hosted by a country that had hosted it previously) - Obama

Which makes me think we just like to see things/patterns out of nothing...

I mean, somehow some people see Jesus on a wood knot...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:19 am

Oh yeah, apparently the NJ union thing got debunked
http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/sandyunion.asp
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Paxen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:33 am

Klaudandus wrote:Which makes me think we just like to see things/patterns out of nothing...


The human brain is extremely good at pattern recognition - in fact, it so good that it regularly turns up false positives. Obvious examples is seeing shapes in cloud patterns or monsters in the dark, but it goes far beyond that. It's also paired with an astounding capacity for self-deception - the brain uses a lot of shortcuts when processing data, and sometimes those shortcuts are wrong.

A very important part of science is to work against this tendency to see patterns that aren't there.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:02 pm

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Arnock » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:55 pm

one more day, and this two year campaign can finally end.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:33 pm

For all you fine folks back in the U.S., please go vote if you haven't sent in an absentee ballot already. Ultimately our republic (Note, I did NOT say democracy) depends upon active participation of an informed electorate to function as intended. That doesn't mean we have to agree, so vote your conscience and follow reason as you see appropriate.

For you folks in Chicago, make sure to remind your dead relatives and pets to vote, too. Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:31 pm

I should probably stop watching the poll results so early on... it scares me when Romney has a projected lead...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Amirya » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:10 pm

There were good arguments why I should vote this go around (2nd time in my entire life).

I voted (by mail-in ballot).

Today, I regret that (for no actual reason, mind you)
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:57 pm

<--I voted! Woo
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