Looking for a job? Well, one of the hot temp agencies
in the nation is FPI, Inc.
Recruting from an active base of some 80,000 people across the nation
, and enjoying exemption from competitive bidding
(although reform is on the way
), FPI produces garments and textile goods. In fact, it's the largest supplier of clothing and textiles for the U.S. government
. Net sales for fiscal year 2001 were $583.5 million and, despite an economic shortfall, they rose to $678.7 million in 2002. What accounts for such an unlikely success? Well, the secret can be found in FPI's labor base. FPI only employs prisoners, paying them between $.23 and $1.15 an hour. Of course, with so many resumes to choose from
, factory expansion
and rising sales figures and profitability
(PDF), who knows just how high PDI's lustre will soar?
posted by ed
on Nov 20, 2003 -
Wal-Mart as Leviathan.
"The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas. Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?"
posted by the fire you left me
on Nov 14, 2003 -
McDonalds CEO Puts McJob in Mainstream.
By taking Merriam-Webster to task for including McJob
("low paying and dead-end work") in its latest Collegiate Dictionary, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo has ensured that yet another disparaging fast-food web-fed meme joins the venerable "You want fries with that?" If this had been Fox, I would have said it was intentional.
posted by mischief
on Nov 8, 2003 -
The hugely popular iTunes
is a success story. But not for Apple, which makes virtually no revenue
from the online download service.
"When that 99 cents leaves your wallet, the RIAA monopoly swallows most of it, and the credit card companies swallow the rest. As the supplicant in this relationship, Apple is left holding the can.
" Steve Jobs -
"We would like to break even/make a little bit of money but it's not a money maker,"
posted by Blue Stone
on Nov 7, 2003 -
A List of Arcane Occupations
If I had lived two hundred years ago, I might have been a PUREFINDER
- someone who "went about the streets gathering dog droppings which were used for tanning leather."
posted by mert
on Oct 23, 2003 -
This Guy in Minnesota just got laid-off
and he's spending his time following around Bush's economic team on their tour of the upper midwest as they share their "upbeat outlook
" on our nation's economy. He's following their tourmobile
with his own tourmobile
and has been chasing them around in parkinglots and at fast food places. He finally cornered the Treasury Secretary whose advice to the job-seeker was to "just wait." What's your economic reality? Is it closer to the sunny optimism of the big shiny tourbus, or the laid-off reality of the homemade minivan? (Check out the particularly funny bit about how he stumbled on the entire press corps only when he was looking for a dumpster.)
posted by amoeba
on Jul 30, 2003 -
Dave Suthibut ignores the crappy job market and applies for positions like it's 1999. He uses his blog
to keep track of e-mail exchanges between himself and H/R personnel. (via handcoding
posted by Ufez Jones
on Jul 3, 2003 -
She works, he doesn't
Last week's Newsweek had a story about women who work and their husbands don't-either laid off or for other reasons.
Personally, I know of at least 10 couples where the woman has been the "alpha earner" as well as where the men have been out of work for long periods of time. They may not go out and golf the whole time and they surf the internet "looking for jobs", but the bottom line is they don't go out and get a job, any job, to pay the bills, and appear to be okay letting their wives (who aren't happy about it) earn the money.
Why is this happening? It wasn't "ok" just a few years ago. Is it a passive-aggressive thing
? A reaction to years of expecting to be the sole bread winner
? Why do all my women friends in this situation agree that if they were laid off, they would get ANY job immediately, but their men seem to think it's okay to coast for months to years. And why the double standards
? Why does being the sole earner make women angry and resentful, even though they may embrace the feminist agenda wholeheartedly?
posted by aacheson
on May 15, 2003 -
A journalist with principles
When Katy Weitz, an anti-war feature writer for UK paper 'The Sun' picked up Thursday's edition and saw the headline, it was a step too far. She went in the following day and without another job to go to, handed in her resignation. It was no longer possible for her to write for a paper whose views she didn't agree with. I once gave up a marketing job because it ran against my principles as well. How far can we stretch ourselves before we have to shrug our shoulders and say ... it's only a job?
posted by feelinglistless
on Mar 31, 2003 -
Get that MP3, and get the boot
In a -IMHO- patetic effort to try to stop what can't be stopped, the RIAA and MPAA are urging companies to monitor their employee's downloading habits or face suing, damages, sanctions and what have you against them. In other words, inciting companies to treat their employees as potential criminals and dispose of them accordingly. While the risks of using P2P at work such as virii and leaking of private files do have a point, this is really about the RIAA/MPAA resorting to more desperate measures each time to try to stay afloat with their jaded business model, which will do nothing but accelerate their long-forecast demise in the "real" new economy.
posted by betobeto
on Feb 15, 2003 -
Are Teachers Overpaid?
Tamim Ansary poses and attempts to answer this question in a thoughtful column, full of interesting links to delve deeper into the issue. Bottom line, teachers are
overpaid...that is, if you want lower taxes, school funding will be cut and teacher salaries will go down. How does that bumper sticker go again, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" ?
posted by msacheson
on Feb 4, 2003 -
"This is getting ridiculous!"
complained one veteran programmer on USENET a bit over two years ago... after being out of the workforce for a while, he was having trouble getting back in the door. While there's no way to put yourself in his prospective employers shoes and make a real judgement, it looks like he had the chops. Wonder how he's doing today...general conditions
don't seem good, and I know several people with the same problem. The longer a period of unemployment goes, the worse your resume looks, and the harder it is to get a job. How do you break the cycle (from either a policy or a jobseeker standpoint)?
posted by namespan
on Jan 4, 2003 -
The job, the blog, and you.
Interesting Washington Post
article I ran across today that discusses the pitfalls about blogging about your job. Makes some good points, especially how the blogging community needs to take account of things such as non-disclosure clauses in employment contracts.
posted by PeteyStock
on Dec 19, 2002 -
Polo Cited For Forcing Employees To Buy Polo
"Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., in a court filing, has denied allegations that it requires store employees to buy and wear the company's clothing at work..." Probably many Mefi readers have had retail jobs, and count me as one of them. At the department store where my mother and I worked, we probably spent about 30% of our wages on the store's merchandise in order to keep up with the dress code. After reading this I see that it might be a widespread practice. Has this happened to you? Is this a trend in how retailers treat their employees? Do you have any other examples?
posted by Tystnaden
on Nov 6, 2002 -
A former janitor at the Yahoo! offices wrote to The Mercury News about his experience: $16K/yr, no benefits, no union. Reads like a page from Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed."
In the wake of the e-bubble and Enron economy, cleaning out the wastebaskets still gets no respect...or does it? Discuss. (Thanks to J. Romenesko)
posted by serafinapekkala
on Nov 4, 2002 -
Reply To All button considered harmful
An employee (called a manager in the headline but a millwright in the article) was fired from Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY when he replied to an email announcing "National Coming Out Day" (hint: he wasn't in favor). But in addition to the sender, his message went to about 1000 other employees. Kodak says he was terminated when he refused to admit that sending it to all those people was wrong, not for it's content. Is this Political Correctness run amok or justifiable?
posted by tommasz
on Oct 31, 2002 -
Facing Serial Unemployment, it's Time for a New Game Plan.
Anyone else frustrated with jobs that disappear out from under them? What is the "new game plan" that works? (Say an unemployed person realizes that these Boston Globe articles disappear just as fast as their jobs do. In solidarity with other unemployed workers, they violate copyright and cache this article on a website. Do we prosecute?)
posted by sheauga
on Jul 19, 2002 -
The Nametag Nation gets a voice online. Retail Workers
along with our brethren in food service
are the bulk of the nations clock-punchers now, and we've got a lot on our minds. Some sites, like the above linked, offer info on serious concerns. Other sites
just let us vent. You may not agree with what we think, but we deserve to be heard from.
posted by jonmc
on Jul 16, 2002 -
In you like f**ckedcompany...
...here's another job site with a naughty word in the title. "Job hunting daily is bad enough without having to deal with employers who want you to speak Swahili for little or no pay."
posted by sassone
on Jun 19, 2002 -
Cadence engineer fired for activism:
So, an engineer for Cadence Design Systems
, on his own time and dime went to Bethlehem to do humanitarian work with the International Solidarity Movement
, a group of pro-Palestinian activists who believe in non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. When he returned, he was immediately terminated due to "inappropriate politics in an area where Cadence does business (Israel)".
Should corporations have the right to mandate the political views of their employees, contractors and subsidiary workers? Would there be more outrage if he was fired for supporting the Israeli occupation? When a Christian's beliefs run contrary to Jewish interests, is it automatically fair to fire the Christian?
posted by dejah420
on May 29, 2002 -
Those family and pet photos relegated to office corkboards (and screensavers)
"...make us feel that we are not separate from our kids; that we are still with them, and they with us, vivid, changeable, in the flesh. They are expressions of pride, yes, and love, yes, but also of guilt and longing....the office photo is an emblem not so much of achievement as of compromise, lurking worries, remembered joys...." I never realized I was so miserable at work.
posted by Voyageman
on May 27, 2002 -
Can dropping out of school be a good career move?
According to Fabula magazine some teenagers can thrive if they leave state education and endeavor to teach themselves at home. This is 'unschooling' and the writer seems to think it's becoming an increasingly popular way to go: "Unschoolers can read what they want, volunteer, do internships, or become an apprentice. The can also write a novel, tackle advanced math problems, go on hikes, or even audit classes in college (which are very different from high school classes). The point is to do whatever they’re excited about." Which sounds fine in theory, however how are they going to survive in the job market? I'm having enough issues and I've a degree and six years experience in a number of positions. Sooner or later surely things will come home to roost for them eventually. Won't they?
posted by feelinglistless
on May 23, 2002 -
A hell of a way to thank someone... "Teachers would keep more money in their pocket each payday and send less of it to the IRS...Hard-earned money always goes further in a household than in a rat hole."
Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) wants to attract teachers and keep them...by decreasing or removing their income tax liability. As an aspiring teacher, I like the idea...but does it actually have legs, or does the legislation have the proverbial snowball's chance of survival? Has any politician ever tried to introduce a bill that would give a tax cut to a particular profession? How did it fare? Discuss amongst yourselves.
posted by Spinderella56
on Apr 17, 2002 -
More from the "Watch What You Say Online" Department
This Wired story mentions a fellow who badmouthed a thin-skinned company on an online forum and found himself hit with a $450,000 default judgment against him because he didn't show up in court to defend himself (he claims he had no idea he had been sued). Even those among us who might not be guilty of stealing have probably said something bad about various companies here and elsewhere. Should we all go hire a lawyer RIGHT NOW
posted by briank
on Mar 1, 2002 -
"Today's heroes don't have to do anything; they just need to be noble victims"
The people who lost their lives on September 11 -- office workers, firefighters, airline pilots -- have almost unanimously been labeled "hereos." Were they really, or were they "just" victims who tragically died while "doing their jobs"? According to this article, we should be hesitant to loosen the requirements for heroism: "Heroes often end up as role models, a task not well suited for victims. Moreover, by lowering the bar for heroism, we cheapen the word and, in some ways, the exploits of people who have earned the right to be called that in the past. "
(via a & l daily
posted by pardonyou?
on Jan 15, 2002 -
Confessions of a sex shop clerk
- What makes me think this is the kind of job everyone else dreams of in secret? Anyways, as a sidenote, we'd definitely be better off making love instead of war right now, don't you think?
posted by betobeto
on Oct 21, 2001 -