Tag Archives: conditions

Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me

I actually got to meet Jason DeRulo after the concert last week– we talked ethics for a hot sec.

Do you think your goal as an artist is to be the most profitable tour or to express yourself and bring the most joy to your fans? Continue reading Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me

So What do the Players Think?

Background: I remain very interested in the Nike case. It seems as though Nike has not fully resolved the conflict they face between cutting costs and treating workers fairly. Despite the many improvements the company has made after their fiscal struggles in 1998, I still am very skeptical that Nike is producing their apparel in the most morally correct fashion. The problem may not be nearly as bad as it was in the late 1990s, but I think a problem with worker exploitation still exists for the company. Nike sponsors many elite college athletic programs, including the Florida State football team, which won the National Championship last January. I wondered what would happen if I discussed the issue of Nike exploiting workers with a Florida State player. Continue reading So What do the Players Think?

John Mayer

Wow, a very open ended blog post! I love it. I like how this blog is evolving in terms of content and style.

I would have dinner with John Mayer. If you know me at all, this is extremely believable. Despite the flak I may receive from my peers, I stand by my statement. But why John Mayer? Continue reading John Mayer

SAS’s Silver Lining

In this blog post I’m going to explore the very unusual working conditions at SAS Software (FYI-their cafeteria has octopus shaped hot dogs for kids-enough said)

Inside Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work, on the second place lies SAS Software based in Cary, North Carolina. Odds are you haven’t heard about this company if statistics is not your hobby (I know I haven’t until my Organizational Theory class). This company however, provides high-grade statistical software to both government agencies and private enterprises. In fact, most of Fortune 500 companies use SAS software in one shape or form. By using SAS, companies optimize their retail prices, compile results from clinical trials, track usage patterns in casinos, get insight from social media and marketing , optimize communications, track fraud, model risk, do scenario analysis, make fine pancakes.

Continue reading SAS’s Silver Lining

The Googler

After reading the blog prompt, the first company I immediately thought of was Google. The reason why I chose Google is because after working in New York City this past summer I met numerous individuals working for a variety of companies such as Goldman Sachs, SumZero, Contrarian Capital and last but not least, Google. Of all these firms, everyone told me how they were working extremely long hours, how their bosses were jerks and how their offices were nothing special. All mentioned similar things about their working environments, except for my friend’s roommate, Adam, who had recently began working at Google. Let me start by saying that no one in our friend group called Adam, Adam. We called him The Googler. This is because when he initially joined Google, he not only joined the company of Google, but most importantly, he joined the culture of Google. On Adam’s first day he was welcomed by a colleague greeting him, “Hey!!! You’re a Googler now!” This was the beginning of his incredible job experience. Adam was the only one in our friend group who raved about his work and how amazing everything at Google was. He had constant energy, but most importantly, he did not consider work as work. He sincerely told us how it was his responsibility to provide the best he could for his clients. This is because of Google’s work culture, which all starts with one of their mottos: “It’s really the people that make Google the kind of company it is.” Google’s culture not only embodies everything of a utopian work environment, but most importantly, demonstrates that a good employer leads to good outcomes. Incase you have never seen any of Google’s complexes, next time you’re bored and on the Internet, go ahead and search Google offices. Or take a look at Some of Google’s office spaces here. These offices are insane! Some have bowling allies, nap-pods, rock climbing walls and even hair salons. Oh, and did I mention the free food that the employees also get? It is evident that Google believes in providing the best working environment for their employees in order to get the best quality of work out of their stakeholders in return. Due to theses incredible, facilities and benefits, Adam was truly producing his best quality of work in return and most likely so are other Googlers. Today, Adam, or the Googler continues to work at Google as an account manager for retail clients. He not only loves his job, but truly believes that Google extremely values their employees because it will lead to better outcomes. In addition to constant donations for renewable energy projects and creating their own energy-efficient projects, the efforts of Google exemplify their social responsibility as a major corporation. By providing their internal structure of the company with the best possible aid, Google stakeholders are propelled to externally provide the best for others.

Creative Reporting Tactics

“Mr. Daisey and Apple” was one of the most interesting podcasts I have ever listened to (aside from being the only podcast I’ve ever listened to…). Continue reading Creative Reporting Tactics

Sensationalism: Is it ever justified?

A while back I was talking to a friend of mine who is obsessed with journalism. Like most journalists, she lives, speaks, and breathes controversy and through quick responses, emotional arguments, and sometimes (knowingly or unknowingly) dishonest statements she brings herself to the forefront of the conversation. In general, I like to share my opinion on any topics in the news, but with this person I felt like I could not accurately portray my opinion without it being twisted into something it was not. During one late night of a heated-debate I confronted her about her argument style describing it as “sensationalist”. She admitted to knowing that some of the things she said were not 100% true, but that she believed that it is okay to use arguments with more impact to get a point across. After all, there is no future for a journalist that doesn’t rouse support, and gather followers.This brought me to my understanding of the only truth behind media and journalism: The truth doesn’t sell.

For issues like the Apple, FOXCONN case, we want the answers be black and white. However, the truth is almost always grey, and the further dug into the story (with an open mind), the more complicated it becomes. The reality is that it would be impossible to convey the complexity of any issue in a podcast/report that would allow the audience to develop an informed decision. It then becomes the responsibility of the journalist 1. Create a short “snapshot” of the issue as a whole. 2. Create a story that will sell (which for most audiences is a sensationalist story they can repeat back to others) and 3. Represent the issue in a way that is (if fabricated) ethically justified.

I want to draw particular attention to the podcast titled 460: Retraction (found here http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/460/retraction), where Rob Schmitz, an award winning journalist, refutes the emotionally-driving fabricated story “The Agony and Ectasy of Steve Jobs” as told by author/actor Mike Daisey. Rob Schmitz refutes some key points from Mike Daisey’s monologue; for example, FOXCONN does not have armed gaurds outside the factory, the percentage of underage workers is likely under 1% of the total workforce, and in general conditions are not quite as bad as he had made them seem.

I don’t want to go into analyzing which argument is correct, but rather point out the potential flaws in the reporting of both Rob Schmitz and Mike Daisey. Firstly, Mike Daisey has obviously fabricated many details in his monologue which, in my opinon, allowed the story to hit mainstream attention. I think that people should question whether his visit to FOXCONN really caused him to feel strongly about the treatment of workers, or whether he saw the opportunity to hit it big with a emotionally-appealing story. As for Rob Schmitz, I wonder what motivates him to cut down a movement to bring attention to work conditions. There are still many unsolved problems that globalization has caused, that need the attention and emotional rallying of a majority of people to create change. The bottom line question: When issues are never black and white, is it ever justified to sensationalize them into greater media attention?

Becoming the Machine

The overwhelming feelings of sadness, guilt, helplessness, and ignorance will almost certainly follow a story like the one told by Mr. Daisey regarding his visit to FOXCONN. How can Apple executives (and many other companies) let these conditions persist while maintaining consistently high profit margins? Perhaps, like Kathy, they have convinced themselves that the workers’ experience is an experience that too far disconnected from their own as to be compared to that of someone who is mentally ill. It is impossible for many to judge how it feels to be in a workers’ position, and so it is similarly impossible to empathize. To be able to trully understand transcends the ability to conduct everyday business, and is in many ways counterproductive. Also saddening, is the realization that we too are trapped in a society where it is no longer possible to be detached from our “machines” while maintaining a standard of living. Go ahead. Stop buying phones and computers.

So, It seems that we are all guilty of being complacent. While these conditions continue, we collectively nurture a social pressure to buy and use Apple products. Meanwhile, any story of the horrors that we have helped cause must be repressed. This is not the first time I have heard that FOXCONN employees attempt to commit suicide, yet I have largely just repressed any thought of it. It is too harsh, too ugly, and too foreign for many of us to ponder often. It is horrible, yet true, and we are all guilty.

Despite this knowledge, it seems that we have no choice. Similar to the dystopian society in 1984, most of us would suffer immensely if we tried to give up all of the bits and pieces of technology that we have acquired. It is a part of us, and we are a part of it. In this way we are slowly becoming the machine; an economic machine that encourages blind purchasing, complete with physical devices that break down real connection.

At this very moment, I am typing thoughts into a computer, instead of embracing the life that Socrates believed dialogue possessed. Ironically, I am contradicting the message that I may have been eluding to. Should I stop writing now? Should a passionate Apple fan refrain from buying the next big thing? I’d say probably yes to both, but we will ignore these things and continue on. More likely than not, we are preparing the future for a dystopian society in more ways than we can count, and this is a sad truth. If a radical solution were to exist, it would probably be ignored; repressed because incompatible with current society.