I work at a Silicon Valley company and there's a diverse workforce at my company.
I have a coworker, "S", who is Indian. She's arrogant and patronizing and I don't like dealing with her but I am professional towards her.
A few months ago, she and her husband bought a house and had a house-warming party. She invited some of the people in our group. But they were all Indian. She only invited her Indian coworkers to her housewarming party. No whites or Asians.
"S" only socializes with other Indians; with Asians or whites like me, she does not socialize with us. That's OK with me. I support the right or freedom to associate with anyone you want. Just be professional at work because I'm at the office primarily to work and get a paycheck, not primarily to socialize.
A few weeks ago, I had a Super Bowl party at my house. I invited a few coworkers. Since "S" does not like football, I did not invite her. I did not invite any of my Indian coworkers, not because I wanted to exclude them but because they have never shown interest in football. Most of the coworkers I invited were also men, because I invited the ones who liked football.
"S" found out about the party and complained to my manager so that it came across as if I excluded Indians. Mind you, there was an Indian (male) at my SB party but he was not a current coworker but a former one (who works at another company). There were also Chinese, Korean, and Hispanics at my party, as well as white people.
I didn't hold a "whites-only" party.
Now, I support "S" and other Indians to socialize among themselves and exclude me. That's fine. But why is it that when I exclude them, it's viewed as being racist?
I don't understand how the various ethnic cliques at my company (Russians, Indians, Chinese) are tolerated but if whites formed a little social clique at work, we'd be viewed as racist.
Why doesn't the norms of race apply equally to all races? Why didn't "S" get dinged for only inviting Indian coworkers to her house warming party but I did for not inviting Indian coworkers who don't even like football?Read 6 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
Did your manager actually address this with you? Do all these people know you are allowed to invite anyone you want to your OWN house? I feel bad for you, you have ridiculous co-workers.
My manager did bring it up with me. She's not Indian though so she advised me to invite everyone next time to look like I wasn't being exclusionary.
I didn't retort to her that she should give the same advice to my Indian coworker "S" either. I suspect "S" is just doing the Indian thing and trying to cause trouble behind my back.
However, what bugs me the most is that Indians like my coworkers can socialize only amongst themselves or the Chinese or Russians can form their own exclusionary ethnic cliques without any ramifications. But if I formed a "white Americans only" clique, we'd be in trouble. What's wrong with this picture?
By Office Drone:
'the picture' is what is wrong. Anything White or Christian cannot be tolerated, too racist, not P.C. It sucks and it's wrong, you're not. Wonder if you had invited 'them' if any of them would have come???
I have been following your stories. Please stop lamenting and do your work. There are plenty of countries out there willing to send their brightest, dumbest and average to eat you lunch. Fast forward ten years and forget your boat, parties and the false sense of entitlement driven by maxing out on credit cards. This will bite you. Bye now.
By don-task :
... boats? parties? sense of entitlement? credit-cards? And Where Have You Been for the last 10 years?
To be treated as a human being and with dignity at a job should not even be an issue, but right now it's priceless.
I do my work. And I am painfully aware of the situation in other countries where they can only dream of things that we here take for granted.
I've travelled a lot too, not just to 1st world countries in Europe but places like India. I know what it's like. I know people in other countries would die to get a chance to switch places with me. Mexicans risk death by crossing our borders through deserts. Chinese risk death by being sealed in containers on container ships.
However, the reason so many bright/dumb/average Indians is because our country is one that provides opportunities. And we can do this because we have a unique culture, especially in the Silicon Valley. One of them is that we try to hire or work with the best and brightest, no matter what race or nationality they are. The other is that we "mix" racially. We do not have ethnic cliques or ethnic ghettoes.
When Indians come over here because they can't make a decent living in India, I expect them to adopt to our culture, not try to impose their culture on us non-Indians. That means they shouldn't just socialize themselves while complaining if we do the same. That means hiring the best and brightest, not just other Indians (which I have seen way too often). They shouldn't treat those subordinate to them like they do their servants, as they do in India. They should leave their racism and prejudices in India.
That's only fair.
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I tried to dispute a Sears credit card charge this weekend. I was connected with an operator in Guatemala. I could hardly understand her. The whole conversation was very frustrating and I asked to be connected to someone in the US. Why is a multibillion dollar company throwing away jobs?
Why can't I find one pair of jeans made in the US? LEVIS are now made in Mexico and India and their quality has suffered. NFL gear is not cheap but that's how it's made.
I am starting my own personal boycott on foreign made goods. Bring back the tariffs on foreign made goods! Corporations will not wise until they feel the economic pinch.Read 7 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
You can ask to be connected to an operator in the US, that's about all you do. You can't find a Hershey's chocolate bar made in the US either, they're made in Mexico. To find jeans made in the US, go to All American Clothing Company. But you won't be able to buy much else that's made in America now - and some tools are made in China, relabelled as Made In America, repacked and sold as the real goods. So in a generation or so, we'll be just as third world as the countries these big corporations are outsourcing to, since jobs will be so scarce, minimum wage will be the main goal of most working class Americans - and owning a house, raising a family, will be impossible dreams unless you are on welfare and food stamps. Welcome to the 19th century. Just wait until China calls in those loans our president made. We'll be a bigger version of Greece.
Labtech, thanks for the tip. But wasn't it president Bush who made the deal to finance a war on credit? I am not meaning to be snarky but our President inherited the worst financial mess ever. I feel bad for Obama I wouldn't want his job for anything.
I won't buy Hershey bars anymore. Everyone knows not to drink Mexican water. How do you make food without water?
By Sphincter Detector:
Does anyone else think Hershey chocolate smells like sour cream/baby throw up? I can't eat it, I gag ever time.
By dontask :
Because Hershey's is made with sour milk, that's why. A convoluted and slow mixing process sours the milk. The bad aftertaste is deliberate to make you reach for the next piece of chocolate. Everything is geared towards more consumption and makes us fat.
I stopped dealing with Sears or buying Hershey's a long time ago.
I will be dropping Verizon and switching to Comcast. Verizon outsources their customer service. We had 4 TV's and the 1 downstairs was old and blew out. I sent back the box and they raised my rates. I called and asked that someone call me to explain how 3 TV boxes cost more than 4 and no one ever called me back. Every one I know is disastified with their billing. I relayed my request for a callback to some foreign customer service rep. Once my service is cancelled I can't wait for their call I am going to let them have it.
I contacted Verizon and the angry rep asked why I disconnected service. I explained and she tried to belittle me. I had to make 3 phone calls to get to someone who was intelligent and rational.
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For the past six months I've been trying to start a business. It's a silly little thing, coupon booklets, printed material and such, but it's potentially very profitable if you consider that it's a one time cost expense that can be reproduced for pennies and sold for dollars. Anyway, I used to have a real hard-on about these greedy jokers that like to send our jobs to China and India ( me and Lou Dobbs!) just to inflate their already fat bottom lines and I was very hard lined about sourcing suppliers locally.. That is, until I experienced first hand, the sheer greed and opportunism that exploits 'need' by charging outrageous prices leaving me no choice but to go to China to be even a little bit profitable. Letâs take for example, something like a simple 8.5 x11 color flyer printed on slandered white paper. How much do you figure a piece of printed paper should cost? 5 cents? 20 cents? 50 cents? At the 'Quickie' mart it costs 50 cents and I'm good with that. But now I need 20 thousand flyers and the Quickie mart doesn't give bulk discounts. Any good business person would expect a discount when ordering in bulk and since I can't expect that from my local Quickie mart, I have to go to a commercial printer. Guess what, the lowest quote I got was 1.20 per flyer. I guess they roll their bulk discounts in from the top down! Are you f'n kidding me? Well no wonder everyone's going to China! I go to China and get quoted 4 cents! Don't have to be a genius to figure out the math on that one. Now, I'm supposed to feel guilty, like I'm the one being greedy and unpatriotic? So, Mr. Supplier, and Mr. Quickie Mart, if it weren't for your greed in the first place, I wouldn't have had to go to China! If the Quickie Mart had the brains to start issuing bulk discounts and the Local supplier didnât exploit the market, no one would outsource. So the way I figure it, the problem starts with you! Don't get me wrong, I would have gladly paid a modest premium to source locally, I would have paid up to 75 cents or even a buck. But you make it virtually impossible for me, and then fault me for my choice to go to China. What a hypocrisy!
I realize there are several reasons why the pricing disparity is so huge. Cost of labor, sweatshops, unsafe working environments. But even providing for that, by working with ISO certified vendors, you're still looking at less than 10 cents a flyer. So this just tells me that sometimes cheap is cheap simply because it's cheap, not because it's unethical. Our local guys are charging upwards of 500 percent mark ups.. So why not just 50%, this way everyone can make a buck!? So long as we have a 'meet it or beat it' annual profit guidance, this will never happen. 'Some' profit is never enough.. always has to be 'more' profit. Same profit as last year is never good enough, always has to be more than last year.. at what point to you cap out? reach the max limit? So the way I see it, we're all guilty of perpetuating this outsourcing problem. The consumer wants it cheap, cheaper and cheapest, so the retailer wants it wholesale, and the wholesaler wants it for next to free. Wholesaler has to go to China. Everyone's got to get greased, to keep this big wheel moving.. Capitalism at its finest folks!.. and I have no solutions, just observations.Read 3 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
By Printing Fool :
Wow, I don't know what state you're in. I'm in Alaska and we don't even have prices like that! There usually is a price break per 1000 units. At 20,000 copies you should be able to get a per unit price at 5 to 7 cents a unit black and white copy,(black ink, white bond 20lb paper). For most color jobs, spot color or even process (dot to dot) that's usually about 70 cents per unit. Make sure you are going to REAL Printers, not the push button digital copiers. Ink costs way less than toner, offset is way faster, and the quality much better, plus you are not limited to the type of paper that can be put on a real press. Most papers designed for digital copiers are way more expensive, and they are limited on the types of substrates that they can print on. You also have to figure out the cost per unit when bindery is needed. But I have to say, these prices just don't sound right to me. What state are you in, and how much do those Printer's make down there?!! I should think about moving!!!!
By Printing Fool:
You also have to be on guard of these so called print shops. They will call themselves a printery but they will not have any presses, only digital copiers. I think there ought to be a law against this.
By Printing Fool:
You should be getting a price break after every thousand ordered.The main costs are the plates and set up involved on a press that is the most expensive. After the press is set up to print additional thousands is called "gravy time" The owner makes money, the Printer gets to sit back and just feed the press paper and ink and the customer sees their per unit cost reduced the more that is printed. Digital Printers have a click charge with every print. That is the company that sold them the machine gets a cut for every print that comes off that copier. It can range anywhere from one half percent to three cents a copy. That may be the reason they are not giving you a discount for every thousand that you print. Just find a REAL print shop, especially a smaller one. You will get better prices, better prices, and they will work their hardest to keep you as an account. I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions just email me at email@example.com.
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In the 1990s, the Democrats wanted banks to stop "redlining" and offer mortgages to poor people so they could buy houses.
So banks did.
And then to "reduce" the risk of loaning money to people who couldn't afford it, they created exotic financial instruments that were supposed to make the loans to poor people less risky.
Poor and lower income people, people who shouldn't have been able to buy a home with their level of income and savings, bought homes. Created a housing bubble.
The bubble popped.
Banks and financial institutions were in trouble because they were holding these mortgage loans on people who couldn't afford them.
So our politicans, the same ones who pushed the banks to make loans to the people who couldn't afford them (ie the poor), now attacked the banks for offering loans to people who couldn't afford them. And made it sound like the banks were in some scam to bilk the lendees. And the politicians (especially the liberal Democrats) absolved themselves of the blame.
The banks got bailed out. They got attacked for making risky loans to people who couldn't afford them. And tightened their lending standards.
Now the politicians are saying that the banks need to lend more to Main Street America, even if it means lending to risky lendees and offering them loans that they can't afford to pay.
Isn't this how we got into this mess in the first place?Read 5 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
I stand corrected. The banks are lending. They have capital reserves after being backed by us, the taxpayers.
But they're only lending to the US government (via bonds).
The banks get loans from the US government at almost 0% rates. Then they turn around and buy US bonds that offer them about 3%.
So they're making about 3% by returning the money to the US government. And paying big bonuses for that.
This has got to be the stupidest financial bailout in history.
By Wage Slave:
Corporate America owns this country, the Democrats and the Republicans. Don't be confused by the Republicans v. the Democrats shell game. It's just smoke and mirrors.
The wealthy contol the market and didn't lose as much money as the poor schlubs with their 401k's. The stocks available to the average 401k participant were garbage with no hope of growth. Hedgefunders controlled gas prices when they were ridiculous.
As long as we bury our heads in the sand and point fingers; it's the Democrats fault or it's the Republicans fault, corporate America and the ultra wealthy will get away with ruining this country.
Both the Dems and the GOP have a hand in the current mess.
I'm pointing fingers at both parties. The Democrats had a hand in the housing bubble because it was because of their policies that led to people getting mortgages that couldn't afford them.
I also blame the Republicans for quickly moving to bail out the banks and Wall Street firms because they were "too big to fail". By doing this, they let Wall Street keep their profits when times were good but bailed them out when times got rough. This is NOT FREE MARKET economics that Republicans are supposed to support!
I don't know who's dumber - the Republicans who think bailing out corporate America is "free market" economics. Or the Democrats who think that their party isn't beholden to corporate interests like Republicans do.
Remember that Republicans only think welfare is wrong when po' folks get it versus tax credit, training credit, stimulus fund etc type welfare for mega corporations.
I am currently reading the 1977 book by John Kenneth Gailbraith "The Age of Uncertainty" which predicted our most recent corporate situation but only 30 years ago.
Also the term "too big to fail" used to mean a "monopoly" which needed to be broken up.
"Teddy Roosevelt where are you now?"
You're right econobiker. Republicans only think it's wrong if poor people get welfare.
Republicans have no problem when corporations get welfare. And these corporations get billions.
Unfortunately, Democrats don't have a problem when corporations get welfare either.
Here's a little secret.
Corporate welfare (tax breaks, subsidies, bailouts) DWARFS the social welfare programs.
A free market advocate can't possibly justify giving welfare to corporations that are *making* millions in profits.
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Now that we have Obama has president, we have:
1) Wingnuts who claim Obama is illegitimate because he wasn't born in the US
2) people who disrupt health care townhall meetings because they are extremely opposed to health care reform
3) people who equate Obama with Hitler
I shake my head.
Then I look at the other side of the political aisle and remember just a few years ago when:
1) Wingnuts claimed Bush was illegitimate because he "stole" the election in 2000 and 2004.
2) anti-war people like Code Pink disrupted government meetings and threw items at Bush's 2004 presidential procession.
3) people who equated Bush with Hitler
I shake my head even more....Read 7 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
By chubby girl:
Are all these people crazy or do the bad times bring out the worst in people?
No, they are just stupid. Both the right and the left.
Why do we have such poor political leaders in DC? Look at the voters.
By avid reader:
Ha! Very observant! You are so right.
it was scary to see how low the educational level of the biggest screamers are and how easy they could influence and frighten the crowd. we are up the ...creek without even a stick, forget the paddle.
however there were some electronic election irregularity going on in 2000 and 2004 and maybe even before that. one is quietly being handled in a neighboring town, there were also some letters to officials on another site, describing how it was done. Another official was not allowed to warn voters that sharpie pens would negate the ballot. it is against the local law to disparage any product.
BTW where did CK's entry about employment verification go to? very good and thanks!
There were election irregularities in the Minnesota Senate election of 2008 and the Washington governor election of 2004 (where the Repub was declared the winner in the initial and 1st recount and the Dems demanded another recount until the results were in their favor).
There are voting irregularities in almost any election with 5 digits of voters. Usually the election isn't close enough for the disputed votes to matter.
I for one would like to see a uniform voting law for all national offices. But people will complain that it unfairly disenfranchises the poor or minorities.
I actually do think the Bush family rigged the first election, but I'm astounded that he was elected willingly the second time...
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The outsourcing companies say that the Indian government will respond. Of course they will. But they'd be hypocrites. They have already reacted to the global economic downturn by trying to force Indian airline companies to fire foreign pilots and hire Indian pilots. Now they are angry that the US government is reacting the same way?Read 5 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
Don't buy and don't use products, services of these companies and countries. I do my utmost to buy local. I also know that sometimes it's impossible (sigh) but I substitute somehow or use my imagination to replace whatever is needed. What else can we do?
They want our jobs but not our people! Now Walmart is outsourcing the IT department to India!
What terrible news, sorry CK. This is another store to ignore. I bypass it many times.
Hey "WalkingInMyOwnShoes". I dont think Walmart will consider your ignorance by not making that move if its good for the business.
I deal with these Indian H1B's as tech support at a well known company. These Indians are such jerks. If you don't drop everything on a less than a moments notice, they wiil escalate the ticket to management and make you look bad.
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Even India's government tries to look out for its citizens first.
Ours doesn't. Doesn't matter if it's Democrat or Republican, the jokes on us, the voters, for believing the BS that either side blows.Read 9 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
I agree, I don't see that happening here though it should happen.
It's funny how the Indian government is forcing their nations' companies to give preference to their citizens, but then turns around and is outraged that the US government would dare do the same thing (eg, prohibiting companies receiving bailout money from hiring H1B visa workers)
Sad isn't it! They want the US jobs and money but not the citizens ... What is IBM going to do when they start shipping US citizens to their Indian IBM plants? Some how I don't think IBM thought of that!
I know that at times Canadians get slammed but being half Canadian myself I have to defend them. The Canadian government has always been their citizens first.
India is using protectionism for their slumping economy. But we would be slammed if WE did the same thing! I say that we should cut the H1b visas and put OUR citizens to work! If India complains then say that we are following their example!
Here in the US not only do we bend over....backwards for illegals we want to give voting rights...
SP, wow, I'm surprised Mass. cities allow non-citizens (even legal immigrants) to vote.
San Francisco had a proposal to allow this too - let noncitizens, legal or illegal, vote in local elections. Even in wacko SF, this proposal was defeated.
That's just incredible. Letting noncitizens to vote. Why don't we just let everybody in the world vote in our elections?
There's no proof of citizenship required in my state, to get to vote. So ANYONE, including your family pet, can fill out a form and get permission to vote in the next election and for all those to follow. And in my state, they want to give the illegals driver's licenses and cheap college tuition (probably financial aid, too).
What if America had a "required" percentage for employment of citizens ? What if a foreign citizen could only work here for so many years, then had to become a citizen or go home ?
There's no requirement to show proof of citizenship to vote in CA either. Or even a requirement to show a proof of ID.
I think Georgia required a ID requirement to vote and it was opposed by liberals because they said that it was a racist law because it unfairly affected blacks and Hispanics more than whites. I don't understand the logic of their argument but suffice it to say, it's easier to vote than to buy a beer or rent a DVD in almost every state. And you wonder why our country is screwed up?
By sympathetic reader:
Bonus you hit the nail on the head!!!! Our politicians do not care about us. We are paying for some crazy kind of shell game. I actually read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because my husband bought a new AMERICAN car and we can deduct the sales tax. According to the act we could have deducted the sales tax if it was a FORIEGN car. I'm really glad we are helping out TOYOTA and HYUNDAI. I was really worried about them since all I hear about is GM employees losing their jobs! Some FOREIGN car manufacturers are greasing some politicians' hands. To hell with these people being laid off. To hell with those of us working paying taxes and subsidizing this mess. These politicians from both sides count on us ignoring everything.
It's hard to define what constitutes an "American" car these days. What does the definition of an American car mean to you?
1) A car made by an American car company (GM, Ford, Chrysler) built in a factory in Mexico that employees Mexican workers and shipped over the border?
2) A car made by an American car company where the parts are made at factories outside the US but then are assembled in the US by American workers?
3) A car made by a foreign car company (Toyota) but built at a factory in America that employs American workers?
Because of globalization, you can't really determine what it means when they say "American cars"
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Over the past few months, I have noticed a big change at work. Mainly that people are taking longer lunch breaks, leaving earlier than usual, and just really seem to be more blasé about work.
I mentioned this to a few co-workers during lunch and the response was "Well, since [insert co-workers name here] has been laid off I see the company isn't loyal to me so why should I knock myself out!"
I can't say I blame them, I too have felt less excited about work these days and find myself looking more forward to the weekends to the point it has become a distraction.
How about you?Read 9 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
I work at a startup now so no one here can afford to let off the accelerator. Everyone here is committed to a single goal of generating sales and growing this business (and this is one of the things I like about this job).
But at my last job, where things were toxic and full of backstabbers, I did notice that I stopped caring as much when I made the decision to leave.
I did hear that some of the slackers in my former group were working harder because the new manager was threatening them with layoffs in a subtle way to get their performance up.
It's an ironic thing but the people who are good won't take well to this kind of "intimidation" because they are talented and can find work somewhere else, even in this tough job market.
It's the deadwood who will try to improve because they know they can't find another job so easily.
If a company treats its employees bad, ironically, it's the good ones who leave first because they are good. You have a perverse situation where the people you wanted to drive out are the ones who remain. That's what's happening in my former group.
Yes, I notice that the hard workers get more work, of a more difficult nature; the slackers get less work, of an easier nature, their mistakes are overlooked, and they are permitted to loaf around at breaks and lunchtime. I notice that the hard workers are being rushed through tasks and expected to multitask everything; it's almost as if the boss is trying to have a accident occur, or he's trying to drive some of us to leave the job. We have a deadwood lower-level supervisor who could be dropped and no one would notice, but since this little maggot has one skill - kissing up - we're stuck.
I also notice that the only new hires are those with definite connections in the company - family members, who are well-placed.
So my outlook at work is grimmer than a year ago.
I have to agree with LT - the salckers have taken over. The only reason that the y haven't fired the slackers is because management enjoy their little pets but also need work done so they can't get rid of the hard workers.
I also noticed that there is more and more rework and/or mistakes made. But the real kicker is that management thinks it is OK because it bumps up the numbers. Management is measuring the wrong matrix!
By sympathetic reader:
I noticed about 2 years ago they put pressure on everyone to work harder and do the impossible. I cannot count how many people retired or transferred. Even the suck ups left because they were expected to work. Now we have a younger workforce that really appreciate having a job. I am thankful to have a job.
In my case, my company kept a mix of those who have talent and those who may not have as much talent but do not have high salaries.
In my companies case, very few slackers have been kept but they did get rid of some people who had been with the company for years (except for myself).
I think my attitude has definitely changed, but probably moreso over the last ten years than over the last year. I entered the workforce energetic, optimistic, compliant and super-hard-working. Now I feel like I belong to a theives' guild or something because I distrust companies and their management so much. I have busted my @$$ for people and all they did was mistreat me, demean me and only recognize mistakes instead of consistent good work. I've stopped caring. I used to care. I'd take one for the team. Now I only care about myself. I feel this attitude protects me, but is harmful to me overall. I feel like it prevents me from caring about others, but I'm afraid to now because I think they might take advantage of me or my friendship and use it to advance themselves, promote themselves or get rid of me because I'm slim and pretty (and the harpy even mentioned my looks--a lot) and they for some reason are intimidated by that (someone explain that to me please).
But anyhow, I've slowly become a cynic in the workplace. I watch and wait to see where and when managment will try to screw me first.
I wish I had the capacity to start my own company... things would be run differently. My employees would be my asset, not a liability. I'd value them and praise them for good work. I'd fire the @-holes and have a no-BS policy at work. I'd give the best benefits I could possibly give, and put employee needs over company profits--meaning I'd rather give the employees a raise than line my own pockets and take expensive vacations while they toil away in a hopeless dead-end job. I'd find a way to give people tuition reimbursement, and I'd find ways to encourage them without using stupid corporate crap (like the fish philosophy).
It just wouldn't be like a typical workplace. I'd make sure that my employees didn't dread coming to work in the morning.
However, my dad often says, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. Does anyone know what that means?
By sympathetic reader:
Beggars/dreamers always have lots of high hopes and nothing else. They don't have horses. Horses were once a valuable asset for transportation, and a measure of one's wealth.
I don't seem to care as much anymore. I use to go out of my way to find out why something wasn't getting done by another dept. for one of my customers. But after the 1st Qtr. lay offs that I survived, I just don't give a d*mn anymore. If something isn't getting done, it's because someone isn't doing their job. And guess what, it's not my problem anymore. I don't get paid enough to worry about it. Let the Management worry about it. They're the ones screwing us over and not treating us right. Sure, I have benefits that most people would love to have. And yes I'm going to hold on to my job only because it's paying the bills. If this company goes down, it'll be because of poor "Leadership"!
OCLady Nailed It....
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I have a family friend. He's actually the friend of my dad.
He has a small business and employs about 6 people. It's not a big business. It's a sole proprietorship so the friend, who is also the owner, gets the profits from the business. In other words, his salary is what his business makes, minus labor costs, rent, equipment, insurance, etc.
He has had 1 employee for 8+ years. He doesn't pay them all that much but they make around $15-18 an hour. He doesn't offer them health care benefits but provides for vacation. He pays all the payroll, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance. Most of his employees are Hispanic.
His business has gone down since the recession started.
He has a competitor and he's been losing contracts to the competitor. He found out that the competitor is hiring illegal immigrants and paying under the table. The competitor does not pay for payroll, UI, DI, etc. and passes that savings onto the customers. Since the competitor can offer less for contracts (around 10% less), his competitor has been eating into his business. He needs all the business he can get.
He has tried reporting the use of illegal immigrants to the ICE. Nothing happened, no raids, nothing. My friend is thinking of now firing all his employees and either hiring them back off the books or hiring illegals on a per day basis to keep his labor costs down. If he doesn't do something, he will lose business and have to lay off almost everybody. His business might go under.
I advised NOT hiring illegal immigrants but he's desperate and he sees his competitor surviving this way. I don't necessarily blame him though. What should my friend do? Abide by the law and get underbid and go out of business? Or cheat and survive?Read 7 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
Wow, Bonus! Your friend is in a pickle! Since the law is not responding to him, he should make them accountable by going to the local media anonymously!
He might spark an investigation.
This is California. The media won't get involved since they are usually sympathetic to illegal immigrants.
He's reported his competitors to the INS/ICE many a times but nothing.
What evidence does he have? Also what about the news media? If the government won't do their job then try the news! If anything, just keep talking to others - congress representive, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.
Well here is a website for reporting places that hire illegal aliens: http://www.wehirealiens.com/
The website itself isn't going to do much since it has never occurred to me to go looking for whether the companies I work with employ illegal aliens or not. However, by using the contact form the person that runs this site will probably have the most efficient answers on dealing with this problem.
Before he does anything, he needs to talk to his employees. Hiring them off the books probably sounds like the best option.
He should not slander his competition in anyway (IE - media), that may backfire against him in the form of a lawsuit.
I doubt the Government will do anything about the illegals, they know about it but consider it a necessary evil.
By sympathetic reader:
If these people were paid as employees and he converts them to self employed contractors he can get into trouble through the department of labor. He may have to pay back payroll taxes. It can really bite him in the end.
If it's a landscaping business has he thought about hiring American or any other teenagers in the summer? They would jump at the chance of making half this much. My cousin's husband has a very successful landscaping business. He hired high school and college boys in the summer and kept cost down that way.
He is not in the landscape business. He is in the industrial market. The competition is tight. He fills niche markets -- the huge orders are filled by the bigwigs and since these bigwigs demand a minimum size, my friend can fill these for small or medium size businesses.
Problem is, he just can't make the margins. He's already laid off employees and he looks like he's going under.
He's already complained to the INS/ICE but I don't think he will gripe to the media. That's a good way to blacklist yourself and get Hispanic activists to show up at your front door to protest that you are a nativist racist.
I hope he survives. But to say that illegals only do the work that Americans won't do isn't 100% true. It tilts the field away from the employers who play by the rules about paying payroll taxes and observing labor laws.
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Remember folks, the stimulus bill prohibits companies from using the government bailout to hire H1B employees.
But the requirement that contractors for the infrastructure programs check that their employees are legal residents thru E-Verify was removed.
One step forward, then one step back.
http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20090309/UPDATES01/903090342Read 8 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
more like one step forwards and TWO steps back! This annoyance is huge!
Well, the senate has to do what their constituents require. Democrats know their constituents generally back the ACLU. Republicans are swayed by the big business lobby. In an odd turn of events the big business lobby and ACLU find themselves on the same side of this arguement so Bob's your uncle, Fannie's your aunt, there you go.
It was made easier that they could use the reasoning that E-Verify has a failure rate of 5% to 13% depending on whether you ask the people that made the system of the people that currently use the system. These ones that are initially "unconfirmed" have to contact the office and get their records sorted which can take weeks or even months. According to the GAO it would require increased capacity at the DHS to handle the massive new intake. Then there is the need of every business to create new policies to use the system that would slow the process of actually hiring people which is the goal of the stimulus.
In short if you want a bill whose goal is to "Make Jobs Now", then it is more prudent to remove the E-Verify. If the goal is to make sure the jobs go to US legal workers in a few months then leaving it in would be best. I would have to conclude that special interests had the swaying vote.
Sorry for all of the typos. I had to leave early for medical reasons and did not have time to go over what I wrote.
Awww, we forgive you Unsupported!
I know I've made my share!
Shucks, you'd think if I was going to get up on my soap box I could clean up after myself. Thanks, HADND.
The failure rate is about 4% according to the US government evaluation. That might be still too high and yes, if the system gets a lot more requests, it will probably be swamped. But this has to happen eventually if we are to prevent illegal aliens from being unlawfully employed in the US.
Also, even if the main purpose is to get people to start working "now", what's the point if the people being hired are illegal aliens who take a job being created by the American taxpayer? If 1 out of 6 jobs created by the stimulus package are taken by illegal immigrants, that's 15% of jobs that could have been taken by unemployed citizens/legal residents.
Finally, what is the failure rate of a credit check? If I need to buy a house or rent a place and they do a credit card check, what percentage of them come up with false data? I'd bet it's around the same failure rate as E-Verify.
In tough times like this, we have to take care of our own people first. I'm not surprised Republicans would be against this, just like I'm not surprised the Chamber of Commerce is against this. I'm surprised Democrats are against this though.
Intel Corporation in 2008 13% - Using the System
Government Accountability Office 8% - Examining the System
Department of Homeland Security 0.5% - Created the System
I also reviewed the votes and the republicans are off the hook for this one. Not a single one voted to table the e-verify. This was just the democrats in the senate. Perhaps this is similar to the Kyoto Treaty. They are voting down a faulty plan in the hopes that a better plan will come later instead of making the faulty plan mandatory.
If e-verify were as good as the DHS claims, and there was a mechanism for enforcing it and keeping illegal immigrants from just working “off the books”, and there was a way to prevent employers from abusing the program, then it would be a plan good enough to be made mandatory. Perhaps they can work on this before the next vote.
New topic of Credit Check accuracy: Well it depends. Some people pay close attention to their credit report and try to correct errors as it directly affects them when they are making a large purchase. On the other hand, we all generally assume the social security database is accurate and there is not a lot of direct input from citizens to verify accuracy. E-verify uses the social security database so that is where the accuracy issue comes in. The results are only as accurate as the database is well maintained.
Now for the %15 estimated figure based on estimates of estimates. This figure is based on the amount spent in road construction in 2005 (1 Billion) which resulted in 19,584 jobs, multiplied by the $104 billion being spent on the stimulus bill. This assumes that there is no fluctuation in the amount of jobs created for each billion dollars spent. Next it uses this number with the percentage of illegal immigrants assumed to be working in the construction industry based on an abstraction of the numbers reported by the CPS. Considering that the job market has tanked since then, and Mexico is having problems with the abundance of citizens returning, I find the 15% on shaky ground.
I should also point out that the majority of illegal immigrants working in construction are in California, Texas, and Arizona. Arizona made e-verify mandatory as of January this year. This seems like the best test case of the e-verify system. If they can come up with some realistic numbers showing the difference between Arizona and its neighbors, it could prove the e-verify argument one way or the other.
By the way Bonus, I know we can get antagonistic at times, but I truly do enjoy debating with you on issues we don’t see eye to eye on. I know getting all political on a work venting site may seem a little odd, but it is nice to be able to have these conversations without the trolls or posters that devolve into profanity and name calling. Though I guess I should admit that I did call ABC News out for “half-assed journalism” recently so perhaps I will rephrase that. We generally don’t devolve into profanity and name calling of other posters. Perhaps that qualifier will help.
By sympathetic reader:
I believe Corporations make fortunes with these undocumented workers. Corporations hire lobbyists. Lobbyists pressure our legislators. This problem exists on both sides of the fence, Dems and Reps. Corporate America is running the government. I used to think this was a rant from old hippies but they were right.
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