Something funny and interesting happened at work. One of the recent training modules everyone (all staff at 6000 locations) were required to complete was about Ethics. I found it a waste of time since I had done it before and is only required once each year but was also funny and interesting. The main idea of ethics training was the obvious to be ethical but 60% of the material revolved around social media and talking shit about the company. The training specifically make statements that every social media piece is read by them and asking if we really want to keep our jobs. My reading between the lines is what I thought when I read Facebook and Twitter mentioned in there. It is a little known fact (since the mass media is owned by the corporations and very little that is bad for business gets coverage) that business has been bad for everyone and some companies have terrible business models that barely function in poor economies. Traditionally, fraud has helped to keep numbers up and looking good when the real sales would not support in this company. The simple solution has been to hire third party similar to the mystery shoppers and the specific third party (or former customers rewarded by gift certificates if making a purchase similar to one made in the past) will make purchases at specific stores of need to bring numbers up to acceptable levels. The poor economy has persisted and this solution obviously was not made for anything but temporary and emergency use thus a big problem with the books. Another solution has been found which is more interesting. The company puts pressure to rid itself of senior staff thus lowering payroll claiming lack of performance on their parts and replacing them with equally (but hardly more qualified) staff that cost less. Labor costs a great deal and a retail store ledger usually carries too much in earnings for a manager versus the many employees. A cheap manager lowers costs greatly while it takes too many floor staff dismissals to actually get results on the profit and loss statement. The basic escape goat approach used by these managers has been to use employees as the escape goat blaming the lackluster results on them. These disgruntled employees are the ones who are under constant harassment and abuse and whine on Facebook and Twitter to their friends thus putting the word out that some great injustice is being done where many shop regularly. Ethics training was an acknowledgment that these complaints are reaching a threshold and soon will spill onto the media or the public will begin to retaliate. The interesting thing I heard was that the company also wants not public retaliation of boycott but wants spill onto the media. Corporate America has always penalized the general public for not spending money enough or buying someone else’s products by layoffs and firings. Ethics training is also a clever tactic to press the public to buy their goods thus not being the bad guys who are costing so many people their jobs. All I had to say was what I had said before that the company was holding the staff hostage. If the public won’t give them sales, they were determined to get it out of the staff by abuse and when that did not work, they sought new staff who can sell their friends and relatives until none left to buy and could be replaced. Hostage taking and blackmail is a last idea they have come up with and its marketing device is called Ethics Training which indirectly teaches the employees to whine on Facebook and Twitter making the public feel guilty to buy the goods. I wonder what the future will bring for other corporations of America. Economy has lost its foundation and band aid solutions will not work. Too many in the government are ensuring it does not get fixed by fraud and lying since they wanted it to crash in the first place to push toward change. I wonder what evils the corporate America will unleash on the ungrateful public for not giving them what they want. I recently gave all my old VCR tapes and many DVDs to someone since the formats are archaic now. One DVD I had to keep was Storm of the Century which I recommend to everyone and also captures the spirit of what corporate America does today. In the words of the ancient creature in the movie, corporate America seeks to tell us in so many ways what it has to say “Give me what I want and I will go away.” They will hold us hostage until they get their sales. That is written in the principles of the American Way. Everyone here understands it well but does anyone do anything about it?