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Safeway Suspends Worker For Sci-Fi Parody of His Firing

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the I-find-your-lack-of-humor-disturbing dept.

Businesses 191

theodp writes "After making light of a bad situation — Safeway's closing of its Chicagoland Dominick's grocery store chain and termination of 6,000 workers — with a satirical SciFi YouTube clip, Dominick's employee Steve Yamamoto found himself suspended just one day before the grocery chain closed up shop for good. 'My store manager got a phone call that she had to suspend me,' Yamamoto told NBC Chicago. 'I was like, "Are you serious?" It's crazy as it is. I'm just dumbfounded.' Perhaps Safeway was concerned that viewers of Yamamoto's video might think that aliens, robots, and monsters did Dominick's in, although the Chicago Tribune suggests financial machinations as a more likely culprit: 'By pulling the plug on Chicago [Dominick's], Safeway could not only satisfy [hedge fund] Jana, but also generate a $400 million to $450 million tax benefit.'"

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How dare they (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821475)

Why do we allow companies to make business decisions that hurt people? Safeway should be forced to pay all employees for life.

Wrong question (4, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 8 months ago | (#45821511)

It isn't a question of ALLOWING it. It is a question of REWARDING it. Just more proof that the government is not working for the benefit of the people anymore.

Re:Wrong question (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 8 months ago | (#45821787)

Government is a function of the society, not necessarily there for the benefit of all.

Corporations are definitely not there for the benefit of all. They're there for the benefit of those that own the corporation. That said, corporations that appear altruistic are such because their owners derive a benefit in the form of endorphins for the feeling that they're good people doing good things, while in reality it's very likely that they're simply willing to take less personal profit from the sum of their collective endeavors and interests. Should those people stop feeling like they're doing good, they may end the corporation or change its nature, so that it is no longer exhibiting altruistic appearances.

Greed cannot be eliminated from a society. The Soviets failed in large part because of this, they couldn't eliminate social stratification because when it finally came down to it, every individual is selfish as a survival trait and there's not a lot of reason to voluntarily give up advantages or resources that one has acquired.

I don't think that it's possible to eliminate greed or self-interest, that's completely against the nature of self-preservation. What I do think needs to happen is to put a dampener on how far one can go. During the Eisenhower administration the tax rate on the uppermost bracket of incomes was 91%. Ninety one friggin' precent. Yet, there were still obscenely wealthy people. It's time to define new upper income brackets. I don't have a problem with someone's five-million-and-oneth dollar being taxed at 90%.

If one modifies the tax code to make capital gains on investments count as income just like working for that income as wages is taxed, and then sets high tax rates on high incomes, I expect that a lot of the closing-for-profit types of schemes will curtail. If it's not profitable to buy a business to then dismantle it because one doesn't personally see the profits, then it's logical to see that less of it will happen.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 8 months ago | (#45822187)

You just eliminated the upper middle class from making any stock investments.
Lower middle would only do investments as part of a 401k. Upper might dabble here and there. But consider a decent 10% gain taxed at 25%. That is a real 7.5% gain, disregarding inflation.
Including inflation, it may be closer to 5% depending on the length of investment. It's basically not worth it for less than 10% per year, since losses are probable.
I know what you are after, but looking at it across the board is not appropriate.

Re:Wrong question (4, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | about 8 months ago | (#45822315)

Losses are tax deductible. It is definitely worth it for less than 10%, and taxes do not change that.

It is so strange that across the western world you can pretty much avoid tax as long as you can prove that you gained the money without doing anything useful for it. As soon as the tax system thinks you may actually have developed a few beads of sweat on your forehead in the process of acquiring the money, you get hit hard.

People who get money for nothing are not going to stop getting money for nothing just because you start taxing their gains. In contrast, people who work for their money might not bother putting in that extra hour if they know that they will lose a good portion to the tax man.

Re:Wrong question (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 8 months ago | (#45822615)

Inflation losses aren't deductible. You don't get to adjust your basis price for inflation.

The Fed takes its 2% of the value of all cash holdings every year, if their stated goals can be believed.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822777)

> You just eliminated the upper middle class from making any stock investments.

People will make money if they can. There's no reason it would eliminate the upper middle class (however you want to categorize that) from making ANY stock investments. Prices would adjust to meet the market demand. In high profit margins, stock purchases would be split among more people and tort law would handle the aggregation of profits from proxies.

Re:Wrong question (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822219)

Very few people have a problem taxing other people into poverty for populist reasons. Doesn't make it a very good strategy, but it sure sounds nice in a speech!

Re:Wrong question (1, Redundant)

supercrisp (936036) | about 8 months ago | (#45822401)

A lot of people don't seem to understand how tax brackets work, nor do they read closely. Mr. Anonymous Coward is a good example. Let's take a look: "I don't have a problem with someone's five-million-and-oneth dollar being taxed at 90%." If the 90% tax bracket kicks in at five million dollars, the first dollar earned after five million would be taxed at 90%. You'd only get a dime on it, and Uncle Sam would get 90 cents. Everything earned by that would be taxed at the lower rates of the lower brackets. The first 50k would still be taxed at less than 15%. That's not "in poverty."

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822451)

If your best reason for taxing high earners is "I'm not really hurting them" then you're really just being a greedy fuck and trying to use force of law to satisfy yourself.

Good luck! Lazy assholes who want to take, take, take don't actually achieve positions of power, despite the dipshit populist belief that somehow this is how wealth works. People who are rich don't sit around waiting for momma gov't to take care of them, they get out and earn. Dumbass burger flippers whine that rich people don't want to subsidize their life and cry to Obama about the unfairness of it all.

Guess who wins? Hint: not the crybitches.

Re:Wrong question (2)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#45823003)

During the Eisenhower administration the tax rate on the uppermost bracket of incomes was 91%.

It wasn't. There were plenty of loopholes to knock that rate down. For example, one could form a trust and protect their wealth from both income and estate taxes.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822163)

I agree. For every decision that harms a real person, one executive should die

Wrong conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45823027)

How does government have anything to do with Safeway's decision to close a subsidiary? They bought it, they own it, they can dispose of its assets in any manner they see fit.

Wall Street might reward the stockholders for destroying the competition in this manner, but how is government to blame?

Re:How dare they (1)

fyec (3404475) | about 8 months ago | (#45821531)

AC, I know you were being facetious, but it did seem a bit petty to suspend the employee the day before he was to be laid off anyway, didn't it?

Re:How dare they (3, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | about 8 months ago | (#45822087)

It's not like they could suspend him after they let him go. Get real.

Re:How dare they (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822199)

Then why not just be real and fire him a day earlier? This is just nonsense, and no amount of snide attitude from you or Safeway changes that. It's Safeway taking the safest route possible, pussyfooting around their abuse of policies to gain more money, while desperately trying to chide people for calling them out on it. Just saying "they're a corporation, deal with it" isn't being clever, neither is taking their side because they took the safe way out.

Re:How dare they (5, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45822213)

AC, I know you were being facetious, but it did seem a bit petty to suspend the employee the day before he was to be laid off anyway, didn't it?

It's not like they could suspend him after they let him go. Get real.

But by suspending him the day before he was laid off, they CAN fuck with his unemployment benefits in most states. Illinois is NOT a 'right to work' state, so I don't know what the procedure is. In Arizona, which IS a right to work state, you get suspended or fired, you DO have difficulty getting unemployment, especially if your former employer doesn't bother to answer the state's questions about the circumstances of your dismissal. THAT one got pulled on me, and I got screwed outta my unemployment until my 6 months of 'regular' unemployment expired and I then qualified for the 13 week extension.

Re:How dare they (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 8 months ago | (#45822397)

In Arizona, which IS a right to work state, you get suspended or fired, you DO have difficulty getting unemployment, especially if your former employer doesn't bother to answer the state's questions about the circumstances of your dismissal. THAT one got pulled on me, and I got screwed outta my unemployment until my 6 months of 'regular' unemployment expired and I then qualified for the 13 week extension.

Wow, that's just messed up. I assumed -- for no particular reason, apparently -- that they all did it like my state: state DHR sends questionnaire to former employer who can fill it out if they fired the employee for some reason they wish to elaborate on, otherwise no response means they're not contesting payment of UI. Works out better for most employees, since most bosses -- like everyone else -- don't want to do extra work like filling out a state form. Boss doesn't need to do anything special other than toss the form in the recycle bin. And state employees don't have to spend time to read and asses questionnaires that don't get returned. Everyone wins.

Re:How dare they (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822781)

Safe-Way is a Mormon proposition.
We're nothing better than Mitt'rs to Mormons.
Mormons generally have a very dark view of non-Mormons.
It's just they way they're raised. Very sad.

Re:How dare they (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 8 months ago | (#45823025)

I agree this kind of financial and tax system abuse needs to be stomped out, but paying the employees "for life" is ridiculous.

I think we all know what happens next. (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 8 months ago | (#45821495)

How many of these incidents will it take before corporations work out that ignoring your critics is usually your best strategy.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (3, Insightful)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#45821571)

Are you implying that something negative will happen because they suspended the guy? I really doubt there are any materially negative consequences for Safeway.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 8 months ago | (#45821633)

I agree, though that's partly because of their existing reputation. This kind of story could hurt a company that has a reputation for treating its employees well, and which finds that reputation valuable to maintain. Safeway doesn't really have that kind of reputation, and probably doesn't care. They don't have a particularly negative reputation either, more just one of a generic, faceless, bureaucratic employer, which this incident pretty much fits as you might expect.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (2)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 8 months ago | (#45821751)

What I mean is that video, which otherwise would have been lucky to get 50 views, will now soar to the top of social media.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#45822053)

And what happens as a result? Will anyone stop shopping at Safeway? Or will it get a little bit of a brand recognition boost?

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (1)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#45822095)

Just negative PR.

Employee makes dumb video about money-grubbing corporate behavior, money-grubbing corporate executives ignore video, a few dozen people see video and have a chuckle at their expense. Whole thing forgotten in a week.

Same situation, except money-grubbing executives foam at the mouth and demand "consequences" from employee about to get canned anyway. Mass media catches wind, hundreds of thousands of people see video, even more see news story. Safeway looks like typical corporate bully to everyone who catches wind of it, executives look like feckless, humorless idiots, PR types run in circles reinforcing fecklessness that everyone believed to begin with but now they really believe it.

So much simpler to ignore it.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#45822131)

Well, I'll never shop there again so... yes.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#45822365)

Materially negative consequences. You probably don't spend enough money there to make a difference, nor would it make a difference if 100 of us stopped shopping there. In a short amount of time this will blow over like every other corporate transgression and 99% of everyone will forget about it and move on.

Bad press isn't enough to make people stop shopping somewhere. Look at McD, their profits have been growing. WalMart isn't doing bad. Sony is doing well. Google is doing amazing. God look at BP, they fucking killed cute little sea creatures and they are once again a money printing machine.

Consumers are idiots. You may not be but that still isn't going to deter bad corporate behavior.

Re:I think we all know what happens next. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822403)

I was gonna stop by Safeway on the way home tonight. Now, I'll be stopping somewhere else.

It may not be much, but it's something.

Ah (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 8 months ago | (#45821533)

I think I know why he was suspended -- half of the clip is the same couple of scenes remixed, and the typography is unoriginal. If I were the manager, I'd have yelled at him too for the low quality of the parody. It really just demonstrates a lack of dedication and attention to detail that I've come to expect from minimum wage workers in this country. I mean, if you're going to half-ass a parody, what else are you half-assing in your life, mmm?

Disclaimer: Snarky. If you take this post seriously, there's something wrong with you.

Re:Ah (2)

MonkeyDancer (797523) | about 8 months ago | (#45821627)

I think I know why he was suspended -- half of the clip is the same couple of scenes remixed, and the typography is unoriginal. If I were the manager, I'd have yelled at him too for the low quality of the parody. It really just demonstrates a lack of dedication and attention to detail that I've come to expect from minimum wage workers in this country. I mean, if you're going to half-ass a parody, what else are you half-assing in your life, mmm?

Disclaimer: Snarky. If you take this post seriously, there's something wrong with you.

Twenty years ago I would have never ever thought a grocery store worker being able to produce a SciFi clip with special effects to this degree would have been possible. Technology in the hands of the masses is also a great testament to our hard work.

Re:Ah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821675)

The Amiga existed in 1993 and the Video Toaster was 3 years old at that point. So tell me, what technology *did* you think would exist in 2013? Flying cars for all? Jet belts and anti gravity and warp drives? About the only thing you *can* expect to get better is information processing, everything else has plateaued decades ago.

Re:Ah (1)

MonkeyDancer (797523) | about 8 months ago | (#45821781)

The Amiga existed in 1993 and the Video Toaster was 3 years old at that point. So tell me, what technology *did* you think would exist in 2013? Flying cars for all? Jet belts and anti gravity and warp drives? About the only thing you *can* expect to get better is information processing, everything else has plateaued decades ago.

Please post a link to a video with special effects created decades ago that a grocery store employee made.

I believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822293)

that a lot of the original special effects on the television show Babylon 5 were created on the Amiga.

Re:I believe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822421)

By a grocery store employee?

but then, who did the catering? Industrial Lunch & Munchies?

Re:Ah (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 8 months ago | (#45822481)

Please post a link to a video with special effects created decades ago that a grocery store employee made.

Okay [imdb.com] ...

Re:Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821661)

Disclaimer: Snarky. If you take this post seriously, there's something wrong with you.
Reply to This Share

Statement. You've been playing too much Starbound.

Re:Ah (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 8 months ago | (#45822007)

Disclaimer: Snarky. If you take this post seriously, there's something wrong with you. Reply to This Share

Statement. You've been playing too much Starbound.

Translation: Two per cent probability that the miniature organic is simply looking for trouble and needs to be blasted. That may be wishful thinking on my part, master.

Re:Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822129)

Disclaimer: Snarky. If you take this post seriously, there's something wrong with you.

Ha! The jokes on you. There's something wrong with me, but it has nothing to do with your post.

Piffle (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 8 months ago | (#45822531)

You had it right the first time, snark should never be done half ass. Quality snark is to be admired and held up as a thing to be beholden. You have to take pride in your work, how can you take pride in half ass snark?

Re:Ah (1)

Livius (318358) | about 8 months ago | (#45822835)

Sorry, but I *will* take this post seriously. He disparaged their trade name but the video did not rise to the level of parody (which is a *really* low bar to meet) or offer any entertainment value.

The whole concept was mocking the hardship that those laid off will suffer and that is not winning him any points either.

Slow news day (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#45821549)

Is this on /. because the guy used some action/sci fi type graphics?

If this makes you upset don't go to SafeWay anymore.

Re:Slow news day (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#45821565)

"Your Safeway manager never told you what happened to your father. Luke, you're Safeway's bitch."

Re:Slow news day (0, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45821597)

No, it's on Slashdot because it's a nice anti-corporate story to stir up outrage. The hivemind loves those.

An employee made a YouTube video that offended his employer, and he was suspended for it. This is not news.

Re:Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821721)

So where are all the fundies that rallied behind their favorite duck-calling hick? Maybe this guy should have said something completely retarded about blacks and gays, too. Being offensive loses your job, going full retard gets it back.

Re:Slow news day (5, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 8 months ago | (#45821725)

No, it's on Slashdot because it's a nice anti-corporate story to stir up outrage. The hivemind loves those.

By the 'hive mind' do you mean common decency and respect, expectation of a human to treat another in a fair and balanced manner, and not kick them when theyr'e down? Ah yes, the 'hive mind'... You know, I think I'm alright to follow the mindless hordes who have some sense that people should be treated as well as possible, especially when they're in the process of losing their job through no fault of their own.

Tagging "hive mind" does not make things automatically wrong.

Re:Slow news day (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#45821925)

The guy was suspended for a day.... Common I would hardly call that kicking someone when they are down. For all we know he might not even have been scheduled to work that day. So the guy is maybe out at most $100 in missed pay, bummer but I wouldn't call that cause for moral outrage.

I do actually agree that this article was posted to incite anti-corporate feelings. That's why I asked the question, and that's why I suggested not shopping there if you don't agree with it. I really feel like this is petty shit compared to real abuses and what makes me upset is the people who are going to get all bent out of shape over this and complain about corporations treating people like shit using this as evidence. Corporations do treat people like shit, but its happening all around you in much worse ways than some guy getting suspended for a day. Be outraged about that.

Re:Slow news day (3, Interesting)

RattFink (93631) | about 8 months ago | (#45822155)

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this...
1. Even losing $50 to someone with no work lined up could be a pretty big deal.
2. It's hard to tell but depending on how he was suspended it could hinder his ability to collect unemployment,

Re:Slow news day (0)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#45822427)

Why doesn't he have any work lined up? I worked at a grocery store 9 years ago and we all knew Dominicks was fucked. They have been doing poorly in the Chicagoland market for years. I know there has been lots of talk about the stores closing. If he hasn't looked for anything yet then that is his fault.

Lucky for him Gov. Quinn established a "Grocery Store Taskforce" to assist these poor people on finding new entry level jobs. Illinois has plenty of money to pay for this shit.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Sique (173459) | about 8 months ago | (#45822167)

Actually, no. It's more severe than $100. It could be that he is out of up to 3 weeks severance pay. And this makes Safeway look really bad. They caused hardship to the guy, fired him, he vents off about it and then they slap him with a suspension causing him to lose even the severance pay for the hardship they caused him.

This is not some anti-corporate rant. This is a corporation just being evil.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45822237)

No, he wasn't fired first. Being fired before being suspended makes no sense. Closing a store would mean he's laid off, and since it's a big closing, there's federal laws in play (WARN act, among others) that require a certain notice period. During that time, he's still fully employed, and should be using the time to go look for another job, while his resume still says he's employed. If asked, he can simply say that the reason he's looking is because the store's closing.

The "evil" corporation made a symbolic gesture that could mean he loses the loyalty reward because he wasn't actually loyal, but there's no effect on his employability.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Sique (173459) | about 8 months ago | (#45822311)

He was terminated. That the day of his termination wasn't here yet doesn't change anything.

Re:Slow news day (5, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45822289)

The guy was suspended for a day.... Common I would hardly call that kicking someone when they are down. For all we know he might not even have been scheduled to work that day. So the guy is maybe out at most $100 in missed pay, bummer but I wouldn't call that cause for moral outrage. I do actually agree that this article was posted to incite anti-corporate feelings. That's why I asked the question, and that's why I suggested not shopping there if you don't agree with it. I really feel like this is petty shit compared to real abuses and what makes me upset is the people who are going to get all bent out of shape over this and complain about corporations treating people like shit using this as evidence. Corporations do treat people like shit, but its happening all around you in much worse ways than some guy getting suspended for a day. Be outraged about that.

Being laid off instantly qualifies you for unemployment after you wait the statutory required one week. Being suspended before the announced layoff date, even if it was only for one day, can fuck with the process, especially if the language used in the suspension does not specify a length of suspension, i.e., 'suspended indefinitely pending review'. Since he was scheduled for layoff anyway, no review will be made since he's not being brought back. You cannot collect unemployment if you are 'only' suspended. He'll have to waste time appealing his disqualification with the state, all the while his normal 26 weeks unemployment runs down.

I'd say Safeway fucked him pretty good there.

Re:Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822331)

So he's the one to blame? Why did he post the video in the first place? Did you stop to think about that before you decided that Safeway were being vilified by "the hive mind?" You seriously need to have your head examined if you're going to defend Safeway for this just because "it could be worse". Even if you're violently pro-corporation this was ridiculous.

Not every bad thing that a corporation does has to be a crime against humanity. Not every one of these fights has to be a grandiose war. People can just be upset that corporations can't take it like they dish it out. That isn't necessarily anti-corporate, it's asking corporations to not be little pussies while they ask us to be manly men about being laid off for a tax break.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 8 months ago | (#45821997)

Not wrong, necessarily. But it is good for page views because the normal people will post predictable rants and replies without regard to context.
That's the hive mind that loves these stories. And, of course, those trying to beat sense into the senseless.

Re:Slow news day (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45822091)

No, by "hivemind" I mean (in this case) the tendency to assume that anything a corporation does is bad, especially when it negatively impacts someone portrayed as an underdog, without consideration or understanding of the whole situation.

Yes, Safeway closed a store, putting 6000 people out of work. That's terribly sad. While 5,999 continue to be professional, and go on with their lives, and apply to new jobs, this guy started slinging mud at his still-current employer.

So what did Safeway do, on behalf of the remaining stores who still have a job to do that requires a decent public image? They could have fired him on the spot, screwing over his employability, but they didn't. They suspended him, which could cost him his severance package. That package is intended to reward employees who are loyal to the last day, which this guy clearly wasn't.

Sure, it's heart-warming to support the little guy, but he's the one who threw away "common decency and respect". As for me, I'll applaud the manager that decided to suspend him, minimizing the total harm.

Re:Slow news day (1)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | about 8 months ago | (#45822505)

"No, by "hivemind" I mean (in this case) the tendency to assume that anything a corporation does is bad,"

Why shouldn't one assume that? Safeway is a publicly traded company who has a legal responsibility to make profit. Corporations have no honour. They do what it takes to make a buck for their shareholders. Any positivity for anyone else is a radioactive, feel good afterglow in the shadow of the rich getting richer. Some people believe that making a profit at their expense, is for the most part, bad. You read the summary yourself I assume, they stand to generate revenue from doing this closure. Hedge funds profits again, and the $20 dollar and under jobs suffer for it.

Food co-ops are common across smaller communities [midisland.coop] , so its not like safeways for profit architecture needs to be preserved.

And give me a break, the reasons why corporations cant take comedy is the same reason dictators cant. They want to maintain control of reality for their personal gain.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45822619)

Safeway is a publicly traded company who has a legal responsibility to make profit.

Nope. There is no such "legal responsibility". Corporations are required to do whatever their corporate charter says, and they have great leeway in justifying any action as being within that charter. In short, the executives usually have to act in the interest of the shareholders, and the only way to determine the shareholders' interests is by a vote. Without such a vote, the executives can do anything that's otherwise legal.

Corporations have no honour.

Neither do people who make offensive "comedy" videos.

the reasons why corporations cant take comedy is...

...because the "comedy" directly affects their ability to do business elsewhere?

Re:Slow news day (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822823)

Go fuck yourself, you corporatist ass-sucker.

Re:Slow news day (2)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 8 months ago | (#45822837)

Yeah, but what they've done here is completely pointless, and potentially cost him dearly, because he was a bit sarcastic about being fired! I mean, who hasn't reacted like that? Must we graciously bow to our employers even when they throw us on the street? They've taken time out of what must be a very busy period with all the admin and wrapping up to target this guy. It's petty, and vindictive.

Safeway have *failed* their employees. By closing a store they have admitted that they cannot effectively run a business and have now caused suffering for those previously loyal employees. The least they could do is take some criticism on the chin.

So you don't like this kind of stories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821739)

Tell us why...

Re:Slow news day (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about 8 months ago | (#45821833)

The problem is, however, that the guys ultimately responsible for the failure of Dominick's won't suffer one bit. On one hand you have 6,000 people losing their jobs, on the other hand you have the managers from Safeway who are ultimately responsible for the failure - and those guys always have their golden parachutes at the ready.

Re:Slow news day (2)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#45822059)

I guess that is one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that they were out competed by larger stores and customers voted with their wallets. I'm from Chicagoland, this isn't as simple as some CxOs running a company into the ground. Woodmans, Target, and WalMart are all relatively new competitors in the grocery store market. Jewel Osco and Dominicks have been hurting for a while because of that.

What it boils down to is that people would rather pay $1 for a loaf of bread from WalMart than $1.20 for a loaf of bread from Dominicks. Why is it more expensive at Dominicks? Well for one they are unionized with means very generous benefits for the workers (when I worked at Jewel-Osco in highschool I had 2+ weeks of paid vacation and made time and a half on Sunday, and made holiday pay even if I didn't work that day. Some holidays made 2.5 times my base pay due to it falling on Sunday.) Another reason might be that Woodmans and WalMart are much larger than a typical Jewel or Dominicks so they can purchase in larger quantities and offer a larger selection.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about 8 months ago | (#45822857)

Wow. Two weeks of paid vacation. A bit more money for working on Sundays?

That's "generous"?

I shudder to think what non-generous work is, then. Probably "no vacation, ever!" and "overtime compensation? Are you dreaming?"

Re:Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822013)

In the West, you can criticise the government - in the East, you can criticise your boss.

You can nowhere criticise the person who allows you to put food on the table.

sic transit gloria libertatis.

Re:Slow news day (1)

turgid (580780) | about 8 months ago | (#45822283)

No, it's on Slashdot because it's a nice anti-corporate story to stir up outrage. The hivemind loves those.

When you grow up, you might find yourself working for a corporation. Then you will be glad at whatever little outlets for your emotions the world permits you.

This is a crass over-reaction to a silly video on YouTube and it shows just how pompous and arrogant corporations (and those with power in general) tend to become. Satire is necessary for a free society.

I have no sympathy for Safeway (if this is the same Safeway company I worked for part-time as a teenager in Scotland in the early 1990s). They were unfair and oppressive. I could tell you some stories about how bad they were to their staff but that's for another day.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45822521)

Cute... but I currently work for a Fortune 100 company, at almost the bottom of the hierarchy. Oh yeah, and my facility is closing. I'm intimately familiar with the process.

Please, do keep telling me about life working for corporations.

Open mouth, insert lawyers (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821567)

Had Safeway just ignored the video and let this guy go with the other 5999, we'd probably have never even heard of it except maybe as some footnote in a local broadcaster's "Quick! We've got 20 seconds to fill, what can we do with it?" at the end of the 11pm news. Instead, by firing him like this, they've likely opened themselves up to a wrongful termination/retaliation lawsuit.

Re:Open mouth, insert lawyers (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#45821613)

they've likely opened themselves up to a wrongful termination/retaliation lawsuit.

Probably not. He was fired before he made the movie.

Re:Open mouth, insert lawyers (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 8 months ago | (#45822105)

Yes, well, anyone who pays attention to "Anonymous Coward, esq." deserves the consequences.

This news helped me decide where to not shop. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821575)

The only thing that makes a grocery store go out of business is too high of prices.
Retards working there slowing up the line.

Thall shalt not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821591)

speak ill of thy corporate masters

So how serious is this (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 8 months ago | (#45821603)

Suspended isn't fired or is it for the purposes of being eligible for unemployment?

Is this just a one day's pay slap on the wrist or is it costing this guy big? Is just HR silliness or is a nasty grab at avoiding one more headcount on their unemployment experience tax figures?

   

Re:So how serious is this (5, Informative)

theodp (442580) | about 8 months ago | (#45821659)

CBS Chicago [cbslocal.com] : "The move could prevent Yamamoto from getting about three weeks' severance pay, he says."

Re:So how serious is this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822519)

So the lesson to be learned here is:

Only release inflammatory videos about your employers *after* you have received all the money they promised you.

Oh, and also:

Don't work for Safeway, they are assholes.

ill fated satire (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | about 8 months ago | (#45821639)

The line from the video "All so the big shots could save a buck and maybe buy a new summer home" was probably the catalyst, not the special effects. How could this guy be dumbfounded -- what do you expect reactionary corporate America to do when you satirize their modus operandi! Hello Streisand...

Re:ill fated satire (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 8 months ago | (#45821853)

What is the big issue? The guy didn't even give away the location of the big shots new summer home.

You're fired! And suspended too! (1)

fox171171 (1425329) | about 8 months ago | (#45821641)

I can here the Safeway manager now. You're not only fired, you're suspended too! Take that smart ass!

I Smell a Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821649)

Happy early retirement, kid!

Re:I Smell a Lawsuit (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 8 months ago | (#45821827)

INAL but I think that might be foolish. He has to show harm in a civil suit like that. As it is documented he was going to be terminated the following day anyway the harm is only going to be whatever severance he might have been otherwise getting and a day's wages, possibly an agreement to provide a good reference which he might just as easily arrange with they sympathetic store manager himself.

He might come out ahead if he also gets awarded legal fees, but risks having to pay his attorneys retainer if he does not prevail. There is also the risk it could provoke some kind of libel counter suit which while unlikely to succeed IMHO, there were some disparaging remarks about management in the video and winding up before judge without a sense of humor or proportion could ruin his life.

No better to chat up his GM and say "hey, I am not going to make a big thing of this and just go quietly. I know what I did might be considered by some in appropriate ( conciliatory bs but whatever ), but I think understandable given the circumstances. Can I have your personal contact number and count on your for a positive reference?"

That is probably the best thing he can get out of this, in the risk/reward sense.

Blowing off steam by showing stuff blown up (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 8 months ago | (#45822101)

C'mon, that video was funny. It is as much a satire of Independence Day as a dig at his employer.

Yeah, the guy dissed the people letting him go. Dock him a day's pay. Mr Corporate Big Shot, show yourself to be . . . really small.

Re:I Smell a Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822141)

He's been told he may lose severance pay over it. So..yeah there's a high possibility of reward and actual financial damage if he doesn't. Presumably he still maintains the right to an opinion outside of work, especially since he's been notified that he will be terminated.

They had to close... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821679)

... the stores were far too vunerable to sci-fi attack. That one entire store was demolished in several minutes, the negative hit in the media from closing a few stores is minor, compared to that of lengthy wrongful death lawsuits, from Safeway's shotty sci-fi defence systems.

Don't worry SafeWay PHBs (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 8 months ago | (#45821733)

I'm sure the video will never go viral.

this video is a great resume (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 8 months ago | (#45821735)

for the video industry, and a lousy one for the grocery industry.

Google at fault? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45821877)

I wonder if Safeway would have learned of the identity for the poster had Google not coerced "Steve Yamamoto" to post non-anonymously in some flawed attempt to elevate the failed status of Google+.

Wonder why the manager complied (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 8 months ago | (#45821983)

Presumably the manager who was told to suspend the guy was about to be fired too. You have to wonder what would have happened if they had agreed, then "forgot" to actually carry out the suspension. By the time corporate figured out the guy hadn't actually been suspended, both he and the manager would probably have been fired already anyway.

Or better yet, this situation is crying out for a work-to-rule. "Sure, I'll go start the official suspension process immediately. Hmm...now where are those forms policy says I have to use...?"

He Safewayed himself a new career. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822063)

This is far from Hollywood quality but he has enough technical ability to start a career in compositing somewhere.

Fortunately, Safeway has an Ethics Hotline (1)

xski (113281) | about 8 months ago | (#45822147)

Safeway strives to maintain the highest level of honesty and integrity in its dealing(s) with employees and vendors. If you have any questions, concerns or information regarding business ethics or integrity in your dealings with Safeway, please contact our confidential Business Ethics Hotline at 1-866-239-1376 or email us at business.ethics@safeway.com

Thar ya go.

I think i know why this guys suspended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822173)

Its a 2 minute trailer that reuses almost all of the footage twice. Maybe if this guy didn't spend twice the amount of time required to do something, he wouldn't have been suspended.

Safeway the Gordon Gekko of food? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822195)

As someone familiar with the grocery business, I've seen Safeway go out of business in a market, buy their way back into that market, then go out of business again in that market, only to again buy into the market and .. guess what.

First I thought it was a competitive market. Then I thought it was incompetence. After that, I figured it was some sort of arrogance predicated on success in a different (limited competition?) market.

Now, based on the original story, its appears their business plan is to wreck something, anything, that is wreckable.

Steal car for a joy ride. If you crash it? No loss. You were going to sell it to a chop shop anyway.

Company Resources (2, Insightful)

AJH16 (940784) | about 8 months ago | (#45822257)

While the suspension really does seem unnecessary, my guess is that it came because it appears he was doing it on company time from some of the shots used. Technically it's a misappropriation of the companies resources. It's a bit of a bone headed thing to do since they were closing the shop anyway, but they were probably just following a standard procedure and could have gotten in to more trouble with previous people they had suspended if they didn't bother to do it, since people could claim that he was treated preferentially.

The entire situation is stupid, but that's unfortunately where getting employers forced in to mindlessly following written policy for fear of being sued for unequal treatment has gotten us. You have to document the penalty for everything and follow it to the letter no matter how stupidly it doesn't fit the situation or someone will sue.

He dared to criticize the overlords (3, Interesting)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about 8 months ago | (#45822263)

It wasn't enough to merely fire him and his 5999 coworkers. They made an example out of him.

That's power.

He'll do fine in Video/Film Special effects (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 8 months ago | (#45822303)

For a guy doing this in his copious spare time this is a funny vid. It's not something Safeway wants on YouTube for sure, so I'm sure they're sending a letter to Google now to remove it.

wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822343)

I just find myself wondering what kind of person can be so petty and sociopathic to actually order the suspension in a case like this.
What goes on in that persons head ? The petty vindictiveness is just mind boggling, not to mention the total lack of social intelligence. wow..

Post anonymously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822385)

This is why you post anonymously and don't tie your YouTube account to your name!

Banned Cameras (4, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 8 months ago | (#45822501)

This is the same company that had upper management trying to ban cameras in the bakery department lest their cakes appear on Cake Wrecks. They tried to argue that their cakes are copyrighted and thus taking photos of them is copyright infringement. http://www.cakewrecks.com/home/2012/11/9/ways-to-play-it-safe.html

I live in Chicago... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45822693)

Seeing the Dominick's stores close was sad and painful but not completely surprising given all the competition (Mariano's, Target, Costco, and all the mom and pop stores). But reading about the Jana nonsense made me wish the hedge funders to die in a fire already.

It's good (1)

heezer7 (708308) | about 8 months ago | (#45822785)

Google made him use his real name.
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