September 2010

By Ike

Do you like games? I like games. Let’s play a game.

We’re going to play “Guess the Fake.” I’m going to post a few headlines and a clip from each, and you get to guess which one is the fake headline. Only one of the following stories is a fake report. Really.

The answer is at the bottom.

Puppy Thrown at German Biker Gang

“What motivated him to throw a puppy at the Hell’s Angels is currently unclear,” a police spokesman said.

Inspectors Shut Down Girl’s Lemonade Stand

“When you go to a public event and set up shop, you’re suddenly engaging in commerce,” he said. “The fact that you’re small-scale I don’t think is relevant.”

Urinater Acquitted for Not Offending

”The court of appeal found then, just as we have, that the intent to offend, or offensiveness in and of itself, was lacking,” District Judge Annika Johansson said.

Dubai Debt Crisis Halts Building of World’s Largest Indoor Mountain Range

The culmination of a decade’s worth of ambitious and expensive building projects, Dubai’s estimated $100 billion debt officially brought work on the artificial mountain range to a stop on Tuesday.

Okay, maybe this isn’t that tough. Still, it’s pretty interesting, and as Mark Twain (I believe) once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

Links to the articles can be found below, in the order shown above.

True – BBC

True – CBS News

True – United Press International

False – The Onion

http://www.theonion.com/articles/dubai-debt-crisis-halts-building-of-worlds-largest,2886/
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By Wink

Corporate boards of directors play a really fun game. It is called “How much can we pay ourselves before somebody screams?”

This is really a cool game, because nobody ever screams. Nobody seems to really care HOW much corporate execs get paid. Or that they get to determine their own paychecks.

Of course, it would be nice if you or I could decide the amounts that go on our own paychecks too, but we don’t get a vote.

Corporate execs do. Because most members of these boards fancy themselves as the next CEO, they make sure the CEO position is extremely well compensated.

How much do you think the big boss makes? Ten times the amount of the lowest paid worker at his company? Twenty-five times? 100 times?

If you guessed any of these, you are a piker. The average executive pay is 263 times the lowest paid employee.

If the bottom guy gets $20,000 annually (about $10/hr), the big dog, every year, gets $5,260,000, not counting perks. And you know the perks are good…

Amazingly, this level is actually down from a few years ago.

Remember though, this is just the average. Many execs get way more than 263 times the lowest worker.

How do already-generous salaries for mucky-mucks get ratcheted up even more? Bonuses!

It is no longer enough to get a huge paycheck for doing your job. What CEO would be willing to work for only 100 times the lowest paid employee gets? Not one worth his salt, that’s for sure. Nope, gotta have a bonus.

And in the corporate world, short time profits frequently mean big-time bonuses.

Not for the regular employees of course, never for the people who actually do the work for the company.

Just for the execs.

With multi-million dollar motivation, Mr. CEO will ask himself, “How, oh how can I make our stock price go up three points in the next quarter, or 12 points in the next 12 months?”

“I can sell off assets, like buildings, but soon I will run out of buildings. Nope, I need a bigger plan. How do I turn my measly 7-figure salary into an 8-figure salary? Here goes….”

Lay off fulltime employees and hire temps, so we don’t have to offer them benefits.

– Ship service jobs (like phone work) overseas.

– Strip retirees of health insurance benefits.

Sweet. The ‘CEO Bonus Cash Machine’ can now work overtime !

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So I’ve heard, PETA is extremely dissatisfied with Vice President Joe Biden for handing out hot dogs to US troops returning from Iraq on the Colbert Report.

“You can’t expect troops to be lean, mean fighting machines if you’re stuffing them with fattening, artery-clogging meat, eggs, and dairy products every day” -Tracy Reiman, PETA Executive Vice President

A press release suggested he hand out veggie dogs or vegan food instead.

To that I say this:

You can’t expect anyone to want to be a US Soldier if all you are going to give them is crappy vegan food as their homecoming meal.

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By Wink

Hello, and welcome to the new employee orientation for the Smith Company.

You are going to love working for the Smith Company. We have been profitable for our entire 75 year run, and we are family-friendly. Several generations of local families have gone to work for us because their mom or dad worked here.

The Smith Company was founded right here in this town by my grandpa, John Smith, and we have chosen to remain headquartered here.

We have been a good community partner, sponsoring Fourth of July parades and little league baseball, and we have donated money and manpower to causes you don’t even know about.

We promote from within because we appreciate your hard work and loyalty and …..

…Excuse me, I have just been handed a note. It seems we have just been bought out by XYZ Inc.

XYZ has decided to relocate the Smith Company to Tucumcari, where their CEO has a summer home.

Technically, you will all be laid off, but you will get the opportunity to apply for the few open positions that will be available in Tucumcari.

Please Note: Salaries will be lower and benefits will be fewer.

Tucumcari may be hundreds of miles away but, for the few of you who are rehired, XYZ will not pay your moving expenses.

Those of you who don’t make the cut will get the option of continuing your health insurance for 18 or so months. We know you won’t have a job, but XYZ will pay none of your health insurance premiums. Your monthly premium will be the (1) amount you have been paying up to this point, PLUS (2) the amount the company paid, PLUS (3) an additional two percent.

Sorry fellow former Smith Company employees. I am going out for a drink.

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