Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Idiot corporations

Given the size and wealth of American corporations, we often mistakenly believe that such power is the result of vast intelligence. It leaves us assured that no matter how poor, insignificant and powerless we are, being rich, important, and powerful is no innoculation for stupidity. I would like to thank both Don Rumsfeld and Condi Rice for allowing me to maintain my illusion of superiority over the last few years.

I found this article while perusing the pages of Slate in which

"Lots of you complained about your company's idiotic plan to cut costs by clamping down on the purchase and use of office supplies. J.S., a former employee of U.S. Bank, recalled that the company refused to order or pay for Post-it notes. At a very large name-brand data provider, pens and Post-its are apparently kept under lock and key. A relative of a telephone company employee reports that the gigantic firm said it "will no longer purchase supplies such as pencils, and paper, and Post-its" for the office where the employee works."

Still further: "The desire to cut costs by saving or recycling paper clips aroused the most incredulity and anger. Former Bear Stearns employee B.B. recalls being given a bag of paper clips on his first day "with the explanation that the firm would never buy paperclips … This was on the direction of [legendary gazillionaire CEO] Ace Greenberg, and the company seemed almost proud of this inane cost-cutting measure." A former Bank of America investment-banking analyst recalls that the megabank "once told its employees to use paper clips instead of staples because paper clips could be re-used to save money." According to one correspondent, managers at a data center of a different firm were asked to "keep a listing (on a piece of paper) of each clip that we used, and the reason for the use!"


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