94 thoughts on “February 25, 2017

  1. Nope, Brice: it’s part of the free market, which is a capitalist idea, and something we hope to expand on again. Part of companies competing against each other includes getting and keeping good employees via incentives like schedule flexibility. 😀

    • Exactly. We see this when labor markets tighten and we see the other end of the spectrum when they are over filled with workers.

      Companies have always been sensitive to public opinion. Retailers have abused workers hours for years because they could; it was a short term means to propping up profits for short term gain (corporate bonuses). The public is getting wise to this, and movements to increase the minimum wage are putting these practices under a microscope. We’ll still see wage and hours abuse, and Congress isn’t likely to act, but this issue will continue to gain public attention.

      That’s why this strip and the recent thread are both good and timely. Norm is highlighting this problem to the general public, and tapping into many readers who’ve been through this or are going through it. That’s what comic artists do, and it’s well done.

      And Marla is right on target. You don’t save money by driving away your best employees over hours.

  2. Brice will be singing a different tune when the day come for it to be his turn to be the one stabled in the back. He will be all like “I was loyal to them for years and this is how they repay it?”
    Loyalty is a two way street but it seems the higher up the ladder your go the less people remember that.

  3. Loyalty, something expected by management who never return the sentiment. I remember a boss who said, after I gave notice,”but I am not ready for him to leave, yet.” The fact I had been told my job was being phased out had no connection in her mind; of course, I did have fun holding her to the rules after being told I was being phased out. No more after hours help with reports and projects. Suddenly, she had to figure out how to do things herself. She was gone in less than a year as no one else would help either. Loyalty, it seems was in short supply.

    • I took early retirement at age 55 (without any sort of a bonus package, as I was “between offers”) because the loyalty shown to me by my employer had reached its nadir. I remember the reaction of our director when I gave him my resignation letter was one of stunned surprise; but I have no doubt they replaced me with a green employee earning half of what I was getting, thus softening the emotional blow. It would have cost them so little in relative terms to keep me happy there for another ten years…

    • Stuart might not actually give Marla a hard time over this. After all, she is complying with corporate directives on hours, and scheduling is a store matter. Donnie is a good employee.

      Brice would be foolish to complain to Stuart. It would only highlight his own incompetence.

      • Yeah, but remember this is the same Stuart who suggested, when needing to get rid of people, choosing those with the highest wage rather than someone who was doing active harm to the company’s bottom line.

        Stuart is never one to consider basic business sense over an authoritarian line like Brice’s.

        • The thing is, if you ignore the effect of employee competence- and remember that Stuart’s ilk believe all employees are incompetent anyway- it does make sense to lay off the highest-paid workers first. ( also, i suspect his true rationale was to have an excuse to try to get rid of Cooper)

          Brice, on the other hand, is actually making no sense whatsoever, since putting Donnie on fridays makes no difference to the bottom line, while needing to recruit a new employee would cost money.

  4. “Stop being so dramatic” = “Stop being a whiny little bitch.”

    Also, Trump won, get over it, and see previous statement.

    • And the vast and ever increasing majority of people in the country hate him, his policies, his administration, and everything he stands for. Get over it.

      • And the vast and ever increasing majority of people hate your race, your whinging, your bleating and everything you stand for. Grow up and get over it.

        • When it’s a Democrat circumventing the Constitution, he’s working around gridlock and getting things done. When it’s a Republican circumventing the Constitution, he’s the reincarnation of Hitler and it’s only a matter of time before his goons are pounding on your door.

          Gotta love double standards.

          • I personally love how Democrats cheered Obama’s use of executive orders, and now decry Trump’s use of them.

            Double standards go both ways, honey. Nobody has their hands clean in this clusterfuck.

      • At the risk of sounding as if I am gloating, well, we Conservatives had to put up with the policies of one barack Obama for 8 years, we hated his policies, his administration and everything he stood for (I did not hate him, I felt contempt for him which is far worse). Now he’s gone and we finally have a real president. It’s your turn to get over it. Snowflake.

        • Too many replies means the new replies get stuck underneath and it’s lost in confusion (not unlike the Obama administration). Trump has made a lot of executive orders in his first 5 weeks as president but most of them were to undo Obama’s executive orders which he and we Conservatives found odious. As he said this week he inherited a MESS. At least he’s doing something about the mess he inherited, not like Obama who only whined about the mess he was left and spent 8 years increasing the mess rather than cleaning it up.

          • Isn’t it great how critical thinking has gone down the tubes and everyone just buys the crap spewed by corporate shills and billionaires who claim to care about the rest of the country? Gonna be one fun time when those chickens come home to roost.

  5. Free speech, the first thing to go in 45’s America. Terror free? Most terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11 have been committed by white males. Or don’t terror attacks against minorities count? I could go on and on about what’s wrong with 45’s America but it would take hours and it wouldn’t change your closed mind anyway.

    Don’t stop resisting.

        • 1) She’s not wrong in your opinion. I’m neither agreeing nor disagreeing with her opinion, but your agreement with it does not make it fact. That someone else might disagree does not make it falsehood. It is just an opinion.

          2) Right or wrong, she’s still derailing the comments section and, by extension, causing those who might be swayed by her opinion in a more appropriate context to roll their eyes, which damages the effectiveness of the overall message.

  6. Once upon a time there was a retail operation named Circuit City. Their sales force were paid a base hourly wage plus commission on items sold and not returned.

    Management looked at the bottom line and decided that some of the sales force were overpaid and fired them The workers they fired were not loafers who made little or no commission because they lacked product knowledge and weren’t motivated to make sales. No, it was the top 10% of the workers on the sales floor, the ones who had high levels of product knowledge, years of experience, and could sell ice machines in Minnesota in January. They accounted for 25% of sales.

    For some reason dumping the workers who made 25% of sales failed to improve the bottom line. So management did it again… and removed the commissions while they were at it.

    Less than a year later there was no Circuit City. Gee. I wonder why…

    • Oh that’s beautiful. Firing their best workers. How intelligent is it to punish people for doing their job well? It’s no wonder they’re out of business, they cut their own throat!

    • I remember when I first heard about that wondering if it was some kind of bizarre disciplinary measure to “inspire” the so-so employees to get it in gear…

      “See, this is what we do to the employees who are valuable… you don’t want to know what we’ll do to you if you starting start moving merchandise!”

  7. Wouldn’t it be nice if the comments were on the cartoon of the day itself and not to be a general political mudslinging? I enjoy the strips and seeing what people have to say,but sometimes the offtopic comments here turn this into a flame war.

    • It’d be nice, I agree. Unfortunately, those who didn’t vote for him seem to think it’s their patriotic duty to slam Trump at every opportunity, regardless of how little good it actually does. (I mean, come ON. Has anyone EVER had their political opinion changed by an online comments thread?)

      • No. But it was Brice’s use of the word socialism that brought on the political comments. I knew that would happen the minute I read it.

  8. Wow, sounds a lot like Walmart. Instead of being accomadating to a loyal employee,who’s been with the company for a while, they screw over said employee,because that employee actually made a human request

  9. Lol, my comment from yesterday – “Management Rule No. 57 Don’t let the employee end up making their own schedule. Tell them they must be available full-time, to cover any and all shifts that might be needed, for their part-time job.”
    Seems like Brice has memorized the Management Rule Book.

    • My manager once asked me to make a schedule for the night shift charge nurses in the ER where I worked (I was one of the charge nurses).

      So I chatted with the other two regular charge nurses. One wanted to work certain days because of his wife’s schedule. The other didn’t care. I was in graduate school and wanted some predictability but otherwise didn’t care. Everyone worked their share of weekends. Everyone was happy with the schedule.

      It lasted six weeks (one full cycle) before the manager decided no one should have a regular, predictable schedule, and went back to doing it herself. Which made everyone unhappy. She then moved me out of being a full time charge nurse to staff nurse, and back to doing only occasional charge shifts, even though she didn’t have another trained charge nurse to replace me (which meant sometimes unqualified staff were in charge).

      I got the message, and found another job.

      • That’s just idiotic.

        Management at the first Walmart I worked at (fresh out of high school) actually listened to their employees’ availability and preferences (when they didn’t conflict with when employees were needed). I never had a problem getting Sundays off (religious reasons) because I was always willing to work Saturdays, and there were enough coworkers who would rather have Saturdays off (also religious reasons, or sometimes just wanting their Saturdays free) and were willing to work Sundays, so it worked out perfectly. Of course, this was the same store where the store manager had set up a positive incentive program to reduce workplace accidents, with rewards and things, and also provided a decent lunch for long mandatory workdays like Independence Day, Black Friday, and the lead-up to Christmas.

  10. Sounds like the last service job I had…..I was full time until management decided if you didn’t help him cheat on his wife and drink at the bar with him you got your hours cut. Mine were cut back so badly it took me less than a month to find another job and then give notice….after 5 1/2 years of loyalty. They were beyond shocked that I was quitting. I told them they gave me more than enough time to look for other work.
    They just couldn’t wrap their tiny minds around the fact that their actions lead to mine.

  11. Marla is WRONG. It isn’t showing LOYALTY to their employees, it’s showing a respect and using logic.

    Companies who show respect to their employees always have a higher production and satisfaction rate. This is why one of the reasons women “make less” and have a higher satisfaction in their job. They’ve been programmed by other morons to expect less and are just happy to be there. Men, on the other hand, always want to strive for more, so when “making more” they have less job satisfaction over all.

    This is where all the snowflakes prove how stupid they are with the comments about Trump because they can’t counter with anything other than “HITLER!!” and fall to the ground screaming in a ball of angst. You may proceed.

    • You’re right. Norm should’ve used the word respect rather than loyalty. They’re not the same thing. If the company showed respect to their employees they’d reap the reward of both loyalty and respect from their employees.

      • *Gasp* Norm’s use of vocabulary did not match perfectly with your own standards?1 I’m unsubscribing this comic and starting a daily complaint letter to the syndicate on your behalf!

    • I was with you until the uncalled-for bit about Trump.

      And FYI, most of us are not bitter. We are informed. And that’s why we will not stop opposing the fascists who’ve taken over the government.

      Oh by the way: No, those of you who didn’t like Obama did not just shut up and live with it. The GOP made it a practice – which they admitted to- to obstruct damn near everything he tried to do. This is fact: You can look it up. The screaming never stopped from Inauguration Day 2008 until the Russian puppet won last November; in fact it still hasn’t stopped. Funny how Obama was “whining” re: Bush’s mess but Trump “really did” inherit a mess. And what a mess it was! Unemployment down, GNP up, millions more Americans had health insurance, etc. How terrible! But don’t worry, your boy in the WH and his minions will do everything they can to tear down Democracy and put an oligarchy in its place. Enjoy.

  12. I like that Marla gets a chance to make the confident eyes-closed speech with hands on her hips while someone else gripes in silent agony. It’s an inversion of the normal order of things.

  13. I wish Marla could read Brice’s thought balloon:

    “*Sigh* Yes, Brice, you are now a loyal subject/property of the People’s Democratic Republic of ‘Would-You-Like-Some-Cheese-with-Your-Wine?’.”

  14. Even though I do not live in the U.S.A. Or in the country of my birth but the country I that reside in is as also a democracy. Democracy is certainly not a perfect form of government but I would suggest it is the best. We are all on the same team so let us respect one another!

  15. Sorry, Brice, but the two-way-street of loyalty between a company and it’s employees is actually one of the major cornerstones of Capitalism, even if it has gone unrecognized and forgotten for a long time.
    I don’t know where Grumble’s is, but in my state, firing someone for having a second job because you can’t provide them the hours they need is not only unethical, but is also called Retaliatory Discrimination and is illegal.

  16. Brice *would* be the kind of person who thinks socialism means “I can’t do whatever I want without having to consider what other people think, and that sucks”.

  17. Brice is an idiot with no business sense. He wants to get rid of an employee who’s been working at Grumbel’s for four years, who knows the job, who’s a good worker, who’s well-liked by his direct superior, for INCREDIBLY petty reasons. He’s reacting out of spite, because HOW DARE Donnie not be available 24/7? Good thing Marla has more sense.

  18. I have had enough of Brice now. I’m going to stop reading on a regular basis and will only check occasionally to see if Norm has written the character out.

    I am also saddened to see yet another comments section taken over by the Trump supporters. Why can’t you confine yourselves to political boards and leave purely entertainment sites like this alone?

      • Fine … then both sides are at fault. But since I won’t be reading the strip for a while, I guess they can run amok here without it bothering me.

        You’d think Norm or King Features would have some process to report off-topic posts and have them removed. In my view, this is no better than spam.

  19. Oh, for crying out loud. Quite arguing about the presidency, ALL of you.

    Republicans: you could have offered us a man worth voting for. You would have won in a landslide. Instead, you nominated a celebrity two small steps above a cheep porn star. The fact that he barely squeaked in during an election when the majority of the American people were ready for a change is such a gross humiliation I’m astounded any of you have the stones to defend him.

    Democrats: They nominated TRUMP. You could have ridden that right back into the White house. All you had to do was convince Hillary to keep her mouth shut and you would have had it, or better yet offer a real candidate like the Republicans failed to do.

    BOTH parties failed the United States abysmally in that farce of an election. Both parties sold out to the worst of their extremists. Both parties offered a paste board puppet where a leader was needed. Both parties disgust me right now.

    In any case, Trump will be gone in 8 years at the very most. With any luck at all, he’ll be gone in 4. Hopefully, Hillary is already gone. Try to get your act together by then.

    PS: I wrote in Cthulhu. He would have done a better job.

    • Khulse, there aren’t enough thumbs up in the world for your comment. Everything you said is spot-on!

      As a result of all this political turmoil, there has never been a time when it is more incumbent on we the people to adhere to the dictum that all politics are local. We need to pay close attention to what our representatives are thinking and how they are voting. Instead of childish name-calling and political vitriol, we need to engage in rational and CIVIL discussion of issues rather than personalities.

      God help us all!

  20. Honestly, this feels like an odd choice for Bryce’s character. In the past, he’s been a programmed corporate bot, but when Marla points things out, he usually starts to get it. He’s always struck me as a well-meaning kid who was trained in all the wrong ways by Stuart and a rich suburban Grumbels, and he’s suffering a steep learning curve as his cushioned construct makes contact with the real world. I’d been looking forward to see how that developed. This week’s series has felt like a major step back from that character arc :-/

    • The thing is, this IS consistent with him being a programmed corporate bot. More-r-less, this is the “we don’t care about employees as humans” bit.

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