No Saguaro

No Saguaro

August 4, 2012

They Did Something Right – For Once

I had lunch today at one of Tucson’s Five Guys restaurants.  I was a big fan of Five Guys when I lived back in the D.C. area, but this was my first visit to a Tucson location.  Given that this is Tucson, I went in expecting the worst. This city has a habit of making dining out at even the most well-established chain restaurants a crap shoot.  Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised.  The hamburger I had was fresh, cooked to order, with quality toppings.  The bountiful serving of french fries, something for which Five Guy is famous, was fresh, hot, salty, and tasty.  All in all, a pleasant experience.

Even though the chances of any Tucsonan launching an original restaurant chain that serves quality food are somewhere south of zero, it appears that every once in a great blue moon, they can at least manage to sustain a local franchise of somebody else’s restaurant.  I have to imagine that the Five Guys corporate headquarters keeps a very close eye on their franchise outlets, probably to ensure that no one like the average Tucsonan ever manages any of their restaurants.  In fact, given what we all know about Tucsonans, I also have to believe that Five Guys had somebody relocate to Tucson from the D.C. area to open and run their local outlets.

Who says I never say anything positive about this city? 

August 3, 2012

T2 of the Week: Adam Smith

Not to be confused with the famous eighteenth century Scottish economist whose treatise The Wealth of Nations is one of the seminal works behind free-market economic thought.  Our tard this week is a pathetic, acerebral adultolescent who somehow managed to stumble his way into an executive position at (what one assumes is) a private corporation run by grownups.  It would appear that this company’s human resources and hiring mechanisms could use a serious overhaul.  While it seems almost unsporting by now to pick on this pathetic dweebtard, I haven’t posted here in a while, so I’ll take what opportunities come my way.  Besides, I haven’t found an award recipient this deserving in months.

Apparently Smith didn’t care for Chick-Fil-A™ corporation CEO Dan Cathy’s public statement last week in which Mr. Cathy defended his and his corporation’s views on traditional, biblical marriage and family.  Nor could Smith apparently stomach the favorable reaction of large segments of the American public to Mr. Cathy’s statements, which manifested itself in the form of record numbers of them patronizing their local Chick-Fil-A outlets.  Smith was apparently so outraged that he took it upon himself to drive out to the Chick-Fil-A outlet located at 3605 E. Broadway on Wednesday to give them a piece of what passes for his mind.

Smith proceeded to pull up to the drive-thru window, ordered a free cup of ice water as a statement (the company would not only make no money on such a transaction, but would lose a few pennies of profit to boot by giving away a cup), then berated the poor server behind the counter for daring to work for a company that would  --oh, horror of horrors!—make favorable comments on the traditional family. 

Apparently neither the deepest thinker in the world (well, DUH… he’s a Tucsonan) nor someone who considers the long-term consequences of his actions, and apparently also affected with a bit of narcissism, our Brain Trust of the Week decided to video his encounter with the Chick-Fil-A server, then upload said video footage to YouTube.  It seems that he also had supreme confidence not only in his abilities as a wannabe RealityTV interviewer, but also that his self-righteous, patronizing rant to the virtual world would garner mass sympathy and support.

In fact, the only thing that our T2 “garnered” was a pink slip from his employer, Vante corporation, a high-tech firm that must be one of the few “private sector” employers operating in this economic desert.  Operating a business and staffing it with qualified and issue-free employees is challenging enough in Tucson under the  most ideal of conditions.  Vante CEO Roger Vogel apparently realized that he and his executive staff had somehow mistaken Adam Smith for a mature adult and that if they didn’t remove him from their midst, they would end up a statistic like so many other businesses in the past that have tried to make a go of it here and failed, among the reasons for their failures being that they were saddled with baggage like Adam Smith.  As Mr. Vogel told the Arizona Daily Star:

Vogel said he was “shocked” by the video, which he first discovered when people emailed him a link.

“We obviously found it very disturbing,” Vogel said. “We respect everybody’s ability to share their opinions in the public square and we have a very diverse workforce with a diverse set of opinions. We expect employees to behave in a professional manner that’s commensurate with their positions, and discuss their opinions in a civil fashion. ... We thought what he did was inappropriate.”

Well said, Roger.

Hey, Adam: while no one gives a dried javalina turd what kind of lifestyle you lead, and no one is suggesting that you be persecuted for your beliefs or feelings, your (now former) boss hit the nail on the head.  Let me put it to you in what are probably the only terms you can understand:

You weren’t fired for your beliefs; you were fired for behaving like an ASSHOLE in public.  When executives of high-profile businesses behave like assholes in public, it gives their employers a very bad name.  With the economy the way it is and with businesses having to compete harder than ever for clients, they can’t afford to have spoiled, self-centered adultolescents with the judgment and self-control of toddlers giving them a black eye.  

Roger Vogel didn’t mention it in the interview with the Daily Star, but I’ll bet if he were to consider it worth his time to take you aside and give you a “life lesson,” he would probably have said to you something like: “Look, Adam, I’m sure you have your reasons for being upset with Chick-Fil-A.  If you’re that upset with them, write an open letter to Dan Cathy and tell him, in civil and professional language free of emotion, why you are upset with him and his company’s core values and why you think they should be more accommodating.  I would be willing to bet that corresponding with him as one executive to another, you might actually get his attention and maybe even have him constructively chewing on some food for thought.”

It’s probably a good thing that Mr. Vogel didn’t waste his precious life-minutes on such a lecture.  Judging from the juvenile idiocy that Smith upchucked on YouTube, it would have been wasted breath.  

Finally, I noticed the following at the tail end of the Star article online:

According to his LinkedIn profile, Smith taught Valuation and Corporate Finance to MBA students last semester.

Before accepting the job at Vante, Smith worked for more than seven years at IBM, where he was Senior Finance Manager. Smith earned a business degree at the UA, graduating in 1999, as well as an MBA in 2007.

That says it all.  I only needed to see those three little letters –M, B, and A—to know what we’re dealing with here.  Bad enough everywhere else in the nation, I can only imagine what kind of time-and-space-rending incompetence and stupidity these three little letters mean here in Tucson.

Actually, we don’t have to imagine.  Adam Smith has already shown us.

Maybe, stoked by righteous anger, Adam and a pool of investors will answer Mr. Cathy and company by launching a new fast food franchise for the gay crowd called Dude-Fil-A.  I'm sure he'll have no trouble finding people to work there who can “live with themselves” for doing so.

I’ll never know.  I prefer traditional family values.