Friday, June 30, 2006

Forgive the Fed, it knows not what it does

So, the village idiots at The Fed have hiked rates another quarter-point because they are afraid of inflation. Once again The Bernanke Bunch shows it hasn't a clue.

There are two, supposedly inflationary items in the present economy: housing and energy. Housing is already coming back to Earth, partly due to rate increases and partly due to everyone but Bush Buddies being priced out of the market (It hasn't slowed here in SLC, though, although with every other market in the Rockies decelerating, the time is coming.). On the other point, increased energy costs aren't inflationary, people. Sure, prices go up and oil wildcatters have a hayday, but the economy as a hole ends up contracting. Happened in 1974, 1979, and 1991, and it will happen again.

This economy is already starting to strip its gears. No rate hikes needed. The problem is that The Fed's actions always take time to take effect. It took a couple of years for the rate hikes to have an effect, and it will take a couple of years for stopping the rate hikes to take effect. Stop too late, and the Titanic hits the iceberg. How many of you think The Bernanke Bunch has sufficient vision to see all that ice on the horizon?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Western States Foods Companies suck

Well, here I am, completely off topic, but tough.

Western States Foods Companies runs a number of restaurants in the area, including the Baskin Robbins at about 10300 S. State. Yesterday, the walking wart who purports to manage that roach resort called Daughter No. 1 and sacked her. Mind, this job was no great shakes; they basically had her assigned as Permanent Latrine Orderly, Night Shift. It's the manner of the dismissal.

Saturday night there was a family emergency the aforesaid daughter had to help in. No, I'm not giving you the details. She had to call in shortly before her shift and was told there was no problem. Come yesterday morning, though, the Head Troll had decided there was a problem after all and let her go.

I went in and found Her Trollness schlepping around pretending to clean the place and generally showing that the Peter Principle is alive and well. I demanded a copy of their Family Medical Leave Act policy, thinking they may have been hanging their hats on a failure to follow express procedures. She gave me an Employee Handbook (more on that later), all seven pages of it, and there was no FMLA policy.

So, they're wide open to be drop-kicked, even here behind the Zion Curtain, where employees can be dressed in rags and chained in a dungeon and still not have a claim against an employer. Daughter doesn't want to go there, though. Can't say I blame her. So I'll just ridicule these folks for their incompetence.

First, if you're going to have employees, you need employee policies. The policies should not look like you pulled them out of a box of Sugar Crappies this morning, as Western States' policies do. Go to an employment law attorney (cough, such as Yours Truly, cough) and have them professionally done. In fact you should have all your contracts professionally done, which leads me to...

Second, if you're not going to take your business seriously, why should you expect anyone else to? If your paperwork is a joke and your handling of employees is a farce, why should anyone do business with you? I could not in good faith advise a client to enter into a lease with Western States. That laughable employee handbook gives me too much pause about what sort of circus they're running. Better to leave that space vacant for another month or two because a better tenant is bound to come along.

Third, don't put marketing drivel in an employee handbook. Western States holds several restaurant franchises and refers to itself as "...a franchisee of five different concepts." Please. If you refer to your business as a "concept," go sell dot com stock or time shares, because that's the level of hooey scooping you're engaged in. Lying is also a bad idea. The handbook says, "All the stores that we own and operate are located in Regional Malls...." Bollocks. The South State Baskin Robbins is in a strip mall across the highway from the mall.

Finally, if you need a Baskin Robbins fix in the South Salt Lake Valley, don't go to South State. You will only be enabling Her Trollness's delusions of adequacy. Go to the one at 9500 S. 700 E. Those folks are great. Reward effort, not excrement.