Thursday, April 28, 2011

your tax dollars and mine

I don't have much to write about what's going on with me but I found a couple of articles of interest that I thought I would repost here - the kind of stuff that makes you want to throw your television through the wall and become Howard Beale:

Article #1 (text reprinted below or click the Article #1 link for the original)

Someone should’ve thought to stop this return-to-work agency before it rolled out a marketing campaign that included a cartoon character named “Dr. Evil Unemployment.”

Workforce Central Florida has come under fire recently because of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge,” a campaign that aimed to distribute 6,000 superhero capes to jobless individuals in Florida.

The agency didn’t want to simply hand out these controversial capes, either. To get one, people had to become a fan of Workforce Central Florida on Facebook and take the “What Superhero Are You?” quiz — or have a picture taken with a foam cutout of WFC’s Dr. Evil Unemployment.

The ridiculous and insensitive superhero theme of the campaign wasn’t the only thing that drew the public’s ire, the cost was also an issue. WCF, which is federally funded, spent a total of $73,000 on the “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” — with the capes alone costing $14,000.

The campaign caused such a public outcry that Workforce Central Florida was forced to shut it down, and a state investigation into the agency’s spending is currently under way.

According to Workforce Central Florida Vice President Kimberly Sullivan, the unorthodox campaign was meant to “generate awareness of WCF and our programs” not to “minimize the difficulties of unemployment.”

Article #2 (text reprinted below, or click link for original article)

There’s a big difference between important job training and spending valuable funds on something employees learned how to do in kindergarten.

Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board plans to spend more than $173,000 on training that will make workers “friendlier” and “more well-mannered” at the 650 statewide stores it operates.

Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Solutions 21 has been hired to coach store managers and employees to say common things like “hello,” “thank you,” and “have a nice day” to customers. In addition, the training will teach workers when the best time to greet customers is and how far they should stand away when doing so.

The expensive training is drawing fire from around the Keystone State. Political activist Eric Epstein said the training was “a demented interpretation of happy hour.” He went on to claim, “it’s a sad state of affairs when you have to train people to be kind and courteous.”

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