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Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 4:00 PM
When the Boss Changes the Rules
Kevin Salwen on Creativity

For today's glimpse into the Change Comes Slowly Department, we journey to Minneapolis, where the Star-Tribune tried to prod its employees into the 21st Century faster than they wanted. The paper, it seems, is trying to 1) save money and 2) show its staffers that the Web was a great place to read a newspaper.  So, it stopped distributing its print product in the newsroom, and asked reporters, editors and others to start reading the Strib online.
The problem: Employees still wanted the print paper. It's portable, it's familiar and for some irreplacable. So, workers started taking the papers out of vending machines.  The circulation director wrote it this way in a memo to staffers:
"During the first week that the additional on-site racks were in service, 43 percent of the Star Tribunes removed from those racks were not paid for. For the second week the rate was 41 percent.
This is called "pilferage" in our business; but put more plainly, it is theft, pure and simple.

"Taking more than one newspaper from a rack when you have only inserted enough money for one paper is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Employees who steal newspapers will put their jobs at risk.

"There is zero tolerance when it comes to stealing from our company, even if it is a 25-cent newspaper. And I encourage our hundreds of honest employees who observe co-workers stealing newspapers to challenge them on the spot to refrain from doing so." To read the whole memo, click here.

Aw c'mon, don't we all take things from work? Small, insignificant things like pens and paper clips. Do you ever take small things from your office? What are you "entitled" to?


Kevin - 4/12/2006 10:40:00 AM
Bill, that might be a whisker excessive -- however, there might be a carve out for some older technology, say a Windows 95 machine. Heck, given that line of thought, even a fax machine might be fair game for swiping at this point; after all, who would miss it other than the fax spammers?
Bill - 4/11/2006 7:43:19 PM
I took a computer from work today...is that OK? Please don't tell anyone!
Dee Rambeau - 4/11/2006 7:19:49 PM
It's my contention that you're not entitled to "take" anything unless you own the company. See my take on a post about expense account padding here: http://adventures-in-business-communications.blogsite.com/public/item/120833


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