Tag Archives: Shocking
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Tastes are changing, which means McDonald’s has to turn its vast tanker of frozen meat and fatty morsels in a new direction.
And almost a year ago, the chain announced that it’s creeping toward making Happy Meals healthier.
Now, though, there’s a new, quite astounding step.
I can already see parents delighting in the notion that their advertising-vulnerable kids can now eat a burger with no meat in it.
Sadly, not quite.
Instead, the chain is releasing the Happy Meal, featuring a wrap.
The wrap is a red pesto goujon tortilla wrap. Yes, it includes shredded lettuce. But, perhaps the greatest glory for McDonald’s traditionalists is that it’s still garnished with one of the world’s great food groups — tomato ketchup.
This whole(some) thing is a mere 209 calories and has been approved by the Vegetarian Society.
What’s not to love?
It seems that not everyone is moved by McDonald’s wrapping itself in an eco-friendly future.
Noted bulbously extreme bloviator Piers Morgan was appalled. On Twitter, he screeched:
Oh FFS. It’s supposed to be a HAPPY meal.
Oddly, McDonald’s chose to reply. Morgan, you see, had also railed against bakery Greggs introducing a vegan sausage roll. Morgan called the bakery “PC-ravaged clowns.”
Astutely, Greggs replied:
Oh hello, Piers, We’ve been expecting you.
For its part, McDonald’s offered:
Like our pals at the sausage roll place, we’ve been expecting you. Don’t worry Piers, you can still get McNuggets in your Happy Meal!
There’s no news that this “progressive” Happy Meal is coming to the U.S.
It seems clear, though, that competitors will worry that McDonald’s is suddenly making itself acceptable to the audience of the concerned.
I leave (almost) the last words to McDonald’s.
After all, the most important thing here is that kids actually like its greener happiness. So yes, there’s a toy involved too:
We’ve teamed up with Pokemon to bring you a little bit of fun in every box. Plus, you can now choose a Fruit Bag instead of Fries.
Yes, a Pokemon toy and a Fruit Bag instead of Fries.
What more could a child of tomorrow want?
There are eight million stories in the naked city, as an old television show used to say. A United Airlines pilot was arrested for being one of them.
It’s an embarrassing, mildly tawdry tale–but when you dig into the reasons behind United Airlines Capt. Andrew Collins’s arrest, you just might find you have some sympathy.
And, you might also find yourself wondering just what life is like for pilots these days.
First the story. Collins, 54, has been with United Airlines for 22 years. As he told The Denver Post, last September he was up for about 30 hours straight, flying around the country and being diverted because of thunderstorms.
He arrived finally in Denver, and checked into the Westin Hotel at the airport.
The next morning, he woke up around 10:30 a.m., and walked around his room, getting ready to take a shower. At one point he stood in front of the 10th floor window of his hotel room for more than 20 minutes while he talked on the phone.
Key detail: He was stark naked. Remember, he was alone in his hotel room, as he tells it, not expecting to see anyone, or to be seen.
But then things took a turn for the worse: a knock at the door, cops barging in with their guns drawn. Collins wound up in handcuffs and carted off to an airport jail, where he was charged with indecent exposure.
The problem, as he tells it, is that he didn’t realize the window he was standing in front of was transparent on both sides, or that anyone else was had a line of sight that would let them see him. Apparently, he was wrong.
“We’re not disputing the fact that I was standing nude in front of the hotel window,” Collins told the Post about the Sept. 20 incident. But he added, “Some witnesses said I was dancing, gyrating and waving. I’m completely innocent. It’s really unfortunate that it happened at all.”
Collins’s lawyer later went to the same room Collins stayed in at the Westin to investigate. And he says he concluded it’s totally reasonable for Collins not to have realized that anyone could see him while he was standing in front of the window.
“The concourse windows are tinted green and are opaque and reflective,” the attorney, Craig Silverman, told the Post. From the hotel room, he said, “It’s like looking at a green wall or a green mirror.”
It’s a misdemeanor case, and Collins has been “removed from his duties pending an internal review,” a United Airlines spokesperson told me. Of course, he has the presumption of innocence under our justice system.
Collins doesn’t quite blame what happened on the fact that he’d allegedly been up for 30 hours straight, but this story doesn’t exactly make it seem like flying for United is any kind of glamorous, high-reward job.
Bounced around the country, up a day and a half, stuck in a hotel room waiting for your next flight–only to wind up humiliated and facing legal jeopardy. He’s the head of his local union shop and was running for the national presidency when this all happened. That opportunity went out the window (sorry).
Meanwhile, airlines say they’re going to be short of pilots in the coming years, as younger people simply aren’t enamored of flying the way their predecessors were. Stories like what happened to Collins don’t make it easier.
He’s due in court Dec. 5. His lawyer hopes he can get the whole thing dismissed.
LuLaRoe is no stranger to controversy. But the multilevel marketing women’s clothing company has really stepped in it after a battle with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) over a shocking video that mocked the disabled. Attempts to spin the controversy are challenging at best.
The company faced significant bad press during 2017, whether for changing return policies to the detriment of independent sales agents, trying to force a critical blogger to divulge sources, or reportedly using an artist’s designs without payment or permission.
A lawsuit last October alleged that the business structure was an illegal pyramid scheme. And founders and owners Mark and DeAnne Stidham have been accused of blaming the independent salespeople for problems that might have been the company’s.
This latest tussle is particularly ugly. For some time, LuLaRoe has been an official supporter of NDSS as DeAnne Stidham, who had a grandchild with the condition. Even that has some questions tied to it, as one promotion that tied a $ 1 donation for sales of two different special items would be more than offset by increased costs to the salespeople.
The latest situation came about when an independent sales agent mocked people with special needs, as reported by KXTV television, in a video posted to YouTube. The specific remark starts at about 55 seconds in.
NDSS posted on Facebook about the incident. The organization had received an apology, but apparently told LuLaRoe that it would not maintain relationships with the company unless the seller was terminated, which did not happen. Here is what NDSS posted on Friday evening:
Within the last 24 hours, it has come to the attention of the National Down Syndrome Society that an online video by a LuLaRoe independent retailer, which mocks a person with a disability, was posted on YouTube. This video is unacceptable and further perpetuates the stigmas we work to fight and end each and every day at NDSS.
While we appreciate the apology from this individual and the previous support from LuLaRoe, we must uphold our mission statement, and end our partnership and any further programming with LuLaRoe immediately.
We are deeply saddened and disappointed to announce our decision to end our relationship with the National Down Syndrome Society. Our company and the Independent Fashion Retailers have embraced the NDSS and its important work, and have enthusiastically supported the organization’s efforts over the past year.
Regrettably, a LuLaRoe Independent Fashion Retailer exhibited unacceptable and insensitive behavior during a live sale, which understandably offended viewers as well as everyone at LuLaRoe. His bad judgment in no way represents the beliefs and character of LuLaRoe or Independent Fashion Retailers.
Immediately after his sale, the Retailer posted an apology. He also reached out to NDSS and said he and his wife have agreed to use the incident as a learning experience and expressed his intention to focus his business on support for the organization and its cause.
After speaking with the Retailer at great length, we believe his apology is sincere and accepted his assurance that this type of behavior would never happen again. We are also using this unfortunate incident as an opportunity to redouble our sensitivity and tolerance training efforts and policies for Independent Fashion Retailers.
Unfortunately, NDSS leadership is unwilling to accept the Retailer’s apology and has informed us that unless we terminate his contract with LuLaRoe, the organization will no longer associate with us. We do not believe the most productive response to his actions, which he has fully apologized for, is to close his business and threaten his ability to provide for his family.
Trying to decide who is “right” can be difficult. LuLaRoe claims that an apology that it thought was sincere should have been enough. At the same time, it would seem that NDSS would be the party to decide whether the apology was adequate, as its cause was the one injured and it has doubtlessly faced analogous situations over the years. Words of contrition in uncomfortable cases often are the result of people trying to avoid the consequences of their actions. Would NDSS essentially support the idea that everyone had one free pass to mock people with Down Syndrome? At a time when there seems to be zero tolerance for sexual harassment, why wouldn’t other concerns receive the same degree of respect?
Aside from those considerations, however, LuLaRoe handled the situation badly in three ways. When you employ independent people as agents of your company, you have tied yourself to them and their actions. By decided that “education” had already been achieved, LuLaRoe effectively handed itself a pass on the issue.
Not only did LuLaRoe forgive itself, it compounded that action by blaming NDSS through its choice of words. By saying, “Unfortunately, NDSS leadership is unwilling to accept the Retailer’s apology,” the company shifted responsibility to the organization by implying that NDSS was unreasonable in its approach.
Finally, the company’s navigation of cause marketing is problematic. To partner with an organization and gain some marketing advantage requires the following:
- Your company’s values or interests should have an organic connection to the cause.
- You need to understand the requirements and implications of partnering with an organization.
- To be sincere, you then have to not only support the organization and cause, but meet the requirements going forward.
LuLaRoe should have identified any difference in philosophy with the organization before pledging support, no matter how much its founders believed in the cause. Had it done so, it would have known in advance the necessary course of action should a conflict arise and then known whether or not it could live with the conditions.
The seller in question may have been sincere in having learned a lesson, but NDSS had its own need to see that disrespect carried a penalty beyond momentary embarrassment. Ultimately, it is LuLaRoe’s fault for not having asked the right questions and then deciding that the organization should change its philosophy to accommodate the company’s.