About Time

The only question here is:  “What took them so long?”

Kimber Manufacturing is moving its corporate headquarters to Troy [AL] and will “aggressively hire” in all departments. The firearms manufacturer last week announced it is moving to a new facility it built last year on 80 acres with more than 225,000 square feet of space, with design engineering, product management and manufacturing space.
In an announcement, the company said Troy was chosen for, among several reasons, its proximity to engineering schools as well as pro-gun, pro-business support from the city of Troy and Alabama.

They’re going to find out how much cheaper and more congenial it is to do business in the South.

The company said it is seeking applicants across several categories, including CNC technicians, machinists, quality control specialists, lean technicians, design engineers, compliance analysts, customer service representatives, materials planners, maintenance technicians, finishing operators, and assembly technicians.

And I’m glad they’re going to hire locally as well — obviously a bunch of Noo Yokkers are going to make the move with them, but as they all work for a gun company, they can’t be too NYFC, can they?

Best part of this is that if you buy a Kimber from now on, that part of your money is no longer going to support the tax base of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York State.

Next up:  Henry Repeating Arms, in Bayonne, Noo Joizee.  It’s time this All-American company moved to America.

Commonsense 0, Greens 72

Like nobody could see this coming:

The inquiry into the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower in London has revealed how the styrofoam thermal insulation layer in newly-fitted wall cladding enabled a small domestic fire to rapidly engulf most of the building, resulting in the loss of 72 lives.
The type of cladding installed complied with advice given to local authorities in 2010 by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to reduce emissions through installing new boilers and insulation in apartment blocks.

Read the details.  Anyone with the slightest bit of business experience could have foretold a tragedy like this.  But because Gummint was involved…

Disparity

Salary inequity has been a contentious issue ever since Zarg the Chieftain gave Thirg a larger shield than Krell, even though the latter had killed more Dalegians in the last battle.   Here’s a more modern take on the thing:

The longstanding BBC sitcom [Mrs. Brown’s Boys] has reportedly lost Damien McKiernan and Gary Hollywood, who play couple Dino and Rory.
It’s reported they quit after discovering they earn less than other cast members.

I’ve said before that what people are paid really depends on how much they contribute to the success of the enterprise.  Where this starts skirting close to the reef is the question:  who decides what the relative contribution is worth?   Of course, the standard answer is “the boss” (whether a department head or the CEO, whichever is more relevant), but of course whenever you leave the decision to a single person, there will inevitably be some bias during the process — hence the formation of pay grades, compensation committees and the like.

Even that’s not perfect.  In the Army, for example, a pay grade applies to everyone in that classification — but being the Army (i.e. a government department), the output of the individuals is subordinate to the rank:  all sergeant majors of equal service length get the same pay, even though some sergeant majors (I’m looking at you, Sar-Major Wilkinson, you disgusting fat fuck) aren’t worth the dirt it would take to cover their useless corpses in a shallow grave.  (Not that I ever thought about that, of course).

I also quiver with rage when I hear stories of VPs complaining that a top salesman’s commission results in his being paid more than a VP.  (My simple response:  “Financially speaking, he’s an earner while you’re just overhead.”)

I was never in a position to do this, but if I were running a company, I think I’d post all salaries on the bulletin board so that every employee could see their relative value to the company — but nobody would be allowed to question the merits or non- thereof where managers and such were concerned, because having a clerk quibble about his manager earning twice his salary would inevitably show that the manager’s value to the company was in fact four times a clerk’s, so in fact the clerk was being over-paid.  (And if it wasn’t… draw your own conclusions.)

The onus of explanation and justification, therefore, would devolve to senior managers (or even the CEO), because it’s that important an issue, even if for no other reason than employee morale.

Certainly, this would eliminate 90% of the female whining about pay disparity, especially when disparities are explained in terms of seniority, hours worked and results:  with the corollary that if there is indeed unjustified disparity, the imbalance would be fixed toot sweet.  No reasonable person can argue against this.

Let’s be honest:  the general reason that salaries are kept secret is for management to hide funny business and/or favoritism.  Working in a Great Big Company’s IT department as a computer operator, I once discovered that a boss’s secretary was earning more, a lot more, than I was as a senior “oppie”.  I couldn’t do anything about it because strictly speaking, I wasn’t supposed to have access to the data (but when you’re printing salary checks, it’s kinda difficult to hide the numbers from the guy printing them — which, by the way, is why the salary print runs could only be performed by very senior employees, who could be counted on to be responsible and keep their mouths shut, and I was only allowed to do that because the manager in charge was in hospital having his gall bladder removed).  Nevertheless, after a little digging I discovered that the reason for the seccy’s whopping salary was that she’d been regularly  bonking her boss for the previous five years (at least, having discovered the affair, it was the only logical explanation).  There was nothing I could do about it, of course — I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell anyone — but it did rankle somewhat.  Having the salaries posted on the board would probably have taken care of Mrs. Mattressworthy’s over-payment.

What salary transparency also does, of course, is enable people to see what people at their rank in other companies are earning — another reason that salary data is concealed — although I think that in the long run, it too would be more beneficial from a total business perspective:  if you’re paying more than the industry average for a particular position, telling people that does a sterling job of keeping one’s own employees happy whilst attracting others to joining the company.  Healthy competition, and all that.

When it comes to showbiz, however, I have no clue.  I have spoken before about the value of top-level people such as DJ Chris Evans over in Britishland, but that’s a relatively easy call to make with regard to salaries:  the higher the ratings, the higher the pay (see above for the “earner” aphorism), and in fact since Evans left his job at BBC2, the show’s ratings have dropped massively under his replacement, proving the point.

But individual actors within a show?  No idea — it may well be a subjective decision from the producer (with all the problems that I explained above), or maybe it can be driven by audience response.  (I remember a story about Ron Howard’s salary while he was acting in Happy Days ;  apparently, his canny agent had put a clause in Ron’s contract that he, as the principal character, would always be paid one dollar more than any of the other actors in the show.  So when Henry Winkler’s Fonzie became very popular and his salary rocketed, so did Howard’s.)  But deciding whether Ross was worth more to the show than Phoebe in Friends ?  Fuggeddabahdit.

Which is what the brouhaha in Mrs. Brown’s Boys  seems to be about:  minor characters (always low on the totem pole) are generally open to abuses such as lower salaries, getting written out of the story, and so on.  Sad, but it’s the way of the world.

Black Lists Matter

Boycotting things and businesses has traditionally been a tool of the Left — flood a TV show’s advertiser with calls, threatening to boycott the company’s products unless they stop supporting [Tucker Carlson], etc.

We on the conservative side have had a few ourselves — anyone remember the anger when gun writer Dave Petzal  Jim Zumbo (sorry, Dave)  said that nobody needed an AR-15?  or the boycott of Smith & Wesson when the hapless gunmaker made a deal with the Clinton junta?  We will not even speak of Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.

I myself have a list of businesses and brands that I will never consider, mostly because of their anti-gun positions:

  • Levi Strauss
  • Leatherman
  • REI
  • Patagonia
  • Starbucks
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • AARP
  • Dick’s
  • Ben & Jerry
  • Doordash
  • GrubHub
  • Hallmark
  • Jack In The Box
  • Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Walgreens (they fire employees who protect themselves with guns)
  • Sara Lee
  • Costco
  • Panera
  • Waffle House
  • Target
  • Whole Foods

There are some companies that I “semi-boycott”, e.g.:

  • CitiBank:  I have a Citi Visa because I get airline miles from using it — but I only use it to make firearms-related purchases.  And if they stop accepting custom from the places which sell me those products, I’ll pay it off and cut it up.  I sent their marketing department a letter to that effect a couple years back.
  • Target:  I buy two products (and only two) from Target, simply because it’s the only place in Plano that carries them.
  • Waffle House:  I used to go to Waffle House weekly.  Now I only go there when I’m on the road, absolutely starving and there’s nowhere else to go.  (Maybe twice in the past three years.)

Some of the companies are easy to boycott, because I dislike their products, period (e.g. Starbucks, whom I treat like a public toilet facility, but never buy anything from), or I prefer the alternative anyway (Swiss Army knives over Leatherman, etc.).

Also, while a number of companies have official “don’t bring your gun in here” policies, the local branches (especially in Texas) adopt a “you must be kidding” attitude instead.  (Our local Kroger hadn’t even heard about Kroger’s policy when I asked the manager about it, and he just said, “Don’t worry about it.  I’m not about to risk losing half my business because of Corporate.”)

Anyway, that’s my blacklist.  Feel free to add your own, in Comments.

Silver Linings, Gloomy Futures

Not every business has been adversely affected by the Chinkvirus and Gummint lockdowns:

A businesswoman who sells sex dolls has revealed how her company has been thriving throughout the pandemic, and that she’s noticed an increase in sales each time a new lockdown restriction comes into place.
Jade Stanley, 36, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, launched her company Sex Doll Official in 2018, and sells and rents plastic sex companions, some of which can cost up to £8,000, to ‘lonely’ customers.
The mother-of-four explained that due to widespread isolation during the coronavirus crisis, she saw surges in sales every time there was a change in lockdown rules, insisting customers want ‘more than just a sex toy’.

However:

She also revealed that she’s noticed a much bigger demand for male and transgender sex dolls, and told there’s a ‘big market’ for couples who want to involve a ‘safe third party’ in the bedroom.

That might just be the thunder of horses’ hooves you’re hearing in the distance.

So just what does this little hotbed town of kinky sex look like?  Something like this:

…and further down the High Street:

However.

Alert Readers may have noticed in the above pic one of Kim’s Favoritest Places In Britishland:  Greggs, purveyors of  fine pies and finer sausage rolls.  Things are not so rosy there:

Since reopening on July 2, the Newcastle-based firm’s like-for-like sales averaged at 71.2 per cent of its levels from 2019 for the 12-week period to September 26.
Greggs was performing well before the crisis its shares hit a record high of 2,550p in January. But they closed yesterday at 1,219p, down 47 per cent in the year to date.

So to all my Brit Readers, I beseech you:  start Kim’s “Every Meal With Greggs©” program with immediate effect, and to hell with your waistlines.

Your sex dolls won’t complain, I promise you.

Oh, Really?

At first, I thought this was good news:

Given the uncertainties of COVID-19, major airlines stopped charging penalties to change your ticket through the end of 2020. Now, United Airlines says it’s locking in the policy — it’ll be free to change in 2021 as well…

That sounds great, until you finish the sentence:

…as long as you didn’t book the low-price basic economy seats fare.

Which accounts for the vast majority of airline tickets sold.  But wait!  There’s more:

Apparently this wallet-gouging feature will not apply to international travel — which is the type of ticket most likely to be affected by borders closed off by the Chinkvirus for the foreseeable future.

Here’s the best part:

Since 2010, Chicago-based United has scooped up nearly $6.5 billion in change fees. Last year, it took in $625 million, third behind Delta and American, according to Transportation Department figures.

I already have a built-in animus against United Airlines, for reasons too many and varied to tell;  so it will be a cold day in Hell when they drag me kicking and screaming onto one of their foul airliners.


Update:  And right on cue, from American Airlines in my inbox today: