" The Wells Fargo Wagon Ain't Comin' "

Here is an excerpt from a beautifully written article by Jon Carroll:

But of course there’s lots of time for drinking, eating, swimming, unwise one-night stands, inappropriate inebriated rants within earshot of the wrong people and perhaps a little minor property damage. In my experience, most employees consider these “fun events” a chore and would much rather be fishing for trout somewhere far away from every other co-worker.

But let’s get back to the corporate whining, signed by John Stumpf, who in 2007 (according to Forbes magazine) enjoyed a total compensation of $12,568,917. But still, he’s worried about the little people, the tellers and phone bankers and operations clerks.

“For many,” he explains, these recognition events are “the only time in their lives that they’re publicly recognized and thanked for a job well-done.” (Then why not do it more often? – ed.) “This recognition energizes them. It inspires them and their team members to want to create an even better experience for our customers. Another annual event – which our top performers in community banking all looked forward to – was to have been held in May. But not this year. Who loses besides our team members? The workers who depend on our business. The hospitality industry. Hotel housekeepers. Restaurant servers. The airlines.”

Stumpf’s concern for the housekeepers and restaurant workers is touching. Maybe he could give them each an interest-free loan so they could buy a house. That would be a “recognition event” with teeth.

Or maybe they’d like a plaque. Wells Fargo apparently has a few left over.

Did I mention that Stumpf is a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee, an organization that tries to help Republicans running for national office? Its former treasurer was recently accused of diverting as much as $1 million for his personal use – maybe he just needed a recognition event. The committee is just not having that good a year.

Onward with the ad: “The funds to pay for events such as these do not come from the government. They come from our profits.” According to Reuters, Wells Fargo posted a loss of $255 billion for the last quarter of 2008. There’s so much about high finance I do not understand. “Competition to be recognized makes everyone worker harder and smarter. … Events such as this are the heart of our culture because our product is service, delivered by caring, energized, talented, loyal team members who earn competitive, fair wages and benefits.”

No, Mr. Stumpf, the heart of your culture is hanging on to our money. I don’t care if the teller is sweet to me or not; I do care if my tax money has to go to helping you get over the hump when you’ve made a series of predictably unwise business decisions. I expect my banker to be greedy; I do not expect him to be shortsighted. If Wells Fargo can’t get along without $25 billion from the government every so often, then maybe Wells Fargo should stop whining about the press and start making loans to people who can repay them, for instance.

Maybe in the next ad, you could apologize to people for the last ad.

I’d like to apologize to the cooks and dishwashers and maids – only those in the country legally, of course – for what the media did to your pathetic little lives.

Remember this is just an excerpt and you really should read the whole thing.

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