5 Ridiculous Attempts at Corporate Cost Cutting

Is the cost of free coffee worth an uprising?
5 Ridiculous Attempts at Corporate Cost Cutting

You don’t need to rub loafers with the legacies at the nation’s top business schools to know that the primary purpose of a business is maximum profit. There’s a whole lot of twists and turns, but when it comes down to it, you want to spend X and make Y, with the difference being as large as possible in favor of the Y end of things. After all, if you’re a business that’s constantly spending more money than it makes, you’re one of two things — doomed, or most start-ups.

So it would seem, if this ever-important equation ever starts creaking out of balance, the simplest way to increase profits is to cut costs. There’s no end to business blowhards who think they’ve stumbled onto the genius strategy of basic subtraction. Slashing expenses with a wild abandon in exchange for a momentary jump in profit is a favorite of management who think the word foresight means the view from a golf tee. A lot of times, though, overenthusiastic cost-cutting can end up like a dog that ate a bag of chocolate chips off the kitchen counter: full of immediate returns, but not good for long-term health.

Here are five ridiculously stupid attempts at corporate cost cutting…

Goldman Sachs Can’t Afford Coffee

You pour that coffee back into our bottom line right now!

You only need to read a couple novelty mugs from any gas station to realize that coffee is a precious commodity to the workforce. Scores of people across the country can’t be spoken to in the morning before receiving it. So, when it comes to small victories to snatch from (literally) beneath your workers’ noses, coffee is one that hits a particular chord. Not to mention the relatively low cost of beans in bulk. You’re not exactly removing fresh saffron dispensers from the office kitchen here.

How do you make cutting workers’ free coffee feel even worse? Do it at fucking Goldman Sachs. It’s one thing for the K-Cups to start disappearing at a barebones small business, it’s a little more ridiculous for a Wall Street giant to deny their junior bankers free cups of joe. Between the generally fat coffers of a company like Goldman Sachs, and the fact that bankers work long hours on schedules that would leave Carmen Sandiego jet-lagged, it’s both insulting and probably hurting productivity. It’s like trying to make driving cheaper by buying less gas — that’s the stuff that makes it go, dude.

Yahoo! Decides It’s Vacation Time

Take a load off, or else!

It takes some balls to engage in blatant cost-cutting — calmly explaining to your employees that they don’t need all their stuff isn’t exactly a series of sweet whispers. It takes a larger sack to try to tell them they’re going to love this. Wrap that up in a nice little bow with tying it to the sliver of respite that is vacation in American business and you have one of the world’s most poorly lipsticked pigs. You might as well piss on my head and tell me it’s not only raining, but how much the crops needed this.

Yahoo! tried this in 2006, when they informed employees that, congratulations, they had been given the week of December 26th off! Enjoy the holidays, bake a couple of those tubes of cookies with the Christmas tree in the middle, kick back with some eggnog, do anything except, uh, collect your salary. That was the rub here — that this was mandatory unpaid vacation, unless, of course, you wanted to cross off a couple of your unused vacation days for their cash value that week. After all, it’s not like people need money around the holiday season.

Tightly Controlled Staplers and Tape

But then how do you staple the paperwork for renting out the stapler?

You did it! You answered some sort of fucked-up lateral thinking questionnaire and landed yourself that cushy job at Google. Now you’re home free, working at one of the companies most likely to be in control of arable land after the uprisings. The workplace of dreams, flush with cash, where the Herman Miller Aerons are upholstered in gold, and the flavored seltzer flows like water.

There’s only one thing that could possibly stand in the way of the continued profitability of Google: wanton taping and stapling. Apparently, the same brilliant workers who were able to navigate the mental maze of figuring out why manhole covers are round can’t be given unsupervised access to common office supplies. According to KRON4 News, some Google employees now need to borrow the above tools from the receptionist’s desk like they’re the key to a coffee-shop shitter.

Twitter Fires Janitors, Becomes Stinky

Get on those robot trashcans, I guess.

For employees to be working at their best, they need a comfortable environment that keeps them focused. For some places, that might mean natural light, or healthy snacks. One facet of the workplace that might sometimes be taken for granted, but is nonetheless essential, is the office not smelling fucking horrible. With that might come the realization that, even if rich people have trained themselves to fully not see janitorial staff like they have light-bending camouflage technology, they are still pretty essential.

Somebody who doesn’t subscribe to this thought is the world’s richest walking iFunny reposter, Elon Musk. When he acquired Twitter, the same way an overambitious snake might acquire a deer carcass that makes it explode like an unvented TV dinner, he realized he had to make some money back. He did that in part by canceling janitorial services, which, shocker here, has led to “the smell of leftover takeout food and body odor” and dirty, toilet-paperless bathrooms.

Poisoning Entire Towns

Youve got to contaminate a few water sources to make an omelette. Also, none of those people get the omelette.

The above cost-cutting measures might have been disastrous in terms of morale, but at least they weren’t bona-fide environmental disasters. The train that derailed in Ohio, spilling chemicals into the water and soil of East Palestine, was exactly that. Experts have pointed to attempts to save money via “streamlining,” aka rushing, train inspections as a cause. But I’m sure they’ll learn their lesson after some vice-vice-president gets let go with a generous severance package.

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