From Dr. Lisa Wade and her team at the always compelling site Sociological Images comes the eternal question: why does the reality of air travel never quite match air travel advertising? Continue reading
Category Archives: “What the …?”
Waiter’s phony $10 tip includes a religious lesson
I have a few conflict-of-interest disclosures to get off my chest before wading into this mess:
- My daughter Larissa spent many years and countless long, hard hours of her young life waiting tables while attending university.
- I am a generous tipper for good service. See #1 for the reason why.
- When I worked in P.R. for an international Christian aid organization years ago, I used to cringe in embarrassment on the very rare occasions when our office went out for lunch together. Typically, I’d be one of the very few in our party who left a tip. Many of my über-devout colleagues never tipped our servers. Ever. One even openly blamed his modest wages as his excuse for stiffing the waitstaff, to which I would immediately respond with something charitable like: “Then you should be eating under the Golden Arches, you frickety-frackin’ cheapskate!”
Claire Gordon, writing in Daily Finance, has recently reported on a distressing dining-out trend in some Christian circles that brings me back to those embarrassing moments. Continue reading
Why isn’t California disciplining its dangerous doctors?
You’d like to think that the doctor trusted to make treatment decisions for you or your family members would be in big trouble if he/she were found guilty of practice violations like “delivering substandard care, wrongly diagnosing surgical patients, improperly leaving surgical equipment in a patient, alcohol/substance abuse, or physical illness/impairment”. But such is not the case, according to the non-profit watchdogs over at Public Citizen, who claim that the state of California has become delinquent in disciplining 710 physicians with documented records like this.
In fact, 102 of these California doctors have been designated by peer reviewers as an “immediate threat to health or safety” of patients – yet are still allowed to practice medicine in the state. One question: are their patients aware of this?
Here’s the report: Continue reading
Why some people should avoid social media completely
In February, the American Red Cross social media specialist Gloria Huang sent the following tweet out on the organization’s Twitter feed:
But the party girl’s rogue tweet stayed up only about an hour on the site, before a flurry of complaints prompted the organization to remove it. Huang later blamed the mistake on her “inability to use Hootsuite” (a service that enables users to manage multiple Twitter accounts). Continue reading
Johnson & Johnson recalls Extra-Stinky Tylenol
Years ago, I used to teach public relations courses called Reputation Management to corporate suits. When I singled out companies that had somehow managed to weather bad press to emerge with reputations well intact, there was one at the top.
That company poster child was, hands down, Johnson & Johnson.
In fact, for many years the Forbes list of 100 Most Admired Companies featured J&J as their perennial list-topper. And the exemplary way the company had swiftly stick-handled its catastrophic Tylenol murders scandal in 1982 continues to be taught in PR, journalism and crisis communications classes.
But those heady days must seem far, far away now, with increasing reports of tainted J&J drug recalls. As Consumer Reports Health describes it, a nauseatingly bad smell to its products has been blamed for stinking up several different types of Tylenol, the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, HIV/AIDS drug Prezista, and two lots of the anti-epilepsy drug Topamax among many others. In fact, the agency reports that recalls like these have cost J&J almost $900 million in sales last year alone. Continue reading
The Vancouver riots: a backlash against the backlash
True confession time: I still have not told my mother that I was sent to the principal’s office back in Grade Six. The only reason for this is that our principal, Mr. Devine, let me and my friend Sheila off with a stern lecture about whatever minor school rule we had just violated. But Mr. Devine wasn’t the worst threat to our mental and physical health on that day as the two of us stood weeping hysterically outside his office. The real threat would have been facing our parents back home, along with the terrifyingly certain consequences that “causing trouble at school” would bring.
Back then, the concept of logical consequences was perfectly understood by all of us. Everybody – our parents, teachers, friends, neighbours – knew and accepted (along with all physicists since Newton) that for every action, there would inevitably be an equal and opposite reaction. And that parental reaction would be far more painful than anything Mr. Devine could dish out. No exceptions, no excuses, no getting off easy.
That was all part of making sure that we would not grow up and one day decide to set fire to police cars in downtown Vancouver.
So when watching hours of live news footage of thugs terrorizing the streets of Vancouver during last week’s Stanley Cup riots, I couldn’t help but sadly ask myself if we have somehow raised an entire generation of spoiled brats who have never had to grasp the foreign concept of facing logical consequences of their actions? Continue reading