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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I Pick the Upset and Job Chaos

From time to time I predict certain upsets in sports based on what I see from the participants involved or ideas I have about the sports themselves. For example, in one week last year I picked Detroit to beat the Lakers for the NBA Championship and predicted that whatever horse that was that won the first two races of the triple crown would lose in the third, even though he was some sort of robo-horse that could not theoretically be stopped. I had good reasons for both picks: anyone who saw both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals with a discerning eye (which all those NBA "experts" apparently don't own, since they all picked the Lakers. Actually, Skin from the Ticket picked the Pistons, so I love him) realized the better basketball was being played in the East, and I have a firm longstanding tradition of hating on any horse that wins the Derby and the Preakness.

Long story short -- I was right about both. I cannot prove this, because this blog did not yet exist. As you can see, it does now, so here's my first for-the-record sports prediction on it:

Michigan State will beat North Carolina on Saturday.

I'm much less firm about this one than those other two, since college basketball is a funny, unpredictable game. All I know is I saw North Carolina struggle to beat Villanova and Wisconsin last weekend -- two teams they should have been able to dominate athletically. They make horrible decisions with the ball, and would have lost both those games had it not been for the Baby-Faced Giant Sean May's utter control of the glass. With Michigan State's rebounding greatness, North Carolina will not be able to get easy putbacks that swell their shooting percentage. They will shoot 40% instead. And when that happens, they will be in trouble.

I have no opinion whatsoever on the other game, Illinois vs. Louisville. I picked Louisville to win it all at the start of the Tournament, so I'll stick with them. My suspicion is that Illinois will win, though. How's that for being political, eh? I defy anyone to parse this paragraph and give a definitive answer on which team I stand for. I'm the Bill Clinton of sports punditry. That's a funny word, punditry. Sounds like an Indian food.

My respective jobs have started swirling around in absurdity again -- my main one is continuing its disastrous emphasis on harassing customers with extended warranties and add-on sales (quick business quiz -- if you have a philosophy of sales that defines what you do, and you apply that philosophy for 3 years, and sales continue to fall, do you a) change or b) just get more militaristic and rigid about applying the sales philosphy that's failing?) . They are also dragging their feet on moving me out of my closet and back to my old room, even though it has proven too small for me to do my job and it's location prevents me from doing a bunch of stuff for my department that I used to do.

And Papa John's has crossed some sort of stupidity line that I assumed would never be crossed. Jerry Jones bought all the ones in Dallas, right? I mean, I don't want to bring him into this sludge if he's not involved in it, but I thought his purchase of all the local Papa Johns was supposed to mean an influx of energy and cash. On the contrary, it seems like the people who run the area now just sit back and think of insane rules to inflict on the individual franchises in some sort of social experiment, you know, "how far can we push these people before they quit?" The latest fun rule involves our commissary -- the place from which we get all our food and supplies. As of last week. the only things we can buy from the commissary are food-related. We can't buy anything we can't sell as food, nor can we take out any petty-cash. Is this a reasonable cost-cutting move? Is Jerry Jones mad at the commissary for some reason? I can't explain it -- it makes absolutely no sense.

The best part is how the managers are told to deal with it. Since they can't buy: trash bags, lights, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, mop heads, etc., they're just told to take the money out of the register and go to the store, because nobody is going to care if they're short money at the end of the night. Now, I don't have an MBA from anywhere or anything, but does this sound like a good idea? Instead of actually budgeting and receiving 1000 trash bags for $14, we're getting 30 lawn care bags for $4 that we don't have to account for. Like I said before, I think they just crossed some sort of line, and could now theoretically do anything (requiring us to wear blinking vests, not allowing us to fix the Air Conditioning, etc). If they can justify overpaying for things and taking them out of the budget, I can't even imagine what they'll do next. They have not made a business decision that made any sense since they allied with the Cowboys. Hmm...


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