For a select few there are no consequences
I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel
|Luke O'Neil||Feb 8, 2019|| 9|
How you doing?
Andy Rubin created the Android software that’s the thing we all know about ol’ Android Andy as everyone calls him but another thing we know about him now is that after an investigation into a sexual misconduct allegation in which he is said to have coerced an employee into a sexual act in 2013 he was asked for his resignation by Google CEO Larry Page. Google is actually called Alphabet now but I’m not going to call it that it’s like when they keep renaming the sports stadium or concert venue in your city after a different bank every other year and someone tells you when they’re going there to see a show or whatever and you’re like what the fuck is that is that new and then they say the old name from a few years ago and you’re like oh that place and then you think well I better switch to this other bank for all my banking needs due to it sounds like it’s affiliated with cool stuff.
Rubin leaving the company sounds pretty bad like it would come with all sorts of negative consequences you would think but as the New York Times reported despite his departure from the company he was awarded a $90 million severance package at the time which we didn’t know about for four years because Google had managed to keep the whole thing quiet. They even praised him on the way out the door. The payments were reportedly broken up into installments of $2 million a month the last of which was paid out toward the end of 2018.
Shortly after that all became public in November thousands of Google employees around the world walked off the job to protest among other things the way sexual harassment allegations were being handled within the company. Richard DeVaul the director of Google X had also resigned that month when it was reported he had sexually harassed a job applicant.
“I know first hand that our human resources and employee relations processes aim to protect the company, not the employees,” Colin McMillen who works at the Google offices in Cambridge, MA and walked out told me around then. “I know secondhand multiple stories of people taking credible allegations of harassment or worse to HR and getting unhelpful solutions.”
“A slap on the wrist for any credibly accused harasser is totally unacceptable and unjust, no matter how much money they bring in or what amazing products they helped build,” said another employee from the Cambridge office who asked to remain anonymous. “The lowest-paid worker must be given the same respect in a dispute as the most successful executive,” they said.
At the time chief executive Sundar Pichai sent out an email apologizing for the way the company had handled such allegations in the past and said that forty eight people and thirteen managers had been fired over the past two years which is good news I guess but you sort of wish all that harassin’ hadn’t happened for so long(?)
“I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel,” he wrote in the email to employees. “I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society, and, yes, here at Google, too.”
All of which sounds very nice and understanding but woops it turns out Google has been asking the government to narrow legal protections for workers organizing online all along something that would curtail for example their ability to arrange actions like the walkout.
In 2014 the National Labor Relations Board expanded employees’ rights to use work email to organize. In the meantime Google’s attorneys have been asking them to cut that shit out Bloomberg reported in January because it’s unfair for workers to use the email they have beneficently been provided in order to try to make their conditions somewhat better.
Sometimes I can’t tell if Google and companies like them are evil or not because on the one hand they do a lot of evil shit but on the other hand they say things that sound good in press releases and company memos so you have to guess the truth of the matter is located somewhere exactly in the middle of those two poles if you’re a blue check mark media guy with a brain like a sinking rowboat like me.
Elsewhere in the New York Times report on Google the climate of sexual relationships between other employees was detailed including one affair between David Drummond the chief legal officer and Jennifer Blakely a senior contract manager. When the two revealed they had a child together to human resources Blakely said her career stalled out while Drummond’s accelerated.
“For a select few, there are no consequences,” she told the New York Times. “Google felt like I was the liability.”
That’s often true at a lot of companies ah fuck hold on I am super late to a meeting I was supposed to go to at eleven but I thought it was at noon fuck hold on.
Sorry about that. They want me to do an emo podcast or something. Not my problem. After the coffee meeting I went to the store to get some laxative because I haven’t been that regular this week due to not drinking I guess? Lot of mysteries revealed and withheld by the human body every day and it’s a journey and you love to be on it. The digestive system is like...a beautiful woman to me.
Where was I anyway oh right. As was seen in Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination and with much of the discussion surrounding sexual assault and misconduct allegations brought to light by the #metoo movement at large there persists a dogged undercurrent of fear about how such accusations can ruin the lives of men. Won’t someone think of the poor men. But much like everything else when it comes to powerful men it turns out having your life ruined in such a fashion can be a pretty lucrative proposition because for every Louis C.K. who claims he “lost $35 million in an hour” after the news about him jacking off all over the place came out there are men whose downfall comes with a significant financial parachute.
In September when Les Moonves stepped down after further sexual harassment allegations had been brought against him there were conflicting reports about what if any payout the CBS chief executive would be owed. At the time CBS said it would place the $120 million he might have otherwise expected aside until an outside investigation into the matter was complete. Once it was they determined that Moonves had obstructed the investigation and among other things that he had had an employee who was ‘on call’ to perform oral sex on his old gross dick so the company decided that he was not eligible for the money after all. Moonves being a decent man said alright fair enough I’ll take the L here I’m already rich just kidding he’s going to arbitration to get it because he still thinks he’s owed the cash.
You ever walk around just looking at guys thinking this fucking guy then you see another guy and you think this fucking guy.
In 2016 after he resigned from his position as the CEO of Fox due to he faced numerous sexual harassment allegations of his own Roger Ailes walked out the door with a reported $40 million package but he’s dead now lol you old dead piece of shit.
Another big time Fox News perv Bill O’Reilly reportedly paid out tens of millions of dollars to settle allegations brought against him a while ago but in a weird twist he landed on his feet financially as well. Even after Fox had been made aware of the payouts and allegations his $25 million a year contract was renewed. What a world man. You can do whatever.
While he was eventually forced out after it turned out he had harassed too many women to feasibly ignore anymore O’Reilly was set up to receive all or a significant portion of his contract upon his departure.
Here’s another guy I have in my brain and now you will. While no specific sexual allegations were revealed against him, in March of last year Trevor Edwards, the number two exec at Nike resigned after a companywide review of inappropriate behavior. "Over the past few weeks, we've become aware of reports occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment,” the company said in an internal document. Edwards was nonetheless reported to receive a $525,000 payout which is piece of shit money compared to these other guys but is still pretty good for you or me.
On the plus side Matt Lauer’s contract was canceled after he was fired from NBC and casino executive and prolific creep Steve Wynn reportedly lost hundreds of millions in potential severance following his resignation from Wynn Resorts Ltd so there is occasionally justice in the world but not as often as you might like there to be.
One thing that people love to talk about vis a vis the universe balancing out on the side of the good guys (me and you) is when some random dude catches a break like in July of last year when a young Alabama man named Walter Carr was held up as an exemplar of the indomitable spirit of American perseverance.
Carr is a twenty year old college student and he was set to start a new job on a Saturday morning with the moving company Bellhops. At the last minute his car broke down and he wasn’t able to find a ride from friends to get there so he decided to walk instead. He began the roughly twenty mile walk from his home at midnight hoping to get there by 8 a.m. the next day to meet the rest of the movers according to ABC News. He brought along a knife to protect himself against any stray dogs.
Along the way around 4 a.m. in the morning Carr was stopped by local police officers if you know what I mean who out of the kindness of their hearts if you know what I mean asked him where he was headed. When he explained the situation and after his story checked out they decided to give him a ride the rest of the way even going so far as to take him to breakfast.
“He was very polite. It was ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir,”’ one of the officers later said. I bet he was!
When he arrived at the moving job a few hours later complete with a police escort they explained the situation to Jenny Lamey the woman who had hired the movers. Inspired by Carr’s work ethic and apparent decency she shared the story on Facebook where it soon went viral and before long the story eventually came to the attention of Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin who arranged to meet Carr a few days later for a big surprise.
“This is how you pay it forward… treat your employees with respect and incentivize them and bet you’ll get a much better worker for it,” wrote one commenter on Twitter when the story came out. “It is awesome to see a young man not make an excuse like it’s too far to go to work, and then see him rewarded for it. Wish the young man and the company all the best in the future,” wrote another.
“He’s such a humble, kindhearted person,” Lamey said. “He’s really incredible. He said it was the way he was raised.”
“We set a really high bar for heart and grit and… you just blew it away,” Marklin told Carr when they eventually met and then Marklin gave him his own used 2014 Ford Escape as Alabama.com reported. Barely used!
On top of that a GoFundMe set up by Lamey to help Carr with his car troubles eventually raised over $90,000.
“Nothing is impossible unless you say it’s impossible,” Lamey told the Post.
Nothing except for paying workers an actual salary with benefits which you may not be surprised to hear Bellhops does not actually do. Essentially Uber for movers — Marklin came to the company from Uber — Bellhops relies on the labor of young college students like Carr who take jobs on a gig-by-gig basis. The company operates in dozens of cities around the country and has raised tens of millions of dollars in rounds of funding since it was founded in 2011 but it still pays movers between $13-16 an hour.
“It’s a transitional job,” CEO Cameron Doody told BuzzFeed News in a story from 2015 about how they do things. “It’s not a career,” he said which is what people always say about jobs that don’t pay very well or offer benefits or anything like that. Working at McDonald’s isn’t supposed to be a career people say. Fuck you they say.
Alabama by the way is only one of five states that has traditionally never spent any state money on public transportation that a guy like Carr might have been able to use to get to his job that’s not a job.
Naturally Bellhops were very proud of themselves for helping the one guy there and reveled in all the attention. You can’t buy this kind of publicity.
“I want people to know this—no matter what the challenge is, you can break through the challenge,” Carr said. He also wants to become a Marine some day he said and you can imagine how much the Facebook page lookin mole people liked that extra flourish.
To some Carr’s story was yet another example that if you work hard enough and keep a positive attitude good things will come to you. To others it was a glaring indictment of the brutal and indifferent hell of the nightmare capitalist wasteland we all suffer in.
It’s also reminder that much like when it comes to getting sick or injured in America which needs to be done in a tragic but endearing enough way to go viral so people will pay your medical bills all you have to do to make it in this beautiful country is have your life fall apart in such a way that the news wants to write about it then hope the benign feudal lords will see fit to offer you a token reward as an aspirational example to the rest of us so we shut the fuck up.
I don’t know what you think when you hear a story like that or one when like a girl scout or whoever raises $600 selling lemonade so her mommy can stop having to go to the “ompcolojist” all the time but it’s impossible for me to feel much relief or happiness for anyone because the existence of the story in the first place by its very nature highlights how many people don’t get to win the feel good lottery. It’s like when you’re watching a big Hollywood action film like Avengers or Transformers or whatever and the camera follows one guy who keeps dodging robot missiles and you’re like thank god they made it! but meanwhile every skyscraper in the city just got demolished by a space monster’s giant ass and tens of thousands of people are dying in the rubble but still the one guy made it. Every fucking movie is a holocaust it’s fucking crazy but then the hero pulls the main lady close at the end and they don’t fuck because it’s PG but everyone goes home happy and stops thinking about the piles of crushed bodies in the background because the camera didn’t focus on them it was busy showing something else.