Bull, red flag, CHARGE!

I tried to behave, really, I did.  But dophyngyrl just had to wave that red flag in front of me. 

Mattel apologizes to China for toy recalls

Toy manufacturer takes ‘full responsibility’ for three worldwide recalls involving more than 21 million toys, citing design flaws.

BEIJING (AP) — U.S.-based toy giant Mattel issued an extraordinary apology to China on Friday over the recall of Chinese-made toys, taking the blame for design flaws and saying it had recalled more lead-tainted toys than justified.

The gesture by Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel’s executive vice president for worldwide operations, came in a meeting with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, at which Li upbraided the company for maintaining weak safety controls.

“Our reputation has been damaged lately by these recalls,” Debrowski told Li in a meeting at Li’s office at which reporters were allowed to be present.

“And Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys,” Debrowski said.

Mattel (Charts, Fortune 500) ordered three high-profile recalls this summer involving more than 21 million Chinese-made toys, including Barbie doll accessories and toy cars because of concerns about lead paint and tiny magnets that could be swallowed.

The recalls have prompted complaints from China that manufacturers were being blamed for design faults introduced by Mattel.

On Friday, Debrowski acknowledged that “vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel’s design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China’s manufacturers.”

I cannot be expected to leave this alone.   Corporations are made up of people.  They sell their products to, ultimately, people.  Why is it that they cannot be responsible to people?  Would Debrowski hand these toys to his kids to play with?  What if one of his grandkids swallowed some lead paint or a tiny magnet that was part of Mattel’s “design flaws”?  Is that what it takes to get the people who work at Mattel to be responsible towards the people who are their consumers?  At what point to we quit bowing to the corporate gods and start being responsible to our kind, you know, human beings?

The corporation I work for has a huge database system that we all have to work on.  It’s the biggest piece of crap in the industry.  It is tempermental, absolutely not user friendly, cumbersome and lumbering.  Yet, it saves the company and buttload of cash on their data storage costs so they are just fine with their people having to navigate a brutally user unfriendly program because it saves them money on the technology side.  You sell a product produced by people to people.  How do you lose sight of that?  How do you not care that your staff battles daily with a ridiculous interface?  When did you forget that you are a human being too?

And because it’s Friday, and I’m busy beating corporations let’s just quote my brother for a moment.  A lot of folks like to complain that attorneys are what’s wrong with this country.   If attorneys weren’t bringing these suits for this that or the other, things wouldn’t cost so much.  Little brother is an attorney and many years ago he said “If y’all would just act right, I’d be out of work”.  That’s the bottom line.  If corporations would act responsibly, they wouldn’t be defending themselves against most of the lawsuits that are brought.  I’ve been involved in several compensation suits as a member of the class.  Morgan Stanley sent me over a months pay and I’m expecting another check for the residual.  They did not properly compensate their Financial Advisor Trainees.  We did not get commissions so we were not exempt.  Now comes my current employer, who has also made me exempt.  I do not receive commissions.  I am not a manager and I do not make more than $49.77 per hour.  I am not exempt.  My boss came in and told me that sometimes I needed to work more, but that I should always be here (in other words I can’t take the comp time) because escrow officers need their wookies.  When this company just laid off 1300 employees, I guarantee you that one or two of them are also non-exempt improperly catagorized like I am.  One of them is going to file the class action.  Had my boss said “I understand that you’re misclassified and I understand that you don’t want to put the company in a bad position and you’ll keep your time straight”, that would have been smart.  But he didn’t.  Now, when it hits, I have a story to tell and if they depose me, they’ll hear it, and I’ll collect.  That was so unneccessary, yet, that’s why guys like my brother stay employed.  A lot of people like to make fun of the old lady that got burned by the cup of McDonald’s coffee.  It makes a funny sound bite, but the woman in her 80’s had third degree burns in a place where you really don’t want third degree burns.  More importantly, that particular McDonald’s had been warned numerous times by the health department that their coffee equipment was cranked up too high and that the coffee was over 180 degrees.  Not so funny any more, is it?

One Reply to “Bull, red flag, CHARGE!”

  1. Now wait just a damn minute. Are you seriously letting China off the hook just because Mattel is taking the fall? China? Remember them?

    Are there actual corporations that do not use lumbering, outdated, tricksie databases?

    Ah, corporations… Have I mentioned my plan to not be employed in two years?

    Did I not mention being a giant instigator? Can I fit any more question marks in one response?

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