Thursday, August 02, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Vegan Restaurant Drawn Into Beef; One Guy Just Really Does Not Like Brian Pallister; I'm at the Senate Chamber, I'm at the Rights Museum, I'm at the Combination Senate Chamber and Rights Museum (ManLinkWeek 42)

Ten-digit dialing has arrived, and I'm sure we're all very thrilled. So here's a column about it! Timely as though torn from the headlines, which it was, so... yeah, there you have it.

Before we launch into tonight's episode of Manitoba Links Weekly, allow me to honour one of my prior commitments. I had promised previously that I would note when the Bombers finally won a game, so: holy crap, the Bombers finally won a game. By one point, because the opposing quarterback drove the ball into winning field goal range with seconds left on the clock and then fumbled it like an idiot, BUT WHATEVER IT STILL COUNTS. Our collective Swaggerville Grey Cup parade planning is surely in full swing as we speak.

And, incidentally, if you happen to like the Canadian Football League, you might enjoy my recent review of the Saskatchewan Roughriders breakfast cereal. Or you might not! It's a risk I'm willing to take.

I hope you're hungry, because it's time for a serving of ManLinkWeek:

[Rose Coloured Beer Goggles: The Great Boon Burger Debacle]
Well, this was quite the little to-do for a few days last week.

It's a very common story, really: bathroom at work goes uncleaned, bosses send mass email about bathroom to all employees, one employee responds with two pages' worth of venting, bosses fire employee via curtly-worded email, now-ex-employee writes six-page account of her side of the story and posts links to it on ex-employer's Facebook page, ex-bosses write two Facebook posts' worth of their side of the story, social media goes bonkers, everybody yells at everybody else, and nobody wins. You know. Pretty standard fare.

Yes, everything about this story got massively out of control in a hurry; the dismissed employee has since deleted her original post (I know, I know, Google Cache, but it's the symbolism of the thing), and Boon Burger has since deleted... its entire Facebook presence. The kerfuffle inspired lively discussion on social boards ("This surely isn't a biased submission by user 'fukboon'."), the twists and turns dominated the local Twitterverse for a day or two, and everybody involved in the affair came out of it looking rather the worse for wear.

But the important thing, of course, is that everyone takes something away from it. The ex-employee would later write:

"Not in my wildest imaginings would I ever have thought that pressing the 'enter' key a couple of times would have such massive reverberations. Lesson learned."

And prior to nuking its Facebook page, the Boon Burger ownership wrote:

"On our busy schedules and with little sleep, sending [the employee] a polite dismissal email seemed like the right thing to do. In hindsight, maybe not."
"The employee deserved to have the situation handled much better than we offered. [. . .] Moving forward, we will learn from this."

So, good lessons on both sides, I would think. Good takeaway messages and teachable moments for a business-school case study, if you're into that sort of thing.

Everything is terrible! There's your local labour relations roundup. Perhaps not the absolute most important story imaginable, but then, it's been kind of a slow news day.

[The Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times: Esso gets a new look]
It's been kind of... a slow news week?

Hold on, scratch that, this just in:

[Facebook Events: Yesteryear's News]
It has been a slow news year. Apparently.

(The "placing of a special time capsule" is my favourite part of the pitch.)

[The Globe and Mail: Hudson's Bay to close remaining Zellers stores]
[West End Dumplings: Zellers' 79 year run in Winnipeg]
So, remember how excited we all were to see a brand new Zellers coming together in the basement of the Bay building downtown, even with the begrudging unspoken caveat that it was still just going to be a Zellers? A Zellers is better than nothing, we figured, and... well, having had the Zellers, I guess we'll be trying the nothing pretty soon.

Alas, as familiar a sight as it may have been across our great land for many years, the entire Zellers brand will have gone the way of the Woolco by next spring. Kind of a shame, although not an unexpected one for anybody who's been through a Zellers recently. I've enjoyed picking stuff up from the Zellers in Grant Park occasionally, because shopping at that Zellers -- and shopping at most of Grant Park, for that matter -- allows one to avoid dealing with big crowds, or with moderate lines, or really with any other customers at all. A very quiet and laid-back shopping experience, delayed only slightly at the end when one must lure out a restaurant employee to run purchases through at the closest store till.

(I'm continually curious what eating at one of those in-store Zellers diners would be like, but then I never quite get past the dread that its food might taste the way the rest of the store looks. Might be fun to hit one of those restaurants up before they all disappear, just for the heck of it.)

Oh! And one thing I'll definitely miss about Zellers -- one single, simple thing that I would make all clothing retailers adhere to, had I only the power to do so -- is that Zellers arranges its stacks of clothes to have the smallest sizes at the bottom and the largest sizes at the top, like rational human beings. Just about every other store does the exact opposite, and it is maddening, because what kind of god damn sense is that even supposed to make? Why would you have the short-people pants on the highest possible shelves and the tall-people pants at floor level?

"Oh, you got 34'' legs? How 'bout we just lay those at ankle height for you, four or five shelves below all the pants for guys with 24'' legs. We got a whole stack of 52x24 pants up there, just in case fucking Doctor Robotnik shows up."


So, yeah, enjoy Zellers while it's here ('enjoy' may not be exactly the right word, but you understand where I'm going with it); soon enough a longstanding Canadian institution will disappear from the landscape forever, and the lurking, slowly approaching question of the Bay building's future will creep that extra little bit closer.

And speaking of buildings that we're not sure what to do with:

[iPolitics: Move the Senate to Manitoba — seriously]
We spent a fair chunk of this week's Winnipeg Internet Pundits discussing matters related to this article, and it's very much worth your time to have a look at it. I won't spoil it too much for you, but it's quite the piece.

Also discussed on the show earlier this evening:

[Metro Winnipeg: Brian Pallister takes over Manitoba Tory leadership]
[Observations, Reservations, Conversations: Brian Pallister - Leader of Progressive Conservatives]
Well, there's your guy, Progressive Conservatives; it turns out this whole time the leadership race just boiled down to calling Shotgun, where the first guy to declare it gets the seat and everybody else declines to argue out of courtesy. What can you do? He called it first.

Pallister isn't exactly what you'd call a popularly-known commodity at present (Googling "pallister winnipeg" to see if he's been in the city papers just turns up furniture stores), so the more right-leaning folks are just tryin' to make the best of what they got, and the more left-leaning folks are--

[The Winnipeg RAG Review: Sole PC Leadership candidate embraces the bad ol' days]
[The Winnipeg RAG Review: Brian Pallister slickest NDP foe in a decade]
[The Winnipeg RAG Review: Brian Pallister: Hiring the Master]
[reddit Winnipeg: Brian Pallister hires consultant from GOP-affiliated robocall firm]
[The Winnipeg RAG Review: Brian Pallister: Regressive Conservative]
[The Winnipeg RAG Review: Brian Pallister: Whose rights will he oppose next?]
[reddit Winnipeg: What Brian Pallister thought of equal marriage rights as an MP.]
[The Winnipeg RAG Review: If MP Pallister had his way...]
[reddit Winnipeg: More classic Pallister statements you probably won't hear at Wpg PC press conferences.]
[The Winnipeg RAG Review: Faking the highroad while taking the low road]
--are, uh... wow. Well. Okay, then. Don't really care for the guy, huh? Got the full-court press going and everything. That's, okay, that's cool; it's just, I mean, the election isn't for another three years and two months. I'm not saying don't do it -- I appreciate the foreshadowing for what 2015 will read like -- but, man, slow down. You can probably pace yourself a bit on the file, is all I'm getting at.

And, finally:

[Stylus Magazine: Hillbilly Highway - The Rose n' Bee Pub opens its doors]
As much as it pains me to say it, I have to admit I'm not really feeling the new name on the establishment. (The new owners share the last name 'Rosenby'.) It sticks as being too cute by half, and that's coming from me, of all people.

With that out of the way, though, I'm really excited for basically everything else about this; the expanded microbrew selection, revamped sound system and determination to provide an ongoing music venue are everything that I could have hoped to read, and I love the article's mental imagery of Andrew Neville and his band just wandering in buzzed with hammers during the construction and helping out with whatever. Especially since, if you've seen them play or heard their music before, it seems like it'd be perfectly in-character.

(I just realized how weirdly poignant the "drunk at Times" lines in "Molson Dry" are going to be soon. Huh.)

Aaaaaaand that'll do it for another installment of ManLinkWeek! Everyone stay safe out there, Long Weekends can get a bit calamitous sometimes.


Anonymous said...

I think Rose n' Bee is a groovy moniker. Better than Hooligans. That was lame.

The Analyst said...

I doubt that "Today's NDP" will point out Pallister's support for marriage discrimination. The Doerist NDP typically isn't that forceful or strong on social issues.

Ben Century said...

I'm really going to miss Zellers. When Walmart switched all their clothing over to their shitty awkward-fitting "George" brand, I decided to do my general clothing shopping at Zellers. I've been very happy with the Cherokee brand. Now that Zellers is going tits up, maybe Superstore's "Joe" brand will be the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I was hanging w/ Andrew Neville last night & told him about your article that mentions him. He laughed bcuz he really did spend 2 long days renovating the place!

Anonymous said...

Don't be a schmuck. The opposing quaterback DIDN't fumble the ball, it was PUNCHED out by one of our very own professional football players.

Players who are paid to do exactly that. GET THE BALL BACK.

( if you wanna blame someone, I guess you could blame the opposing coach for not calling a different play )