Being a longtime Henson fan AND devourer of Chick-Fil-A, I’m a little disappointed in both sides here. Apparently I’m supposed to pick sides because some CEO of the Jim Henson Company wants to redefine the Muppets as “all-inclusive” (you know, gay friendly), and take back her toys from a company whose views on business and religion have been consistently “Christian” and “Conservative”. So – to borrow a slogan from Wendy’s – “Where’s the beef?!”
I understand the Jim Henson Company getting nervous about Chick-Fil-A’s President Dan Cathy being in support of a bibilical Gay Marriage only stance. It’s a hot political topic that – frankly – needs to say the hell out of my lunchtime work break. But so what? Isn’t the point of being “all inclusive” is embracing the fact that people have different ideas of ideal situations? *Every* company that does business with another company is more than likely to have two employees that have disagreements with personal, spiritial or political philosophies. Hell, I have philosophy disagreements with someone I work with, yet we still get along and the job gets done. We don’t make others take sides, or try to get the other one fired, or throw their efforts into something opposite of their goal. We stand our ground and respect each other, particularly in front of others, and we continue to disagree.
Why is this case so special, just because two CEOs have corporpate diagreements and can’t seem to do what my entry-level ass is able to do?
Chick-fil-A in a statement said it has “a history of applying biblically-based principles to its business, and that it strives to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect”. Well, that’s good and fine. Thou Shall Not Steal is a good principle, as is “Do not covet” and use “Fair scales” in your business practices. In other words, “don’t cheat the customer”. Geez, in the wake of Worldcom, Tyco, and a bunch of other craptastic companies, this is pretty welcome and refreshing, if you ask me. That is, if they practice those principles. I’ve eaten there double digits, and never seen a cross word towards anybody in any of those instances.
Nobody I’m familiar with has been treated with “less than” respect when dining at Chick-Fil-A, either. In fact, here’s a company that gives all colors, all creeds, and all sexual orientations a free day off to spend with their loved ones – gay, straight, or whatever – every Sunday because people need to spend time with people they love. Any other fast food company do that? Nope. They’re after the profits. Woah, you can have principles and still be successful! Imagine that!
I wonder if Worldcom’s executives had those sort of principles when he bought a $18,000 umbrella stand, or the President and his two sons stole a billion dollars (yes, with a B) to build their own private golf course.
Dan Cathy’s comment of “Guilty as charged” was flippant, but at least he stood behind his convictions and admitted truthfully that his organization donates to conservative groups. And so what? I’m no fan of Focus on the Family and some of the other organizations, personally, even though I am a person of faith. I think Psychologist James Dobson is only a psychologist – although he is hailed as some sort of spiritual superman in some Christian circles. My parents, having read his books for what reason I’ll never understand (maybe because I was such a hell-raiser), thankfully knew enough to skew my upbringing from that unfeeling jerkwad Dobson cat enough for me to accept people as people, and that everyone deserves a chance. Dobson was also supportive of the PMRC, which I don’t have to tell you, was censorship at its worst.
But what we don’t know in this whole fiasco is CEO Lisa Henson’s politics. So let’s take a look where her money goes:
Oh look, she’s also a rich kitten, living in the city of Beverly Hills and the state of Delusion. It looks like her pholosophies are leading her company the opposite direction, which is precisely her beef with Chick-Fil-A.
See, just like I enjoy respect at Chick-Fil-A despite Dan Cathy’s comments, I also enjoyed the Muppets despite Lisa Henson’s personal philosophies and political ideals too.
Woah! Why is that? How can that be? Aren’t I supposed to be picking a side and blasting the other?
Maybe it’s because I just like the Muppets and chicken sandwiches. I can consume fries with “poly sauce” while laughing at Waldorf and Statler. I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling particularly torn here.
The difference here is that Chick-Fil-A never changed what they did, how they did it, and they don’t treat people with inequality. I guess this might be up for debate, since you can’t work there if you have visible tattoos and thread spools in your ears. This is a policy I personally like, because if you can’t even respect your own image and use your hands to mar your appearance, please don’t prepare my food. No really, I’m uncomfortable when people who take the effort to look silly try to take a professional role. For the same reason real Wall Street players looked at Mark Zuckerberg’s “hoodie” style with suspicion.
Recent reports suddenly appeared when people found out that one of the COOs gave money to “Christian organizations”. So what? Ben and Jerry’s doesn’t give a crap if I agree what they do with their money after they earn it. Dave Thomas didn’t care what I thought about what he did with the money he earned. And I shouldn’t care. He earned it. SO WHAT?! He can buy gold watches, or big houses, or sex toys and porno on DirecTV. IT’S HIS MONEY.
Lisa Henson apparently has a problem with them due to a comment made by the CEO, and it’s her right to send those funds from Chick-Fil-A to the “opposite” political side – in this case, GLAAD. God bless you, Lisa. This is America and do what is right for you. Hey, what’s that sound? Where’s the outrage from people that Lisa Henson is donating money to HER side of her political conundrum? Oh right. The Christians are silent on her giving to GLAAD. They probably don’t agree with it, but they don’t seem to be crucifying the product, brand or leaders of the Jim Henson Company here.
Why is that? Is this an indication of one side being more tolerant?
But here’s the part that is still left unanswered. Lisa Henson’s company inked the deal with Chick-Fil-A whose conservative business philosophy has never really been a public secret.
Rather, she chooses this time to attempt to use public forums to humiliate Chick-Fil-A when she – or someone in her company – knowingly made a deal with Dan Cathy’s company, knowing they were closed on Sunday for a reason, and then Cathy affirms what we’ve all already known for years.
Now it’s time for outrage?
If you’re so offended, I hope whoever was responsible for closing that deal on behalf of the Muppets also gets the tar-and-feather treatment at the Jim Henson Company. I hope the Muppets find an organization more in line with their President’s philosophies.
Try Ben and Jerrys, Lisa. Seriously. They fund leftist organizations that would offend most conservative people who would otherwise buy those products. And I’ll eat that too, and still see a Muppets movie. But stop trying to at like a self righteous asshat and pretending you uncovered some deep corporate secret. Unless you’ve been living under the Fraggle Rock for a couple decades, we were all on board that Christian principles is acceptable with company policy – and people are okay with it.
Considering who you funded in the political realm, Lisa Henson, anybody who has a job at Chick-Fil-A is likely thrilled that they have a job at all in this economy. Maybe you should fund pro-business candidates. Just saying. If you can’t do that, then shut up about the people who hire people.
Finally, nothing pisses me off more than watching self-pronounced “activists” crawl out of the woodwork and try to cash in on the fame of the moment. And by “activist”, I mean one-hit-wonder nobody-ever-heard-of-ya jerkwad, douchebag, immature piss-ants tossing (and I might note, non-homosexual)wankers like Adam M. Smith who, as a faculty member of ASU’s Eller Schoolf of Management, was driving through the drive-thru with the sole pupose to berate a teenage fast-food window worker, who amazingly kept her cool and at least served her place of employment with some dignity while being put on the spot by some adult, “educated” jackhole.
Seems like tolerance goes both ways. Or it should! But it doesn’t. Here’s the video:
How embarassing for the ASU! Good grief, this man is a teacher? He holds a significant position of a corproation? Oh dear, he’s the CEO and Treasurer of Vante, a corporation that provides medical devices, such as catheters. (Even *I* will remain more professional by abstaining from jokes on the matter!). This is how someone who is a professional discusses money, public relations and ethical business practices acts out in real life and thinks it funny to post on YouTube? Like a spoiled 7 year old? Personally, I think we have a paradox here. The girl in the fast food window should be teaching people customer service in educational institutions, and the helpless mental-midget in the car should be forced to empty fast food trash cans on the hour.
Maybe… JUST MAYBE… those Christian principles of being kind to others while someone is being rude and obnoxious are TRULY the hallmarks of Chick-Fil-A, and why incorporating religious values into your organization can be a good thing. “Love your enemies”, even while they’re telling you that you personally shouldn’t “be sleeping at night” is maybe why people of faith might take pride in their work and treat you with respect and dignity even when you’re treating them poorly and wasting their time. A teenager was willing to return anger with kindness. This teacher, should he keep his job, should be forced to show his students every semester that THIS is a perfect example of IMPECCABLE customer service.
You know what? I’m going to figure this “activist” guy orders water every day from Chick-Fil-A. To offset his cost of wasting their resources, I’m going to eat there every week with my wife.
I’m not taking sides in the Chick-Fil-A debate. I’m just keeping the playing field level from the most bottom of the barrel “activist” cheapskates and letting the market decide. I’m cancelling out a jerk by “paying it backwards”. There, that’s a cool trend to start. But that’s all I’m doing. And I love poly sauce. You know, full disclosure and all.
But since we’re talking about one-time activists, let me try my hand at this. If you’d like to contact the University of Arizona, or the Chick-Fil-A manager, or any of the people involved with this pathetic display of stupidity, here is a quick synapsis complete with names, phone numbers, email addresses and contact information for the people involved (and their bosses), thanks to the people who did this research at StandWithArizona, a pro-business website.
You’ll never believe it, but Adam M. Smith removed his video from YouTube. But others grabbed it and have dedicated to reposting it. More “activists” on this topic. Heh. It only makes me wonder what they actually DO teach students at the University of Arizona Eller School of Management.
Hey, that’s pretty fun! Maybe I’ll crawl out of the woodwork and make my points. Just without the camera and the whole “make a fool out of myself in public against entry level workers” part. My crappy blog is as far as I go. Hope you enjoyed my outrageous attention whoring.