The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.

June 18, 2017

The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody would be to not be used for anything by anybody. Thank you for using me, even though I didn’t want to be used by anybody.

vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007)

Congressman Nixon had asked me why, as the son of immigrants who had been treated so well by Americans, as a man who had been treated like a son and been sent to Harvard by an American capitalist, I had been so ungrateful to the American economic system.

The answer I gave him was not original. Nothing about me has ever been original. I repeated what my one-time hero, Kenneth Whistler, had said in reply to the same general sort of question long, long ago. Whistler had been a witness at a trial of strikers accused of violence. The judge had become curious about him, had asked him why such a well-educated man from such a good family would so immerse himself in the working class.

My stolen answer to Nixon was this: “Why? The Sermon on the Mount, sir.”

The most important message of a crucifix, to me anyway, was how unspeakably cruel supposedly sane human beings can be when under orders from a superior authority.


3G Capital poises for accelerated growth in U.S. Tim Hortons by closing stores?

November 23, 2015

Number of closed stores and terminated Canadian franchisees is both unknown and unknowable because of lapdog disclosure rules.

20151123 Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons confirmed that stores across Maine and New York closed on Friday. RENE JOHNSTON / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

An interesting article in Canada’s largest daily newspaper, Tim Hortons closes locations in New York, Maine, (subheadline:
Coffee chain refuses to say if it has closed any Canadian outlets. It has reportedly closed more than 20 stores in the U.S.):

Tim Hortons has closed down many locations across New York and Maine, only a few weeks after reporting a profit of $49.6 million (U.S.).

The coffee chain would not confirm if any Canadian outlets had been closed or how many U.S. stores shut.

And also in a press release:

“As we build the foundation for accelerated growth in the U.S., we have decided to close some restaurants in New York and Maine.

Comment on article by reader “Relax”: Apparently, Tim Hortons has figured it out. The best way to “accelerate growth” in the US is to start by closing stores.

Canadian Franchise Industry Much More Secretive: Franchisors in the United States are required to report the number of stores and franchisees closed, terminated, etc. each year. There is even public access to their Franchise Disclosure Documents (see California’s search template: Tim Hortons USA Inc). In Canada, provincial ministries do not require franchisors to publish this data. So sad for investors or journalists or the captured franchisees’ billions of investment $.

Additional coverage:

Franchisors have traditionally sent signals to their franchisees on how they would be treated if they’re not seen to be “on the team”. Normally, the most vocal are out first.

Word from Canada is that the franchisees has it that their stores have never been more profitable.

The real prize is on the (surviving but fewer) CDN franchisees’ income statements.

 


Why won’t Tim Hortons franchisees talk to the media?

January 31, 2015

Franchisees behave as if they were prey creatures. Under extreme stress (in the clutches of a predator) they “freeze”.

Gazelle single

The “lifers” have learned to become hyper-sensitive to danger. They cope in the one way they can: keep their mouth shut, especially to outsiders.

Franchisee Trauma is the Franchisors Stock-in-Trade: Only franchisees and their spouses know the pain of the abuse (violence in word form) that their franchisors have doled out over the years. Name-calling, intimidation, vulgarity, threats, shame-humiliation: intentionally done in front of your peers and staff. Opportunistic behavior designed to demonstrate who is “it” and who is siht. That you have lost control of your life. That you are the weak; that you are worthless. Impotent.

But most of all: alone and dependent.

Mammals has evolved over millions of years to survive in only 3 ways: fight, flight or freeze.

Tim Hortons franchisees cannot talk for many explainable reasons:

  • experts in trauma psychology know that voicelessness is very closely aligned to powerlessness.

 


A corporation is blind to moral interpretations

November 4, 2010

Franchisees do not help their cause by attacking the individual: franchisor, banker, lawyer, politician.

There are thousands of highly trained, morally-bankrupt MBAs willing to take their place.

Their boot will be just as heavily felt on everyone’s neck.

But I’m not above some the occasional morale-boosting shot.

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, 1972


When a franchisor becomes a cultural laughingstock

August 17, 2010

You are what you eat.

Doug Powell over at Barfblog presents an interesting item in Runs from the border: Taco Bell is mystery Mexican-style restaurant chain ‘A’ 155 sick across US since April.

It’s amazing what $154.6 million over 5 years won’t buy you in the form of brand CEO management.


Franchisees are a tribe

June 4, 2010

Franchisees need their own rites, ceremonies to navigate their experiences.

Violence is a natural consequence of a breakdown of a functioning myth.

The tribal ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, burial, installation, and so forth, serve to translate the individual’s life-crises and life-deeds into classic, impersonal forms. They disclose him to himself, not as this personality or that, but as the warrior, the bride, the widow, the priest, the chieftain; at the same time rehearsing for the rest of the community the old lesson of the archetypal stages.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987


Franchisees can be man-eaters

June 3, 2010

Attorneys/corporate types/bankers/hedge fund weasels are the prototypical old world man.

Professions of rationality, knowledge, and individualism. A monopoly on reason. An air of smugness bordering on open contempt.

Just like the 17th century Jesuits in New France.

Franchisees are indigenous peoples; experts in the local landscape.

Jean de Brébeuf‘s career is a case in point:

Attaining sainthood

However, the Iroquois began to win their war with the Hurons. They destroyed a large Huron village in 1648 and on March 16, 1649, 1200 Iroquois captured the mission of St. Ignace and then a few hours later captured another Huron village where they seized Brébeuf and his fellow Jesuit Gabriel Lallemant and brought them back to St. Ignace. There they were fastened to stakes and tortured to death by scalping, mock baptism using boiling water, fire, necklaces of red hot hatchets and mutilation.

According to Catholic tradition, Brébeuf did not make a single outcry while he was being tortured and he astounded the Iroquois, who later cut out his heart and ate it in hopes of gaining his courage.


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