Monday, February 28, 2011

Some Thoughts on Working/Shopping at American Companies

The other day at work, a colleague and myself were given the task of "cleaning" one of the rooms at work. It wasn't a great experience.

I put "cleaning" in quotations because according to this business, "cleaning" means that we had to make sure that all supplies in the room were according to company policy. Basically, some people in Texas have decided what supplies should be in that particular room. What happens to all the items that aren't on the company-assigned list? It gets thrown in the dumpster. That's right- straight into the trash.

This is where my sense of good morals start to kick in. All of the supplies in this room were, at one point, assigned to that space by the company because of various projects done there. Any left over materials were kept for future use. But now, we are throwing them out.

These items are in great condition and some of them are even brand new! It pained me and my colleague to throw these things out. We asked if we could donate some items to schools or other charities. The answer we got was, "No."

Someone had told me it was because this is an American company. In the USA, items cannot be donated because if a person harms themselves with a donated item, then the person who donated the item is liable to be sued. In order to prevent this, companies simply throw items out and make it their policy. In many American chains, such as the one I am working at, policies are kept the same across the border.

It has really made me think twice about working and shopping at American companies.

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