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Officials Say "Capes For the Unemployed" Plan Not Super 392

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-and-worst-laid-plans dept.
After what must have been an epic marketing meeting, a Florida unemployment agency decided to give 6,000 red capes to the jobless as part of its "Cape-A-Bility Challenge" public relations campaign. The capes cost $14,000 (not a bad price for 6k capes actually) and featured a cartoon character named "Dr. Evil Unemployment." As one might imagine, officials are calling for an investigation to be launched. It's a good thing there are an abundance of caped do-gooders without jobs in the area who should be able to help.
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Officials Say "Capes For the Unemployed" Plan Not Super

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  • Only.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@ ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:19AM (#35881956) Homepage Journal

    Only in Florida. I can say that cause I live in the crazy-ass state.

    • Re:Only.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @01:13PM (#35883560)

      Crazy as that state is, there had to be at least *one* sane person in the room when that was pitched. Surely to god, there had to be one person there who saw the disaster coming. My question is "What kind of environment was so toxic that he wouldn't or couldn't speak up and challenge such an obviously FUCKING INSANE idea?" How beaten down and scared do you have to be before you let something like that slide by without comment? How crazy does a boss have to be before his subordinates are so tired that no one even bothers to say "I think this might be a bad idea."?

      • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @01:33PM (#35883792)
        ...someone might make them wear some idiotic cape!
      • Re:Only.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @01:39PM (#35883860) Homepage Journal

        You seem to be making an assumption here. I have actually been the only sane person in a room - and, when I walked out, that left no sane people. Now, when you get a group of nutcases together, without any oversight at all - shit just happens. Take a look at both the Republican convention, and the Democratic convention. Go on - tell me that any of that crap makes sense to a sane person. I mean, ANY sane person - male, female, gay, bi, old, young, healthy, decrepit - even a sane retard would barf on anything that comes out of either of those conventions.

        So, yes, I can easily imagine a bunch of crazies buying capes for the unemployed just as soon as the last sane person has walked out of the room.

        What I'm really wondering is, how many of the unemployed actually wore the capes to fill out an application, or to an interview? And, how many of them got the job? Most likely, those capes were used for wiping rags, unless some Suzy Homemaker type used them to make something for her kids.

      • Re:Only.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Synn (6288) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @01:43PM (#35883894)

        Sometimes people don't want to hear things or don't put a lot of value on underling opinions.

        Was in a meeting when a client wanted a website called "Busted Moms" for a financial thing and just couldn't get the porn reference. The site got designed, published and everything, THEN taken down after all the work got done.

        http://www.adrants.com/2009/03/sears-appeals-to-techie-moms-with-new.php

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Oh Lord, and I thought I'd seen stupid when I had a client ask my opinion on the "new dynamic sales persons outfits" which looked like the Joker had thrown up! Hell they may have just named it MILFs for all the porn jokes they were gonna get!

          As for why this shit happens, I've usually found it is either someone who is sleeping with the boss that comes up with a "brilliant" idea, or in the case of the Joker pukes outfits it was a middle manager female that had already played the race card once and they were g

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        You don't tug on Superman's cape
        You don't spit in to the wind
        You don't pull the mask of the old Lone Ranger
        And you don't mess around with your boss and his crazy ideas

  • Don't like it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geek (5680) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:21AM (#35881990) Homepage

    I'm not opposed to the price tag. I think that's reasonable if spent on something motivational. What they did however, was in my opinion, demeaning to the unemployed. It's akin to your boss walking around the office and passing out candy bars for effort. Treating adults like little children is ridiculous. Lift them up, don't hold them down. The last thing these people needed while down on their luck and possibly in dire straits was for some jackass marketing person dressing them up like super heroes and playing fucking games with their self esteem. The people who thought this up should be fired in my opinion.

    • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:24AM (#35882038)
      The people who thought this up should be fired in my opinion.

      Well that will help the unemployment problem for sure.
    • by residieu (577863) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:26AM (#35882074)

      The people who thought this up should be fired in my opinion.

      Do they get one of the capes?

    • Re:Don't like it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:34AM (#35882170) Homepage

      I'd be opposed to it for another totally obvious reason: The cape manufacturer probably is either a committee member's brother-in-law, or bribed the committee to spend public money on their company's stupid product.

      Although I guess the cape could help the unemployed stay warm and dry when they're thrown out onto the street.

      • by Thud457 (234763) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:45AM (#35882310) Homepage Journal
        Edna Mode does not approve of this hair-brained government idea.
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Nah. If that was true they'd have cost $200,000 ... plus free lunches for everybody involved.

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          ... plus free lunches for everybody involved.

          Not all government agencies work that way. I work in government myself, and if a vendor or contractor that is displaying a product offers to provide lunch we're specifically instructed to refuse. We can go to lunch with them, but are required to pick up our own tab. The reasoning is simple: we want to avoid any possible accusations that purchasing decisions were based on "wining and dining".

          As a matter of fact, I'd say that the free lunches thing is probably way more prevalent in the private sector, whe

          • It is illegal in a lot of the private sector as well. There are a lot of regulations on lunches and gifts at least in the DME industry.

          • I work for a contractor to a government entity functioning essentially as government staff. I have to adhere to both ethics policies, relying on the stricter of the two if there is overlap or conflict. This means that vendors can take me to lunch and can pay for it, but to a maximum of $5. One can barely get a fast food meal for $5. Since I work for a contractor, I am myself technically a vendor representative, and I cannot pay more than $5 for government employees' lunches. They, however, can buy me l

      • Are the capes made in Florida? Either way I much rather see government funds going to infrastructure upgrades and fixes. If you need to take unemployment and you are able to work should be working at least part time. You out of work with a PHD. You are strong enough to hold a shovel. 4 hours out of the 5 day week you should be digging ditches to drop fiber cable, super conductive power-grid etc... The rest of the time you should be free to look for new jobs and take interviews, and other stuff. We can c

        • by NevarMore (248971)

          Because when you're on unemployment your full time job is looking for another full time job. Being unemployed, in prison, or on welfare does not make you a slave of the state.

          • by v1 (525388)

            And I wonder how wearing said cape to your job interview goes...?

    • It's akin to your boss walking around the office and passing out candy bars for effort. Treating adults like little children is ridiculous.

      Speak for yourself, if you know of a company where the bosses go around giving out Mountain Dew and candy bars sign me the fuck up ;)

      • I was thinking I could go for them passing out candy bars. Maybe not gold stars or pats on the head, but I like chocolate. Always assuming this does not impact my salary.

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        Nah, the birthday celebrations are enough. Take a small office with 30-40 people in it, and if you celebrate everyone's birthday there's a birthday at least a couple times per month. Cue the cake and ice cream. And the folks I work with have a habit of buying a whole box (or two) of donuts in the morning just to get one, then leaving it on the counter with a "Take one" sign on them.

        When I started here I gained 18 lbs within the first 2 years. I've taken off 12 of those gained pounds again, but it gets d

    • by jank1887 (815982)

      > passing out candy bars for effort

      you meant ice cream sandwiches, right?

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Indeed. I didn't think "motivational" at all when I read this start. Sounded more like a badge of shame. Were they out of giant red A's to sew on their clothes?

      In any event, yeah, the people responsible for this should be visiting the unemployment line themselves.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)
      I think the Slashdot repost is missing the point in the article:

      It's calling on its inspector general to expand an investigation launched into Workforce Central Florida last month. WFTV prompted that investigation when it reported the agency spent $250,000 tax dollars on staff cars.

      Now there's the overspending for you. Unless you call this motivation for their own staff, in which case never mind.

    • Treating adults like little children is ridiculous.

      Unfortunately, this has been happening for too long. Too many adults, as defined by the law, are still called 'kids'. Case in point, the politicians who oppose the wars we're fighting where they ask for Congress to 'get our kids out of harm's way and bring them home'. I often get lumped into that phraseology when I'm hanging out with some of my 30-somethings and a person in their 50s (or older) mentions something like, "You kids must be having so much fun... we didn't have that when I was a kid."

      Serio

      • Eventually the old people will die off or be shipped to retirement homes. Then it will be your turn to call 30 somethings kids.

    • Seriously, this is so ridiculous it seems like something a kindergarten SPED teacher dealing with profoundly mentally disabled children might dream-up. I mean, "Cape-a-bility"? Really? That's like something straight out of an SNL sketch.

      Treating the unemployed like tards just doesn't seem like it would help the situation at all. If anything, it'd probably just make them feel worse.

    • It's akin to your boss walking around the office and passing out candy bars for effort. Treating adults like little children is ridiculous..

      But, I like candy bars. You're saying we're not getting any? I'm gonna tell my mommy on you! You're a bad bad man!

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      Capes are like, really big. They should have used something less obvious. Like a long time ago there was this guy who made some people wear these yellow stars. I heard it did wonders for reducing the unemployment population.

  • by ZaMoose (24734) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:22AM (#35882004)

    Let’s face it, they missed out on a real opportunity to establish the Green Jobs Lantern Corps.

    Did the recipients have to pay cape-ital gains taxes?

  • by crow_t_robot (528562) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:22AM (#35882010)

    a Florida unemployment agency decided to give 6,000 red capes to the jobless

    To simplify the task of acquiring targets to point and laugh at? This is as brilliant as having children at school that can't afford lunch stand in a line to get lunch tickets/vouchers so the other kids know who the poor ones are to ridicule.

    • by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:33AM (#35882138) Homepage

      This is as brilliant as having children at school that can't afford lunch stand in a line to get lunch tickets/vouchers so the other kids know who the poor ones are to ridicule.

      Right, because without explicitly pointing them out, the poor kids might simply be mistaken for very young hipsters.

      • by jank1887 (815982)

        Actually, many schools have some other method of giving out lunches to avoid pointing out lunch program kids. In my kids' elementary school, each person has an account and punches in a code at the register. kids don't have to handle money (or have it stolen) if they don't want to, parents can send in a check periodically to top off accounts, and kids on the school lunch program do the same thing as everyone else to get their lunch. If I lined all the kids up and asked you to pick out the ones on the school

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          That's not exactly a new idea. I'm 29 and even when I was in middle and high school we used a "lunch card" system. EVERYONE used a lunch card with 10 strips on it (so 2 weeks worth of lunches) to get their lunch (there was a machine that shaved a strip off each time the lunch cashier checked you out). You would visit a desk in the lunchroom in the mornings before school started to get your cards. Just tell them your name. If they checked the chart and you were full price, it was $10 for 2 weeks. If yo

        • by StikyPad (445176)

          If I lined all the kids up and asked you to pick out the ones on the school lunch program, you'd probably miss 2/3 of them.

          Sounds like there's more kids on the school lunch program than there should be. Not that I think it's a big deal.. in fact, they should just include it in the budget and stop charging for school lunch altogether, except then the brown bagging parents would throw a fit about how they shouldn't have to pay for a program they don't use (nevermind the fact that their childless neighbors ar

    • I agree, the capes and the idea of making kids stand in a special line are bad. However the debit cards in lieu of food stamps is pushing it in my book. There should be some things people taking from the government where a little "prodding" to get off would be worth while. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, some do things which show it off all too well; think section 8 housing I have volunteered to clean up afterward.

  • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:25AM (#35882060)

    Putting a story about the unemployed on "Idle"...

  • It was obviously Lando Calrissian.

    6,000 Capes for $14,000! This campaign is operational!

  • by Verunks (1000826)
    I guess they just played too much team fortress 2
  • Even worse? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShavedOrangutan (1930630) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:39AM (#35882238)
    I wonder if the capes were made in China.
    • I wonder if the capes were made in China.

      Probably. It's been years since I've seen a cape factory in this country.

  • by daremonai (859175) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:43AM (#35882286)
    This is not as bad as Workforce Central Florida's previous idea: Careereoki [orlandosentinel.com].

    I wish desperately I could say I was making this up, but I am not.

  • I guess that didn't create any American jobs.

    • Neither do US corporations who are sitting on 10 trillion dollars of cash they will not spend on jobs.
      • by Americano (920576)

        Are we upset at this because having cash reserves is never a good thing for the health of your company?

        • We are upset at this because CEO's and other board members are getting record breaking bonuses, corporations are getting major tax cuts, the wealthy has continued to have major tax cuts on capital gains and income, and all of it is sold as "Trickle down economics" which is supposed to create jobs for us peons in America. Its obvious it doesn't work in our present situation. If CEO's would take 2 million instead of 8 million as a bonus they could create 120 jobs. You can't blame a person for wanting to bette
          • by geekoid (135745)

            'trickle down' never worked. Companies run as lean as they can, regardless of cash reserves.

            " government for being full of incompetent tools who don't try to curb this problem."
            The government is not full of incompetent tools. the US government is more efficient and productive them almost every corporation.
            Look at the numbers.

            What the hell is the government supposed to do about wealth on hand? How a companies chooses to pay t's CEOs?

            As far as taxes go, tax people not entities. When a CEO gets a a bonus, tax

        • by erroneus (253617)

          Actually, yes. These companies exist in the form and size they do largely because "the people" (AKA the government who supposedly represent the people) have given them breaks, opportunities and incentives to put people to work and to help improve the economy by spreading their wealth around. That is pretty much the very REASON they get breaks, bonuses and incentives by the government.

  • campaign. In fact it look like a pretty inexpensive one that is working.

    Unemployment agency have a shit ton of services, but they have a hard time getting people to come in and use them. In most state they don't just deal with getting people monetary assistance.

    They can help write resumes, fax information, have a computer to check email, interview help, proper attire help. They may ahve JR dept. from varies local companies come in and give talks on what they are looking for.

    You don't even need to be getting

    • by jittles (1613415) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @12:09PM (#35882638)
      Did you RTFA? They are already under investigation for using $250,000 of government money to provide "company cars" to employees and had to repay over $3M to the Federal government after they were found to have mismanaged federal unemployment funds. Something tells me this isn't just a marketing campaign. They were doing someone a favor.
    • Maybe if they would actually provide a service worth a damn people would use their service. I don't want to go to a unemployment agency to be treated like a child and dressed up like a retard. I want to get a damn job. They would be better off on spending 14,000 on scholarships to a community college.
  • She spent all that time sewing me a cape to go with my superman outfit and those dicks in Florida are just giving them out.
  • ... why conservatives think government agencies aren't efficient.
     
      "The campaign which reportedly cost $73,000 includes thousands of red capes"
    "Workforce Central Florida spent $250,000 tax dollars on staff cars"

     
    Florida taxpayers' money hard at work creating jobs.

  • Next up, the field trip to a big ranch with many bulls roaming around, where the unemployed can run around and play matador with their lovely red capes! That might thin the ranks on the unemployment rolls a bit.
  • As least not until I have gotten my "Jump to Conclusions" mat out. Then we can decide if this idea was make by "cape-able" people.

  • The situation may have come down to the Use it or Lose it Budget practices of the govt. In many instances, Govt. funds are handed out to the various agencies and if at the end of the fiscal year you don't use you're allotted budget, the following happens. 1.) That department must return all unspent funds back to a general govt. pool and 2.) The next fiscal year your budget is cut to more closely reflect your department's spending.

    So basically, it was waste it now or we won't be able to get funding when we

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @12:55PM (#35883298)

    In the 1970s, Gerald Ford attempted to fix the US inflation problem by handing out "WIN" (Whip Inflation Now) buttons.

    Yeah, that'll do it.

  • by Radical Moderate (563286) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @01:08PM (#35883504)
    Workforce Central Florida appears to be a private, possibly "non-profit" (hard to tell from their website) agency that contracts with the state to provide unemployment services. You know, the Republican wet dream of privatizing government functions. Working out real well, isn't it? The Agency for Workforce Innovation, which IS a government agency, are the ones putting the kibosh on this ass-hattery.

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