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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is intrigued by Trump's limited vocabulary and the simplicity of his messaging, the former British ambassador to the US said

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 11:00am  |  Clusterstock
US President Donald Trump is pictured on the left on September 4, 2020. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured on the right on August 13, 2020.
  • Sir Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to the US, interviewed in The Times magazine this weekend, detailed the events surrounding his resignation in 2018. 
  • Darroch resigned after the leak of classified diplomatic cables in which he described President Trump as "inept." 
  • In the interview, Darroch said that Johnson seemed "fascinated" by Trump, and "intrigued" by the president's use of language.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Boris Johnson is "fascinated" by Donald Trump and "intrigued" by his use of language, according to the former British ambassador to the US. 

Sir Kim Darroch resigned from his ambassadorship in 2018, after the embarrassing leak of diplomatic cables in which he described the American president as "inept" and "deeply dysfunctional." 

In an interview with The Times on Saturday, Darroch detailed the events that led to his resignation and described how he had seen Trump and Johnson get on during the latter's trips to Washington, DC. Sir Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to the US, is pictured in March 2018.

Trump viewed Johnson as a "kindred spirit," while Johnson was "fascinated" by Trump's political techniques, Darroch said. 

Johnson was "intrigued by Trump's limited vocabulary, the simplicity of the messaging, the disdain for political correctness, the sometimes incendiary imagery, and the at best intermittent relationship with facts and the truth," Darroch said. 

Trump and Johnson have often been compared to each other, and Darroch said say he saw similarities in the two leaders, using the words "charm," "charisma," and "stardust" to describe them. 

When asked if Johnson had modeled himself in some way after his American counterpart, Darroch said: "If you go back through the current prime minister's history, he's often said quite striking things. And he never apologizes. So, Boris might have done this anyway, but certainly, having watched Trump in action, he wouldn't have been put off."

Darroch also blamed Johnson in part for his resignation after the leak, saying that Johnson's refusal to defend him at a debate while he was vying for prime minister led to Darroch's decision to step down.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How Ben & Jerry's makes nearly 1 million pints of ice cream a day

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 10:31am  |  Clusterstock
  • Ben & Jerry's is the best-selling single ice cream brand in the world.
  • It's gained a cult following thanks to classic flavors like Half Baked and Cherry Garcia and a mission to use ice cream to fight for equality.
  • Business Insider visits the plant in St. Albans, Vermont, to see how Ben & Jerry's pumps out nearly 1 million pints a day.
  • It takes hundreds of workers, special machinery, and a 24/7 operation to package up these pints.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

Following is a transcription of the video: 

Narrator: Scooped up across 38 countries and up to 75 flavors, Ben & Jerry's is no pint-sized operation. Its two Vermont factories run 24/7, operated by hundreds of flavor makers. Together, they pump out nearly a million pints a day, from classic flavors like Cherry Garcia and Half Baked to flavors on a mission for criminal-justice reform and refugee rights. And all those flavors have to be delicious.

Sarah Fidler: Our minimum run size, once we get a flavor to the factory, is 80,000 pints. So not only do we have to love it, but 80,000 fans have to love it too.

Narrator: We visited the St. Albans plant in northern Vermont to see how these famous pints flip their way to our freezers. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream in 1978. From a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, they launched a brand based on sustainable ice cream making and advocating for causes they believed in, and it worked. Today, Ben & Jerry's is the best-selling single brand ice cream label in the US. To pump out its iconic flavors, first it starts with ingredients.

Ben & Jerry's partners with 250 farms globally to source everything from vanilla bean to milk. Milk comes from the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, just a mile and a half from the factory. Once the milk's at the plant, it heads to one of these massive, 6,000-gallon silos.

But before it can be made into ice cream, everyone involved has to suit up, including us. Gowns, hairnets, caps, and boots.

To make the ice cream base, the milk heads to the blend tank. Cream, milk, and lots of sugar are churned together. The factory goes through 6,700 gallons of cream every single day. Every ice cream flavor starts with either a sweet cream base or a chocolate base.

Next, the Mix Master will pour in eggs, stabilizers, and cocoa powder if it's a chocolate base. Then it's piped into the pasteurizer. You can't see it happening, but hot steel plates are heating up the mix to kill any harmful bacteria. The newly pasteurized milk is stored in a tank for four to eight hours, so the ingredients can really get to know each other.

After making the two bases, they'll head to one of the 20 flavor vats to get a flavor boost.

Fidler: We're always coming up with new flavors, hundreds of flavors a year, and we usually narrow it down to about three or four. We really love to bring our social mission values into our naming process. For example, Empower Mint to talk about voting rights.

Narrator: Before Ben & Jerry's famous chunks can be added, the mix has to get to below-freezing temperatures. It's pumped through this giant freezing barrel, and when it gets to the front, it's finally ice cream. Along the way, it's quality tested, meaning lucky factory floor workers get to taste the ice creams.

Then it goes into the first of two freezer visits. When it comes out, it's 22 degrees and somewhere between the consistency of a milkshake and soft serve.

Now for the best part, the chunks. Founder Ben actually didn't have a great sense of smell, which meant he couldn't taste much either. So his big thing was texture. That's why Ben & Jerry's has some of the biggest chunks in the ice cream industry. These chunks end up in flavors like Half Baked, Chubby Hubby, or the one we're making, Chocolate Therapy.

Workers dump in add-ins through the Chunk Feeder, from brownie bites and cookie dough globs to chocolate chunks, fruits, and nuts. They let us give it a try, but it's not as easy as it looks. Then it's finally time to pack those pints. Workers stack the empty containers into the automatic filler. The machine drops the pints into position and perfectly pumps in ice cream. It can fill up 270 pints a minute. The pints are pushed towards the lidder and sealed tight.

At this point, six pints every hour are pulled off the line for quality testing. Quality assurance personnel first cut pints open. They're making sure the ingredients are symmetrical and there aren't any big air bubbles.

Worker: There is a small gap, but that's what we call a functional void. If we saw large voids, it would be concerning. It's actually quite the workout, as you can tell.

Narrator: They also measure the weight and volume of pints to ensure that the right amount of ice cream makes it into each container.

Worker: So, we know the weight of the ice cream, and anything below 460 is not passable.

Narrator: Now back to the factory line. It's now time for the pints to take a second spin in the freezer. The ice cream has to get even colder, down to minus 10 degrees. The pints travel along the Spiral Hardener, a corkscrew-shaped conveyor belt inside a freezer. With the wind chill, it can get up to minus 60 degrees in there.

After three hours, the pints are finally frozen and ready to be packaged. They're flipped over and shrink wrapped into groups of eight. Together, they make a gallon. But you'll never actually see a gallon tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, because the company never wants its ice cream going bad sitting in the back of your fridge. Once the pints are packaged, they're ready to be shipped across the globe.

Abby Narishkin: Hey, guys, my name's Abby, and I'm one of the producers on this video. My favorite flavor is definitely Ben & Jerry's Milk & Cookies, but let me know your favorites in the comments below and if you have any ideas for the next episode of "Big Business." Don't forget to hit the subscribe button so you don't miss out.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Inside the richest zip code in America, a private island off of Miami Beach

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 10:29am  |  Clusterstock
  • A seven-minute ferry ride from Miami Beach is the richest zip code in the US, with residents earning an average income of $2.2 million a year.
  • On Fisher Island, millionaires drive around on golf carts, lounge on beaches with sand imported from the Bahamas, and vacation in condos worth over $40 million.
  • The island paid $30,000 for every resident and staff member to get a COVID-19 antibody test, while the rest of Miami struggled to obtain tests.
  • Business Insider tours the exclusive, members-only island, where residents pay a $250,000 equity membership.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcription of the video.

- Abby Narishkin: So, we're about to check out one of the country's most expensive neighborhoods. This is Fisher Island. Mel Brooks, Julia Roberts, and Oprah have all owned homes here. With an average income of $2.2 million, it's the richest zip code in the United States. And we got a chance to tour it. You may have heard of Fisher from reports that all the residents and staff got COVID-19 antibody tests, just three miles from Miami, where testing was rare. Yep, that's where we're headed. You actually have to take a ferry there. It's one of the only ways to get on the island. The other way to get on the island? Private yacht. Only the island's 800 families and their guests are allowed on Fisher. So security is pretty tight at the ferry terminal, but we got special access back in November 2019 thanks to Dora Puig, one of the island's real-estate agents.

Dora Puig: Fisher Island is a private island enclave with 216 acres.

Abby: Dora invited us to tour Fisher's newest developments, Palazzo del Sol and Palazzo della Luna, opened in 2019, which is how we ended up on the island's newest ferry, taking the seven-minute journey from Miami Beach. So, right now I'm on the ferry over to Fisher Island, and, as you can see, I'm the only one here in the passenger lounge. Most everyone is in their cars. We've got a Bentley, a Lamborghini, a Porsche, Ferrari, I think. You won't see these zooming around the island, though. To enforce strict speed limits, most people drive around in golf carts.

Dora: When you go to the beach club, you'll have a mini Rolls-Royce golf cart or you'll have a Range Rover golf cart, or I've seen even vintage old American cars in baby blue.

Abby: The median waterfront home here costs $2.9 million, but residents are not only splurging on million-dollar apartments. They're also paying a hefty membership fee. That covers unlimited use of the community pools, the 17 tennis courts, and the private beaches with sand imported from the Bahamas. But it doesn't include the golf course or the two marinas.

Dora: The original idea of Fisher Island was for everyone to live in the community and use the community amenities.

Abby: But even on a private island, some residents want even more exclusive perks. The newest condos, Palazzo del Sol and della Luna, don't have beachfront locations, but they do have a private gym, salon, theater, and pool and water transport that only condo residents can use.

Dora: Come step in with me.

Abby: Dora first showed us a $14.5 million unit in Palazzo della Luna. She says many of the island's current residents have been looking to trade up for a home like this one so they don't have to share amenities with the whole community. This unit has four bedrooms and five baths.

Dora: You walk in, you're at ground level, just like in a single-family home. You have your private pool, you're on the bay, and look at the size of the outdoor entertaining terraces. It wraps around the whole corner of the residence. You could have a dinner for 200 to 300 people here.

Abby: The selling point: the disappearing master suite.

Dora: You walk into a dressing room that looks like an Hermès shop. Walk-in dressing room for the lady and white-lacquered Italian closets. The custom bathroom by Boffi for us, with the floating island in white lacquer. The tub is custom made for us, and it's called the Fisher Island. And then enter into the master suite, with your 12-foot ceilings.

Abby: Because we were curious, we went to check out a second apartment, a supposedly more affordable unit up a couple floors. At $9 million, it's got three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms.

Dora: Here you're walking into the wooded parlor with our little mini-library, all in blond oak. You have the main living room, dining room, kitchen areas to the bay, and the master suite is also to the bay. And then you have the two guest suites on the golf-course side.

Abby: You can keep all the furniture for an extra $2 million.

Dora: Look at how beautiful it is.

Abby: These two new developments have only made Fisher more untouchable, pushing home values across the island up by 20%. Today, you'll find price tags of over $40 million for a condo. That's only $10 million short of the most expensive home ever sold in Miami. And that was an entire mansion. The Palazzos were the first developments on Fisher in nearly a decade and are targeting a new generation of buyers.

Dora: Traditionally, we had a little bit older demographic because the island is so beautiful and it's expensive. We've really seen it switch to a much younger crowd. So we've seen a nice migration towards younger families. Some come from generations of family wealth; others come from selling oil companies, selling financial instruments, technology, hedge funds.

Abby: Even still, half of the residents are over 60, making them particularly vulnerable for COVID-19. The island has always been a place for the 1% to get away, ever since it was formed in 1906, when a canal was dredged so boats could go from the Port of Miami straight to the ocean.

Dora: The interesting part about this is that Fisher Island today would have been south of Fifth Street in Miami Beach, because it was actually connected to the tip of Miami Beach peninsula.

Abby: Miami's first Black billionaire, real-estate mogul Dana Dorsey, was one of the first owners of the new island. He wanted to build a Black resort here, but he had trouble getting workers out to the island to build it. So he sold it to billionaire developer Carl Fisher, who named it after himself. Next up, the Vanderbilt family.

Dora: Carl Fisher and William Vanderbilt were known to party and have a lot of fun here. And one very late night, I'm sure there were drinks involved, they traded the island. Carl Fisher traded his island with his winter home, which is today the club, to William Vanderbilt for his over-200-foot yacht. So, they did the trade, and then the Alva later on sunk and William Vanderbilt kept the island. So I think he was the better businessman.

Abby: After Vanderbilt's death, the island passed hands between millionaires. And then it was left vacant for 15 years. In the 1980s, Fisher's current developers started work on the community you see today. And now Fisher is a full-blown town. The old Vanderbilt mansion is a hotel with suites running for almost $1,500 a night. Vanderbilt's old airplane hangar is now a spa, and you can even rent a property here on Airbnb for about $700 a night. But this doesn't happen in a vacuum. It takes about 600 workers to run this island. They live off-island and have three separate ferries. During the day, they staff a school, post office, fire station, a security force, and a medical center. It was from that private health clinic that residents and workers got those infamous antibody tests. We're back on the ferry. We just finished our tour of Fisher Island. It's really hard to wrap your brain around just the amount of wealth squished into one place. How that exists so close to reality across the bay. As visitors pre-COVID, we got the sense that even with all its normal town functions, Fisher Island is anything but normal. It's like a live-in resort community. Manicured, eerily perfect, and as secluded as ever.

Hey, guys, my name's Abby. I'm the producer on this video. Obviously, things have changed a lot for Fisher since we visited back in November 2019. But I honestly wasn't that surprised when I heard that they were able to get antibody tests for everyone on the island. Not only did they have one of the first cases of COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County, they also have the means, the wealth to get them. But I wanna know what else you wanna see from us. What other luxury apartments, private enclaves do you want us to explore? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to subscribe.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Labor Day sales 2020: Everything you need to know and the best deals to shop this weekend

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 10:27am  |  Clusterstock

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • Labor Day is on Monday, September 7, but you can already take advantage of many end-of-summer and Labor Day sales right now. 
  • Shoppers can find discounts on nearly every product category ahead of the holiday weekend — including discounts on mattresses, furniture, outdoor gear.
  • For more savings across the internet, visit Insider Coupons and our deals homepage.
Table of Contents: Static

Labor Day weekend provides shoppers an opportunity to save on anything they need to buy online.

While Labor Day falls on September 7 this year, shoppers can save big on tech, mattresses, clothing, and more before this Monday. To make shopping easier, we're rounding up the best sales and deals all happening online ahead of the weekend. We'll routinely update this post with more coverage in the days leading up to the big holiday weekend.

To potentially save more during Labor Day, you can visit our coupons site to find promo codes to these retailers. 

When do Labor Day sales start in 2020?

Labor Day sales typically start the week before Labor Day, which falls on Monday, September 7 this year. Most sales run through the weekend, but some continue to run for a couple of days afterward, giving shoppers a full week or more in some cases to take advantage of deals.

What types of deals will I find over Labor Day weekend?

Most online retailers offer discounts for Labor Day. Shoppers can expect big discounts on tech, clothes, mattresses, furniture and home goods, outdoor gear, and more during the week leading up to and following Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day weekend is one of the best times in the year to shop online for furniture, appliances, and outdoor gear. 

If you're shopping for fall-friendly attire, it's also a solid time to refresh your wardrobe. Check out our buying guides to the best women's cashmere sweaters, men's cashmere sweaters, women's winter coats, men's winter coats, women's slippers, and men's slippers for inspiration.

What are the best Labor Day sales of 2020?
  • Allswell: Save 15% on the Luxe and Supreme Mattresses plus 20% on bedding and bath & spa with the promo code PERFECTROOM through September 3
  • Banana Republic: Save up to 40% sitewide, plus an additional 10% off through September 7 and free 2-3 day shipping on orders $150 and up
  • Best Buy: Select appliances are discounted through September 16; both major and small appliances are included in the sale
  • Birch: Take $200 off a Birch Mattresses with the promo code LDS200
  • Bloomingdale's: Save an extra 50% on clearance products and 30–60% off regular-price items through September 9 
  • Brooklinen: Save 15% select bedroom and bathroom accessories by using LABORDAY-15
  • Brooklyn Bedding: 25% off sitewide and 50% off sheets now through August 27 
  • Buffy: Save $20 off orders worth over $100 with code SEEYASUMMER20 until September 8
  • Burrow: During Burrow's Labor Day sale, furniture shoppers will save more the more they buy. Starting August 29 and ending September 13, use the code LDW to save 10% on purchases up to $1,799, $200 off $1,800+, $250 off $2,200+, $300 off $2,600+, $400 off $3,000+, and $500 off $4,000+
  • Casper: Save 10% on Casper's line of beds, sheets, and more
  • Clarks: Save an additional 50% off on-sale styles through September 10 with the code SALE50
  • Crane & Canopy: Save up to 70% on bedding, sheets, rugs, and home décor through September 7
  • eBay: Save 25% on select products from Dyson, Bissell, Hasbro, Samsonite, and more with the promo code PARTYFOR25
  • Eight Sleep: Save $150 off a Pod and get 20% off accessories through September 7
  • Ella Paradis: Save up to 60% off sex toys plus free shipping and a "free gift" with code LABOR
  • GlassesUSA: Take 65% off in-house frames, sunglasses and prescription glasses with code LABOR65
  • Helix: Save $100 when you spend $600 or more on a new mattress, plus a free set of Dream pillows, with the code LDS100. Alternatively, save $150 on purchases over $1,250 or $200 on purchases over $1,750 with the coupons LDS150 and LDS200 respectively through September 13
  • Home Depot: Save on major brand home and garden essentials through September 16
  • Huckberry: Save up to 50% on clothing and accessories through September 7
  • JCPenney: Save 50% on select Instant Pots from September 6 through 14. 
  • Layla: Save up to $200 select mattresses through September 7
  • Leesa: Insider Reviews readers can take 20% off any Leesa Hybrid or Legend mattress with our exclusive discount code INSIDER
  • Levi's: Save up to 40% off sitewide through September 9, with an extra 30% discount on sale styles with the code EXTRA30
  • Lowe's: Save on select brands with varying deadlines
  • Macy's: Save 20-50% on select kids and baby styles until September 7
  • My Sheets Rock: Save 15% on all sheets with code LONGWKND through September 7
  • Nanoleaf: Save 10% on Nanoleaf's collection of smart lighting products through September 7  using code LABORDAY10
  • Nomad: Take 20% off smartphone accessories with code LABORDAY
  • Nutribullet: Save 20% on all Nutribullet blenders and accessories with code LABOR30
  • Purple: Save up to $350 off mattresses and sleep bundles and up to $150 off select mattresses 
  • Primary Goods: Save 25% on sheets, bedding, pillows and more with the promo code WERK
  • Serta: Save up to $400 on iComfort mattresses through September 15
  • Rhone: Save up to 50% on select activewear styles through September 8
  • Tuft & Needle: Save 10% sitewide through September 7
  • Under Armour: Save up to 50% off outlet products, with free shipping on orders over $60 starting September 4 through 7
  • Wayfair: Up to 70% off sitewide starting August 31 through September 8
  • Winc: 45% off your first order using code LD2020
All of our additional coverage related to the Labor Day salesA full rundown of all the Labor Day sales happening in 2020

We highlighted 16 of the best Labor Day sales to shop this weekend, but there are plenty more. For a full rundown, check out this list with even more deals, broken down by category.  

REI's Labor Day sale is going on now through September 7 — here are 10 great deals from Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and moreSave up to 40% on brands like Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more during REI's Labor Day sale, running from August 28 through September 7.25+ Labor Day mattress sales from Casper, Leesa, Purple, and more

Labor Day weekend is one of the best times to shop for mattresses, and this year is no exception. Starting this week, shoppers can save hundreds of dollars on select mattresses from some of our favorite brands.

The best Labor Day furniture sales to shop this weekend

Ahead of Labor Day, shoppers can take advantage of discounts from companies like WayfairBurrow, and West Elm. Whether you're looking to upgrade your home office or want to replace your couch, this is a good time to shop.

Wayfair's huge Labor Day sale has discounts up to 70% on furniture, bedding, decor, and more

Wayfair is having a huge Labor Day sale with discounts up to 70% on everything you need from the giant home goods and furniture storefront. Highlights include markdowns on office furnituredecormattresses, and bedroom furniture

The best Labor Day deals from Home Depot, including tools, home appliances, furniture, and more

Home Depot's Labor Day sale includes major brand home and garden essentials discounted through September 16.

The best deals from Lowe's this Labor Day 2020— including home decor, tools, and appliances

Save on home appliances, smart home tech, tools, and more with Lowe's this Labor Day. Deadlines vary for each item.

The best TV deals for Labor Day 2020 include $1,200 off LG's flagship CX OLED TV

To celebrate Labor Day on September 7, many retailers have launched sales on several TVs, including HD, 4K, and even 8K models. We'll be updating this list with new discounts as they are revealed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

3 ways to get over your need to be right about everything all the time

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 10:15am  |  Clusterstock
Thinking you have all the answers won't get you ahead in business.
  • Raj Jana is an entrepreneur and the founder of JavaPresse Coffee Company, an ecommerce coffee company.
  • As a boss, Jana says he often mediates disputes between employees, usually over an argument about who is right or whose opinions are better.
  • Being successful at work is about more than being right, Jana explains. It's about putting your ego aside, and working to understand the other person's perspective.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

"He isn't doing his part, and he can't keep up with my work speed." 

I sat across from a member of my board while he expressed frustration around an employee on his team. This employee was doing quality work but wasn't the fastest or most efficient team member.

The words of the manager began to sink in, and I could sense his deep-seated need to be right and have his opinion validated.

Although he was correct about the employee's time management, that wasn't what was most important to me. What was most imperative was helping them build a healthy working relationship and work on efficiently completing their projects together.

It can be so tempting to believe you have all the answers and need to dish them out to people all day long. But that isn't necessarily getting you or your business to succeed.

As a leader, it isn't your job to be right; it's your job to do whatever you need to do in order to get the job done. At the end of the day, brushing aside the need to be right is possible. I was able to walk my board member through how to do this with three simple steps.

1. Show up with excitement instead of frustration

I started the conversation with my board member by asking, "How is your frustration working out for you?" He sat back and after a few moments he laughed at himself. He knew it wasn't working for him and if anything, it was detracting from his energy and effort to what mattered more.

Show up with excitement instead of frustration. Follow up with someone on a task or project need from a place of enthusiasm. This shifts the energy of the conversation and motivates the receiving party to become inspired to execute and get involved. When you are excited about something, other will follow suit. 

2. Speak the other person's language

Most people are speaking their own language full of expressions and jargon expecting everyone else to understand them. True leadership is understanding what kind of language someone speaks and meeting them where they are. Show up with higher energy to inspire others to act and move in the direction you want.

Step into the other person's shoes to understand what motivates them and why they would be enticed to do what needs to be done. Once you have a grasp on this, you can then speak from their vantage point.

This also could mean shifting the vocabulary you use and the outcomes you speak to. Have you ever sat in a room where a highly technical expert gave a presentation so granular and detailed that the overall message was lost to those that didn't have the same background? Instead of bombarding a team member with metrics, try approaching it from the customer's emotional outcome or vice versa. Adjust how you speak to people in order to better grab their attention and their desire to get involved.

3. Put your ego aside

At the end of the day, as a leader, you need to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Sometimes this requires you to allow someone else to be right, to step into roles that aren't typically yours, and let your ego down to get your hands dirty right alongside your team.

Simon Sinek wrote a book titled "Leaders Eat Last," and that statement alone couldn't summarize the message better. A team expects the leader to mitigate threats, even at the expense of their personal well-being. The sooner you can understand this, the quicker you shift from being an authoritative boss to being a true leader.

Read the original article on Business Insider

What gaslighting is, and 5 signs someone may be gaslighting you, according to a psychotherapist

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 10:00am  |  Clusterstock
The term gaslighting may be used casually, but it's a serious term in therapy.
  • Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
  • Despite its casual references in pop culture, Morin explains that gaslighting is a serious term in therapy, and a problem that many victims struggle to recognize due to the nature of the abuse.
  • Morin says that someone who is gaslighting you will deny things that you know to be true, make you question your own memories, and weaponize your displays of emotions against you.
  • If you're struggling, call the SAMHSA National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In psychology, the term "gaslighting" occurs when someone tries to convince an individual into thinking they're losing touch with reality. Over time, the victim often grows convinced that they can't trust their own judgment.

The term gaslight stems from a play in the 1930s where the husband manipulated small aspects of the environment — such as dimming the gaslights — to convince his wife that she was delusional.  

Now, gaslighting is frequently referenced in pop culture — perhaps you've heard the song "Gaslighter" by The Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks).

While it's often referenced in a fun manner in the media, in the therapy office, it's a serious problem. Quite often, by the time a victim seeks professional help, they've often endured a painful existence for quite some time. Most of them have spent years thinking they were "going crazy." And for some of them, seeking treatment only reinforces the idea that there is something seriously wrong with them.

If someone can identify that they're being gaslighted early on, it could prevent years — maybe even decades — of manipulation. Psychoanalyst Robin Stern has written a book called "The Gaslight Effect," which outlines signs that you're being gaslighted.

Her research is in line with what I've seen firsthand as a therapist. Here are the top signs that someone is gaslighting you:

1. They deny things you know to be true

You might think someone who is gaslighting you would only lie about big things that they could cover up or hide. But that's not the case.

They often lie about all things big and small just to throw you off. They might deny something that just happened — and then insist your memory is "off." They may lie about what you did yesterday and then insist you are "crazy" if you don't remember doing it.

2. They pretend to be concerned for your psychological well-being

A gaslighter will often say things like, "That's disturbing you can't remember where you put your purse."

In reality, they probably hid it from you. They'll constantly act like you're fragile or that you're not in your "right mind" so that you'll question yourself.

3. They isolate you from other people

They will tell you that your loved ones are talking about you behind your back. And they will do all they can to separate you from your friends and family.

They may even reach out to people without your knowledge to tell them that you're having some problems lately. This may lead to people asking if you're OK — which could reinforce your fear that there's something wrong with you.

4. They minimize your feelings and use them against you

Whether you express sadness, anger, or fear, they'll use it against you. They'll tell you that crying is "proof that you're crazy" or getting upset is evidence that you are "an emotional wreck."

They will insist that all of your emotions are unreasonable and irrational. You might find yourself constantly apologizing for your feelings.

5. They insist getting help is proof you aren't stable

If you talk to your therapist or get hospitalized due to the emotional distress of the situation, they'll insist they were right when they said you were mentally unstable.

They'll likely say you're beyond help anyway or that mental health professionals can't "fix you." They may even reach out to professionals to tell them that you seem confused lately, in an effort to make sure you don't get effective treatment for what's really going on — you're being manipulated.

How to get help

It's impossible to feel psychologically well when someone is constantly trying to convince you that you are mentally ill, or that you can't trust your own judgment or memory.

So the key to feeling better usually involves getting away from the perpetrator. Being away from the person, even for a short period of time, often helps victims see that they are OK.

If you suspect you might be the victim of gaslighting, reach out for help. Talk to a therapist, either online or in-person, about your distress. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Hot wealth startups — JPMorgan tech pay

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:48am  |  Clusterstock

 

Welcome to the long weekend!

Wealth-tech funding is heating back up. Last quarter, wealth startups raised $1.2 billion in venture funding, up from $450 million during the first quarter, according to CB Insights data.

Rebecca Ungarino asked VCs and other big investors to nominate early-stage startups in the wealth management ecosystem that they see as up-and-comers. The responses highlighted will-writing and end-of-life planning as a hot niche, as well as a startup that offers an automated investment management platform that's gaining traction with RIAs.

You can read the full list here:

These 10 early-stage wealth startups are on the brink of breaking out, according to top VCs

We also had a fresh batch of stories this week taking a look at pay data and recruiting trends. Here's a roundup:

If you're not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here to get your daily dose of the stories dominating banking, business, and big deals.

Keep reading for the latest on layoffs for legal and consulting jobs, and a dive into the ecosystem of 13-F followers who are slamming a proposal to eliminate the quarterly paperwork for many funds. 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, 

Meredith 

Why some big investors are bashing a plan to let companies raise fresh money through direct listings Plush Stuff unicorns on show during the Toy Fair 2019, at Olympia in London.

In late August, the Securities and Exchange Commission greenlighted the NYSE's plan to allow primary direct listings, in which companies can issue new shares while also leapfrogging the costly underwriting process.

But an industry group that represents big-money investors like pension funds filed a last-minute attempt to thwart the NYSE's plan. They argued that new form of direct listings would allow companies to circumvent shareholder protections built into the IPO process and thus put investors at risk.

Yoonji Han talked with securities experts who laid out the critics' concerns about 'untraceable' shares and fuzzy liability. You can read the full story here.

Enterprise-software maker Epicor is planning a bigger M&A push once it changes hands to Clayton Dubilier & Rice

Steve Murphy, CEO of Epicor

Clayton Dubilier & Rice has agreed to buy Epicor for $4.7 billion from KKR, which had owned the software company for four years and expanded its business through acquisitions and new product launches.

And Steve Murphy, CEO of Epicor, told Casey Sullivan that CD&R "may have an idea or two about some bigger M&A." He laid out companies that could be attractive: businesses with between $250 million and $300 million in revenue operating in manufacturing, distribution, retail, and automotive sectors. You can read the full story here. 

The Big Tech office isn't dead

A 3D printed Facebook logo

While many large companies have been shrinking their office footprints, big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are doing the opposite.

Growth prospects for tech companies have been getting even stronger during the pandemic. Most also believe that flexible working arrangements won't diminish the importance of offices for recruiting and collaboration. Dan Geiger and Alex Nicoll took a look at why giants like Facebook and Amazon keep gobbling up space while telling workers they can stay home. You can read that story here. 

'Literally no one was asking for this, zero'

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed changing a rule in a way that would eliminate most investment managers' quarterly filings, called 13-Fs, which show equity holdings at quarter's end. The SEC said the change will allay expense-and regulatory-related burdens for small funds and protect investment strategies.

Bradley Saacks and Rebecca Ungarino Business spoke with executives, academics, and other industry insiders about how the proposal could change the institutional investment industry — and how it's being received. You can read the full story here. 

Layoff watch
    • Accenture is cutting more low performers across the 500,000-plus person firm because fewer employees are jumping ship on their own: Read the full story here
    • Big Law firms are laying workers off but raising pay for people who remain, with firm leaders citing a 'fundamental shift' in working conditions: Read the full story here
Real estatePitch decksFintechLegalRead the original article on Business Insider

Inside the story of Ben Hill: the fictional executive and hotline used by Home Depot's founders to listen to customer backlash

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:40am  |  Clusterstock
"Our job is to make every single customer happy," Home Depot cofounder Arthur Blank told Business Insider.
  • Early Home Depot shoppers called Ben Hill, a fictional executive, in order to voice their grievances about negative store experiences.
  • Cofounder Arthur Blank wrote in his book "Good Company" that merchandising expert Pat Farrah came up with the name after seeing it on a sign off I-285 in Georgia.
  • Home Depot's cofounders would take the "Ben Hill calls" themselves, almost always taking the customer's side.
  • "We established Ben Hill because, at the end of the day, we wanted to make sure that the store manager really thought of the store as their store," Blank said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

When it comes to the founding of Home Depot, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus are credited with dreaming up the world's largest home-improvement business in existence today. Pat Farrah also offered valuable merchandising expertise while financier Ken Langone helped to bankroll the operation.

But there's another name from the early days of the company that Blank credits with some of Home Depot's success: Ben Hill. Hill Isn't a real person, but rather an invention of Farrah's designed to solicit customer feedback.

Blank recently spoke with Business Insider about his new book "Good Company," the creation of Ben Hill, and his stint handling negative customer calls for Home Depot. He spoke about how the fictitious figure played a roll in helping the founders foster customer-focused values within the company. 

The Home Depot founders had always sought out consumer critiques, with Blank and Marcus donning orange aprons and chasing down customers leaving their stores empty-handed. But at a certain point, Home Depot had opened so many stores that the method became untenable. So the founders took a new approach.

In "Good Company," Blank wrote: "In every store, we hung a sign that read, 'Are you satisfied? If not, call Ben Hill,' followed by a phone number."

Farrah had thought up the fictitious executive after seeing the name on an exit sign off I-285 in Georgia. The California native "thought it sounded friendly." Ben Hill is both the name of a county in Georgia, as well as a neighborhood in Home Depot's hometown of Atlanta. Ben Hill was also the name of a Georgia politician during the 1800s elected to the Confederate States Congress, the US House of Representatives, and the US Senate.

According to Blank, Home Depot's switchboard operators were told to patch calls for Ben Hill through to the founders.

"So for the first number of years, myself, or Bernie, or, Pat Farrah would end up taking all of those calls," he told Business Insider. "You'd tell the customer, "This is Arthur Blank, I cofounded the company. Can I help you?"

The founders ended up getting an earful from irritated shoppers. But despite the often-tense nature of the calls, the lessons gleaned from those conversations could be valuable.

"Bernie, Pat, and I genuinely wanted to hear from those disgruntled customers ourselves, because we knew that their complaints were worth more than the advice of any retail expert we could hire," he wrote.

Still, Blank told Business Insider that the issues themselves usually didn't make much a difference to the founders. 

"We never viewed ourselves as a judge trying to decide which side of the scale is right or wrong," he said. "The customer's always going to be right."

While "Ben Hill calls" could sometimes pinpoint merchandising or installation issues, callers frustrations typically went back to customer service. Blank said that after getting off the phone with the disgruntled customers, he, Marcus, or Farrah would follow-up with store managers. 

This resulted in talks that were often "not the most pleasant in the world," according to Blank. He said that store managers came to fear "Ben Hill calls." In the wake of such a call, managers would gather the entire store workforce to talk about the importance of customer service.

"We established Ben Hill because, at the end of the day, we wanted to make sure that the store manager really thought of the store as their store," he said. "Our job is to make every single customer happy. And that means if they're not happy after step one, you go to step two and you make them happy."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The rise of private members' clubs, reimagined by a virus

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:37am  |  Clusterstock
SoHo Works members have access to work amenities like printers, phone booths, meeting rooms, and podcast equipment that they might not have at home.
  • As people seek out safe, hygienic, and private places to work and socialize amid office closures and citywide shutdowns, private members’ clubs stand to be a rare winner on the current hospitality scene.
  • Chateau Marmont, the André Balazs-owned LA hotspot, is being transformed into a members-only hotel.
  • Zero Bond, founded by hospitality magnate Scott Sartiano, is the latest private members’ club on the New York scene, attracting celebrities and athletes.
  • At members’ clubs, staff know your name, you can leave belongings with peace of mind, and you’re always guaranteed a place to sit, unlike a restaurant or bar.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

For centuries, private clubs have been attracting powerful businessmen and dignitaries — often exclusively males — for business and social purposes. Private clubs were extremely popular in London, which, in the late 19th century, had more than 400 clubs. In 20th century America, golf and country clubs, which often required a strict dress code, also gained popularity among upper-class individuals.

Today, many private members' clubs have chosen to abandon this old-fashioned model in favor of attracting young creatives and entrepreneurs. Gone are the hallmarks of old members' clubs, like strict dress codes and no workspaces. Those have given way to new members' clubs, which offer a stylish, contemporary space to work and network.

Nick Jones, founder of Soho House, was one of the first to do this with the opening of the club in London in 1995. As of 2020, Soho House operates more than 27 clubs worldwide, with locations slated to open in Tel Aviv, Rome, Paris, Nashville, Austin, Canouan, and another in London, in 2021 and 2022. 

Henry Wallmeyer, President and CEO of the National Club Association, whose members include 400 clubs like the prestigious Yale Club of New York City, New York Athletic Club and New York Yacht Club, said within the last five years clubs have become a "third place." 

"Everybody's first place is their home, second is work and the third place is their personal refuge," he told Business Insider.

A hospitality magnate makes a pivot into private members' clubs

Scott Sartiano is a hospitality magnate and the founder of some of the world's hottest nightclubs, including New York City's 1Oak, favored by celebrities like Drake and Paris Hilton, and Up & Down. This month, he's slated to open his first-ever private members' club, Zero Bond.

Located at 0 Bond Street in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood, Zero Bond is a work and social club for individuals in the art, entertainment, media, fashion, and literary industries.

"I wanted to create an elevated environment," Sartiano told Business Insider of the decision to open the members' club. "I thought the 28- to 50 year-old bracket was kind of underrepresented in New York when it came to social options. People want to know who they're associating with, but also want their own space and more control over their experiences."

A rendering of Zero Bond's communal space.

Membership fees are $3,000 annually, with a $500 initiation fee. And while it's not the most expensive members' club in the city, it's also not easy to get in: Those who apply are required to have a reference by a current member. It has a roster of high-profile celebrities, athletes, and designers on board as founding members, including Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Liev Schreiber, Tom Brady, Zac Posen, and Caroline Wozniacki.

"There's no one type of person that Zero Bond is looking for," Sartiono said. "I want a mixture and diversity. That's New York City. When you go out in New York and meet someone you wouldn't have ordinarily met, that's the makings of a great night."

"My goal is to create the safest place in New York to work and socialize," Sartiano said of Zero Bond. He's implemented technology to automatically take the temperature of anyone who walks through the door. Staff's temperature will be taken hourly and upon entry. There will also be dividers and separators to ensure social distancing. 

The 20,000-square-foot, high-ceilinged space spans two floors with several lounge areas, two restaurants, five private rooms, and a bar. Design aficionados will love Zero Bond's contemporary aesthetic, designed by William Sofield and Studio Sofield, which designed store interiors for Gucci and Tom Ford. The building, built in 1874, retains much of its original structure, including red-brick archways and large windows. 

The building was formerly the second-ever Brooks Brothers store and factory; in a nod to the building's past, the staff will wear custom-designed Brooks Brothers uniforms. Zero Bond will also hang artwork by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Keith Haring, whose former studio was next door.

"I'm trying to tie things back into the neighborhood," Sartiano said.

The office landscape is shifting, and private clubs serve as remote workspaces

As the pandemic swept the US, companies across the country shut their offices and instructed employees to work from home. But even during the pandemic, it's not uncommon to see a sea of laptops at a given Soho House during the day. In an effort to give members a more dedicated workspace, the company launched its first shared workspace for creatives, Soho Works, in London in 2015.

Its first New York City outpost opened earlier this year, and a Los Angeles location is slated to open later this year. Existing Soho House members and non-member creatives alike can apply for a membership. Members have access to work amenities like printers, phone booths, meeting rooms, and podcast equipment that they might not have at home.

Zero Bond will also be a place to work, complete with quiet areas and phone booths to take calls without disturbing members.

"I want to create a place where people can come to work, have a meeting, have an after-work cocktail or come on a date," Sartiano said, adding that many members' clubs in New York often feel overcrowded. "There's always going to be space for people, and they're always going to know your name and who you are," he said.

Private clubs are also finding new ways to engage with members

With the pandemic limiting in-person meetings, some private clubs are turning to digital programming to keep guests entertained and connected. 

Soho House, which is known — in pre-pandemic times — for programming that includes off-site trips and mixology classes, is finding new ways to engage with members. Since April, Soho House has hosted digital events, including speakers, musical performances, meditations, and virtual screenings via its app.

One of the lounges at Soho Works Water Street.

CORE: Club in New York City is another club implementing digital events for members to access remotely. The club opened its doors in New York City in 2005. It has 1,600 members and doesn't come cheap: Initial members' fees cost $50,000 and annual dues are $17,000.

CORE: Club Founder Jennie Enterprise told Business Insider that membership is "highly curated," and they search for those seeking "intellectual challenges." While privacy is of the utmost importance, members include leaders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. What differentiates CORE: from other clubs is the wide range of industries from which they select members, including science and academia, hospitality and culinary, and sports and technology, among others.

COVID-19 inspired Enterprise to launch CORE: Connects, a digital platform featuring cultural programming. Sessions are recorded, uploaded to the website, and made available for members only. One speaker series, called Minds & Mavericks, includes sessions by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker, philanthropist and social activist. CORE: is slated to open its second location in Milan in 2021.

A terrace on CORE: Club. A public hotel turned private members'-owned hotel

Hotels, too, are pivoting to a private membership model. Chateau Marmont, the historic Los Angeles hotel,  first opened in 1927 and was bought by André Balazs Properties in 1990. It's known for glamorous parties that attract actors, writers, musicians, and artists. This summer, Balazs announced his plans to rebrand it as a members'-owned hotel, meaning members will own a piece of real estate at the hotel.

This decision stemmed from the fact that 70% of guests were repeat customers and the top 100 guests generated the majority of the room revenue. In addition to the investment, owners will be able to leave personal belongings, stay for extended periods of time, and have access to private dining areas.

Chateau Marmont is known for glamorous parties that attract actors, writers, musicians, and artists.

Only one restaurant and a few common areas will be available for public access. When owners aren't staying there, the hotel will only accept guests personally recommended by owners.

"What's been amazingly surprising, but good, is how quickly clubs turn[ed] on a dime once COVID-19 hit," Wallmeyer of the National Club Association said. "Historically, clubs have been notoriously slow in changing. A lot of it is because some are 100 years old."

Read the original article on Business Insider

There needs to be a reckoning in the fashion industry

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:32am  |  Clusterstock
FILE PHOTO: A model walks on an in-house catwalk at the ASOS headquarters in London
  • The fashion industry has long been under fire for human rights abuses.
  • But the COVID-19 crisis is shining a new light on those abuses.
  • Without a system that allows consumers to hold companies accountable, the abuses will persist.
  • Nicky is a writer and speaker who primarily covers arts and culture.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The fashion industry has long been a focus of human rights campaigners. Child labor, poverty wages, and a lack of transparency means that garment workers — especially in the global South — are consistently exploited.

The same goes with environmental concerns: the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, 35% of all microplastics in the ocean, and 85% of all textiles produced annually end up in landfill. With stats like those, it's clear that the fashion industry's reckoning has been a long time coming.

COVID-19 is that reckoning.

Fashionably late

In April, The Guardian reported that major high street fashion brands, including Primark and Matalan, had cancelled or suspended orders for £2.4 billion worth of garments from factories in Bangladesh. Over 97% of suppliers surveyed by the WRC and Penn State University said that brands had offered "no financial assistance" to cover furlough or severance costs; the executive director of the WRC described the situation as a "wholesale abandoning of workers and suppliers" by brands.

Factory owners, who operate on low profit margins and lack access to cash reserves or credit, are unable to pay their workers — who themselves aren't paid enough to accumulate the savings they would need to weather this pandemic. While brands scramble to minimize losses, factory owners and workers in Bangladesh are facing destitution.

Closer to home, the brands ASOS and Boohoo both made headlines for the unsanitary working conditions in their UK factories, leading directly to COVID-19 outbreaks in both locations. Boohoo in particular has been criticised for allegedly paying workers as little as £3.50 per hour in a Leicester factory — less than half the UK legal minimum wage of £8.72 per hour. Although Boohoo has said the factory was run by a subcontractor and the bran dis investigating its supply chain, up until this point sales were booming and bosses were in line to make £150 million in bonuses.

ASOS, meanwhile, fired 70 workers at the beginning of the outbreak when they switched delivery suppliers (from Menzies to DPD). The administrators and drivers were originally told that their contracts would be transferred, only for DPD to U-turn on its commitment and announce that they would be dismissed on May 1.

A new light on abuse

Whether in the UK or farther afield, the effects of COVID-19 on the fashion industry are unmistakable. As the crisis has developed, it has thrown into sharp relief many of the systemic issues in the industry — obscure supply chains, worker exploitation, and extreme waste, to name a few — but we're yet to find sustainable solutions to these problems.

Initiatives like Mallzee's Lost Stock have sprung up to plug the gap left by brands abandoning their suppliers. Consumers can purchase a bag of clothes from Lost Stock, tailored to their size and preferences, at £35 — a 50% discount from the estimated £70 retail price. Lost Stock's website claims that each bag supports a Bangladeshi worker and their family for one week.

Although an innovative solution to the dual problem of supporting workers and reducing waste, initiatives like this speak to our neoliberal, late-capitalist era by putting the onus on the consumer to fix the deep-seated problems in the fashion industry. While brands continue to profit from the exploitation of their workers, the burden of "doing the right thing" and bailing out these workers falls on individuals — many of whom are themselves suffering from COVID-related redundancies and reduced hours.

In asking individuals to contribute to ending systemic issues, initiatives like this also require the public to make difficult personal choices about what matters to them, as they are asked to split what disposable income they have between different causes — BLM, local food banks, queer fundraisers, etc. The focus is on individual consumers to make ethical choices for the greater good, rather than holding brands to account.

Mallzee's program appeals to consumers' self-interest: it's undeniably positive that the garments won't go to waste, but the 50% discount incentive speaks to a world in which we are consumers first and foremost; where everything is transactional, and doing a good deed comes with a material reward. It's also worth noting that focusing on poverty and exploitation in other countries leads to western consumers buying into the lie that it "doesn't happen here", and doing a disservice to the vulnerable, precarious, and exploited workers in our home countries.

Accountability

In a time when we should be reflecting on our relationship to fast fashion and our place in a deeply consumer-oriented society, the response to COVID-19 seems to be a focus on increased consumption. Rather than addressing the #BoycottAsos campaign which sprang up in response to ASOS' treatment of its workers, ASOS doubled down: in the week leading up to pubs reopening in England, ASOS offered discounts to UK shoppers to get ready for "Super Saturday." In doing so they encouraged the public to see themselves as consumers, capitalizing on the reopening of pubs and bars as an opportunity to push sales — even while public health advice remained clear on staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel.

In all of these instances, making ethical choices becomes individual consumers' responsibility, when what we need is corporate and governmental accountability. The COVID-19 crisis has precisely illuminated everything wrong with fast fashion: cramped unsanitary working conditions, precarious and exploitative employment, an opaque supply chain which enables brands to abandon their laborers.

It's evident that real systemic change is needed, and that calling on consumers to behave "ethically" will not be enough. Without organised collective action and a system which enables us to hold brands to account, these issues will continue, even right under our noses.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to avoid making bad hires, and what to do if you already did

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:30am  |  Clusterstock
A hire with a bad attitude can spread negativity in the office.
  • A healthy, upbeat team dynamic is important for the well-being of any company, large or small. Unfortunately, sometimes just one bad employee can spoil an entire team's success.
  • To avoid making a bad hire, grow your company slowly — don't rush into hiring anyone, and make sure they have the personality and qualities you're looking for.
  • If you've already made a bad hire, do what you can to communicate with them to reach a mutual solution and see if the relationship can improve.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

At the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Norway took home more gold medals than any other country.

But they didn't just win the most medals that year — they won more than any other country in a single winter Olympics ever.

The secret behind their success? No jerks.

"We have a saying," Alpine skier Aksel Lund Svindal told The New York Times. "There is almost no skill or ability you can have that is so good it allows you to ruin the social qualities of the team."

For Norway's men's ski team, keeping jerks at bay has allowed them to form a strong bond that improves their performance in competition: Every Friday, the team gathers for taco night. Their dynamic is so functional that they'll share hotel rooms — and even beds — while they're on the road. They share all of their tactics and techniques with one another freely, ensuring everyone is bringing their absolute best to the slopes.

 "If you have teammates who consistently lift you up, then the environment will make you happy," Svindal's teammate, Kjetil Jansrud, said. "You'll work harder and stay motivated. You're giving yourself your best chance to win."

The same, of course, is true of the workplace. A healthy team dynamic is crucial to the well-being of the company. But that also means that one bad hire can collapse an otherwise healthy office ecosystem. 

The cost of a bad hire 

Bad hires are expensive on several levels. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, whose company boasts notoriously happy employees, once estimated that bad hires cost the company "well over $100 million."

But your bottom line isn't even where a bad hire hurts the most. In fact, chief financial officers rank bad hires' impact on morale and productivity ahead of monetary loss.

As the Norwegian men's ski team knows, an employee that doesn't fit with the company's culture can have a destabilizing effect on the whole organization.

In some cases, productivity across the board can decrease, since others need to work harder to meet targets and goals to compensate for someone who isn't pulling their weight. This increases the risk of driving your best team members out, taking their skills and knowledge with them.

They can also damage your company's reputation both outwardly and inwardly. Client-facing bad hires can permanently harm relationships with customers. Internally, word of mouth and review websites like Glassdoor allow employees to make educated decisions about where they want to work. Satisfied employees will often refer friends and colleagues to your company. If they're unhappy, though, they'll often warn talented, would-be hires to stay away.

How to avoid making a bad hire

Each employee you hire won't be perfect. But there are ways of increasing your odds of choosing a team that will go the distance.

Before you even post an ad, figure out exactly what skills you want a new hire to have. Create a job description that clearly outlines job duties and the experience needed to excel. A detailed outline will not only help attract talent that's actually right for the job, but it will give you a guide to stick to in order to avoid getting sidetracked.

As a bootstrapped founder, I grew my company, JotForm, slowly and carefully. This gradual growth has allowed me to figure out what I truly value. I've made some mistakes, but in the process of expanding from a solo venture to a company with over 250 employees, I've learned a lot about what to look for in a hire.

One of my main takeaways? Having the right skills is only a piece of the puzzle.

Throughout the interview process, look for what HBR terms "signs of civility." Asking the applicant how she managed past situations provides more insight than presenting hypothetical scenarios, like "how would you handle…" or "what would you do if…" and so on. Make your values known during the interview, and ask for examples of how their past behavior matches those values.

Zappos actually has two interview types. The first explores the candidate's abilities, experience, etc. But they also conduct another round specifically to determine cultural fit. To get the job, a candidate needs to pass both types.

Another helpful Zappos tactic is seeking references in unexpected places. When a candidate flies in for an interview, the company sends a shuttle to the airport. Company leaders will later ask the driver if the applicant was nice, or whether they were rude. No matter how qualified the candidate, the rude ones never make the cut.

Remember the Norwegian ski team? No jerks.

What to do if you've made a bad hire

Let's face it — sometimes, despite doing everything right, you wind up with someone who just isn't a good fit.

Don't beat yourself up: Only 19% of new hires are considered completely successful. By 18 months, 46% are deemed failures. Yikes.

So what to do when you've mis-hired?

Rather than hoping that the person will magically change overnight, it's best to have a direct conversation with your new recruit. Share your concerns with them, and explore solutions that might satisfy you both.

If that doesn't work, it's time to evaluate the current and future expenses of hanging on to the hire. Has there been an increase in workplace conflict? Are other employees struggling to cover for them? Often, you won't even realize the extent of the negative impact the bad hire has had until you remove them.

If the relationship can't be saved, you can still make their departure as painless as possible. Work with your HR department and try to negotiate a plan that benefits everyone.

If parting ways with the employee is not an option, you can at least mitigate the damage: Separate them from the rest of the team by rearranging desks or holding fewer all-hands meetings. Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown and the author of "Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace," refers to this as "immunizing" others.

"You're trying to protect people like you would with a disease," Porath told Harvard Business Review. "You will hopefully decrease the number of run-ins and [minimize] the cognitive loss."

That said, it's important not to let one individual take up all your time and energy. Porath suggests surrounding yourself with supportive, positive people, and looking for meaning and purpose in your work.

"If someone is draining you, build yourself up by exercising, eating right, sleeping, and taking breaks, both short-term ones, and [long-term] vacations," she said. "Being healthy and proactive is the one thing we know that buffers people from the effects of toxic behavior."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Seven states should be on alert for rising coronavirus cases over Labor Day weekend, Fauci says

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:26am  |  Clusterstock
Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • The nation's top infectious disease specialist warned that seven states might see a surge in the number of positive coronavirus cases after the Labor Day weekend.
  • "There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • In the past, several states have reported surges in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases after a holiday weekend like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.

Dr. Anthony Fauci delivered a grim warning ahead of the Labor Day weekend, saying that seven states should be on high alert for a potential spike in coronavirus cases. 

"There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the leading White House coronavirus expert, told Bloomberg News.

"Those states are starting to see an increase in the percent positive of their testing; that is generally predictive that there's going to be a problem."

The warning comes after at least one of those states engaged in large-scale events in recent weeks. 

South Dakota held a 10-day motorcycle festival last month, a spectacle that drew more than 400,000 people and led to hundreds of positive cases nationwide connected to the event. Most attendees had not worn a mask and did not adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Multiple states have reported surges in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases after a holiday weekend like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.

As many states enter the seventh month of mask-wearing and quarantine, the coronavirus continues to spread nationwide. 

The disease has infected more than 6.2 million people in the United States, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that figure, more than 187,000 people have died. 

Anticipating a surge over the holiday weekend, the White House doubled down on the message to practice social distancing and wear masks. 

On a phone call earlier this week, Fauci and Vice President Mike Pence asked governors to continue to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing, Bloomberg reported. 

Following Fauci's warnings, President Donald Trump on Friday urged people to "remain vigilant" and "apply common sense." 

"As we begin Labor Day weekend, America's unprecedented economic recovery continues," Trump said, speaking at a White House briefing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Google is building its own town near its Silicon Valley headquarters, complete with parks, restaurants, and affordable housing

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:23am  |  Clusterstock
Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters.
  • Google submitted its proposal this month for a new campus near its headquarters in Mountain View, California. 
  • The new campus, called Middlefield Park, would span a 40-acre site and include public amenities like parks and sports field, retail space, restaurants, and affordable housing. 
  • Google wants the town-like campus to be walkable and bikeable, with all the amenities and services within a 10-minute walk for residents.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google hopes to build a new, town-like campus near its Silicon Valley headquarters. 

The company this month unveiled its proposal for Middlefield Park, a revamped 40-acre site in the city of Mountain View, California, where Google's main headquarters is currently based. The plan includes a parks network, retail space, office space, and even a public pool and sports field. 

The tech giant also plans to add as many as 1,850 residential units, and the company says 20% of those units will be affordable housing. The housing commitment follows a $1 billion pledge Google made last year to housing in the Bay Area, which included repurposing some its land holdings to create 15,000 new homes at varying income levels, including homes intended for lower- and middle-income families. 

Google's new campus plans come at a time when the future of offices is uncertain. None of the major tech companies has sent employees back to work in the US amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and Google's itself isn't requiring companies to return to work until July 2021

But Google isn't alone in reaffirming its commitment to physical offices. Last month, Amazon announced that it plans to expand its physical office space in six "tech hubs" across the US, investing $1.4 billion to build out the offices and adding 3,500 jobs. 

And Facebook in August signed a deal for a massive new office in the Farley Building in New York City. The office space spans 730,000 square feet and Facebook said at the time it will be used to expand the company's engineering operations in New York. 

While Google's plans are still in the very early stages, we got our first look at how the company is imagining its new campus. Take a look: 

Google said in its master plan for the development that it aims to "create a complete community" where all of the amenities and services are within a 10-minute walk for residents.

Source: City of Mountain View

Google's plan includes 1.3 million square feet of office space, 30,000 square feet of space for restaurants, retail, or services, and 20,000 square feet for community facilities.

Source: City of Mountain View

Google's plan will create 12 acres of public space, including a park network of six separate parks. The company says the parks will have space for playgrounds, outdoor fitness, bike paths, a community pool, a sports field, and a dog park.

Source: City of Mountain View

According to the Mountain View Voice, the Middlefield Park area currently has a significant amount of street parking that will be replaced by parks — the addition of 12 new parking garages makes that possible.

Source: Mountain View Voice

The proposal is still in its very early stages, and many of the buildings that will be constructed haven't been designed yet, according to the Mountain View Voice, but none of the buildings will be taller than 12 stories due to a nearby airfield.

Source: Mountain View Voice

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders called one of her former White House colleagues a 'liberal, aggressive, foulmouthed Jew from New York City'

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:21am  |  Clusterstock
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, March 11, 2019.
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary, describes one of her former colleagues as a "foulmouthed Jew" in her new memoir. 
  • Josh Raffel was brought on to the White House communications team by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Sanders describes him as "liberal." 
  • Sanders said she and Raffel eventually became close friends during their time working together. Raffel left the White House in 2018. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders describes one of her former colleagues as a "foulmouthed Jew" in her new memoir. 

In "Speaking for Myself: Faith Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House," Sanders describes former White House communications team colleague Josh Raffel as "a liberal, aggressive, foulmouthed Jew from New York City," according to Jewish Insider, which obtained a preview copy of the book. 

Despite being "pretty much his total opposite," Sanders, born in Hope, Arkansas, says she grew to love Raffel during their time working together.

"He is one of the funniest people I know, intensely loyal, and probably the most talented communications strategist I've ever worked with," Sanders writes. "Nobody in the White House could work a story better than Josh, and he was always one of the first colleagues I turned to for help on the toughest assignments." 

During his time working at the White House, Raffel was the spokesperson for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. He left the White House in 2018, returning to his work as a senior vice president of Hiltzik Strategies and head of marketing and communications at Blumhouse Productions. 

Jewish Insider reached out to Raffel about Sanders' book, and he described her as a "close friend." 

In another chapter of the book, President Trump told Sanders to go to North Korea and take "one for the team" after Kim Jong Un appeared to wink at her, she said in a new memoir, according to The Guardian.

Sanders said that during a summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore in 2018, "Kim nodded and appeared to wink at me."

"Well, Sarah, that settles it. You're going to North Korea and taking one for the team!" Trump told her, Sanders said. "Your husband and kids will miss you, but you'll be a hero to your country!"

Sanders served as White House Press Secretary under President Trump from 2017 to 2019. 

 

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Tens of thousands of schools have dangerously poor ventilation, raising the risk that the coronavirus could spread through the air

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:19am  |  Clusterstock
Elementary school students walk to classes to begin their school day in Godley, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.
  • As schools reopen, teachers and parents worry that weak ventilation will put students at greater risk of catching the coronavirus.
  • Poor air quality can impact test scores and learning; it's been a problem in US schools for decades. 
  • A June report estimated that 41% of school districts — 36,000 schools — need major upgrades to their ventilation systems. 
  • Experts suggest schools with poor air quality install portable ventilation systems. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

Three years ago, teacher Kerri Landry found a hole in the wall of her middle-school classroom in Coventry, Rhode Island. It looked strange, so Landry took a flash photo of the inside of the hole — and captured a troubling image.

"The entire inside of that wall was all black mold, the entire thing," she told Business Insider.

Left: A hole in the wall of Kerri Landry's classroom at the Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School in Coventry, Rhode Island. Right: Black mold inside the wall behind the hole.

Landry showed her husband Tom the picture. A specialist in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) at a local company called Environmental Systems, Tom knew the mold was an indicator of the building's poor air quality. 

School custodians patched up the hole and treated the mold, but Landry said she's seen mold in other classrooms, too. She thinks it may be a sign that her school — the Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School — shouldn't bring students back at all.

"This has been an ongoing issue for years," Landry said, adding that she's recently been telling anyone who will listen that the school district must fix its ventilation systems before students return. She feels strongly about that for her own safety as well as that of her students and two youngest sons, who attend a high school in the district. 

However, Landry's school district decided on Monday to do a phased reopening, with all grades slated to be back by October 13.

Kerri Landry, a teacher in the Coventry School District in Rhode Island, with her youngest sons.

Landry's school isn't exceptional: Research shows that air quality is a major issue in tens of thousands of schools across the US. A June report from the Government Accountability Office estimated that 41% of districts nationwide, or 36,000 schools, need major upgrades to their HVAC systems.

Before the pandemic, poor air quality in schools was problematic because it impeded kids' learning and lowered their test scores. But now, faulty HVAC systems are even more concerning since they could facilitate the spread of the coronavirus. 

The link between coronavirus transmission and HVAC systems

The coronavirus most commonly spreads via respiratory droplets emitted when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, or breathes heavily. But research suggests it can also be airborne, meaning the virus gets transmitted via aerosols: tiny particles or droplets that can hang in the air, potentially for hours at a time.  

Either way, most instances of documented coronavirus transmission have occurred in tight, poorly ventilated indoor spaces; one study (though not yet peer-reviewed) suggested that a person might be nearly 20 times more likely to spread the coronavirus inside than outside. 

Students are seen inside a classroom at a high school in Shanghai

Studies have also shown that poor HVAC systems can spread the coronavirus around, sparking outbreaks. In one case study, a single person infected nine others at a restaurant in Guangzhou, China. Epidemiologists found that the strong airflow in the restaurant's air conditioning — and lack of effective filtration and ventilation — likely carried droplets from one table to several others. 

"The biggest risk comes from poorly ventilated, crowded environments where people spend a lot of time. Unfortunately, that kind of perfectly describes a lot of schools," Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto, told Business Insider.

To ensure an HVAC system removes coronavirus particles from the air — at a school or elsewhere — it needs have adequate ventilation and filtration, not just circulation. One crucial factor, then, is airflow: the amount of new air that flows through a building. Most buildings should have at least 15 cubic feet per person per minute. 

Mike Saladino cleans an air duct before installing an HVAC filter at Gold's Gym in Islip, New York, August 24, 2020.

Filtration is also key: On commercial HVAC units, filters are rated according to their minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). Both HEPA and MERV-13 or -14 filters can block most coronavirus particles.

Most schools don't have safe indoor air

Most US schools don't meet the standards necessary to prevent coronavirus transmission indoors, according to Corey Metzger, who leads the school-reopening task force for The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE. The group offers a list of HVAC guidelines for schools. 

"A large percentage of facilities, if not the majority, don't meet our recommended minimums for ventilation or other operating capabilities," Metzger said.

These standards include proper filter installation, ensuring circulation of outdoor air, and balanced humidity levels.

A teacher wears a mask at a private school in Saint-Sebastien-sur-Loire, France, May 12, 2020.

Landry's husband, Tom, said these problems certainly persist in the schools where his wife teaches and sons study: Most don't have systems that can support MERV-13 and 14 filters. 

"Our schools are very old and [have] antiquated HVAC systems," he said. "The majority of schools in our town don't have any fresh air coming into them at all."

Craig Levis, the Coventry district's superintendent, told Business Insider that the middle school where Landry teaches is his "primary focus" in terms of addressing air quality. He said he's hired HVAC specialists to inspect the district's other buildings and help with quick fixes, like placing fans near windows to increase ventilation.

"If there are simple things I can do to mitigate the virus, I put a stake in the ground, and that's what we're doing," he said.

Siegel said he's concerned that fall and winter could make air-quality problems in schools even worse, since cold weather will likely lead teachers to close windows, and holding classes outside will be difficult. Plus, Siegel said, indoor heating could dry out the air, enabling viral particles to travel farther and drying out people's mucous membranes, which can weaken immune systems. 

What parents can look out for, and what teachers can do

Even before the coronavirus hit, poor ventilation in schools created problems for students, primarily due to the buildup of carbon dioxide. Previous studies have shown that high levels of CO2 in classrooms can contribute to poor focus and lower test scores.

But upgrading a school's HVAC system can cost millions of dollars and take months to years.

Siegel said a few other measures can mitigate the risks of low-quality ventilation systems in the meantime, though. For instance, portable ventilation systems can help filter air in individual classrooms. The filters are loud, but they work.

"I don't want anyone to think that I'm saying this is a simple problem, but it is a solvable problem," Siegel said. 

Additionally, although there's no simple, easy, or cheap way to measure coronavirus particles in the air, carbon dioxide can be a "canary in the coal mine," according to Roger Silveira, an air-quality specialist and the facilities director at San Jose's East Side Union High School District. Carbon-dioxide monitors sell for about $100

In a building with good ventilation, CO2 levels should generally stay under 1,100 parts per million, Silveira said. 

A wall-mounted carbon-dioxide meter reads 818 ppm in Walnut Creek, California, September 2, 2019.

Opening windows is another obvious way to mitigate the problem, as is holding classes in larger spaces, like gymnasiums and auditoriums, according to Dr. Tina Tan, an infectious-disease specialist at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

"I think right now we have to think outside the box," Tan said. 

She also recommends that teachers limit activities involving shouting or singing, since those create more potentially virus-laden droplets than ordinary talking.

Of course, remote learning is likely the safest option for many districts, though it comes with plenty of its own challenges.

Some districts that are reopening still offer a remote option for that reason; Landry's is one of them. At the moment, she's not sure what to do. Her sons want to go back to school, but both have preexisting respiratory issues. She doesn't want them to have a subpar, remote education, but she's also afraid for their lives. 

"It's so difficult as a parent to make this decision — no parent should have to make it," Landry said, adding, "it's like playing Russian roulette."

Read the original article on Business Insider

You can be both social and safe during the pandemic

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 9:00am  |  Clusterstock
  • Politics have largely influenced responses to the pandemic.
  • Science shows there are safe and responsible ways to enjoy outdoor dining and other social activities.
  • Until a proper treatment arrives, we have to find reasonable ways to live while also reducing harm to others.
  • Noah Friedman is a writer and producer based in New York.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Thinking about grabbing a beer at a bar soon? There's a hidden risk to consider, and it's not a virus.

If you post about your outing, prepare to face judgment from friends, followers, or some random person across the country. No, it doesn't matter if you're following all recommended safety measures. To some, there's simply no ethical way to go out to a restaurant, and they've found comfort in isolation and misery, holding it as proof that they're getting through the pandemic "the right way."

To be fair, there's a lot to be miserable about living in America during Covid-19. Over 180,000 people dead, dwindling and insufficient economic support, and dithering leadership at the highest levels. This has made for little clarity on best practices for reducing the spread of the virus. People have been left to make their own calls on how to behave responsibly.

Social pressure can be a useful tool in keeping everyone on track, especially given the void in leadership. Seeing everyone else wear their masks can be the reminder that you need to throw yours on. But it can also go too far, when it becomes less about promoting rational behavior and more about signaling who's handling the crisis better than others. 

The partisan pandemic

As with everything else, the response to the pandemic is largely divided on political lines. The right wants to largely ignore the outbreak, quickly rallying against mask protocols and pushing to reopen the economy as soon as possible. In April, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said "there are more important things than living" while praising the state's moves towards re-opening, tacitly offering up his life for the economic future of the country. President Trump tweeted: "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF." The protests of masks and closures align with basic reactionary ideological lines, dismissing science to "own the libs" and prove a point.

Meanwhile, the left adopted a cautious approach while questions swirled about what measures are actually effective. Are masks harmful or helpful? Can we jog outside? What about surface contact? Many chose to stay locked up inside alone, minimizing outside contact and lowering the risk of infection. All alone in isolation with nowhere to go, there was now plenty of time to worry about other people's behavior and whether it matched your own standards. Additionally, the right's brash ignorance led to a lack of nuance when it came to a serious conversation about a responsible return to society.

Contrary to much of the left's outcries,there are areas where reopening seems possible, namely New York City, which of course suffered one of the worst outbreaks in the world. Cases are now down to less than 300 a day, compared to over 5,000 daily in April. The infection rate is under 1%. So what's working for New York? Masks are worn indoors, testing is widely available, and restaurants and bars have appropriately-distanced outdoor seating.

And yet, social media posts showing socially-distanced, rule-following public outings are often met with digital finger-wagging, deeming anyone not holed up in their apartment as selfish, uncompassionate, and irresponsible. 

Even worse are well-intentioned but misleading studies on the spread of the virus. Everyone has become a keyboard epidemiologist since March, and these comments only heighten anxiety. I suspect it's rooted in a desire for some agency in a time when we seemingly have none.

While the right dismissed facts as a sign of loyalty to the president, the other side is also overlooking science to signal a moral superiority, shaming those who are choosing to venture out of complete solitude while still behaving safely. 

So, let's look at the facts of the situation: the odds of indoor transmission are 18.7 times greater than in open air. A study of 7,300 cases in China found just one was connected to outdoor transmission. Research suggests that the likelihood of surface transmission has been exaggerated and is actually quite unlikely. Washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face should do the trick. Reducing your social circle to a smaller "quarantine pod" has also been shown to be rather effective. 

Outside looking in

The restaurant industry is among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While over 10,000 restaurants in NYC have set up outdoor seating and increased takeout, they are still serving only a fraction of their regular number of customers. The federal paycheck protection program simply won't be enough to keep these restaurants above water, especially once outdoor seating is no longer an option during the winter. Without a more substantial bailout of the industry, the only way these restaurants and bars have any chance of survival is if they're patronized. 

My biggest question for people quick to judge others for going out is: what are you waiting for? While there have been positive updates on a vaccine, it still could be years away, if we're lucky enough to ever have one. In the meantime, in places with deflating case numbers, we must find a manageable way to live.

The cost of the pandemic isn't just Covid-19 cases and financial burdens; there's also a mental toll. More than 1 in 3 Americans reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder this year, compared to 1 in 12 last year, and over 53% believe the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health. Seeing friends can help ease the existential dread surrounding us, and if one can do so safely and without endangering others, why shouldn't they?

Naturally, ignoring all safety protocols is more dangerous than being overly cautious, but snidely commenting on Instagram posts won't cure the virus either. There's no prize for who can be the loneliest person, and ignorance can swing both ways. Don't let the reactionary right push you into a paranoid furor, and likewise, don't shame those who are safely trying to make it through this. It doesn't mean we're "over it," just that we need to adapt based on the current situation. Like it or not, we're all in this together.

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The director of 'Friday Night Lights' made a documentary about how Ford and the UAW pulled together to fight the coronavirus — here's the story of how it happened

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 8:53am  |  Clusterstock
Ford has produced 50,000 ventilators.
  • Director Peter Berg worked with Ford and the UAW to make "On the Line", a short documentary about the company and the union's joint effort to produce millions of face masks and other protective gear, as well as 50,000 ventilators, as the coronavirus pandemic was raging in early 2020 and Ford's factories were shut down.
  • Within weeks, Ford and the UAW devised a plan to bring volunteer workers to facilities to produce the urgently needed medical technology, using existing Ford materials and manufacturing expertise.
  • Rory Gamble, the UAW's president, had been on the job only a few months when the pandemic crisis hit.
  • "He flawlessly rose to the occasion," Hackett said of Gamble's determination to keep the UAW membership safe while also fighting the virus.
  • "It's an example of the very best within us, as a country, as workers, and for Ford as a company," Berg said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the US hard in March, Ford and every other major global automaker had to shut down production, taking the unprecedented step of idling assembly lines nationwide to protect workers from COVID-19.

At the same time, as the virus ripped through American society, sickening thousands, hospitals faced shortages of protective gowns, gloves, face masks and shields, respirators, and — for critically ill patients — ventilators.

Ford had been making pickup trucks and SUVs at its factories, so the company dusted off its World War II playbook and shifted gears. But this time around, instead of tanks and warplanes, the Blue Oval and its workers made medical equipment.

About five months and 50,000 ventilators later, the effort has been chronicled in a short film, "On the Line", directed by Hollywood veteran Peter Berg, known for films such as "Friday Night Lights" and "Hancock." The eight-and-a-half-minute documentary debuted at Aspen Ideas Now (an extension of the Aspen Ideas Festival) on Friday.

The new UAW president steps up to the challenge UAW President Rory Gamble has to deal with a pandemic and a leadership crisis at the union.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett and GE Healthcare executives oversaw what the companies called "Project Apollo," a name inspired by the movie "Apollo 13," which celebrated American engineering ingenuity under the extreme stress of a failed 1970 Moon mission when NASA fought to return three astronauts to Earth after an accident damaged their spacecraft.

An unsung hero of the story was Rory Gamble, the new president of United Auto Workers, who had been on the job less than six months when the pandemic struck, and was dealing with his members' concerns about workplace safety while simultaneously managing the fallout of a leadership crisis at the union. (His predecessor, Gary Jones, had stepped down amid a scandal and later pled guilty to embezzlement charges.)

The UAW and the Detroit Big Three — Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — are often thought to be adversaries. And the differences between labor and management had exploded in late 2019, when the almost 50,000 UAW members walked out on GM, striking for more than a month.

But the Ford effort (as well as a similar undertaking at GM) showed that Detroit's leaders, on both sides, could put aside their differences to "take care of each other," as Gamble said in an interview with Business Insider.

"He flawlessly rose to the occasion," Hackett said of Gamble's determination. "He saved a bunch of people's lives and deserves a ton of credit."

Gamble had been instrumental in pushing for factory shutdowns in mid-March, advocating for his membership. In the span of a week, the Detroit automakers and the UAW went from talking about how they would deal with the coronavirus crisis to idling plants in the US.

Hackett acknowledged that the pressure was a good thing. He estimated that Ford could have lost nearly 3,000 workers to the disease if the company hadn't swiftly pulled the plug.

"We got them out of the exposure path," Hackett said, calling the undertaking a phenomenal effort by Ford and the UAW. His praise for Gamble was unflinching. "I'd love to sit across the table from him," Hackett said.

"We set a common goal and left our differences behind," Gamble said, adding that the UAW and Ford approached the pandemic from a "humanitarian perspective."

"The entire world is fighting this virus," he noted. "It's a threat to all life, so all life should be fighting it collectively."

Enter the Hollywood storyteller Ford rapidly shifted from making pickups to producing medical equipment.

The story captured the attention of Berg, who had already been working on a project with Ford and Hackett about how the 117-year-old company was reinventing itself for the 21st century. So he set about following Ford workers and executives as they repurposed numerous automotive components to make millions of masks and face shields and tens of thousands of ventilators, at a pace Hackett called "mind-boggling." (UAW members volunteered to work at facilities that had to be revamped to make the medical technology.)

"There wasn't a lot of shaping that had to be done," Berg said of the narrative, which features longtime Ford employees talking about their commitment to the company and its history, but also to the virus-beleaguered public and to front-line medical personnel and emergency workers. 

"It's an example of the very best within us, as a country, as workers, and for Ford as a company."

Berg agreed that he had filmed a distinctly American story. 

"We're desperate for these stories today. Cynicism is at levels I haven't seen in my lifetime. But this is an undeniable example of American ingenuity. I had an authentic, no-BS opportunity to document that."

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

If you want to counter China's digital crackdown, regulate Big Tech at home and abroad

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 8:49am  |  Clusterstock
Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress.
  • American tech CEOs have fended off scrutiny of their business practices by portraying China as a bigger threat to US interests.
  • The way to counter China's digital agenda is not through a lack of regulation but rather through sensible regulations on the tech sector that balance between free and open discourse online and protecting privacy and democratic institutions, writes Coby Goldberg of the Center for a New American Security.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The heads of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook fended off tough questions from lawmakers last month at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee.

To help allay concerns about monopolistic business practices, each CEO sought to portray his company as representing American values and serving American interests. They all did so in part by pointing to a threat supposedly bigger than their own companies: China.

"If you look at where the top technology companies come from, a decade ago the vast majority were American. Today, almost half are Chinese," Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said in his opening remarks. "There's no guarantee our values will win out."

Limiting Facebook's power, he implied, would only play into Beijing's hands. Zuckerberg and the other Big Tech executives returned to the specter of Chinese technological dominance more than 30 times over the course of the afternoon, according to a New York Times tally.

Zuckerberg and Alibaba founder Jack Ma at the China Development Forum in Beijing, March 19, 2016.

This was not the first time that Zuckerberg has tried to use the China threat to Facebook's advantage.

In congressional hearings about Facebook's digital currency project, Libra, Zuckerberg warned that regulating it would leave the field open to rival digital currencies from China. He was also an early advocate of banning TikTok — the Chinese-owned short-form video platform that has become a major competitor of Facebook — ostensibly due to concerns that its parent company's ties with the Chinese government could lead to content being censored.

Zuckerberg is right to warn of the threat posed by China's technological authoritarianism.

Beijing has harnessed cutting-edge machine learning tools to build surveillance systems that can track residents' travel and even identify people as predisposed to crime. It is actively exporting this Orwellian vision by providing loans to the Chinese technology giant Huawei for its "Safe City" projects across more than 90 countries and by providing training on internet policymaking for foreign leaders from more than 30 countries.

But the way to counter China's digital agenda is not through a lack of regulation, as Zuckerberg and his fellow tech titans argue. In recent years, mounting concerns over violations of digital privacy at the hands of companies like Facebook and the rampant spread of disinformation online have undermined the notion that an open and free internet means an unregulated internet.

A better way to fight back against China's global technological ambitions would be for Washington to work together with its allies and build a broad coalition in favor of sensible regulations on the technology sector that strike a balance between free and open discourse online, on the one hand, and protecting privacy and democratic institutions, on the other.

President Donald Trump with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and other NATO leaders at the opening of the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, July 11, 2018.

The US needs to work together with allies to offer an appealing alternative to the Chinese system. But as it stands, the US and its allies are not on the same page.

Consider the issue of data rights: In 2018, the European Union implemented the General Data Protection Regulation, the world's most comprehensive data protection scheme. Australia, Japan and South Korea have all followed suit. In the US, though, proposed legislation on digital privacy tends to die on the floor of Congress, without being brought up for a vote.

On competition, too, America's allies have gotten out ahead of it. The EU, for example, has slapped Google with more than $9 billion in fines for antitrust violations. In rapidly growing countries like India, Indonesia and Thailand, which are wavering to varying degrees between the Chinese and American models of technological governance, surveys have found that more than 80% of the population thinks the power of Big Tech companies should be limited.

Yet in spite of clear global antipathy toward the laissez-faire US approach to tech regulation, American trade negotiators have persisted in trying to promote it abroad.

In trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and Japan, for example, the Trump administration forced the inclusion of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a controversial law that shields internet companies from liability for third-party content posted on their platforms.

The White House called its deals with these countries the "gold standard on digital trade rules." But both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee disagreed, saying it was "inappropriate for the United States to export language mirroring Section 230" while the law is the subject of a heated policy debate in the US.

Trump and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly meet with cybersecurity experts at the White House, January 31, 2017.

In many ways, Washington is already taking the initiative in setting the global digital regulatory agenda. Through programs like the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, the Trump administration has tried to build other countries' regulatory capacity and counter China's efforts to export of its authoritarian model.

And the US Agency for International Development recently unveiled its first-ever Digital Strategy, an effort to advance the American vision of "open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems" through partnerships with foreign governments and civil society groups.

But in order to promote those kinds of digital regulations abroad, the US needs to have an appealing vision of what they should look like. Many people across the globe dislike the Chinese model of state control over personal data, but they also do not want to give corporations unfettered ownership over their data.

A survey conducted last fall by the Pew Research Center found that around 80% of Americans are concerned about the way their personal data is collected by technology companies, and feel that the risks of this data collection outweigh the benefits.

A Chinese soldier in front of "Unit 61398," a secretive Chinese military unit believed to be behind hacking attacks, in Shanghai, February 19, 2013.

This points to a need for the US to build a domestic system that better protects its citizens' private information, perhaps even modelled after the EU's regulations.

Not only would that be in line with Americans' own stated preferences, it would also harmonize the US system with that of its allies in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, allowing these countries to more effectively work together to counter China's digital ambitions. After all, many countries are wary of China's heavily subsidized tech giants exerting dominance over global markets, but they also do not want to let America's tech giants form de facto monopolies.

Zuckerberg argued that strong regulations on tech companies would hamstring America's efforts to compete with China. That argument works only in his own interest.

Competing with China requires advancing a vision of a truly open and inclusive internet, and that will necessarily require meaningful regulations to claw back the power of Facebook and other American giants. If the US wants to slow the spread of China's Orwellian technologies across the globe, it must start by regulating Big Tech at home.

Coby Goldberg is the Joseph S. Nye, Jr. intern for the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The pandemic exposed how the US economy is failing America's workers. Here's how we can fix those flaws.

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 8:43am  |  Clusterstock
A worker disinfects shopping carts at a Publix grocery store in Florida.
  • At the beginning of the pandemic and throughout, we've clapped in support of essential and frontline workers.
  • We can't stop there. There are four ways we too can help bolster our broken economy.
  • Sarita Gupta is director of the Ford Foundation's Future of Work(ers) program.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

Every evening at the onset of the pandemic, people around the United States clapped for frontline workers, an important public ritual that helped hold us together during uncertain times.

Our economy has collapsed in the months since. America ranks among the worst performers of all economically advanced countries when it comes to job security, a reality that's been turbocharged by COVID-19. Millions who have experienced pandemic-driven job loss remain unemployed and without the support needed to weather the ongoing economic downturn.

As we approach Labor Day, a time to honor the country's working people, essential workers — who are disproportionately Black, people of color, immigrants, women, and other marginalized communities —  are being forced to choose between their lives and their livelihoods. A $300 decrease in weekly supplemental federal unemployment benefits has meant families already on the brink of financial ruin are now at risk of losing their homes and not having enough to eat. Meanwhile, billionaires have doubled and tripled their wealth

The economic fallout from the pandemic is shedding new light on the uneven economic realities faced by working individuals, families, and communities across the US. 

This collective experience is teaching us that all workers are essential to a functioning economy—including grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, farmers, caregivers, and factory, food processing, and restaurant and transportation workers—as they are the ones who have kept this country alive, despite being denied basic benefits or a say over their conditions.

This is a signal moment, one that demands a transformation, not just a retreat to "normal." Normal was devouring, unsustainable, and defined by decades of deepening inequality, rising precarity, and economic immobility. 

This time of crisis is our chance to reimagine an economy that works for everyone. There are ways to not just clap for essential workers, but to clap back at our broken economy. Here are four issues that we must be advocates for, and the organizations that help us do that.

A decent standard of living 

This means decent and fair compensation for work—a living wage—that enables all working people, regardless of gender, race, citizenship status, or ability, to meet their most basic needs. Wages have remained stagnant over the last 40 years, despite a 70% rise in net productivity. Pre-pandemic median annual earnings for 44% of US workers was just $18,000 and almost 50% of government assistance in 2016 went to full-time working people who fell below the poverty line.  

We should follow the leadership of organizations like Jobs with Justice, the National Employment Law Project and One Fair Wage who have marshaled the collective power of working people across sectors to advance more just and fair compensation in places like New York, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and across sectors. Their work is a timely rudder for this moment.

Guaranteed access to healthcare, paid leave, and benefits 

Before the onset of the pandemic, one in four working people in the US—approximately 34 million people—lacked paid sick leave. While just 8% of working people in the top quarter of earnings lacked access to paid sick days, almost half of those in the lowest quarter faced the same challenge. Additionally, growing swaths of the workforce, including those in gig, domestic caregiving, food processing, and farm work, did not have access to healthcare and other basic benefits, particularly among immigrant and migrant communities. 

In the US, the pandemic is revealing how predicating an economy on a system that ties healthcare to employment and incentivizes limitations to paid leave and basic benefits impacts us all. 

Coalitions like Family Values @ Work and Paid Leave for All are making major strides in campaigning for and securing paid leave and sick days across the United States. We need to build an economy that guarantees access to critical benefits for all working people and their families.

 

 

 

A robust care infrastructure

Care work is essential to a functioning and sustainable economy. Whether caring for children or elderly parents, growing numbers of workers need care support to remain in the labor force. Yet, it remains barely affordable and accessible to many working families. 

Working parents in low-wage work have been found to spend up to a quarter of their annual income on childcare expenses. Today, many working parents are struggling to manage dueling work and childcare responsibilities intensified by school and childcare center closings.

Care work has long been undervalued in the US economy, which lags behind many industrialized countries in its approaches to childcare and eldercare. Care workers themselves were denied labor protections until just a few years ago and still continue to face low wages. Consequently, up to 42% of care workers have been found to rely on public assistance for their food, healthcare, and cash needs. 

We need a bold and robust infrastructure for caregiving that ensures working people can afford care. The National Domestic Worker Alliance is demonstrating how this national caregiving challenge can be addressed through its Domestic Workers Bill of Rights which has seen adoption in several states. Others like the National Women's Law Center and Caring Across Generations are articulating and driving bold visions for universal care.

Safe and healthy working conditions 

Working people simply desire to conduct their work in environments where they can stay safe and healthy. Yet, this is not prioritized by many US employers where up to 50% of US workers face hazardous or unpleasant conditions. More recently, workers on the frontlines of the pandemic continue to find themselves working without adequate safety measures or equipment. 

This is disproportionately experienced among workers who are Black or come from other communities of color. Recent polls indicate that up to 73% of Black Americans have worked outside their homes during the pandemic compared to half of white workers. Some 68% of those Black workers working outside their homes were concerned with risks of contracting and spreading the virus. More importantly, Black workers were found to be more than two times as likely than white workers to experience retaliation by employers when they raised their concerns about COVID-19. 

We need an economy that values the safety of workers as people and as critical drivers of economic activity; where working people have a collective voice in shaping their work conditions without fear of retaliation.

Workers with organizations such as United for Respect are calling for changes that prioritize their safety and well-being amidst this pandemic. They are also experimenting around shared employer-worker governance models where workers can voice their concerns, including through the worker board they established at Toys "R" Us following its emergence from bankruptcy. CoWorker.org is supporting workers in the tech, gig, and other sectors to collectively raise their voices and transform their workplaces.

The rampant inequality working people face is not a fire that will burn itself out. The decisions we make, the demands we deliver, will determine whether we recover or relapse, whether we withstand this crisis and prevail over those to come. Let's honor essential workers by committing to a fight to advance an economy that truly works for all. The future of work must be today.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Only 3% of all US financial regulators over the past 90 years have been Black Americans, study finds

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 8:33am  |  Clusterstock
A person walks by the Federal Reserve on Saturday, April 25, 2020.
  • Just 10 out of 327 people who've been appointed to financial regulatory agencies in the US have been Black Americans, a study from the Brookings Institution found.
  • There has yet to be a single Black comissioner at the Securities and Exchange Comission or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for example.
  • The study concludes that Black Americans only entail 11% of new directors serving on the boards of S&P 500 corporations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

As Black Americans push for change and more diversity in corporate America, it turns out that they're underrepresented among the leadership ranks of financial regulatory agencies in a big way.

Just 10 out of 327 people who've been appointed to US financial regulatory agencies, or 3% of all financial regulators, have been Black Americans over the past 90 years, a research paper released on Wednesday by the Brookings Institution said. 

This includes federal financial regulatory agencies such as the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Though Black Americans make up 13.4% of the population, there have only been 141 Black members of Congress dating back to 1900, with 98 of them being voted into office over the past two decades. In comparison, according to the study, 140 Black American judges serve across all levels of U.S. federal courts.

The paper showed that there has yet to be a single Black commissioner at the SEC or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for example. The paper's author also pointed out that there has never been a Black chairman at the FDIC, SEC or the CFTC.

"This in effect means that African Americans have been, for the most part, shut out in any given year from representation on any given financial regulatory body," said Chris Brummer, the paper's author and faculty director at Georgetown University's Institute of International Economic Law. "The consequence is that African Americans have had little, and usually no direct say in the very shape and operation of finance, the lifeblood of capitalism and the U.S. economy."

One policy that Brummer refers to as an example of Black Americans largely missing out on having an equal voice in corporate America is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act enacted in July 2010. As the study concludes, Black Americans only entail 11% of new directors serving on the boards of S&P 500 corporations.

Brummer added that the lack of diversity in financial regulation isn't necessarily a partisan problem, indicating that both Democrats and Republicans haven't done the best job at attracting diverse talent given the fact that neither party in the US Senate "has sponsored an African American appointment in the absence of Executive political action since the first term of the Reagan administration."

The paper's publication comes after Jacob Blake, a 29 year-old Black man, was shot 7 seven times by police in Wisconsin, leaving him with serious injuries, sparking further civil unrest and protests across the US. 

Gbenga Ajilore, a senior economist at Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., tweeted on Friday that the Black-White unemployment ratio increased in August to a record-high since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

Also on Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the US economy added 1.37 million jobs in August, the fourth consecutive month of gains. Additionally, the US unemployment rate declined to 8.4% in August after reaching an historic high 14.7% back in April.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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