DO CORPORATIONS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR COMMUNITY?

   DOING BETTER. DO CORPORATIONS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR COMMUNITY?

"One in eight people in the United States has been employed by McDonald’s. It is not only the most popular fast-food restaurant but the place where most Americans have worked."

What are they learning?

Years ago when I was a student at soon to defunct paralegal school (National Academy of Paralegal Studies), I asked a funny question of my professor: "If corporations are people too than why can't they be good people?" He chuckled and so did the rest of the class and then stated, "Fiduciary Responsibility."

The other day I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend and a homeless individual starts to throw a parade throughout the facility. He was really have a great time and to me at least was annoying. Then the next day a person sleeping in this same eatery. No place to go. Management asks him to leave and he doesn't. A little while later the same scene is repeated with more vigor and nothing changes. That made me think of Wayne Dyer and when he stated-that when someone does something good that others around them are affected as well.

And so a few minutes later and Manager 501 is furious and isn't manager enough to manage a homeless person. Just like me from time-to-time we both lacked the creativity to deal with the situation at hand.

And that reminds me of a short story. Working at Price Chopper in Lebanon, NH  ("I spent a year there in a week.") my boss told me to go roust a homeless individual at the side of the store. Now we had a policy that paraphrased stated that if you saw something wrong you dealt with it.

My first thoughts were, "Why do I have to deal with this," and "Why didn't she deal with them?" So I approached the man and said, "Howdy,' and then handing him a few dollars asked if would go and wash up in front of Wal-Mart, NH didn't have many visible homeless individuals like other areas of the country.

So later I thought about the scene that played out earlier in the day and wondered what my friend would do if I had invited either of these individuals to eat with us, Then I thought about what a lose-lose situation all this was for the company and the individual. Couldn't we do better than this?

And then I thought of working at Wal-Mart I lasted the basic eight months that most do. A friend lasted 33 years. Bravo! And I flashed back on a woman who came to work every night and she   was smelling like trash.

One night I got the courage to talk to her. And she volunteered that the pipes in her home were frozen and she couldn't pay to get them fixed. They had that big board up with how they were helping in the community with nothing on it (they did good things. They just didn't put it up on the board) and wondered why the human corporation ignored her plight.

And then why did I ignore her situation? Lots of answers to that one.

And seeing that man not budging and really believing in our quest to be an exceptional country and thinking that we could do better than this...

"Should corporate humans be responsible for things like cleaning up rivers and streams and reducing crime and creating housing and on and on and on?"

Once thought that if the City of Chicago granted the right to Wal-Mart to repair dilapidated housing that they would make a profit on it.

What the heck was I supposed to do with this situation at the restaurant? The best plan was that maybe I could just ignore it. Here I was thinking that Corporations as people had a responsibility to take care of others and their surroundings and I didn't want to do any of that in this situation.

What was a win for all parties involved? Was wondering if McDonald's had any policy on helping the homeless? Whatever they were doing now wasn't working.

I have a few ideas in general for this business to make itself a better human corporation:

Two stores I can think of that won't even take care of the planters in front of their properity. How much gumption does that take?

So what business is McDonald's in? Are they just a fast food company or group that holds on to real estate as their founder stated? 

Are they in the customer service business guaranteeing satisfaction with each visit? What's in it for their employees?

I had a dream that Mr. Beast and Mike Rowe would clean the Chicago River? Baltimore has a boat that extracts tons of waste from their waterway each day. 

What human corporation could sponsor such an endeavor? What would it be worth?

"Herman Cain Believes in Happy Employees: Tired of surly DMV employees? Ready to lose it if one more postal worker glares at you? Well, get ready to pull the lever for President Cain. When managing a Burger King restaurant, Cain became frustrated when he wasn’t allowed to make any significant changes, including changing prices or increasing the amount spent on marketing.

As he tried to figure out how he could increase profits, he noticed his Burger King cashiers were failing to radiate good cheer as they rang up customers. So he “established the BEAMER program, which taught our employees, mostly teenagers, how to make our patrons smile” by smiling themselves. It was a success: “Within three months of the program’s initiation, the sales trend was moving steadily higher.”

Can you imagine a society in which corporations took care of the rivers, the homeless, crime and their community? What benefit would that have toward their bottom line? How much word of mouth advertising would that be worth?

Is it exceptional to have polluted rivers or people sleeping in/on the subways in America?

Once upon at time I worked as a low level supervisor in a Grocery store. The culture in the beginning was that if you saw something that needed to be done you did it. You didn’t wait for the right person to handle it-you got the job done.

That meant that you might be on register and a man from corporate would be bagging for you, or a boss would go out and push carts, or if you saw a mess you cleaned it up yourself. For the most part there was no caste system. Why do some people believe they are above doing menial yet useful tasks ? Gung Ho ! What are you Gung Ho about ?

Wishing that I hadn't done that deep thinking. Why was it so ridiculous to ask corporations to take care of their environment?