December 28, 2013 |
A Times investigation into the intense sales culture at Wells Fargo Bank, published in Sunday's newspaper, has drawn strong reaction from the bank's customers and employees. Many related experiences similar to those described in the story. The Times reported that rigid daily quotas caused many employees to unethically inflate sales - often by pushing unnecessary accounts or services, at times without customer permission. Some staffers begged family members to open ghost accounts; others ordered credit cards that customers never requested, or forged signatures on account paperwork.
December 11, 2005 |
IN Switzerland, the land of watches, trains really do run like clockwork. "If I'm 30 seconds late, the train is gone," said Michelle Kranz, who commutes daily into Lucerne, where she works for the tourist board. Step across the border, and you're in a different universe. Italy has two rail schedules: the one printed in the brochure and another, flashing updates, on a board in the station. The first may be a fantasy; the second, reality.
April 15, 2012 |
Long before there were "real" housewives on television, actor-politicians and even potential celebrity politicians like Donald Trump, theme restaurants, virtual online vacations and Kim Kardashian, who makes her living by being Kim Kardashian, there was "The Image," historian Daniel Boorstin's prescient examination of a nation in transition, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its publication this year. When "The Image" first appeared, one critic predicted that it would join William Whyte's "The Organization Man" and John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Affluent Society" as one of those seminal books that not only capture the zeitgeist but change the American mind-set.
January 17, 2012 |
Here's a good excuse to visit Sacramento next month and cash in on a little culture in the capital. The city's museums will open their doors for free in honor of the annual Sacramento Museum Day. The deal: Twenty-six museums will offer free admission 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 4. Two other locations -- the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town -- will feature half-off admission tickets on the same day. To take advantage of Museum Day, you really...
January 1, 2012 |
Karaoke Culture Dubravka Ugresic Open Letter: 324 pp., $15.95 paper Dubravka Ugresic does not like karaoke. That doesn't stop her from trying it, just as her resistance to celebrity doesn't stop her from putting her head through a cutout on a Hollywood studio tour so that she can be photographed with Clark Gable. Ugresic, a game and inquisitive critic, looks at culture from all angles, which sometimes means picking up the mic . Karaoke recycles rather than creates, she argues in "Karaoke Culture," the 100-page essay that lends its name to the title of her new collection.
May 15, 2013 |
Here's a proposal that would have a hard time finding support in the United States. A new government study in France suggests levying a new tax as high as 1% on the sale of smartphones, tablets and other Internet devices, with the funds going toward funding cultural initiatives. The proposal was submitted Monday to President Francois Hollande as part of a larger report on digital culture. The report was created by a team led by Pierre Lescure, a journalist and former executive at Canal Plus. The focus of the report is the so-called French cultural exception in the changing digital landscape.