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.
May 30, 2013 |
In his Op-Ed article this week on hookup culture in college, Bob Laird links binge drinking and casual sex to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, confusion, low self-esteem, unhappiness, vomiting, ethical retardation, low grades and emotional inadequacy. "How nice of The Times to include this leftover piece from 1957 today," snarked a reader in the online comments. Fair enough, but Laird is more than out of touch. He also fundamentally misunderstands hookup culture, the relationships that form within it and the real source of the problems arising from some sexual relationships.
January 14, 2013 |
The Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam , is celebrating the city's cultural heritage with a package that includes a performance at the neighboring Saigon Opera House. The four-day, three-night "Opera Nights" package installs guests in the hotel's Opera Suite, overlooking Lam Son Square and the opera house, where guests will attend a performance of "Hon Viet” ("Soul of Vietnam”). Before the program, guests will have dinner in the hotel's fine-dining restaurant, Reflections.
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.
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.
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.