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Buy a Harley and Lose Your Job

39129 Views 267 Replies 66 Participants Last post by  BrineUSAF
Re: Buy a Harleyand Lose Your Job

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I don't own a television and yet ... I work for the local cable company. If my supervisors were as knee-jerk (emphasis on the jerk) as this guy's employers, I would be out of a job.

It all boils down to liberalism vs. conservatism.

Liberals surround themselves with other viewpoints because they deem it necessary for a healthy society to have many viewpoints. How can you make an effective decision without having all the different viewpoints in advance? Change is good, 'grey areas' are good, dissention is good (and healthy).

Conservatives surround themselves with one viewpoint because they feel it is the only 'correct' one. Anyone with another viewpoint is wrong and has to be converted or removed. Change is bad, 'black and white' is good because it is clear, dissention isn't tolerated.

My employers are liberal, this poor schmuck's are conservative and so he is out of a job while I'm still working and making my employers money.
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I'll put it in bike terms.

If I am a liberal owner of a bike shop, I don't give a rat's ass what bikes my staff ride in on. Harley, Honda, Yamaha ... I don't care. What is important is that they ride in in the first place. I want people working for me that love bikes, love to ride and who can infect my customers with that love of the lifestyle. I want staff who will put an arthritic 50+ on the cruiser that will keep him riding for a bunch more years at the same time as they can sell the hoidy-toidy office manager the Beemer he's been lusting after in the mags and the squid the Gixxer he's been bragging about at the local coffee shop. I want mechanics with experience on a bunch of different brands so that my customers can bring in their bikes - not necessarily ones they bought from me - to be serviced. I want them to love fixing bikes as a whole, not just x or y bike that they have a fetish for. The entire goal is to promote motorcycling as a whole - regardless of brand.

As a conservative bike owner, I choose the specific brand(s) that I think are the best and that I want to carry. I make sure that all my staff ride only those brands so that when people come in, they get a consistent message. I promote the brands I carry as the best option, pooh-poohing or putting down the others because I want my customers to believe that they are inferior. I want the best trained mechanics I can find - true experts in the brands I carry - so that I can promote my shop as the creme de la creme. Best bikes. Best service. Period. I want the image to be: 'buying anything other than what I carry would be unthinkable'. Any self-respecting owner would want to put their customers on the best rides around or else they wouldn't sleep at night, right? My goal is to educate and convince my customers so that they realize how great my bikes are and how amazing my service is and convert to my ideology.

I have a conservative bike shop owner in my home province. They sell only Italian bikes, always have, and have been putting down Jap sportbikes since the day they opened their doors. They are experts on wringing the best performance from a desmo, suiting you up to match the Ducatista lifestyle, promoting exotic near-race bikes from Aprilia and Ducati, etc. My friend works there as a mechanic and when they get together after work for a beer or two, it is like preaching to the choir because they all believe the same thing. This is the type of a bike shop that would fire you for buying a Harley.

This is also the type of bike shop that is in severe financial trouble right now. Aprilia is likely going under, taking Moto Guzzi with it if it goes. They have pissed off so many people by bad mouthing other brands - bikes that people have bought and are proud of owning - that they won't be able to make the switch to selling Jap sportbikes if the worst happens. Their mechanics have ALL their training on Italian bikes or have long forgot what they used to know.

Their conservative viewpoint cost them tons of good mechanics, loyal customers and potential brands to carry because they weren't open to the value of motorcycling as a whole. To them ... it meant riding Italian and Italian only.

Clear as mud?

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Re: Yes, that was definitely clear as mud

I'll respond ...

Once again you've reinforced the fact that you are more close-minded than any of your targets.
LOL. I sure as hell wouldn't fire a competent mechanic for what bike he rides to work, so that automatically makes me more open-minded than the owner in the story.

Conservatism and liberalism[snip]
Long before those two words became politically charged, they were simply philosophies being bandied about in the 1700s. If you liked change, considered it good and necessary, allowed for it, etc. ... you were a liberal. If you liked things to remain the same, were afraid of change and saw it as something to avoid ... you were a conservative. Hence the word 'conserve'. If you aren't open to alternatives, you are conservative in your outlook ... and that owner certainly wasn't 'open' to his mechanic riding a Harley to work ... was he?

You also have very little grasp of the competitive marketplace.
Really? You know that after two posts?

Brands do mean something and no dealer can get by without doing a bit of brand promotion. Brands can't be the be all and end all, though. Dealerships lose the rights to brands all the time. Contracts end and aren't renewed. Brands go under. Brands move their manufacturing to Upper Slobovia and start making crap bikes. Competitors show up selling the same brand. These types of changes are all but inevitable and to build your business so heavily around a select group of brands that you cannot adapt when those changes occur means you aren't a very forward thinking businessman. Good businesses plan for change because change is inevitable. Bad businesses stick to their personal mantra long after it has become obvious that change is necessary.

What you're saying is that anyone that YOU deem to be a conservative is crooked and stupid.
Boiled down, I said that conservative thinking is what caused the owner to fire the mechanic for riding the Harley and that conservative thinking, carried to extremes, can lead to situations like you see in the dealership my friend works for. If you take any mindset (including a liberal mindset) and apply it all the time to every situation or if you apply it too zealously ... you will make decisions that will come back to haunt you.

A liberal thinking dealer might be too brand agnostic, for example. What bike should I buy? Well ... there's this one and this one and this one and this one, etc. Pretty soon, the customer is overwhelmed and walks out because they want hard facts and are getting the mealy-mouthed 'all bikes are good' answer. I've seen this, too.

The situation dictates what mindset is successful and that means that neither liberal or conservative thinking are ever truly right or wrong. There is only 'right in this situation' or 'wrong in this situation'.

take a long look in the mirror blahblahblahblah
I'm a liberal thinker and because of that, I respect your right to disagree and your right to your own opinion. Somehow, I don't get the feeling that I get the same courtesy in return ...
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Re: Are you that self unaware?

Now ... THAT was funny.
Re: I think he has something here

Now, I can understand why, after 6 years as President, Dubya hasn't employed a single Dem in his administration and fires/belittles/attacks anyone who disagrees with him using his pet dog Rove.
LOL. I've been on three. Happened to get degrees in all three schools, too.

I happen to agree with you. Schools aren't very liberal at all and the higher you climb (grad school) the worse it gets.
Re: Are you that self unaware?

Two posts, based on a specific story about a specific employee and a specific employer make a prejudice?

I personally hate ideologies of any stripe. Pick your poison based on the situation, not because you decide in advance that you are a liberal and liberal's think like this and act like that.

I dumbed down the example into two camps to make the distinction in my reasoning easier to see, not because I think in simplistic dualities.
Firing someone is economic violence.

As an owner, you know that you are inflicting hardship on the firee and, if the firee has a family, on that family as well. Because of that, any reasonably compassionate employer is going to be judicious when canning someone, i.e. will do it for a good cause and when other alternatives haven't worked.

Having the right to fire willy-nilly doesn't mean that you should, in other words.
Because you disagree? I consider that a compliment!
Re: Are you that self unaware?

They aren't fantastic. They haven't fired me, though, and so they are open-minded enought to allow a guy who hates TV to work for the cable company. That's pretty good in my books.
I believe in my decisions until the evidence proves that I'm wrong and not one second longer. That, to me, is a strength, though I guarantee that a conservative would likely call that being indecisive. A conservative will cling to a belief far longer than a liberal - that's the definition of being conservative.
Unlike the thoroughly discredited Bill O'Reilly or Anne Coulter or Newt Gingrich or Tom DeLay? Unlike the ridiculously biased Fox News?

Echo chambers? Dubya has surrounded himself with fellow believers from the PNAC, so don't even begin to talk about echo chambers. Find me someone in the inner sanctum who isn't a PNAC crackpot and I'll eat my hat. Bush dumped anyone with a dissenting opinion and is stacking every political post he can fill with his sycophantic cronies. Clinton hired Powell and kept several ranking Republicans in key positions they inhabited under Bush Sr. because they had experience and did their jobs well. Dubya doesn't have a single Dem in any major position ... the idea is unthinkable because all Dems are morons. Why would you hire morons?

Alt-left weeklies are boring? If I have to hear yet another diatribe about the 'liberal dominated media' or about reclaiming 'family values' I'm going to puke. The extreme right sounds like a broken record.

Let's face it ... any ideology has its nutbars.

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Re: Thanks for the rude awakening Steve (i'll shut up now)

An employer can fire someone without reason or justification and without any measure of responsibility for the welfare of the family he just impoverished on a capricious whim?

Sounds like tyranny to me.
Re: Are you that self unaware?

Whoah there big fellah ...

That is the whole point of putting things into a binary ... the differences get overemphasized on purpose in order to make a point. If you want to get offended by these two extreme examples, then feel free to, but I'm just going to sit here laughing from the sidelines at how quick your knee jerks and how upset you get over two fictional bike shops that I created in my head as an illustration. I'll howl when you take my comments and apply them to ALL conservatives and ALL liberals instead of just the specific story and my personal example.

Obviously you got offended by my use of the words ... so my question is this: why do simple words that have many uses and contexts give you such fits? Why do you tie yourself with conservatism so heavily that when it is portayed in a less than flattering manner you personally get upset?
Re: I think he has something here

Ask pdad and some of the other folks, too. I'm not the only one swinging in this bar fight.

I made a simple comment about liberal and conservative mindsets and how they can often cause problems and several other posters extended my comments to cover Conservatism vs. Liberalism and Blue States vs. Red States and Dems vs. Republicans. I wasn't speaking politically at all, but they took the ball and ran with it because they cannot make the distinction between different uses of the words.

If they want to get offended because they take my comments about a stupid-ass bike shop owner and extrapolate it to the whole world ... that's their issue, not mine. Now that the fight is started, I'm chiming in like the rest of them. Don't like it? Don't read the posts.
Or, it's the definition of having an empirically or experientially correct belief. Do you arbitrarily change your beliefs just for the hell of it?

Empirically correct belief? Whatever. Conservative means traditional and traditional isn't always correct or empirically proveable. An extreme example is the Flat Earth Society: extremely conservative, extremely traditional and extremely wrong.

In the definition below, note my highlights ...

con·ser·va·tive: Pronunciation Key (kn-sûrv-tv)


1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.

2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.

3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.


1. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.

2. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.

5. Conservative Of or belonging to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.

6. Conservative Of or adhering to Conservative Judaism.

7. Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources.
Re: Thanks for the rude awakening Steve (i'll shut up now)

Tyranny is when you exert force or control over someone else without their consent. An owner firing someone is tyrannical because the employee obviously doesn't consent. A government forcing him to keep said employee is just as tyrannical but in the opposite direction.

Holy ****e. Was that a few square yards of what they call 'common ground'?
There is no paradox except for those folks who insist that all Republicans are the same.

Bush is just smart enough to hire really smart people to advise him. Those really smart people are the MBAs and CEOs. Those smart fellas use campaigns of 'creative disinformation' to manipulate the undereducated and prejudiced hicks into voting their way. Combine the backwards hicks with all the normal Republican voters and you had enough people to put the neocons into the White House. Powell used to call the neocons the 'crazies' when they were underlings in Reagan's administration, so even at the top ranks there are Republicans and there are Republicans, if you know what I mean.
Re: Yes, that was definitely clear as mud

No ... I didn't mean it in the political sense at all. That is precisely what I didn't capitalize them, used 'liberal thinking' instead of 'liberal' when I remembered to, etc.

I didn't generalize to anything other than the story and the bike shop I know. You overreactionaries took my words and applied them to all conservatives and all liberals, applied my words in the political sense ... and got yourselves offended. You did the 'generalizing' all by your lonesomes.
What is so hard to understand about this? Small "l" liberal means "open-minded". Big "L" Liberal means 'supports the political philosophy of Liberalism'. The two aren't the same thing and you consistently confuse the two.

Check any dictionary and there will be several definitions of a given word. Which a person means depends on the context it is used in and the usage within the sentence. To help straighten out confusion, it is common usage to capitalize the "L" when you are speaking about the political philosophy.

Go back, read my posts, and insert 'open-minded' where ever you see liberal and insert 'close-minded' where ever you see conservative. If I could edit my posts after the fact, I would have done it already.
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