That's just silly. It's not like BMW offers a bike that's in anyway comparable to an Aprilia Tuono or a Mille or a Falco.
It's also possible that if word gets around the business might lose more trade because of loss of good will due to such firing practices. I know that I would never frequent any motorcycle dealership that fired employees for such stupid reasons. Word of mouth is an extremely important source of customers.
How can what one of your employees drives or rides effect sales? As a customer I assure you I couldn't care less how your employees get to work, only that they are competant and honest in their dealings with me and the rest of the buying public.
I go to a specific bike shop because they sell the particular bike I'm interested in, they sell it for a reasonable price, (not neccessarily the "lowest" price) and they have a good parts and service department if I need it.
I really don't think a buyer who wants a Victory, Honda, whatever is going to see a compettitors product in the parking lot and say "gee, I guess I better get one of them instead" How the hell would we know it's an employees bike in the first place?
Yeah. No wonder they can't get jobs there. Who'd hire anybody? For that matter, I can't figure out why anyone would put up with the incredible regulatory problems of running a business or being a landlord in the People's Revolutionary Collective of California.
The boss is obviously a bit of a prick. But if it's an "at will" employment state, he might have been well within in his rights. But as Steve mentioned, there is a financial disincentive for taking such action.
But you do have to question the judgment of the mechanic. In any business that is as competitive and high profile as the motorcycle sales business, I would think that you'd have to be aware that buying a competitor's bike would rankle some. Employees are expected to have some loyalty, and if they respect their employers, doing something that could cause embarassement or even harm to the company is generally not a good idea.
Still, I would think that if the two had a good relationship, this could be something that could be worked out reasonably. It's a shame that the boss took such extreme action.
Of course, we don't know what their relationship was like before this, either. I couldn't read beyond page one of the article. Was there a specific rule about buying competitors' bikes communicated to the employees at the time of hire?
Quick story: I was working on an advertising account that was a division of a major cell phone manufacturer a few years ago. When our client (a division marketing exec) saw one of our staff members was using a competitor's phone, he took it out of the guy's hand and dropped it in a full mug of beer.
Letting your client see you using a competitor's product is a big no-no. This is sort of the same situation.
Uhhh, that was satire. I was simply trying to demonstrate the stupidity of "red state - blue state" generalizations.
Anyhow, if some blue states are richer than some red states then, by your very own belief system, you are required as an "evil rich state" to give wealth to "poor oppressed states", right? So what are you complaining about? It's your precious wealth redistribution scheme. Tax the rich! Give to the poor. What's the complaint? Wealth redistribution is the chief belief of the liberal fer crissakes.
Actually, it could also be easily argued that liberalism is making any independant thought and expression more and more difficult. If there is anywhere that groupthink is thriving, it's in your liberal Utopia.
Just the fact that you need to classify everyone into two distinct groups contradicts your supposed philosophy. Congratulations, you've unintentionally destroyed your own argument. That's not easy to do.
Most people fall somewhere in between.
Now, a better analogy would have been if you had satellite TV instead of cable. The fact that you have no TV is probably of little concern to your employers. Besides, you wouldn't ride your TV to work, would you?
I used to work at a General Motors plant and there were actually a lot of competitors' cars in the parking lot... well at the back of the parking lot anyways. In that case the company offered employees fairly substantial discounts to buy their products (as nearly everybody is aware these days) and if the carrot didn't work it was left up to other employees to provide the burning stares and guilt.
Of course, that was a union plant and you would have to probably get caught selling heroin at work, screwing the boss's wife, and firing a gun in the parking lot to lose your job. Well, probably not the boss's wife part... that wouldn't be grounds.
There's a lot to this story that we don't know. Was the guy a habitual trouble maker? Did the company have a published rule about this? Was this the last in a series of issues?
It seems to me that in every job I've ever had (I was not union represented while I worked at GM) it's been made pretty clear that the employment was "at will" and if the company decided so I could be on the street. In most cases it's up to the employee to make himself or herself as valuable a contributor as possible. Having a back up plan and some cash in savings is a good idea but not doing something stupid to show your complete disdain for the company is another good place to start.
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