Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring cleaning: Guess who's coming to dinner?

The following memo was sent yesterday to Asbury Park Press employees by Executive Editor Hollis Towns, leading me to wonder: Is Corporate on the road again? I believe they were seen recently at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

From: Towns, Hollis
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 12:34 PM
Subject: We're expecting company


Our work areas have become too cluttered, and company is coming next Wednesday, March 30th.  Please take a few extra minutes to clean around your work areas. If you need trash carts, contact [XXXXX] today in facilities.

I'd like to have this sprucing up completed by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 29th.

Thanks for giving this your immediate attention.


Earlier: Towns defends sports stories written by team employee


  1. I see nothing has changed. The brass is coming, and upper management is more concerned about making things look nice rather than putting out a good paper.

    At the Gannett paper I worked for, we used to receive e-mails every day ordering us to clean up if corporate was visiting. Garbage cans were even placed around the newsroom, er, Information Center, for people to clean up.

    And the pathetic thing was, the FT cleaning staff had been among the first people laid off and a private group came in once a week. So essentially, journalists were spending time cleaning their work station instead of, you know, practicing journalism.

    Just once, I'd like to see some management types not kiss the butts of corporate, and let the building stay dirty. If corporate complains, tell them to start stepping up to the plate themselves and provide some money so the employees can do some work in a clean building.

  2. We have one guy who dumps the trash and vacuums once a century. The building is so poorly maintained that OSHA should show up and start issuing fines. The ventilation system is downright scary. On the brighter side, I've developed an immunity to most toxic molds and dust-borne pathogens.

  3. I think someone should poop on the floor.

  4. Vacuuming? Hardly ever. Dusting? Never. Empty trash cans? Daily.

    Doesn't Towns have anything more pressing on his mind?

  5. 4:03 p.m. Oshkosh?

  6. Heaven forbid folks would ever clean up the mess on and around their desks! You have "people" to do that huh? Hypocrits!

  7. It was the same at my site. I kept my workstation clean and organized, yet a manager would come by and tell me to take down a certain cartoon or somethin'. Silly. Because once corporate arrived, they would NEVER deign to even be within 50 feet of the dregs doing the work! Just more pretension to portray happy, productive worker drone widgets.

    Even with a clean, organized work area, there was always something "wrong" with it. And what better use of work hours than cleaning instead of producing?

    They came down so hard on us that several people who valued their self-respect as productive employees, kept on working; they came in on their day OFF to make the place acceptable to these charlatans who would never even notice it.

  8. Nice speech 7:00 but I'd love to see a photo of that "organized" work area!

  9. I recall when John Curley (remember him?) stopped by the Rockland office. He came real early in the morning. I was the only one there. He had three suits with him. They looked at the newsroom, nodded their heads and left.

    That was corporate's big visit.

  10. Hey 4:19: "I think someone should poop on the floor."

    We had someone do this at Springfield way back when. Obviously they got fired... I'd forgot all about that until now--thanks for the laugh.

  11. Nothing like a thread about cleaning to bring out the idiots.

    "Poop on the floor" -- wow, Gannett must be proud it hired you!

  12. Oldtimers at my site swear that several years ago the managing editor personally inspected the hotel rooms reserved for visiting corporate execs, even replacing dim lightbulbs with brighter ones (for some undetermined reason, because the visitors never gave any indication that they read our newspaper). It paid off well for her, because she's now an executive herself in the Crystal Palace.

  13. This is such a farce. Crystal Palace is no better: walls in need of paint, cracked walls, coffee stains on marble floors, and overhead light bulbs not being replaced after burning out (too costly).

  14. This editor is the president of APME.

  15. Yes folks. Clean those desks. Dubow isn't paid $9.4 million to look at your trash/work product. When corporate came through Des Moines a few months ago, our editor not only had clean desks for Dubow & Co., but created a little sitting area in the "info center" with a TV (no one uses it now), added flat-screen TVs, closed some bathrooms that had been in serious disrepair, added Des Moines Register signage everywhere, a red carpet (literally) at the entry, a waiting room with couches at the entry, and then we had the city block off the pay-parking so Craig & Co. had a place to pull in with their rented SUVs and Lincolns. Yes, we spent loads of cash to impress people who supposedly ARE us.

  16. what happened to the vp of advertising? reason for leaving?

  17. The VP of advertising at the Press? She was laid off...

  18. no, the vp of advertising in louisville?


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