Rivera-Panthers Future, Wal-Mart’s (lack of) Humanity Not Good

Black Friday is NOT about cool, its about busting sales. Six ladies buying 5 half-price sweaters each at noon beats one drunk at 1 am.

After the Carolina Panthers spit the bit on an 11-point lead with about 6:00 left and lost to Tampa Bay in OT 27-21 Sunday, the level of negatives I’ve heard (and felt) has gone up in a major way.  It goes beyond Rivera’s 8-18 overall record as head coach too, but giving up late leads four times this year and at least the same number last year obviously aggravates all. When an owner like Richardson, KNOWN to make decisions in a very even-keel manner (vs. Jerrry Jones or the late George Steinbrenner) fires a GM like Marty Hurney, who only evaluates-brings in-pays the players vs. makes tackles and has zero input on what happens for 60 minutes each week, ‘discontent’ is at critical for sure.

This was expected to be a pivot year, away from the 2-14 train wreck of 2010 that got Panthers the right to select Cam Newton who, with an impressive rookie campaign under his belt, had many seeing 9-7 (and playoffs?) in the teams 2012 plans. Last year’s 6-10 *could’ve* been 8-8 with just a couple defensive stops, but Atlanta and Tampa losses this year were especially galling because they seemed to be in the bag. That Rivera said three weeks ago “at some point we’ll make the plays that close people out” is inadequate, and players supporting the coach and vowing to get it righter soon misses the point too. You play until 0:00 is on the clock, and if you back off the gas/play ‘prevent’ defense or run ‘safe’ but vanilla plays that wind up giving other guys another chance, that WILL wind up biting you in the behind.

Green Bay and New Orleans NEVER stop trying to score, and if the Saints have to score 35 a week to win, Drew Brees can do that–you DON’T want to see either of them with the ball and game on the line. Cam Newton shouldn’t be questioning play calling post-game; even WR Steve Smith kept his mouth shut in public when things truly sucked two years ago. Last year Panthers discovered moving the chains with dump down plays to tight ends Olsen and Shockey was a huge advantage for Newton, and I felt sorry for Jimmy Clausen, because as a rookie QB in 2010 he saw continuous hard core blitzes on 3rd-long situations without such a safety blanket. The point is, you change what doesn’t work. Most commentators don’t believe Richardson will make a coaching change mid-season, but Rivera said this week if he’s not back next year, he’ll be A-OK anyway. (HUH?!!) Fan frustration probably won’t change that equation, but armchair QB-ing says examples of what NOT to do are abundant.

As for Wal-Mart employees threatening to walk out on Black Friday because company is working them through the holiday, and a Target employee started a blog that complained about similar treatment, I’m of opinion I’ll spend a majority of my first five hours (in at 11:30pm T’giving Day for 12 hr. shift) doing mostly nothing and I’m ticked about it too. Jack will be *killed* all afternoon because he’ll be by himself, and Nautica plan for the last two days of month total $15,000 and small change. With no secondary register (or me), he’ll have to ring customers,CLEAR THE CHANGING ROOMS/TRY PUTTING S**T BACK IN ORDER, take sensors out and bag everything himself–even the smallest glitch will be magnified and cause customer backups, which is never a good thing. Notice that “helping customers find things” isn’t in the mix.

Our manager was gone as of last Sunday, and schedule for this Saturday is 6 hrs. each with no overlap (9:30-3:30, 3:30-9:30) and that’s another disaster waiting to happen. While we get holiday pay (7 hrs. for T’giving and 45 total hrs. for week), beating the crap out of employees so selectively vs. cut to 32 until just last week, sucks in plain terms even if its Business. I talked in straight-ahead manner with new HR manager Sunday about management’s interpretation of loooow (40%) ‘Availability of Asst.’ numbers, but whether that means anything, I have my doubts. The company obviously doesn’t care that cutting hours meant Jack and I missed getting bonus $$ last month, but with a MASSIVE amount of merchandise in stores, it will behoove them (and ‘them’ includes Wal-Mart, Target et al) to remember you reap what you sow. We sold a lot of ladies boots opening at 3 am last year, but 95% of store saw very little business. Smarter coverage means enough people during max times, not just being open with half-staff in middle of the night.

Stomping on the familial plans/feelings of the peasants WILL eventually cause a backlash like Wal-Mart is facing. If losing $5-800 million or so because people drop stuff and leave would be a decent taste for other operations to consider too.

Glenn S.

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