If the new Grimace goes on strike, we’re definitely winning

The week in work: Hamburglar thrashed; manicurists lashed; pizza drivers trashed; and animals abashed. 

It’ll be impressive if he can say say “robble robble” and leer at the same time

If you’re McDonald’s, you take up the public relations battle against higher wages by sending a hipster Ronald to SXSW and announcing a skeezy new Hamburglar with a suburban dad backstory who looks like he bought a Lone Ranger costume at Party City and now thinks he’s Christian Grey.

But if you’re an actual professional, you have to try to look like you know what you’re doing. At least, that’s what seems to be going on in this blog by a former Walmart exec and current public affairs consultant who offers his thoughts on how to successfully take on the fight for $15 movement. Mostly, he spends a lot of time comparing minimum wage protestors with… his wife…which is apparently… a jocular insult. Arguing over wages and marriage is like quicksand, he writes: “the more we thrash around, the further we seem to sink.” If you can get past the ugly relationship logic, it’s interesting to read the frustrated musings of the other side, but let’s leave that last business between him and the new Hamburglar.

And you thought they were talking about your ugly feet

During a manicure, a splash of nail polish remover lands on a customer’s Prada sandal. The customer demands compensation for the damaged shoe, so the salon owner takes the $270 out of the workers’ wages, and fires her. The lesson she takes with her: “I am worth less than a shoe.”

That’s just one of dozens of atrocious details in an comprehensive New York Times investigation of working conditions in nail salons. The paper went more deeply into the issue more deeply than any labor standards enforcement agency has, talking to 150 workers in 4 languages and uncovering a range of abuses including workers forced to pay $100 for their jobs; advertised wages of $10/day; serious health & safety issues; 10-12 hour shifts; and more. Owners justified the situation in language familiar to every employer-side argument about poor labor conditions: “We run our business our own way to keep our small business surviving.”

But maybe you're just looking for a pizza, not a relationship

Domino’s Pizza in Australia revealed new plans for tracking technology that they claim will “help you get to know your driver” by revealing their name, travel speed, and GPS location to customers awaiting delivery — and of course, to management. That level of monitoring is creepy enough, but it gets worse: they also want to “include fun facts about each driver, like their favorite sports teams and what music they listened to on the way over.”

Hopefully drivers find a way fight back by using this kind of map technology and a playlist like this one.

Homeless on the range

A zebra that had been relocated from its home to a job in a German safari park was seen sticking its head in a customer’s car window for some awesome selfies. Remarkably, wildlife do not customarily receive tips for this level of service.

A seal pup was found flopping on the streets of San Francisco, apparently part of a growing problem of homeless seals in that city. A Housing First approach is apparently a cost-prohibitive option with waterfront real estate so pricey.

And a ragged pony discovered roaming Key Peninsula with a back sore and a swollen eye is now being auctioned off by a less-than-sympathetic guy in Enumclaw after becoming a local community icon. It is believed that the new Hamburglar had nothing to do with the pony’s condition.