Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sam Zwell's Quirky Handbook for Hacks

Some highlights of the company rules in the new Tribune employee handbook, released to his 20,000 Tribune employess by mogul Sam Zell:

"Rule #1: Use your best judgment.

"Rule #2: See Rule 1.

"That's it. That is the one hard and fast rule. Unless a serious mistake was made when you were hired, you have pretty good judgment."

From Tribune Company Core Values section:

"4. COMPETE. Play to win. Market shares add to 100%. We can't grow our share of revenue or audience unless someone else's goes down.

"5. PLAY FAIR. But remember that there is nothing unfair about taking advantage of a competitor's weakness. It's not unfair to scoop a competitor on a big story or closet them on a key account. Not playing to win is unfair to your teammates and to all of the company's stakeholders."

From the Employee Manual section:

"2.5. Discrimination based on gender, age, race, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristic not related to performance, ability or attitude, protected by federal or state law, or not protected (such as inability to tell a joke, the occasional poor wardrobe choice or bad hair day), is strictly prohibited."

"4.1. Working at Tribune means accepting a creative, quirky, intelligent, odd, humorous, diverse, opinionated and sometimes annoying atmosphere.

"4.2. Working at Tribune means accepting that sometimes you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use. You might experience an attitude that you don't share. You might hear a joke that you might not consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process.

"4.3. This should be understood, should not be a surprise and is not considered harassment."

"4.5. Making the building too hot, banging on trash can lids or loud bagpipe music are annoyances you can complain about, but this policy is about harassment on the basis of protected characteristics. It's really bad judgment to intimidate, persistently annoy, inappropriately touch, treat people differently because of their protected characteristics, or otherwise make members of our team uncomfortable, no matter how you do it."

"5.1. Under Rule #1, you may want to think twice before you enter into an intimate relationship with a co-worker. When you start, it might seem like a good idea. It's when you stop, or the wrong people find out (and they will) that you could discover that perhaps it wasn't."

"7.1. If you use or abuse alcohol or drugs and fail to perform the duties required by your job acceptably, you are likely to be terminated. See Rule 1. Coming to work drunk is bad judgment."

"18.1.1. Under normal circumstances, Tribune will not snoop in your e-mail or track your internet usage.

"18.1.2. Remember that cyber-slacking is not good judgment."

"18.2.2. It is expected that you will not share anything of a proprietary nature with anyone outside the company."

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