Welcome to the Diversity World Outlet Stores complex in San Francisco, California, where reality exceeds dreams in a souk of a different color. A computer tracks employees, racial, ethnic religious, gender, income level, age, intelligence, disabilities along with other demographic data to make sure social justice is served in the work place.
This project is a pilot program organized by the Federal government to be a model for private enterprise to facilitate the creation of a more just society. In charge of this undertaking is Carlo Marks, fresh off his triumph from supervising the rollout of the Affordable Care Act web site. While some of the media criticized his efforts, Diversity World’s Director staunchly defended his role in the Obama Care start up.
Marks said the problems with his last job were that four years was just not enough time to prepare the web site considering we had to obtain the right mix of employees to handle the computer programming. “You try to find a single parent, dwarf, handicapped, mixed blood, Indian women to fill a slot in order to achieve needed diversity goals. It takes time.”
The Mall of the Future
To make sure this enterprise is not “separate but equal”, all employees of Diversity World are required to wear masks and berkas to staff meetings to assure there is neither racial profiling nor preferential treatment given to blonds. Intelligence of workers is not being taken into account in evaluating personal because having a high IQ is too much of an advantage for smart people over the dim witted. Managers are to be determined on a rotating basis with conformity being the major consideration in the final selection process.
“Dress for success” will not be tolerated thus standard uniforms will be required to avoid an elitist style consciousness. However, on designated casual Fridays, employees are encouraged to purchase “Last Resort Casual” apparel from “Cross Dress for Less.” to build morale in the work place It is hoped everyone will look, talk, and think the same to encourage creation of a positive environment where team work will reign supreme.
Even though Diversity World is a self proclaimed success much like the Affordable Care Act, it is not without its problems. Its liberal family leave act has resulted in employees being absent for months at a time with full pay without being required to give any explanation for their whereabouts.
Due to the new definition of the nuclear family which ranges from large households to hermits, a great deal of latitude is given in determining eligibility. Bereavement can vary from a death of a loved one to the untimely passing of a beloved pet gold fish.
Disciplining or dismissing employees in the Mall of the future is mentioned in an obscure appendice in the employee hand book. Using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Lois Lerner model, it is virtually impossible to be reprimanded or fired. Even convicted child molesters and ax murderers are given fully paid administrative leave until their appeals are determined by a higher court. Those serving prison sentences of less than 18 months are allowed to telecommute but are not given a travel allowance.
As a perk, Diversity World has several trained psychologists and counselors on staff to be available when employees are in need of their services. They take care of problem areas ranging from gender modification to passive/aggressive behavior issues, PMS prevention, and political correctness interventions. “We want our employees to properly interact with the public and also be sensitive towards their fellow workers” the Director emphasized.
Naturally, Marks said of the Mall of the future, “everyone who is employed at Diversity World is paid the same living wage to make sure they can support their families well above the poverty line. Other than what he called “minimal administration” all decision making is made by committee. The main purpose of this type of work model is to make sure “everyone is involved and has a voice in determining policy regardless of the outcome” he explained
If outside assistance is needed for Diversity World, a group of experts formally employed by the solar energy firm Solyndra are available to consult on accounting, business plans, sales, marketing and government grant applications. “Their track record of creating diversity in the work place is one we should all emulate” Director Marks proudly stated.
Apparently, the Diversity World collective as it is known, does not concern itself with its operations drowning in red ink. This pilot program is subsidized by the Federal Government and operates under the same premise as their big brother. No matter how much money is lost, no one cares because they can increase prices to consumers or obtain a government bail-out. The important thing is that diversity is achieved, and proper PC etiquette is followed.
As an example, at the Progressive Cafe, pricing is determined by the goodness of the meal being served. Organic foods are sold at a discount compared with their crop dusting competitors. Patrons actually get a refund if they order the brown rice with sustainable turnip greens. The Clinton Cheeseburger with fries runs $35.00 and the Roast beef special is $40.00. All foods are Halal certified, of course. Vegetarian entrees are only .99 cents to encourage proper dietary habits. Naturally, sugary drinks are not tolerated. Even bringing them on to the premises is considered to be a hate crime subject to prosecution.
As the Mall of the future, Diversity World is considered to be a model for responsible environmental stewardship. Lights in the complex are dimmed during the day to conserve energy during peak usage periods. Creating any type of carbon foot print is strictly prohibited.
All businesses in the complex are closed on “spare the air” days to discourage consumers from leaving their residences. Of course employees will be paid during such times with full benefits. This loss of productivity will be made up with a special 10% tax on wealthy shoppers during peak business hours.
Diversity World has the most advanced recycling program possible. Everything from previously consumed chewing gum to used condoms is saved. Nothing will be wasted.
A special Green Team contingent from the local police force has been given the daunting task to check waste paper baskets and employee lockers for contraband. They are especially concerned about finding plastic bags, fast food containers and items they determine to be non-sustainable. Visitors to Diversity World are routinely strip searched by TSA trained technicians to make sure they comply with the 13,340 page condensed version of the regulatory document “Operating Malls for Dummies,” 4th edition.
Carlo Marks is excited about all of the opportunities available in Diversity World as the Mall of the future in a politically correct AMerica. He hopes that if it proves to be successful, the concept can be used to construct similar facilities in all 50 States. Marks concluded, “If you like your Diversity World, you can keep your Diversity World.”
Dedicated to SF Chronicle Columnist Arthur Hoppe