Staffing Talk » News » Glenn Beck: Recycling Is Grounds For Termination

Glenn Beck: Recycling Is Grounds For Termination

Written by Kinzy Janssen

Glenn Beck: Recycling Is Grounds For Termination

If you work for Glenn Beck and prefer to recycle/compost your office spoons, you can show yourself to the door. The same goes for the wayward souls who think energy-efficient CFL bulbs would be a sensible office purchase. Or anyone who hauls the recycling to the curb in a recyclable cardboard bin.

Fired, fired, fired. Glenn Beck cares deeply about not recycling.

The “love him or hate him” political commentator who hosts the Glenn Beck Radio Program recently ordered the distribution of a memo to all studio employees addressing the pressing issues of Office Spoon Material and Shape Of Light Bulbs.

The policy seems to endorse some kind of environmentalist/global-warming-believer witch hunt within the workplace. He’s taking issue not so much with what they’re doing, but why they’re doing it. In the clip, Beck goes on to list the only acceptable reasons why an employee of Mercury Radio Arts might buy an energy-efficient bulb:

I fire the person that … starts to purchase fluorescent light bulbs, unless that is the only light bulb for a very specific reason and I want to be CC’d on what that reason is.

Never mind that, compared to an incandescent bulb, each compact fluorescent bulb saves $92 over its lifespan. (Maybe he’s afraid his studio won’t be around long enough for the bulbs to pay off). And he follows it up with the only reason he would allow recycling:

If you want to do it because you love trees, I understand. You don’t want to cut all the trees? I get it. You want to make sure that we recycle and… and work together blah-dee-blah-dee-blah-dee – got it. But if anyone does anything in this company because of global warming, they’re fired.

It seems doubtful that anyone truly sympathetic to the fight against global warming would remain in Beck’s midst by choice. (Or, for that matter, seek out a job at his production company to begin with. I mean, there are jobs everywhere from University campuses to small businesses that exist solely to coordinate sustainability).

I can’t help but wonder how this policy would play out in the four U.S. states (Louisiana, South Carolina, Connecticut, and California) where employees have the right to express their political views at the office without fear of reprisal. Though I never imagined buying CFL bulbs would fall under the category of “political,” what if your boss treated it as such an issue? I’m guessing that the residents of these four states would be allowed to express their disdain and disagreement… but wouldn’t actually have any legal recourse for their “politically” guided actions.

My guess is that it would be yet another example of unfair (but not legally wrongful) termination, like the following:

 

 

 

 

 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. gregg dourgarian

    I hate CFL bulbs. They break easy. They don’t fit in a lot of enclosures. You can’t use them with extendable light bulb changers. They never last as long as they claim to.

    I’ve also heard they contain mercury but I’m guessing less than my average night out at for sushi at Origami in Minneapolis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Kinzy Janssen Post author

      Beck’s argument would be a little more understandable if he actually expressed it the way you did.

      You’re right – they do contain mercury, just like other fluorescent lights. (The amount is only 4 mg, though, compared to 500 mg in older, mercury-filled thermometers).

      According to the EPA: “Because CFLs also help to reduce greenhouse gasses, other pollutants associated with electricity production, and landfill waste (because the bulbs last longer), they are clearly the environmental winner when compared to
      traditional incandescent light bulbs.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Derek

      CFL’s may seem like a win for the overall environment, but more mercury in my childrens living space is a LOSE for my family’s personal environment.
      We’ve experienced less than expected lifespans on CFL’s in my home, as well as mercury build up inside enclosed light fixtures, and two occasions where an operational CFL ruptured to some horrifically noxious liquid substance…

      LED’s are really coming down in cost and offer even more efficiency than the CFL’s, I am playing with a few brands at home now.

      But even halogens offer improved efficiency all be it with some concerns on the enclosure you put them in.

      All “grand scheme” testimony from the EPA aside, CFL’s are still classified as hazardous material for good reason.
      as a consumer I’ll spend the extra money in up front or operational costs to avoid using the more dangerous option.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  2. Steven

    I think we all know Glenn is not the brightest bulb…. lol. Glenn needs to talk a little less about everything and read a little more about energy & physics, and about how recycling has been part of our everyday lives since the beginning of time. Great article Kinzy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  3. Mike C

    Glen Beck is nothing more than a former Morning Zoo DJ that spews some of the most ridiculous drivel ever to hit the airwaves. I feel sorry for the people who tune in to his lame show. Recycling is just plain smart. It doesn’t matter whether you buy into the Global Warming argument or not. I’m not a huge fan of CFLs but I don’t think there is any question that they are better in terms of lifespan and overall cost to the environment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  4. Vern Heuer

    I fail to see the relevance of this article to the staffing industry. He obviously was being ridiculous on purpose to make a point. I don’t watch or listen to Glenn Beck, but I have seen or heard his shows in the past. It’s called humor.

    I also have purchased LED lights which don’t last the 25 years they are quoted to last either. I only got one year out of one of the lights. Lets just say I won’t be buying another one at the premium prices they want for them.

    There are many environmental and financial reasons to select one product over another, but global warming is not one of them in my world. It is the biggest joke in science today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Kinzy Janssen Post author

      Staffing companies need to stay up to date on issues related to hiring *and* firing, so that they know when their placements are being dismissed wrongly — or justifiably — by client companies. Glenn Beck’s rant (which may or may not be official policy at his studio… he did say he was “dead serious”) was an entry-point into the discussion on whether we can be fired for our political/ethical actions. He’s also trying to force a culture fit, which is interesting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  5. Derek

    Like many references to Glenn Beck this story is based on a short clip taken largely out of context. the segment was part of a larger rant around “environmentally friendly” products being inferior and even disruptive in the workplace.
    This included flimsy cardboard recycling stations that could be replaced with sturdier solutions, bio-degradable spoons which shatter when stirring a bowl of cereal, and CFL light bulbs that are inferior for a TV studio.
    Glenn was banning the purchase of CFL bulbs for use in his TV studios, not for his employee’s use of CFL’s in their personal lives…

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/30/is-glenn-beck-really-going-to-fire-employees-for-buying-eco-friendly-light-bulbs-and-biodegradable-spoons/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Kinzy Janssen Post author

      Thanks for sharing, Derek. I believe here at Tempworks, we used to buy disposable plastic utensils that tended to break easily. (My lunches were sprinkled with fork tines!) Crappy and quality products both exist regardless of their environmentally friendly status. And many products improve over time as they’re redeveloped. Yet Glenn seems to see environmentalism as the root cause of the low quality, and unwilling to look at a third option that would meet all criteria. For instance, no one discussed the option of using LEDs, though — as you mentioned above — they’re sturdy, safe, *and* energy efficient.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

Leave a Comment