business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from MNB reader Gary Narberes regarding Michael Sansolo's column about NFL draft pick Laremy Tunsil:

Do you have an extra pair of rose-colored glasses that I may have so I can see the poor adolescent that you so glowingly refer to?

He wasn’t smoking a joint (it’s 2016 who cares about that) but rather had a gas mask connected to a bong that I dare say was not a first-time user stunt.  His claim that it was a couple years ago takes him back to being 18-19 years old. 
“In many ways, Tunsil is lucky”. The bigger point you fail to touch on is that he is a role model for some young players and the message being sent is don’t do drugs and get $21M/year as 3rd round draft pick or do drugs and get $13M/year as a 13th round pick.
Please don’t get me wrong, I fully embrace being a person who has not lived a “completely pure life”.  I do believe there are times when one can turn a blind eye to something, but I don’t believe this is one of those times.

We had a piece the other day about retailer complaints regarding chip-enabled credit cards that are costing shoppers an average of 10 seconds extra per transaction, which prompted one MNB user to write:

Because in 2016, waiting an extra 10 seconds is deemed unacceptable.

It isn't just 10 seconds. Let's just make the math simple. If a checkout has 100 transactions per day in which chip cards are used, that adds up to more than 16 minutes. If that store has 10 checkouts with the same experience, that adds up to 166 minutes ... or more than two hours of time wasted simply because the banks can't get their freakin' act together.

I think my math on this is right. If it is, I'm sympathetic to retailer concerns.

On the same subject, from MNB reader Mike Moon:

Retailers were mandated to have chip and pin terminals in their stores by what?, October 2015? or else they would be non-compliant with security. We ordered and installed these at $1000 a pop.

Here it is 9 months later, and NCR hasn't even released the software yet that allows the chip reader portion of the terminals to even work on my NCR system. So even though I did my part to stay secure, my hardware partner did not, leaving ME non-compliant. 

What a racket. Banks fight to keep high transaction fees saying they have infrastructure and network costs and to cover fraud losses. Now that they are pushing the fraud losses to the merchant, I bet we'll see no reduction in fees. Hardware and software providers, who have bought each other out over the years leaving few competitive choices, are too big and large and overworked to care about the merchants. I'm not sure they have any federal mandate or risk of penalty lighting a fire under them to give us what we need. And, finally, those in charge of PCI compliance keeps changing the requirements, adding new layers of security as they discover loopholes, often faster than the industry can keep up.

Racket is right.

MNB reader Kevin Berkheiser chimed in:

I think your article on the new processing delays hits home for retailer frustrations but totally misses the fact that customers are even more frustrated and are taking out those frustrations on the retailer.  As a customer, I hate the fact that I used to swipe and go to now having to leave my card in the terminal.  I even left my card once and had to go back.  I appreciate the extra security but it’s about time someone thought about the speed of the transaction.  This will be a win for everyone once implemented.

We had a piece the other day about generational differences, which prompted
one MNB reader to write:

Based on what is going at too many colleges these days, I prefer the name "snowflake" generation for millennials. It fits them perfectly...they melt in the face of any heat, they cannot be faced with any opinion that differs from what they are spoon fed by the liberal professors and an even more liberal media. If the group coming up behind this sad group is even  more delicate, GOD help us.

I could not disagree with you more ... and I do so from the vantage point of someone who spends a lot of time with college-aged people, both in my personal life and as a member of the adjunct faculty at Portland State University.

For the most part, the young people with whom I interact are smart, passionate (though not necessarily about the things you and I might be passionate about), diverse, tolerant, open-minded and hard-working.

Do they sometimes want more immediate gratification than their elders? Sure...but that's not necessarily wrong. I think that a lot of people my age and older were far too willing to accept delayed gratification and ended up being screwed by those above them who were far more interested in themselves than the people who worked for them.

(I went out on my own 20 years ago in part because I got tired of being spoon-fed such crap by people for whom I worked ... and because I have a healthy sense of irreverence, insubordination and autonomy that made me unfit to owe my soul to the company store. Maybe that's why I like the millennial generation...)

The teachers I know don't try to mold students to their way of thinking, but encourage them to think, to form their own opinions, to argue and debate and challenge the status quo. And most of the students I know take them up on it.

You condescend to them - and misunderstand them - at your own risk.
KC's View: