Some of the upset, overworked, and burned out Amazon workers who sent us their stories spoke about the company’s practice of placing employees on “performance improvement plans,” or PIPs, if they were deemed to not be working efficiently enough. PIPs, which are ostensibly training programs designed to improve the job performance or those who can’t keep up with Amazon’s furious pace, were generally described as Kafkaesque zero-tolerance pretenses for pushing employees out the door.
Now, one former Amazon employee who recently left the company after going through the PIP process has sent us a rather bitter screed about her experiences there, of which she says “I would not want such a thing to happen even to my enemy.” She asked, “Does Jeff Bezos have the guts to sign a PIP document himself? If so many employees are put into PIP for non performance, is that not an indication that the organization is also non performing ? In that case, the CEO should also take up the PIP challenge.”
Let me start this by saying I lost count of how many games I went to this year. I think it’s around 30. I go because I love it, I love seeing my twitter friends there, I love the Indians, and I normally have a great time. I also have to say I think the Indians have really tried to step up their fan experience within the last three years. Improved wifi and more variety in dining it’s a better experience for people who go to a LOT of games and don’t want to eat 900 hot dogs a season.
After last night and a disappointing loss, I thought about the attendance problem. Everyone has theories about it….from “people don’t come because they don’t support ownership” to “they don’t support a team that lets them down every year” etc etc on and on.
In my opinion, the attendance is the way it is because you receive the exact same emotional payoff being at games and seeing the win in person as you do seeing the win on TV on most occasions. I feel just as good about a win I see at home on my couch as I do about a game I actually attended.
The difference is I can multitask at home. I can watch, tweet, do laundry, pet the dog, make lunch etcetcetc. At Jacob’s field I can see friends and get lots of yummy food and enjoy being at the park, but on a weekday it might not be the best idea. All for the same feeling I get watching a game at home.
This is not to say there haven’t been games I was happy to say I WAS THERE. Our Giambi-versary is September 24, and I am proud to say that I WAS THERE, standing at the Rigid bar with my twitter friends, holding my breath for a miracle. Giambi hit the most important homerun of our season, and I cried like a baby. I’m proud to say that I WAS THERE for lots of our walk off games, because that rush is probably what cocaine is like (I assume).
The other Cleveland teams offer a different experience being there versus being at home watching on TV. Going to a Browns game and BEING THERE is a distinctly different experience than being on the couch. Going to a Cavs game and BEING THERE in the same building as Lebron James is a different experience than watching it on TV.
I love the Cleveland Indians and I love baseball, but about 50% of the time, win or loss, my overall emotional payoff and experience is exactly the same when the ballgame is over.
This is all valid. But so the next question is, what makes Browns and Cavs games a distinct, better-than-watching-on-TV experience that isn’t the same for the Tribe? I ask for two reasons. One, perhaps some of the reasons are things that the Tribe or the league can improve. Two, I’m genuinely curious because my experiences differ; I get much less enjoyment from attending Browns games than I do from watching them on TV, whereas Tribe games are by far my favorite to experience among the three teams, but judging by the attendance figures I’m obviously in the minority.
Here are some possible reasons the Browns and Cavs have the attendance advantage. Which of these seem realistic? Are there others I’m missing? (Keep in mind I don’t necessarily agree with all of these; they’re just theories.)
- The pace of the game, the commercial breaks, etc., are more tolerable when attending football and basketball than they are at a baseball game.
- The energy of the fans is more evident and/or meaningful at Browns and Cavs games. (If that’s the case, the Tribe is in a catch-22: there won’t be more energy unless more people come, and people won’t come unless there’s more energy.)
- Basketball and football have more thrilling, edge-of-your-seat moments; seeing a slam dunk or a big kickoff return is more exciting than a double play or grand slam.
- The opponent matters. People want to go to Browns game against the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals because they’re huge rivalries, but the Tribe’s division games against the Twins, Royals and White Sox just aren’t the same. Only the Tigers come close.
- Something about the Browns’ stadium and the Cavs’ arena (not the fans or the players, but the actual venue) is appealing in a way that isn’t the same with the Tribe.
- Tom Hamilton is such a great broadcaster that staying home to listen to the Tribe game is a compelling option in a way that the Browns’ and Cavs’ broadcasts aren’t.
Those are the thoughts off the top of my head. I agree that there’s definitely more to the attendance issue than the “I’m not paying to watch that crappy team” debate that talk radio rinses and repeats every few weeks, but it’d be nice to nail down the reasons “being there” is more meaningful for the Browns and Cavs.
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