Qwestroom Scandal

2:10 PM -- Like a lot of telcos, Qwest has occasionally seen some bad news over the years, ranging from layoffs to a CEO convicted of insider trading. (See Qwest Cuts More Jobs and Court Tosses Nacchio Conviction .) But the Rocky Mountain News recently uncovered a scandal that overshadows them all:

    A Qwest supervisor in southwestern Colorado took his concerns over extended bathroom breaks to an uncomfortable level, union officials charge.

    The manager, they claim, recently gave disposable urinal bags to about 25 male field technicians with the message: When you have to go, don't waste time searching for a public bathroom.

    "We deal with a lot of silliness in corporate America, but you've got to admit, it takes the freakin' cake," said Reed Roberts, an administrative director at the Communications Workers of America District 7.

Do I, Reed? Qwest has a different take:

    "They are there for convenience, and they are there because employees asked for them," [Qwest spokeswoman Jennifer Barton] said.

See? They're there by popular demand. Qwest can't help it if its employees are clamoring for urine bags.

    Qwest, like many companies with workers in the field, has for years offered portable urinal bags as an option. At least one of the bags used is called "Brief Relief," made by San Diego-based American Innotek.

For those like me, who didn't initially understand the value of the "Brief Relief" products, I highly recommend this training video from their Website, which "answers that age-old question of where to go when you got to go and there's nowhere to go."

    Ford Motor Co. in 2005 reportedly started tracking bathroom breaks in efforts to increase productivity. Barton said there's been no such effort at Qwest. "We don't conduct studies on bathroom breaks," she said.

A major oversight, if you ask me.

— Red Panda, Incontinental, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:45:16 PM
re: Qwestroom Scandal The Brief Relief trainer looks a bit too much like Steve Ballmer, but he's definitely less excitable when he asks the audience, made up of purported field techs : "Where's your bathroom? Where's your benefit?"
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