Friday, November 17, 2017

Streamlining FedEx Hand...ling Processes, etc.

I have been working at FedEx Express for more than three months and counting now. This means that I've earned and received my complete set of FedEx uniforms, something that I've learned is a major accomplishment due to the laborious nature of work at the company. I've felt somewhat the way I felt years ago when I was a student at the Atlanta Job Corps Center when I was erroneously placed on a work-base learning assignment in the campus cafeteria though I was a Business Clerical major who'd definitively mastered the trade. After helping to chop hundreds of cabbages and helping in other capacities, I developed a great respect for those who routinely worked the job. I was eventually placed on the company switchboard* at the AJCC for work-base learning, though I never forgot the mix-up (*my very first full-time job was as a receptionist/concierge at an Atlanta residential community). Do not believe for one minute simply because of the vast number of FedEx employees you see wearing the traditional uniforms that the work is easy. These are some of the hardest working individuals on the planet, literally. I, like many others, wanted to leave my first day. I was in so much pain that I could hardly move anything but my eyelids the next day, and for the first couple of months, I'm certain that I walked something like Mr. Macafee from the comedic television series "In Living Color." I definitively was not the only one. Over time I've become stronger and stronger, like any employee who has worked for the company for any significant length of time. I've lost more than twenty pounds, not dieting. Many have left. I wanted and have been determined to stay a while to learn and experience more of the FedEx culture. I wanted to have an impact, that of articulating methods for improving the company and other similar companies and the working conditions for their employees.

FedEx, which is headquartered in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, is a humongous company. The fact that employees are driven around its campuses in shuttles and there is yet a lot of walking involved in getting to and from the varied work sites attests to this. Needless to say, the excessive walking in composite or steel-toed shoes that FedEx employees are distributed and required to wear takes a toll on employees’ feet, particularly when the noted shoes are new or when they are not broken into, and considering especially that FedEx employees must stand throughout the duration of their shifts. It is among the reasons, I’m certain, that FedEx’s turnover rate exceeds 90% (despite the company’s great benefits), which creates mega challenges for FedEx’s HR personnel, I'm certain. Mail and courier delivery is an essential service, however, and those who deliver should work smart and efficient with the least possible hardship. Changes to the FedEx campus would enable this, while improving processes, decreasing likelihood of employee injury and damage to freight and company costs for replacing damaged items and nursing injured employees.

Re-Designing the Matrix and other Elements of the FedEx Campus

Delivery of Freight Directly to Planes (and Freight Trucks) via Conveyor Belts

Freight should and can be sent directly to proper airplanes via conveyor belts* within enclosed bridges with proper central heat and air ventilation (*Portable conveyor belts should additionally be utilized in all freight trucks to facilitate the loading of freight). Loading and driving cans and other freight containers to and from planes is not only excessively laborious, it is a flawed and unnecessary system. Yep, FedEx could do away with all of their cans and all of the tugs that move them. They should preserve a few cargo vans, however, in the probably unlikely event that a conveyor belt extending to a plane completely malfunctions and could not be immediately restored. Employees who screen packages coming into the planes via the noted conveyor belts would be stationed in vestibules near the planes' entrances. The noted vestibules would be grounded and each would have an elevator for carrying employees to and from their work areas and for carrying packages erroneously sent to any plane down to an awaiting cargo vehicle for delivery to its proper locality or back to the matrix for re-loading. Employees who facilitate plane loading processes would be driven to and retrieved from the planes where they’ll work via company shuttles.

FedEx employees would no longer be required to work in cold and inclement weather or to walk and/or lift often significantly heavy packages several feet to a can, a repetitive motion that is likely the source of most employee injuries. The prescribed system would only require FedEx employees to load packages onto the conveyor belts, to double check packages coming down conveyor belts into the screening area of each plane to be certain that they have been sent to the proper plane, and to shift portable conveyor belts to which the packages would be routed that would gently drop and stack the packages into proper areas of each plane, in a manner similar to the conveyor belt in this video.

Smart  Scanners and/or Smart (Sorting) Conveyor Belts

Smart scanners and/or smart (sorting) conveyor belts that push packages with barcodes that are bound for like destinations down the same conveyor belts to the appropriate FedEx airplane would be the core of streamlining FedEx handling processes. A smart (sorting) FedEx conveyor belt would be similar to the one in the following video.

Perhaps in the near future FedEx and similar companies will utilize perfected/automatic plane and truck package loaders and/or stackers that are similar to the one in this video


Another and Perhaps Better System

Another and perhaps better system of streamlining FedEx processes would be to transport filled freight cans from the matrix into airplanes via sturdy and movable side arms on conveyor belt tables. The noted side arms would initially deliver attached plane cans* to package hand...lers in their designated work areas, noting that the middle area of the conveyor belts would transport freight to be canned. *Once a plane can reaches the locality of its designated package hand...ler, it would lock into place. If it is a square can, it would be lowered to the floor for loading with the opening facing upward while yet attached to each side of the conveyor belt tables. If the can has a curvature, it would be lowered into a cradle of like shape and size with a stand that rests on the floor. Freight would be automatically pushed into its respective can via smart scanning technology. Larger cans should have a side or top door for hand...lers to enter the cans while they are on the floor in an upward-facing position and properly shift and stack packages.

The package hand...lers would only maneuver the freight until it is appropriately positioned in each can; they would no more have to lift and carry packages to the cans. Once a can is filled to capacity, the package hand...lers would press a button that would re-lift it onto the previously noted movable side areas on the table of each conveyor belt. The conveyor belts would deliver the filled cans in the order in which they should be loaded to the side door of each plane into which the cans are traditionally lifted. At this point the cans would clamp onto a rail that would move them to their respective slots on their designated planes. This system would additionally enable discontinuance of tug driving. This too would mean that employees would not be exposed to the elements-inclement or extreme cold or hot temperatures-because all FedEx processes would be indoor in a properly heated and air-conditioned environment.

The areas of the matrix that are traditionally opened to allow for the driving of tugs would be permanently closed because there would be no need for tugs, since the cans that are loaded into the planes would be delivered directly to them via conveyor belts.

A Few More Lavatories Please...

FedEx provides plenty of liquids to its employees to prevent dehydration during the routinely rigorous work days and nights; accordingly, lavatories should be readily available for these workers to utilize when they need to. They should not have to wait significant lengths of time to relieve themselves and/or walk significant distances to use the restroom, which is precisely what many FedEx employees must do... Every employee should have a restroom within a reasonable distance of their work area. This requires installation of additional traditional and/or portable toilets and stalls where essential.

Solidifying of Matrix Ceilings/Roofs...

On any random occasion, freight can be and is periodically ejected from conveyor belts during twists and turns; when this occurs, employees and others on lower level floors are at risk of being hit by the falling freight because a vast percentage of what should be a solidified floor/ceiling is a net-like material that is torn in various spots, and has been purposely torn in many instances to free trapped packages...

A solidified ceiling/roof would enable walking over these particular areas to retrieve any ejected packages. Heightening the sidewalls of conveyor belts would help to prevent freight ejection, though the solidifying of matrix ceilings/roofs would offer definitive protection.

Getting Employees to Work

Until and after FedEx and other companies have created a significantly robotic workforce, all employees will require sufficient means of getting to and from work. Rapid rail proliferation and employee ride sharing programs are ideal means for many employees and employment candidates to get to and from work.

A Federal Express Rapid  Rail Stop

First and foremost, Memphis would need to acquire a rapid rail system, or incorporate a said system into MATA. A Federal Express Rapid Rail stop should be incorporated into the main screening area of the Fed Ex Express campus to facilitate employees' commute to and from work. Many employees walk a significant distance to Fed Ex. This trek is in the dark for those employees who work overnight, and in the cold for those who work during the cold or winter seasons...

Best Practices for Now

Installation of Industrial Plastic Strip Curtains

Industrial plastic strip curtains should be installed at every point where tugs and cans enter and exit the matrix and other work areas on the FedEx campus, noting that the curtains needn't be installed at internal entrances and exits. These curtains are drive-through and help to regulate temperatures and save energy costs. They must be routinely and properly cleaned to maintain visibility, however. For added security, cameras/big screen monitors juxtapose lights for use during night shifts could be placed above the subject entrances and exits to further magnify persons and/or objects to others on each side of the noted curtains. Additionally, arrows could be drawn on the floor or ground near the curtains reminding drivers to drive on the proper side of entrances and exits, and "No Pedestrian" signs and those advising drivers to proceed slowly and cautiously through the noted curtains should be mounted.

Utilization of Hydraulic Table Carts

Hydraulic table carts should be utilized by individual employees to manually remove significantly heavy packages from conveyor belts and transport them to cans. They should additionally be utilized when necessary to further move freight within an airplane or freight truck.

Safe and Effective Manual Moving and Lifting Techniques

Traditional safe lifting techniques should be revisited, particularly where routinely lifting multiple lofty packages is concerned. Team lifting every heavy package is not always practical in a high volume freight work environment where everyone has their own work to do. Routinely lifting with leg muscles or knees, other than in a manner that I'll here prescribe, can cause serious injury and/or exacerbate existent injuries...

Until the prescribed changes are implemented, if they ever are, there are varied techniques that I've discovered for easily and safely moving and lifting heavy packages. These include package walking, rolling, tilt and push-up methods, and knee lifting.

Package Walking

Walking a package involves alternately moving each side of a package forward in alignment with one's foot steps. This technique allows for moving heavy packages that would ordinarily be very difficult to move.

Package Sliding and Rolling...

Package sliding is literally sliding a package and package rolling is literally rolling... a package to a can after removal from a conveyor belt (package rolling is, of course, only applicable to non-fragile packages).

Tilt and Push-up Methods

The best way to manually place heavy packages into cans is via a push-up method. This involves pushing a package into a can rather than wholly lifting and placing it there. The top half of the package is tilted over the top of the floor or bottom of the can and pushed into the can via lifting the package from its bottom.

It is practical to safely lift even excessively heavy packages via extensive tilting, or pulling a package as closely away from a can as possible and tilting and pushing it into the can. If a package is too short and too heavy to lift by traditional means, turning and tilting it on a corner could heighten it enough to push it up into its can; if not, it is simply imperative to ask for help.

Knee Lifting

Knee lifting involves partially lifting a package to the knees and using one's knees to push the package into its can.

Addressing Employees' Feet and General Health

Rest Chairs For Package Handlers

Rest chairs could be provided for package handlers to rest during interval periods of package flow, considering especially that they are not provided breaks. Of course, a majority of the time the package handlers would be on their feet and should not miss a package that they should retrieve from the conveyor belts. There are varied intervals or spacing between some packages that would allow employees brief and sufficient time to rest their feet...

Benches for FedEx Shuttle Stops

FedEx workers should get as much feet rest as possible prior to and after their shifts. Accordingly, sheltered and unsheltered* shuttle stops should have benches for employees to sit while waiting for shuttles.

*Unsheltered shuttle stops should additionally have markers indicating to employees precisely where each is located. This would save time because it would encourage employees to walk to their nearest official stop in lieu of shuttle drivers retrieving employees wherever they happen to park.

FedEx Employee Weight Management Programs and other Health Initiatives

Unnecessary laborious practices at any company should not exist for the exclusive purpose of providing exercise to employees. There are more intelligible methods of improving employee health, like implementing company weight management programs, i.e. campus gyms, healthy cooking classes, and/or creating and distributing a company newsletter with employees' paychecks at least once monthly that would discuss the importance of good health and methods of accomplishing it...

Leveled Parking

Incorporating leveled parking near primary entrances would allow most if not all employees to park closely to employee entrances, saving the time that it takes to wait for shuttles, which require significant use of fuel and upkeep.

Re-drawing Margins Near the Memphis FedEx Express Entrance Near the Visitor Parking Area

Parking margins near the Memphis FedEx Express entrance that is near the visitor parking area should be re-drawn to prevent the near-collision of vehicles that are already in the parking lot, or those traveling in the outer lane of parking slots on this side of the parking lot, with incoming traffic from Democrat Road...

Securing Security

FedEx employees should really be required to swipe their employee badges or, more preferably, to scan a finger to get into the employee parking lot. This would make it impossible for any unauthorized persons to enter the FedEx employee parking lot.

FedEx Campus Arenas

FedEx campuses should have arenas for all-staff meetings, routine pep talks by varied motivational speakers, and entertainment (not merely for departmental meetings).


Streamlining FedEx hand...ling processes and those of other courier delivery services would accelerate and improve productivity while saving FedEx, etc. billions of dollars each year in costs for fuel and upkeep of tugs, in replacing damaged freight, and in nursing and/or replacing injured employees.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Doctors Should Work Normal Hours

My little girl has expressed interest in becoming a doctor and/or a Power Ranger. Prayerfully, she'll definitively decide to become a doctor. My disinterested* teen son, who was fairly recently invited to join a prestigious STEM program at East High School in Memphis, was placed in a health science vo tech program at his current school due to his strength in math and science...

*My son is not too thrilled with the idea of spending eight years in college. He is rather interested in a bachelors degree in Computer Science.

I have personally fiddled with the idea of becoming a doctor myself. I recalled, however, how I, for several years, worked as much as a doctor (for a four-year period, I actually worked two full-time jobs - second shift and overnight - and averaged about ten hours overtime at each job, which meant that I was working on average about 40 hours more per week than the average doctor juxtapose attending college)...

I essentially did not have a life, even when I'd gotten down to the one job where I was still working considerable overtime whenever co-workers called off and/or whenever I was required to stay over as an acting lead when employees from the shift succeeding my own decided to call off work, if I could not secure coverage.

The more I thought about how I'd lacked a quality of life spending most of my waking hours working so much, the more I steered away, though never completely discarding the idea of becoming a doctor or licensed holistic practitioner, and/or medical researcher/writer.

...When you think of it, there is no earthly reason why any doctor shouldn’t be able to work a normal 40 hours per week, like any other professional. Doctors enjoy comfortable salaries that actually avail them the privilege of not having to work extensive hours to make ends meet. Moreover, they have relief with whom they should equally divide a 24-hour day if they work in a hospital...

Those with private practices can too work normal hours and allow nurse practitioners who they might have on staff to resume the duties of medical provider once they have put in their daily time. If a doctor works overtime and/or on-call, it should be because they want to, not because it is required.

Doctors, like everyone else, should have a work-life balance. They, like everyone else, need proper rest for optimal health and professional performance. In acquiring it, they set the good examples that they preach.

Shiftgig, a Staffing Agency that is Similar to a Concept that I Contrived for a World-wide, All-Industry and All-Shift Extemporaneous Staffing Agency/Website

Shiftgig is similar to a concept that I contrived for a world-wide, all-industry substitute employment system. Shiftgig is limited in scope, however, considering that the system that I have in mind would be an agency that all or most companies in the world would subscribe to on a when-needed basis, and without said agency monopolizing the staffing industry. When I contrived the concept that I have in mind, I thought of the many times that I was required to serve as a 3rd shift acting lead Residential Advisor at the Atlanta Job Corps Center on my supervisor's off nights. Acting lead meant not only being the ultimate decision-maker on shift, it also meant providing coverage for the succeeding shift if there were any call-offs. There were frequent call-offs, and on any occasions that I could not secure coverage I'd have to stay over until one of my un-scheduled superiors arrived to relieve me. I also thought of the SmartFind Express system that I'd utilized to accept assignments as a substitute paraprofessional, and how a system of this sort could benefit around the clock establishments...

The world-wide, all-industry substitute employment system/agency and website that I have in mind would, preferably, be owned and managed by the Department of Labor, though, of course, other similar agencies, like Shiftgig, that specialize in providing instantaneous staffing for specific industries could certainly co-exist with the prescribed initiative.

The reason that the mega venture that I have in mind should be owned/managed by the Department of Labor is its potential to reel in mega revenues in terms of either fees that it could optionally* collect from the companies and authorized individuals (i.e. those seeking lawn services, painting, etc.) that it would provide workers to and/or it could make a fortune via the prescribed website itself via email marketing, Google Adsense, and/or other forms of monetization. The revenues that the Department of Labor would generate could be invested into unemployment payments to workers who are between jobs and on the likely very few occasions that it (DOL) would not be capable of matching them with employers through the prescribed system. They could also be utilized to purchase and provide resources like computers, etc. to individuals who would most benefit from outsourced or work-from-home opportunities. The revenues could also be utilized to create global employment opportunities, i.e. government-owned businesses that would generate a perpetual cycle of profit (under the banner of a non-profit organization), employment, and human resources.

Unemployment Taxes for Workers Would Guarantee/Increase Income during Periods of Unemployment

Many individuals who are unemployed do not qualify for unemployment payments, and if they do those payments are only a slim portion of the income that they earned from the paying companies. If both workers and companies paid unemployment taxes, however, all paying workers who become unemployed would be guaranteed unemployment payments, plus any qualifying UE payments from their previous employers…

This could be a federal and/or state requirement for all workers, or it could be optional, and unemployment taxes would be deducted from employees’ paychecks while employers continue to pay state unemployment taxes.

Claims for worker-paid unemployment would be filed via the Department of Labor in the same manner that traditional unemployment claims are filed; claimants would be required to select the worker-paid unemployment option and/or the traditional option.

Worker-paid unemployment taxes would provide relief for claimants who are unemployed or between jobs by providing the equivalent of the claimant’s whole or partial paycheck, depending upon the specific plan that the claimant chooses. Worker-paid unemployment claimants would too be required to evidence their job search to the Department of Labor until they have acquired sufficient employment...

Worker-paid unemployment taxes would allow claimants to continue paying most or all of their bills and to properly care for themselves and their families during those periods when they are not working, and while they search for employment.

Self-Serving Department of Labor, etc. Professional Photo and Video Labs

Self-serving professional photo and video labs that would allow job searchers to take professional photographs and videos for Linkedin and/or other professional networking platforms should be available at the Department of Labor and other career centers. Patrons should be capable of walking in and utilizing the labs and/or making reservations to utilize them for specified periods of time. Self-serving professional photo and video labs would consist of varied industry-specific or neutral professional backgrounds for patrons to choose from. Lab equipment would additionally enable emailing and uploading of photographs and videos to USB drives and/or specific websites. They would additionally consist of user-friendly tutorials that would facilitate their use. Self-serving Department of Labor, etc. professional photo and video labs would help to improve job seeker profiles and thus their chances of acquiring employment by enabling employment prospects to exhibit their professionalism in terms of wardrobe, speech, and persona. Professional photographs and videos should not be utilized for exploitative or discriminatory purposes...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Free Sign-up to with Your Library Card

Library card holders can sign up for, an online learning resource and Linkedin company, free of charge. Click here to learn more if you reside in Memphis. Your library card has to be updated and in good standing, of course—If your library card is suspended because you owe any outstanding fines, you'll have to pay those fines to acquire complimentary Lynda enrollment privileges...

To enroll in Lynda utilizing your library card, enter your library card number and library card pin number where prompted on the public library card enrollment web page. Your library card pin number is typically the last four digits of your library card number. Whatever it is, it is retrievable from your local and/or central... library.

If you encounter any problems enrolling, you can contact at 1 (888) 335-9632 and/or call your local and/or central library* at numbers typically provided on the library's website for your library card pin number. *The number to the central library in Memphis is ...(901) 415-2700.

If you do not have a library card that is in good standing and/or you do not plan to acquire one, you'll have to pay $19.99... per month for a basic plan or $29.99... per month for a premium plan, after a 30-day free trial. Clearly, library card enrollment is the best deal. 

My Impression of MPloy Youth and How to Improve the Program

My son is one of a thousand students who were selected from a lottery to participate in Memphis’s 2017 MPloy Youth program this year. We applied just prior to midnight on December 31, 2016, the final day to apply for the 2017 program (The application period was from December 1-December 31, 2016). We were not aware of this cut-off time when my son applied to participate in the 2016 program; and we were not selected to participate in the 2016 program, whether or not this was among the reasons. The initial event was held on February 25..., 2017 at the Cook Convention Center, on the precise date of round four of ACT Prep University at the University of Memphis, which was held a couple of hours prior to the MPloy Youth verification event.

We fully attended the round 4 ACT Prep University event and endeavored to attend the MPloy Youth verification event. We were turned around at the door after revealing that we didn't have copies of required documents that we'd carried with us. Unfortunately, they didn't have copying machines, and there were no nearby places where we could get copies without having to leave the parking lot where I'd just paid $10.00 (There were/are nearby businesses, though no guarantees that either of them would allow either of the likely dozens of us who needed copies to make them). My son neither had state identification at the time, which we'd planned to acquire the day before the event and didn't because he didn't return home right after school on that preceding day to avail us the time to get it.

Improving the Program

Complimentary Parking for All MPloy Events

First and foremost, the lack of designated parking for off-site MPloy events and the substantial parking fees at nearby parking lots posed major challenges to many attendees, several of whom took a gamble and parked on the side of the street near the Balinese Ballroom parking lot where I'd paid to park; and, unless you're buying from any of the local businesses in the area, they won't break any bills for parking payment...

After entering several businesses and asking for change for a $20.00 bill that I had, a gentleman at a restaurant across from the nearby Balinese parking lot where I would park insisted on giving me $10.00 to pay the fee, despite the eventual loss when we were turned around at the door for lacking copies of the stated documents. Parking should be free for all MPloy Youth events, considering that many participants are from indigent families...

Free Photocopying and/or Scanning of Essential Documents

MPloy Youth personnel should carry portable copying machines and/or scanners to MPloy Youth events held at localities other than MPloy Youth offices for the purpose of photocopying documentation that any parents might not have the resources to photocopy; better yet, verification processes should occur at MPloy Youth offices, where clients should be privileged to utilize the agency's photocopiers should they need to; and MPloy Youth offices should certainly be larger than their Hollywood location, where parents are required to wait in the parking lot during prospect interviews. The agency should at least have a sizable enough lounge where parents and/or others accompanying participants can wait for them.

Addressing Inhospitable Adult MPloy Staff Members and Improper Gestures

There were varied adult MPloy staff members who exhibited inhospitable attitudes towards especially parents, who were not permitted to accompany students to certain elements of events that we really should have been allowed to attend.

For example, parents were not permitted to enter the meet and greet/job fair, though there was ample space for students and parents and other attendees in the room where participating companies gathered to interact with program participants. There were neither any formal lounging or seating provisions for parents and other supporting attendees, a majority of whom were forced to stand throughout most preliminary MPloy events or sit in their cars...

I'd venture to say that parents should be capable of accompanying their children to all elements of preliminary MPloy events; room should be created for them to accompany their children. Parents should be privileged to acquire a satisfactory level of comfort that their children are safe and would be ethically treated in MPloy and any similar programs.

In situations where it is really impractical for parents to attend certain elements of preliminary MPloy events, lounging and/or seating provisions should be made to sufficiently accommodate them and other attendees.
Another issue that I found really alarming is what could be interpreted by any reasonable person as hostile gestures that appeared to be designed to run participants off. There were signs directing attendees south to the MPloy Youth meet and greet, to a "Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed" exhibit to the left, and a "Show Stopper" on the right...

The fact that MPloy events were held at the Cook Convention Center at a 255 address really perked my antennas, especially considering staunch reprisals that I and my two minor children have been subjected to relational to litigation of my involvement, litigation in which I was the plaintiff, with merit. *$255 is the death benefit that the government pays to surviving beneficiaries of deceased persons. Amusingly, this was the amount of my 2016 income tax return, which exhibits that I earned less than $1,000 for that particular year relational to blacklisting that I have endured. It  is additionally the amount of replacement Supplemental Nutrition Benefits that I received following outage of our electricity for circa three days after a storm ravaged Memphis... There is additionally a Hertz (pronounced similar to hearse) rental car center near the entrance of the Cook Convention Center, which made our encounter even creepier...

A Name and an Address Change and Renovation of the Cook Convention Center

Having personally worked at the much more up-to-par and extravagant Georgia World Congress Center for multiple years, I was very surprised at the shabby appearance of Memphis's convention center, which could certainly stand a bit of renovation, i.e. new carpet, fresh paint, etc.

The Cook Convention Center should certainly acquire both a name and an address change, whether or not the individuals who placed the facility where it is located had any malice in mind in either the naming of the facility or in placing it at its current address. The facility could acquire an address change at its current location with a bit of expansion and movement of its primary entrance door.

Inappropriate MPloyers

I was privileged to acquire and keep a copy of the list of 63... 2017 MPloy Youth worksites for the group that MPloy assigned my son to, several of which I found offensive and/or inappropriate for a teen employment program, i.e. Memorial Gardens MGA (managing general agent) of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Co. and Skyway computers (one of the only opportunities for tech-interested teens), which magnified its services to "Pest Control Services" among other companies on its website...

Agape Wholesome Foods (no formal website or social media page)

My Issues with Blues City Cultural/"We are Orange Mound"

My son, who is an honor student and aspiring Computer Scientist (a fact that we communicated to MPloy), was placed at Blues City Cultural/"We are Orange Mound," where he was required to sing, dance, recite poetry, and act during tours of Orange Mound. I was very surprised when he decided to stay in the program when learning of this because these things do not align with his personality or interests.

I laughed hysterically when my son informed me that he had been dancing at work. I lauded him for being a good sport, and made certain that he was there on time every day. It was certainly better than nothing at all. I did not find it laughable at all that my son was required to purchase a black jacket and visit a graveyard as part of the "We are Orange Mound" tour. Though it was amusing to learn that Orange Mound was one of the first African American owned communities in the country, the hostile climate surrounding this legacy where minority MPloy youth are concerned made it less appealing (I believe that all historical sites should be properly preserved, however). I was and am very proud that my son and other MPloy participants chose to overlook and thrive in such a hostile environment, though I feared for his and the safety of other students in the program each and every day, especially after learning that the brakes went out on their tour bus while they were in route to the grave yard on a certain occasion, and when I reflected on a document that I and other parents had been asked to sign releasing the MPloy program of liability in the event that students were "killed." I made note on the document that I expected for my son and all students in the program to be provided a safe working environment.

Deaderick Street Should Be Renamed

Deaderick Street, on which Melrose High School stands in Memphis (and on which the Tennessee Department of Human Resources and other Tennessee state government buildings stand in Nashville), should be renamed, not necessarily because Mr. John George Deaderick owned a plantation in what is now Orange Mound. It should be renamed due to its proclivity to generate hostility in its containment of the word "dead" (even Mr. Deaderick's original family name, Dietrick, contains the word "die)." For this reason, and particularly in light of racial tensions in Tennessee, specifically where disbursal of human resources or public services to minorities is concerned, the Deaderick named should be removed from the said and other relevant streets.

MPloy Youth Should Really Put Teens To Ethical Work

MPloy participants should not sit and talk or perform recreational activities all day while the city hires other persons to perform work that MPloy participants could perform, while acquiring valuable and actual work experience that would enhance their resumes and impress future employers. MPloy participants should neither perform work that prisoners would ordinarily perform, unless the demand for such work exceeds the number of available prisoners to perform the work. MPloy Youth should employ participants to perform real and ethical work wherever it is needed in the city, and all participating companies should provide a printed job description to each teen participant.

Job descriptions should be disbursed to all participants to curtail any potential abuse* of participants. *Abuse could range from sexual exploitation to encouraging participants to commit any other form of illegal acts. Any "business partners" found exploiting children in any of the described or other ways should be permanently banned from the MPloy and any other similar programs and sufficiently prosecuted.

MPloy Youth should additionally work harder to place participants with companies that would formally hire them. The program should really flourish into a teen employment division of the Department of Labor. The city and/or government should encourage companies that do not ordinarily hire teens to hire them and provide incentives to those and other teen-hiring companies...

Placing MPloy participants with companies that have no intentions of ever hiring them opens them up to exploitation, even though said participants are paid by the city for any work or sitting, talking, and/or recreational activities that they perform in the program.

The average job pays wages sufficient for teenagers who are living with their parents, and many of those jobs should be for teenagers, those with satisfactory grades, of course, while older workers should be availed more paid opportunities to train on-the-job, etc. for better, higher-paying jobs. 

The period of time that MPloy participants are on the city's payroll should be to impress hosting companies or to demonstrate to those companies that the participants are capable of performing subject jobs in a satisfactory or exceptional manner, and/or, again, it should be to acquire transferable job skills.

MPloy Uniforms

MPloy Youth and, optionally, MPloy staff should wear MPloy uniforms each work day. This could include MPloy t-shirts and/or polo shirts with the MPloy logo (and, optionally, the logo of the specific companies that they are placed with), and khaki or other casual pants or shorts or skirts (for females), and plain, comfortable shoes, or other uniforms required by specific host companies. The MPloy dress code and appearance policy should essentially resemble traditional employer dress code and appearance policies to get participants accustomed to appropriately dressing for work. Many MPloy participants simply do not have appropriate work attire. MPloy uniforms would help to improve participant confidence and program morale, while making MPloy participants more professional in appearance. MPloy participants could be advanced the uniforms and have their costs deducted from their pay...

Ideal MPloy Work Sites

Ideal job sites for MPloy participants are city parks, public libraries, car washes, movie theaters, golf courses, skating rinks, food banks, pet stores, animal shelters, game stores, community centers, grocery stores, department stores, clothing stores, sports arenas, etc.

Ideal MPloy Jobs

Ideal MPloy jobs include tutors for younger children in camps and child care facilities, receptionists, concierges, and/or switchboard operators, filers, stockers, baggers, waiters/waitresses, event services workers, neighborhood beautifiers for teams that would refurbish homes in select neighborhoods in need (painters, home building helpers, etc.).

Revenue-generating Jobs

City governments could really be creative with MPloy and similar programs, in terms of creating ethical revenue-generating jobs, i.e. lawn services, product creation, concessions, etc. This would help to fund and expand MPloy programs. It could potentially wholly fund MPloy programs with revenues to spare, depending upon the level of seriousness invested into programs of the sort.


The city could create opportunities for MPloy participants to market concessions like sodas, potato chips, etc. in places like city parks and/or other approved localities that would be staffed with security for MPloy participant and patron safety.

Product Creation

The city could create multiple product creation ventures and staff them with MPloy participants, who, once properly trained, could create everything from furniture, clothing, and packaged treats, to automobiles, et cetera.

Lawn Services

Lawn services are another revenue-generating opportunity for MPloy participants. The city could solicit business from home owners, etc. via infomercials and other advertisements that would discuss the need for giving teens constructive opportunities juxtapose the need for lawn services, etc. during summer. Youth participants would be supervised by adults, of course, adults who could be actual city employees or external entrepreneurs who would train youth participants to perform the work. Lawn service supervisors would be equipped with vans and trucks to transport the commercial (riding and manual) mowers and work crew to each work site. Vehicles utilized for such purposes that are owned by the city could exhibit the City of Memphis and/or MPloy Youth landscaping division logo. Interested homeowners, etc. would pay for lawn services via, preferably, the MPloy website on a lawn services page...

MPloy Evaluations

MPloy participants should be formally evaluated on factors that any traditional employee would be evaluated on, like attendance, adherence to dress codes, work performance, etc. The noted evaluations should be discussed with MPloyees, who would be required to sign them juxtapose their site managers, and with parents, who would further address pointers discussed.

MPloy and parental guidance in students' initial employment would encourage their success in the workforce in succeeding years. 

Addressing Issues with The MPloy Youth Excellence Awards Ceremony

Awards that are distributed during MPloy Youth excellence awards ceremonies should be based on student evaluations, though every student who meets minimum attendance and participation requirements in the program should be disbursed MPloy completion certificates in addition to any other certificates awarded by individual companies that have hosted MPloyees. My son was only disbursed a certificate from Blues City Cultural...

The MPloy Youth Excellence Awards Ceremony was held at the Levitt Shell, which is an outdoors amphitheater located in Overton Park near the campus of the Memphis College of Art. During the day of the program, there were several other programs occurring simultaneously, and the park was jammed packed. It was very challenging to find a place to park and there was no formal seating. Attendees had to bring their own chairs, a requirement that we learned of only a few hours before the program...

Another surprise was the presence of vendors who sold much-needed bottled water and other cold beverages and snacks, none of whom accepted debit or credit cards. If you didn't have cash in the form of paper currency and coins you were simply out of luck.

MPloy should communicate to participants and their families way in advance that any awards or other MPloy programs held at the Levitt Shell are outdoors and require attendees to bring their own chairs, that it can be challenging to find a place to park in Overton Park, and that they should bring paper currency and/or coins if they want to purchase cold beverages and snacks...

I personally don't think that the Levitt Shell is an ideal locality for MPloy awards ceremonies, which should be held indoors (in the event of inclement weather) and in a facility that is sizable enough to entertain all MPloyees and those accompanying them in terms of seating (which should be provided by the program) and in terms of parking, which should be complimentary...


MPloy Youth is a merited program that should be a model for other cities to implement. In order to be a program of the sort, it must be harmoniously managed and free of hostility of any sort. It should additionally be less reliant upon city funding, which is very practical, considering ethical for-profit opportunities that can be created through the program. Though some work involved might not be preferred, this fact should serve to magnify the ultimate purpose of the program, which should be to show participants the importance of an education.