September 10, 2002
Last Revised: May 23, 2012 4:50 PM
This Company Policy applies to all staff, and in particular is to be shown to any person who is considering joining the staff at Vibrant Life. See also another Company Policy with many duplications of the data here.
Any exceptions or amendments to these “normal” employment rules would have to be in written form for any staff member, to be valid.
Vibrant Life is in the vitamin business, selling mostly through our web sites, and shipping all over the world. These are mostly vitamins which have been designed by Karl Loren and are unique to Vibrant Life.
We, at Vibrant Life, generally operate on the concept that we are on an important mission to bring truth and good health products to the world. You don’t have to have a passion for such lofty ideals, but you should recognize that the Company, itself, does not consider itself a mere merchant of pills for profit.
Your role here is an important part of our mission to help people.
During the interview we ask a prospective staff member to take three tests. These include a 30 minute IQ test and two other tests. We share the results of the test with the person. IQ and other such tests are gaining increased use in industry as schools do so poorly in teaching or their grades are "socially false."
Donna Chan is 23 years old and has been out of college since May 2002, when she graduated from Wagner College on New York's Staten Island. So should anyone care how she did way back in high school on her SATs?
Apparently some people do. Since Ms. Chan started looking for an entry-level job in financial services more than a year ago, she has repeatedly stumbled over a common requirement for many of these positions: a combined SAT score of at least 1300 out of a maximum 1600. Ms. Chan's combined score on the math and verbal tests fell "somewhere in the 1200s," even though she earned a 3.9 grade-point average in college while getting a degree in computer science with a minor in math.
"I think it's asking a bit much," gripes Ms. Chan, who is currently working as a part-time paralegal on Staten Island. "That's something high school kids have to worry about. After four years of working hard, I think you've paid your dues, and unless you're applying to Princeton Review or some math-related, analytical job, I don't see the relevance." (source)
We are looking for staff with very high IQ scores! Part of the joy of working here is that you are associating with quality people who are smart and hard-working.
We have some rather simple rules about your employment here.
As a matter of Company Policy we refuse to sell any of our products to any person who we learn is taking any illegal or psychiatric drug. This Policy carries over to our staff. You may well have taken such drugs in the past, but in order to be hired here you would have to be free of any such drug use for some time.
Also, we expect that any staff member would never take any illegal or psychiatric drug at any time while working here. If anyone takes such a drug there is no warning, but instant dismissal for cause.
We run our Company making reference to good management practices as written in policies by L. Ron Hubbard. This is not a Company that requires any particular religious belief, but it is also true that we do not expect any staff member to be antagonistic toward Mr. Hubbard or his written policies.
I, Karl Loren, am developing a large series of "electronic courses" which will include "courses" composed of these Policies. At some point these eCourses will be required of staff members and will serve as a means of increasing their pay when the courses are properly completed.
As a matter of Company Policy we do not offer any “benefits” beyond what might be required by law. We prefer to offer benefits in the form of bonuses and rewards in the incentive pay system tied to production and sales.
Thus, Vibrant Life does not offer any health insurance, nor any retirement program, nor any sick leave. We recognize a minimum of other benefits, but do accept five paid holidays (New Year’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Vacation time is provided at one week (five business days) after one year of starting full time employment. This allowance is increased to two such weeks after two years of full time employment and three weeks after five years.
We are NOT interested in having people “watch the clock.” We base our work week on a “standard” 40 hour week, from Monday through Friday. We do not pay any overtime. Even though the work week is a standard 40 hours, the pay here is not an hourly pay, but a weekly salary. It may often be calculated as some hourly rate times 40 hours, but it is still a weekly salary, not an hourly pay.
Those who hold "executive" positions, or are striving to be promoted to such levels are routinely expected to work without exta pay, beyond 40 hours per week.
We work from 9 to 6 PM (New Company Policy, first established HERE) with an hour for lunch. "Eating on the fly" to make it a "9 to 5 PM" work day is OK only with the Manager's agreement and only when there is SOMEONE who is working until 6 PM to handle incoming Public calls. Whoever is present at work at 6 PM should send the daily Stat Report to both Karl and Clif.
The 9 to 6 PM is now the normal work day. However, if on any Monday, the condition of the stat (normal daily stat) shows "normal or above" for the previous week, then the senior manager on location may approve a 9 to 5 PM work day for THAT week, with "lunch on the fly" -- being eaten at the desk or at the building lunch room and not taking more than thirty minutes off from work.
In truth the ideal form of pay would be for some “product” not for some amount of time.
Many types of employment are on terms called “sub-contract” where someone, for instance a janitor, has the job of cleaning an office. The janitor gets paid for producing a clean office, not for some number of hours of cleaning activity. While the company supervisor may judge “how clean” the office needs to be for the janitor to get paid, ultimately the client decides whether HE is happy with the product.
The janitor gets only part of what the client pays because someone else “produced” the original sale, inspected the finished job, or did the bookkeeping that keeps track of things.
When it becomes more and more complicated to see what “product” is produced by a staff member, we fall back on the very much less useful measure of “an hour of pay for an hour of work.” Even though we may “measure” a staff member’s contribution to the Company in terms of hours or weeks, we try, even so, to see the truth of what was produced by that employee – something produced which is valuable to our customers.
For this reason we strive to define one or more “products” for each staff member – a definition that relates to “things” which are brought into existence by the person and which are somehow traceable to a benefit to our customer.
Thus, a person can have the job of receiving requests for literature, entering the information into our computer, stuffing an envelope with the literature, and taking that envelope to the post office. We could count these with a term called “literature requests handled” or some such. If we were large enough we might have one person who did ONLY “literature requests.” That staff member would then have a personal product – “literature requests handled.”
If we were clever enough we could figure out how much one such product was “worth” to the Company and actually pay THAT amount rather than some arbitrary amount related to time. Then the person who worked faster and more efficiently could earn more in the same time, by producing more of this personal product – literature requests handled.
A system that pays for time only rewards the lazy and penalizes the fast worker because they both get paid the same – but the actual “product” is different. In the real world it is hard to come up with practical ways of measuring production so we fall back on “time.” To try to handle this we have a “supervisor” whose job it often is to observe, train and motivate people so they can actually produce more valuable products in less time. Likewise, a staff member who does this, with or without supervision, is the one who is likely to be promoted and get increases in pay.
I, Karl Loren, am working on a "unit pay system" that would revise the normal payment procedures and allow pay to be based on the sales of the Company as well as the personal production of individual staff members. That system is not ready to be implemented and will be announced for people to study for some months before it would be implemented.
Increasing pay on the basis only of time on the job is common, but surely one of the worst possible criteria to use. We expect a staff member to be constantly increasing his knowledge and skill. Increased productivity should be the basis for increased pay, not time on the job.
As an example, consider a person whose job is handling literature requests. The person who is not well trained may put the wrong postage on an envelope and it is then returned. This was a harmful product for the Company. The prospect did not get the information requested and we had to pay extra to send the literature the second time. A person who is well trained and alert will notice something that needs correction, even from the customer’s own data, and ensure that the outgoing envelope will actually arrive in the customer’s hands.
Paying both of these people the same amount for time would be a terrible way to pay, but unfortunately it is probably the most common method – to pay on the basis of time.
As imperfect as they may be we try to come up with some “product” for each person, or even several products. The pay may not be tied to the quantity of these products created, but even so the statistic on that quantity is important in the management of the Company and the prospective increase in pay for the staff member.
We are generally very generous about allowing time off for any reason, as long as you get approval from your senior in advance and make up the lost time. Time off should not be taken at times when the work flow is particularly heavy, and made-up time should be on a schedule so that productive work can be done (late hours, weekend time, or whatever). Make-up time can often be scheduled for weekends if that is preferred by the staff member. The ED must approve, in advance, any special work schedules or make-up time.
While the “normal” hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM, with an hour off for lunch, many staff, with approval from the Executive Director, Karl Loren, find that it is very workable to work from 9 to 5 PM and to “take lunch on the fly.” We do not want to get into watching the hours or counting the minutes. We expect each staff member to arrive at least a few minutes before their normal starting hour and not to leave until the their normal ending time. Repeated arrival "late" will be grounds for warning and dismissal if serious.
There may be times when there is work to do, past the normal quitting hour. We expect that you will be willing and able to do that, and get comparable time off on some other day or just not fuss about it. Fussers get fired evenaually, not because of the overly legalistic demand for "compensatory time off or money."
There are certain "end of the week" tasks which must be done before close of business on Friday. It should be possible to do all of those during the week and within the normal hours, but if not, you would be expected to spend whatever additional time is needed to get those tasks completed on a Friday.
A person who stives to get a "regular" quitting time earlier than 5 PM for some special (child in school) reason should NOT expect to take that same quitting time on a Friday and not get the "end of week" tasks done at 5 PM, not earlier and not much later.
We have an outside payroll processing company. We call in the number of hours for each staff member, usually on a Tuesday, following the last day of the previous work week. They process pay checks weekly and we usually receive those paychecks before Saturday, dated for the following Monday. Thus, the work week goes from Saturday through the following Friday, and the pay for that period is given to you one week later, the following Monday. Normally you would receive your check on a Monday.
We have a variety of cash bonuses, but only for full time staff.
We measure “sales” by a term called “Value of Service Delivered,” or VSD. We have a computer-based statistical program that produces this VSD figure as often as we want it, and keeps track of the VSD for past periods. We measure the VSD, normally, on an hourly, daily and weekly basis.
When the VSD is higher than it has ever been for any one week (ending on Friday, close of business) each person on the staff gets a $100 bonus. When it is the highest ever amount for two weeks in a row, each staff member gets a $200 bonus. When the VSD is “highest ever” for three weeks, or longer, consecutively, the bonus is $400 in cash for each staff member. If the VSD continues to be “highest ever” after that third consecutive week, the weekly bonus remains at $400.
When and as the "unit pay system" is implemented most of these bonuses will be paid in form of increases WITHIN the unit pay system.
We have another statistical figure, called the “Corrected Gross Income.” You can learn more about that from another Company Policy. Whenever that statistic rises for two weeks in a row, there is a $50 bonus for each full time staff who was present in the week (unless on approved vacation) the stat was achieved – paid in cash. The bonus could be paid every week, as long as the two preceding weeks saw an increase, both weeks. The amount of the bonus doesn’t change.
A person who is on paid vacation also gets these bonuses, but not the next item.
In addition to these bonuses, there are occasional other bonuses, usually announced by me, Karl Loren. These are not cash bonuses, but rather “rewards” based on achieving some particular target that is generally set at the beginning of the week.
In other words, at the beginning of the week I might announce that, “If and when the VSD reaches $15,000, or higher, by Friday, close of business” the reward will be given to all full time staff.
Typically this reward has consisted of all the staff going to a very nice spa for some hours and then a fancy restaurant for dinner. Sometimes, for a particularly high target, the spa could also include massages for all who wish them.
We may have other bonuses or rewards.
Every staff member is expected to get enough rest and food before coming to work. Arrival at work in a condition of being tired or hungry is not acceptable. There was once a time when this was such a problem that I instituted a full balanced free breakfast for all staff members. I realized that this was the wrong way to achieve this level of what should be personal responsibility.Company-provided meals, including breakfasts were canceled by another Policy.
It should go without saying that we do not allow any of our staff to carry on an outside business while in our work space, or any business that competes with us or any business which might use some part of the Vibrant Life assets, including names of customers. With our open telephone and eMail lines it would be easy enough to do, but when discovered is grounds for dismissal. Staff may certainly receive phone calls that are urgent or personal, but may not use our phone or eMail lines for either incoming or outgoing business communications.
As a matter of Company Policy no person should accept any mail or package which requires a signature -- without the approval of the Executive Director for each such item. Generally, we have found, when someone wants to cause trouble they will send some message to us, certified, registered, or in some other way requiring a signature. That signature can serve as a form of "proof of delivery" and subject the Company to legal complexities. Likewise, no staff member, without the specific approval of the ED, may encourage any outside person or firm to send to our address any mail, package or item for which a signature of receipt is requested.
No staff member is allowed to place files or programs on any computer in our space unless it is a specific part of his job description. The computers are generally set up with a person, the "Administrator" who has a password-protected account. He is the only person who has authority to set up other password-protected accounts. Generally only a person with the computer status of "administrator" can, mechanically, install programs on any computer -- but even if it is possible, mechanically, to install any such, that is not allowed without written approval by Karl Loren.
Staff are hired on an “at will” basis – which means they can be dismissed without notice or cause, at any time. In fact, we follow the Company Policy that you are expected to give a one-week notice if you wish to leave, and that the Company will give you a one-week notice (or pay) before dismissal.
In plain English, the Employment At-Will Doctrine means that employment is presumed to be voluntary and indefinite for both employees and employers. As an at-will employee under the doctrine, you may quit your job whenever and for whatever reason you want, usually without consequence. In turn, at-will employers may terminate you whenever and for whatever reason they want, usually without consequence. (Source)
The job includes a complimentary set of vitamins (created by Vibrant Life) worth $200 at retail, per month, for each full time staff member, with any additional vitamins available at a 50% discount. The "retail" price is calculated without reference to any of our usual volume discounts. We will be interested in staff health from the point of view of their talking to customers about health, and about diet and exercise. They should be in a personal position to encourage our customers to follow healthy habits, as recommended by Vibrant Life. Thus, this “vitamin allowance” is for the staff member’s personal consumption, not as a gift to a family member or other.
Staff can simply get approval from his senior and then take whatever vitamins he or she wants, up to $200, enter that transaction into the computer as an "order" and show zero for the amount of money involved. (This will preserve the statistics on what bottles of our products are taken from inventory.)
One of our ongoing activities, based on one of our web sites, is to encourage people to ask for and receive free copies of a common sense moral code, called The Way To Happiness. This is a moral code, and as such, it should not be enforced.
Nonetheless, we give each staff member a copy of this Book and he or she should understand that we like to validate moral behavior and frown on immoral behavior, as defined in this Book.
Quotes from L. Ron Hubbard are copyright 1994 © by the L. Ron Hubbard Library. All rights reserved.