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The Kudos Project – a disruptive new way to humiliate employees & cut their wages

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The Crossing Sweeper’ by William Powell Frith, 1858; oil on canvas
She gave him 2 kudos because he didn’t tug his forelock respectfully enough. He died of starvation that day. A libertarian angel got its wings!

A plan to shift workers from cash tips to online ratings and a bitcoin knockoff is enough to send me to the workshop to make a few tumbrils. Again. It’s the brain fart of the people who thought up Uber-for-buses and it even sounds like the title of a dystopian sci fi novel. I assume it is called The Kudos Project because someone realized officially naming it Fuck you, serf! might turn off investors. During those private board room meetings it’s fine.

The “Kudos Project” will run on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing customers to rate any transaction they make, Skedaddle co-founder and CEO Adam Nestler told Business Insider.

Those ratings, for anyone from your Uber driver to restaurant server to grocery supermarket cashier, are then instantly published to a decentralized database that allows anyone using the system to see the ratings that then follow an employee from one job to another throughout the full gig economy.

Aside from allowing shitty people to vent their ire on individual workers and being a dream come true for stalkers, what else does this thing do?

They also function as a “reward” for the worker in lieu of a tip. Unfortunately, those rewards will only work within the Kudos system.

Ah yes. That. A pseudo-currency that only exists in the controlled environment of Kudosistan could be a bit of a drawback for workers who rely on tips to do things like eat and sleep indoors. I guess they’ll just have to get a second job.

So to completely replace tips, the project will have to reach meaningful scale, something Nestler is convinced is a very real possibility.

He also thinks his dystopian ecoin system is a good idea. Large grain of salt, have one. The website for Fuck you, serf! is, to use an old phrase, a trip. Here’s how they describe shifting workers from cash to air.

Worker rewards
Workers will no longer be rewarded with clunky, antiquated and discriminatory tips.

Yes, who wants clunky and antiquated money that workers can use to purchase goods and services? And obviously what everyone who works in the service sector wants is to have ratings become part of their permanent record and another bullshit metric their slimy boss can stress them about. Hey team, your Kudos Points were down this week, so I’m cancelling bathroom breaks until they’re back up!

Kudos are rewarded proportional to a 1-5 rating tied to each transaction.

What’s to stop someone from giving a discriminatory rating, the uneasy ghost of Ayn Rand? In fact, if the system provides anonymity to the customer it would be easier to downrate someone.

The unfair tips/fair ratings thing is what someone would say when they don’t give a shit about a problem, but are aware that appearing to address it might make someone hand over some cash.

Hopefully this thing won’t get past the parting some rich fools from their money stage. But the ability to heap more indignities on employees, combined with the promise of a completely fair ratings system – ha ha ha – might be too much of a temptation for many employers.

As an aside, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised a bunch of tech bros think tips and ratings are the same thing.

Libertarians and other dimwitted sadists think that if 15% is the baseline for restaurant service, then they can give 5% if the service isn’t as good as they think it should be. I would think that they’d prefer to leave the 15%, complain loudly to the manager and storm out. I guess stiffing the waiter allows them to believe they have high standards, the highest, believe me. When instead they’re just nasty skinflints.

Here’s a guide for anyone interested in tipping properly – or at least not looking like a cheap twerp.

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