Earthtel Inc. Revisited

July 17, 2007 at 3:09 pm (Family & Friends, Unzipped Thoughts)

Back in January I took you to a wake. Earthtel Inc., a “boiler room” style call-center, that raised money for “liberal causes,” failed.

It died for a number of reasons. They are [in no particular order]:

  • Intrinsically, combining socialism and capitalism doesn’t work.
  • Companies that take advantage of “minority loans” and tax advantages [federal, state, or city] based on whom they employ, [for the most part] become tax write-offs [tax-payer pays] for the “bank.” Why, you ask? For the same reasons that Affirmative Action doesn’t work. The proverbial bar is set a rung or two lower. [A buddy of mine was all for Affirmative Action ’til he found out how his Kaiser Docah got into med school.]
  • Ownership parting ways with fund-raising genius Paul Abramov. Downhill they went from there. A rudderless ship with no managers capable of managing and no one left with authority who was capable of thinking.
  • CEO who prided himself on providing kush, do-nothing [non-caller] jobs for “fine sisters,” and keeping his kids in private schools, rather than meeting weekly payroll.
  • The IRS [with a plethora of folk out there to come down on] chose this nebbish-run company, who raises money for liberal causes and employs minorities in the inner city of Oakland, to pressure into submission. Hmmmmm.

The result: 35 folk, many of whom are members of minority groups, lost their jobs. Another call center [located across the bay in San Francisco] recently opened. They’ve taken over most, if not all, of Earthtel’s clients, including Emily’s List, NARAL [the pro-choice folks], and the DNC [the incredibly incompetent folks]. Same inept management that helped run Earthtel into the ground. Nine callers who formerly toiled for Earthtel Inc. are in their employ. Not one black. Sad because some of the best callers… :-)

This is clearly a lose-lose, for *all.*

But, I digress. Yesterday I met my old buddy, and fellow Earthtel alum, for lunch. We reminisced about those days of yesteryear. A few laughs, some tears. My pal works for the fund raiser in SF, doing the same work for $5 an hour less than what was earned at Earthtel Inc. We wondered aloud if the charities know, or for that matter care, about the caller’s plight. Today I left a voice mail imploring my friend to join a union [or form one].

I miss seeing some of these folks on a regular basis. Not all of them, but some. I also miss [and in some cases don’t miss] some people whose images, although not included here, are indelibly etched in my mind.

earthtel18earthtel 1earthtel 21earthtel 15earthtel 8earthtel 24earthtel 7earthtel 25earthtel 14earthtel 12eartthtel 17

earthtel2earthtel 4earthtel 19earthtel 23earthtel 9earthtel 11earthtel 30earthtel 10earthtel 6earthtel 16earthtel 27

earthtel 28earthtel 20earthtel 29earthtel 13earthtel 22earthtel 26earthtel 31

earthtel 3

Me “Chucks” are pictured above, gracing an Earthtel desk.


  1. Chebarushka said,

    I worked for SD&A during the union bid (which was successful, and therefore caused the company to “relocate” to SoCal) in Berkeley… I wonder if I know you… I was at the begining of Earthtel for a short while… Could I posibly know you???

  2. Ralph Zig Tyko said,

    Certainly not in the Biblical sense, Chebarushka. :-)

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