Published by malcontents for the blissfully unaware

Volume V Number 4 — April 1, 1990

Fancy Guesswork

What’s Z Score?

One of the hottest topics of conversation at SS/AG centers around whether or not the company is going to make it. Rumors and suppositions about the company’s health have gained such currency that one can only wonder how long it will be until a betting pool is formed for those who feel they can predict the actual date the whip comes down.

Without seeing the income statements and balance sheets, it is difficult to be accurate about what kind of shape the company is in. (It might be argued that those who do have access fair little better.) However, we can still guess, and just to keep it interesting, we can use the Z Score, developed by Professor Altman at UCLA to predict corporate bankruptcies.

The Z Score is a mildly complex formula that looks at current assets and liabilities, total assets, retained earnings, earnings before interest and taxes, the market value of equity, the book value of total liabilities, and sales. Corporations scoring 3.0 and higher are considered safe. Those scoring between 1.8 and 2.9 are in a gray area. And those with scores less than 1.8 are headed for bankruptcy. Our seat-of-the-pants guess puts the Z Score of SS/AG somewhere in the neighborhood of zero, plus or minus 0.6, the higher score reflecting an unrealistically high valuation of total assets. What do you suppose the true Z Score is?

Dark Secrets

Kicked in the Teeth

Although out of sight, the long-promised employee dental plan is far from forgotten. True, the dental plan was to be paid entirely by employee contributions, but it has been months since the questionnaire was passed around asking each of us which dental plan we preferred. Could it be that all of us voted against a dental plan? Unlikely. More likely is that the management is sitting on the whole matter for reasons unknown.

And don’t get it into your head to ask management what has happened to the dental plan. At least one employee has done so only to find that the answer is mañana. The dental plan, which should have gone into effect long ago, has been put off month after month, with each new month being held out as the month in which the plan will be implemented.

Still, one can’t escape the feeling that there is some sinister plot afoot to bury the whole concept. Employees who care enough about their oral hygiene to have biannual prophylaxis will no doubt get to pick up the cost of the cleaning (and whatever else crops up) themselves. Meanwhile, one squeaky employee was hustled into a side office for a private meeting on the matter after she had the poor taste to loudly and persistently bring up the topic in front of other employees.

BIA Alerted

Too Many Chiefs …

Debbie from Warm Springs, Colorado, writes, How many partners are there at Skil-Set/Alpha Graphix/Graphic Magic/Access Publishing, anyway?

Apparently, theologians in Warm Springs have figured out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and are searching for ever-more-challenging riddles.

But, as with the age-old poser, the answer could be seven, or nine, or 23, or no one really knows. As long as we or asking transcendental questions, however, let us throw out a couple more: 1) How would we know if one of the partners was missing? and 2) How much are they paid?

So maybe question two isn’t that transcendental. Figure nine partners at $40,000 per year, that’s $360,000 in salaries for them alone. That breaks down to $1,400 per day for partner salaries. Ouch. Perhaps that’s the punishment for trying to make a pun on the word dental. It sounds as if it may be time for yet another betting pool — Guess The Number Of Partners.

Super Employees, Major Accomplishments, Attaboys, and more

Our vote for Employee of the Month (Year?) goes to Marino Vigil, the second-shift Monitor. The title may not be very thrilling, but the way Marino performs his duties, there is a sublime, almost Zen-like quality to it. Sound goofy? Granted, but until you work alongside Marino you will never be able to appreciate fully how he helps the entire production team function more efficiently.

Another Attaboy goes out to Pat Yoergler, who has recently completed his novel, Arms of the Archer. Early reports indicate it is quite good, giving rise to hopes that Pat will be able to sell it and enter the heady world of agents, contracts, and mega-buck movie deals.

The Horror Revisited

Immaculate Conception

If you were asked to free-associate on the word Covalent, you might come up with 1984, Big Brother, dormant, quiescent, useless, Kehoutek, or dead.

One connection you might not have made is fecund. Yet, this plucky (and expensive) Tool of the Bourgeois, which computer doctors removed from its life-support system after detecting brain-death, has produced spawn.

Although the official appellation has not been set (candidates are Son of Covalent and Covalent II), it has been colloquially dubbed Bureau Master.

A Billed as a self-effacing savant of protean capabilities, Bureau Master, like its father, has sat in a box since arriving at SS/AG some weeks ago.

So far, Bureau Master has cost only one-seventeenth as much as dear old Dad, but give it time; it’s still young.

The A-Team

Publisher: Axes Publishing

Editorial Director: Mel Content

Managing Editor: Fweepa Weepa

Associate EditorDon G. O’Vanni

Feature Editor: Richard Head

Editorial Contributor: Johnny Hunkmeister

Graphics Director: Anita Break

Art Director: Artie Rector

Souzaphone: Blimpo the Chimp

Ad Sales: Joseph Gerbils

Fat Lady: Hermann Going

Hautboy: Nick Danger

Sackbut: Ida Gel

The A-TEAM is published by Axes Publishing, publishing for those with axes to grind. It is presented in lieu of a Director of Corporate Communications, the conspicuous lack of which is shameful in a corporation the size of SS/AG.