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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wanting $10/Hr while Giving 10 Cent Effort

Grab some popcorn boys n' girls.. its Venting time..

Maybe you'll agree with today's posting.. Maybe you won't..  Probably is dependent on which side of the employee/customer 'fence' you're straddled toward..

For those who have seen the 1980s teen comedy classic 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High', there are many famous or memorable moments..

A not-yet-famous Sean Penn playing drugged-out surfer Spicoli in class and the scene where Judge Reinhold's character Brad is fantasizing Phoebe Cates' character taking off her bikini top being just two scenes..
But for the purposes of this posting, there was another moment in the film I tend to think about often lately, which I'm positive no one else whose seen the film ever reflects upon for even a second..

It involves Brad once again..  This time he's working assistant manager at a fast food restaurant and he's having to deal with an irate customer while also dealing with an incompetent co-worker.

Ultimately he yells at the customer and threatens to kick his ass at which point the insulted patron finds the manager and demands Brad be fired on the spot..

The manager asks Brad if its true and he says yes but tries to justify it, and he is instantly dismissed from his job.
And I think on that scene and wonder from the perspective of a customer if such a thing actually ever did happen at one time?

A magical heavenly time where lazy, disrespectful or otherwise shitty workers were just let go on the spot and done publicly in front of those they offended?

Or is it just another example of fictionalized reality like when you see two strangers chat at a supermarket or mall and a friendship/relationship begins, when in reality, no one gives eye contact to one another unless she's wearing a snug top or short-shorts...

If it does exist, I certainly haven't experienced it..
When I contact management to complain about a bored worker at my local Papa John's while picking up carryout who refuses to say a single word to me, not even basic transactional conversation such as verbalizing the amount of the pizza and 'thank you' while giving change..

Just dead silence from a guy who wants me to leave so he can continue hitting on his co-worker..

I get words from a 'superior' in her mid-20s..  Lots of words.. and empty phrases like "We will speak to him about it" and "We handle this internally"

Turned out she was the one the guy was flirting with..

When I decide I'm not going to accept cashiers at other stores like Lowe's and Target having complete conversations with one another while taking my money and complain, I tend to get the same thing..  words.. lots of words..
I go into another store called Ollie's Army that prides itself on closeouts at bargain prices..  All the employees are just standing in a circle by the registers venting how much they hate the company the work for..  I would have complained to a manager but he was one of them..

And nothing is changed..  And no one gets fired..

It would be so refreshing for once if a terrible employee, especially one with attitude was forced to issue an apology to the customer's face or be replaced..

But everything is internal.. a big secret..
Reminds me of a baseball story I heard once which I've no doubt happens often..

A team is mired in a slump and its really getting to some of the players, so ultimately one fights with another in the clubhouse before a game to which media is witness to..

There's a bit of a scrape.. a punch or two thrown then its broken up and the players go about their business and end up breaking the losing streak..

So the manager later tells the media how that behavior is unacceptable the players will be fined an 'undisclosed' amount and the matter will be dealt with internally..

And in private, the players are congratulated for shaking up the clubhouse and fined $10 each..

Amazingly the instantly replaceable are treated as irreplaceable..

Don't know its coincidental or not but every situation of horrible customer service and lack of basic high school level business professionalism we've dealt with lately has come from black employees..

Maybe they know that short of theft or being late, they can never get fired ever?  And if so, they have a 'card' in the stacked deck to ultimately play...

But whether or not is an issue of race, culture or a certain type of person with a ghetto mentality who just is not going to show the slightest civility or professionalism toward 'whitey', there is absolutely no reason why a bad employee should ever be allowed to feel their job is safe and secure..

If I ran a business and I was told of such incidents as I've experienced lately by low wage employees, I'd go to that individual, let him/her know they were on probation and if it happened again within a set period of time, they were fired..

And if I had to ultimately replace someone and took the time to advertise, in this economy, I would feel reasonably confident I'd have 100 inquiries within a week..  People of all backgrounds and stripes who could and would do a better job than the shit I'd have currently..

But companies don't think this way, especially corporations...

They sincerely don't give a damn if they lose a customer or two..  They figure the next 'Buy 4, Get 1 25% off' discount, and you're back patronizing their store or restaurant
\
Its also too much of a hassle and bother to replace one minimally educated nobody-nothing with another..  There's interviews.. drug tests.. background checks..

And then the shitty employee whose fired gets to be rewarded with unemployment checks for up to 99 weeks...

To most places, that rude, thoughtless, inconsiderate moron making $9/hr is only there because there Has to be someone to take your money..  No one hires someone for another's benefit..

No one in this rotten economy should feel the slightest bit of job security and complacency especially at the under $12/hr level..  Practically every one of those types of jobs can easily be replaced by outsourcing or technology automation such as the self-checkout
Not that bottom-feeder employees really give a fuck but they are a big reason job opportunities on this level decrease and why so many prefer purchasing this way.. Instead of once having 6 cashiers making a living, one per register, now you only need one person to overlook six kiosks..

Just like there used to be turnpike toll collectors, unfriendly bastards that they all are..  Now thanks to 'EZ Pass' in the Northeast US and SunPass in Florida, they've become obsolete..  redundant..  pretty much gone..

The goal of every employee is to make themselves both useful and valuable; to show a boss that unless a company is simply cutting costs across the board and going with 'cheap', that worker is too important to just cast aside in a downturn or restructuring

But I don't see that attitude at all in my day to day interactions
Maybe its bitterness that people who only completed high school have to wait and and assist those of a higher education and economic strata?

Or bitterness that people who've completed bachelors and Masters and Doctorates have to do these jobs after all that time wasted in school racking up those debts?

Or like we said before..  If you are getting minimal pay and bosses will only discipline you if you steal or show up late, then you'll only put out minimal effort..

And this ultimately is the cause of the destruction of the bricks and mortar physical business..
~ Besides it being Eddie Murphy, you can tell this pic does not represent a true fast food employee because he is smiling, friendly, likes what he does and holds no grudges vs those he works for or serves..

I used to work at a music store along side people who hated being there and treated the customers as if they were nuisances getting in the way of their conversations with co-workers..

Coincidence or not, there are barely any more places you can go simply to buy music without that store also selling TVs, computers, cameras, etc..

I used to work at Pizza Hut when it offered both sit down restaurant and delivery/carry out options for patrons.. The servers hated being there and would not share their tips with those who cleaned the tables and everyone there wished they were elsewhere..

And coincidence or not, the chain eliminated the sit-down part of their business model for most locations and now focus on delivery/carryout..
~ Still shot of a Pizza Hut district manager relieving himself into a sink... C'mon Brother! 

And when it comes to buying non-vital  non-essentials, nearly 100% of the time I will buy from an online vendor I trust who usually has the best price and I get what I need in 2-3 days without having to deal with an uppity attitude

And I tend to shop in stores that provide automated checkout so I don't even have to deal with lazy layabouts showing me in their body language they wish both I and they weren't there...

The minimum wage worker wants their hourly salary raised to $10.10/hr, a 33% rise...

Shouldn't they show they're worth the $7.25/hr first?
~  'We Are Worth More'..  Really..  Are you?