Not EVERYMAN’s friend – A rant
Yesterday when we went shopping, I spoke with my favorite checker. He told me that he might not be around much longer. I asked if he was sick and he said no and that he hadn’t made his decision yet. Turns out, the company he works for, Smiths, has gone to an electronic scheduling process and he’s getting less than half-time. It’s not enough to pay for health insurance for him and his family. I had noticed that he wasn’t around as much lately and had been moderately concerned. I mean I like the guy. He’s fun to be around and if his station is open I’ll wait in line to let him check us out.
Apparently this new automated scheduling process is set up to deny non-management workers a full forty hours (can’t get close to 40; that might mean overtime.) Consequently it gives the impression that Smith’s is to be determined to have only part-time employees. Now that is counter-intuitive to my way of thinking.
If a company doesn’t care enough to give their workers a living income, including the ability to get/afford health insurance, then they shouldn’t be surprised when their turn-over rate increases. They’ve done it to themselves. There are advantages to treating employees well. Happy employees develop relationships with the customers. This encourages the customers to return to the store which means profit to the store. If all a store has is part-time employees who change with the winds, then the shopping experience becomes dull, boring and frequently aggravating. Customers will go to other stores and the local store becomes unprofitable. That means the parent company loses another store and eventually the town. Gone is the humanity in the business. You’d think that a Mormon based business would care about their employees, and, consequently, their customers.
Coincidentally, or maybe not, our town of 21,000 is getting a new Smith’s superstore. It’s due to open in May (although they’re really having to push to complete it on time.) There currently are two national-chain grocery stores (both Smith’s) in the city/county – one in the town-site where the new one is being built, and the other in our bedroom community about 10 miles (and 500 vertical feet) away. When questioned we’ve been told that our Smith’s won’t be closed, just the one in the town-site. I’m beginning to wonder about that, too.
Now, why should I be a loyal shopper to a business that isn’t loyal to it’s employees? Why should I shop where the employee turn-over is so fast that you never get the same checker twice in a month? Why should I patronize a business that doesn’t want to make my shopping experience pleasant? If I want an impersonal store, I’ll do my major grocery shopping at Walmart (which isn’t that much further away than the town-site Smith’s) and find a co-op locally to support instead.
Are the ‘big-businesses’ in your area concerned with the well-being of their employees and customers or are they just concerned with the bottom line? What can you do about it?