Skip to main content

View Diary: They Tried to Make Me Go to Retail, I Said "NO, NO, NO!" (123 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Retail sucks! (63+ / 0-)

    I am trapped in retail hell too, but not as badly as that: so far, they haven't made us "on call" serfs.

    Managers are, but we peons (so far) are not.

    My uncle the plumber was "on call" a lot for emergencies.

    Excuse me: lacking a cashier cannot in any way, shape, or form be considered an "emergency."  Emergency is a broken pipe and water flooding your basement.

    Management should be forced to cover if someone unexpectedly goes to the hospital, or calls in dead, or quits.  That's what they get paid the big bucks for.

    Ain't worth it at starvation wages.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 01:00:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I know a store that put an employee "on call", (28+ / 0-)

      and then hired a head cashier (part time, but still a regular schedule) right off the street.  No posting for the employees currently at the store, including the one on call and another longtime employee who could have used the hours.  Meantime, the on call employee is trying to figure out what to do next.

      Let's just say I know the on-call employee very, very, very well.

      -7.13, -6.97 Facts matter. Vice President Joe Biden 10/11/12

      by klamothe on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 02:01:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a real job on call (24+ / 0-)

      Means half pay for the hours on call.

      Barter and starting our own enterprises will be our only hope. Corporatoins have a lock on the politics.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 02:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do the customers treat you now-a-days? (39+ / 0-)

      I'm was trying to imagine what it must be like to be on the wrong side of the Cash register in Wal-Mart . Now I see that it isn't an isolated experience, albeit shared by many. Are customers rude and uncaring as rule or as an exception?  We already know what Management is there.

       I thought there was at least an opportunity to make a living wage in upscale retail. I was looking at a cost of living comparison guide from New York City to here. $44,000 here goes as far as $100,000 in New York City.  The idea that people are somehow living there for what is the equivalent of $800 (gross) a month here is unthinkable. The idea that someone would willingly work two or more of these jobs to get by is bad enough. Now it appears management somehow expects that they make it on sub poverty pay and the right still gets angry at all the people on food stamps.

      In 1973 I was paid $3.50 to work at a gas station at age 17. That's when they had real life attendants who washed windshields, made change , checked oil and filled the car up. A credit card was a royal pain. There were no terminals back then. Authorizations had to be called in.  It was also a "all-hands on-deck" place. If it got busy the manager would come in and help whenever and wherever he was needed.  No one was on call if they were off shift. Occasionally we would get a begging and groveling call. The manager was all of 23 making close to $60,000 a year before adding in the $100-$300 a weak he got in vending machine cash. I'll leave the inflation adjusted calculation to others. It's pretty incredible.

      Most of the time we ran a 10 pump station by shift on on our own.In today's pay that translates to around $17.50 -$21.00 an hour. Customers could be tough and rude but  the pay and the hours were enough to offset it. Back then it was considered a good job to have as a teen. Now it would be a living wage in many place as an adult. Unreal.  

      In 1980 I was "all Tips" (plus $2.10) as a Bellman in a Mid priced Hotel in Denver. The tip income was incredible.(lol-watch the Bellpersonal -  at the right location-they may very well be part of the 1% if they invest properly- along as they are willing to climb into a stupid costume and are exceptional at their jobs)  was better then, than anything I had as a "Professional" after, until I opened up my own business but the worries and the 7 day weeks made the relative stress free environment I had before look real good.

       In College , we also had student loans at 3% simple interest direct from the Govt along with Generous Pell grants and academic scholarships. I was also a child of a disabled veteran from WW11. Indiana still has a deal that's unbeatable for Children of War Veterans with even a 5% disability. The State pays tuition for undergraduate school. They still did up to 2007. I haven't checked since then . I know California did when I checked for a Vet in 2006. I doubt it's near as generous now. Oregon had nothing.

      I was able to get through college with only $3800 in debt or about $11,000 in today's money thanks to my Dad 's first action being on the front lines at the Battle of the Bulge.

      I also remember Wal-Mart in the 80s as "the place " to work. The lure of stock options and discounted stock was huge . It was impossible to get "on" then. Now it's a huge parody of it's once thriving self where people are abused beyond belief by both customers and management alike. Sam was alive then and he had a level of Magnetism and generosity that never made it to his Children or his wife. Wal-mart is an argument for estate taxes.

      Anyone who goes in there knowing this and then knowingly abuses the employees, needs to be invited to a special form of hell just for them.

      These days I find myself thanking retail workers for working late at night or on holidays. I call them ma'am and sir even when they are 20-30 years younger than I am.  I remember my days on the front lines that customers that tipped well or at the very least were cordial and polite got treated like royalty. That's a Golden Rule that still applies especially now.

      This entire society has made a complete 180 to one of strict class stratification where the retail trade is a picture perfect example of how we break even the most ambitious and intelligent people. The weaker members of society are just fish in a barrel for this new predator society we are in.  I still remember how bad my feet hurt , even when I was young. I can't imagine it now.

      Most of the people who worked for me went on to very good paying jobs or run their own profitable businesses. There is a certain pride there. They may not have gotten huge financial rewards, but then again neither did I. But what they did get was as much responsibility as they wanted to take on and a education that served them well after they went on to other things. I still talk to many of them as friends decades later.

      I treated them as I wanted to be treated myself. It seems like those days are almost completely gone. Don't let the BS Numbers of this economy fool you. Most small Businessman that have held on are treading water at nose level. I'm only surviving because of what I learned in the retail trade when it was a real job.

      It's bloody hard work. Despite the lottery stories we hear in the press this is another sector where risks far outweigh rewards.  

      Based on this diary and the story on CBS: Over-all It seems just taking on a low paying job now is a risk in and of itself that can easily trap one and make it hard to ever find firm footing no matter how many hours one is will to dedicate themselves to work and school. University level education is an incredible crap shoot, where before it had a much higher success rate. It's even more risky than opening up a business. If the business dies, one always has the option of Bankruptcy. Not so with student loans. They can haunt you forever and now it appears the direct loans are going to double in interest rates soon.

      We did have it better. But even as we age we will suffer along with you as we are forced to take jobs they pay us less than what we made in High School just to survive. There is no more kicking the can. It's too heavy and full.

      I'm going back to the Music Industry after 20 years by starting another business (with minimal capital).  There are some barriers to entry in many sectors that are falling thanks to technology. I''ll update the benefits if it's worthwhile. Maybe it can be turned to one's advantage.

      “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

      by Dburn on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 03:16:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are some jobs that practically (6+ / 0-)

      require being "on call" - doctors, plumbers, electricians, utility line workers, sewer workers, firemen, police, EMTs, disaster workers - any job where lives could be on the line because those emergencies don't happen on a set schedule or in a predictable way.

      But retail?  Is not a life-or-death career.

      And you're right, management gets a large salary, sick leave, paid vacation, health insurance, and bonuses regardless of the hours they work because they are responsible for filling in and covering when an hourly wage employee (who doesn't get sick leave, paid vacation, a livable wage, health insurance, or bonuses)  gets sick, injured, or quits. That's why they get paid the bigger bucks.

      Treating an hourly wage employee as if the job were as critical as a doctor's job without providing them a doctor's pay and benefits is wrong.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 06:47:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site