40 thoughts on “January 13, 2013

  1. of course the CEOs can get major bonuses but us lowely employees don’t get any >.> i am making barely above min. wage and I am having a hard time paying my bills let alone getting food on the table. not to mention i got my hours cut due to slow business at my work >.<

    • Me too, but that’s retail in January. My store actually had negative sales the week after Christmas because of all the returns. I’m down to one day a week, so I’m living on about $50 after taxes

        • I have no problem believing it.

          A while back, there was a stretch of time when I was cut to a single 4-hour shift per week. That was about $35 or $40 when all was said and done.

          Donna, I hope things get better for you soon. :(

          • Go file for unemployment. If you make less than the unemployment payout for your state, unemployment will make up the difference.

    • O hai dibby. Same at the Big K, although the hours got a little better when they lost a handful of people… Freaking CEO makes in a day what I make in a year. >_<

      • I used to consider my retail job charity work since it paid so poorly. If it wasn’t low pay, it was low hours. You almost have to be living off someone else (parents, spouse, whatever) to be able to afford to work there.

        • I came to the conclusion a year or so back that on what I was then currently making (it’s dropped since then :( ), that if I didn’t still live at home, I would probably have to live out of my old, smallish SUV………and outside of that and my phone, I’d have not much of anything else.

  2. I once had a customer complain to me about the shortage of employees on the floor. He was berating the store’s “incompetence” in “not hiring enough help.”

    When I told him that we do the best we could with the payroll we get from Corporate, he told me, “Well, maybe if you guys didn’t pay your CEOs so many millions of dollars, you’d have more money to hire employees!”

    … It’s all too common, unfortunately, that customers will vent their frustrations at front-line employees, just because we happen to be there, even though we have nothing to do with what they’re complaining about.

    But this was just ludicrous. That guy was acting like the people working the cash registers or the information desk somehow had something to do with how much the company’s top executives get paid.

    It is amazing how disconnected some people can be from reality. In their minds, the store employees are representatives of the entire company, and it’s perfectly fair and worthwhile to scold the employees for things that are so far out of our reach that they may as well be taking place on another continent.

    • “Well, maybe if you guys didn’t pay your CEOs so many millions of dollars, you’d have more money to hire employees!” Yeah, like the minimum wage employees are totally busting their butts and putting up with abuse just for the sheer joy of seeing the CEO buy his fifth yacht!

      That customer was an arrogant [censored]. If he had such a problem with it, why not contact corporate and demand higher payroll? Nope, more fun to berate the front-line people who have absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever. :(

    • Workers are only entitled to the lowest possible salary that would prevent them from quitting. Retail workers are easily replaceable, so they should be happy with minimum wage. If you don’t like it, go work in an oil boom town, where you will make a lot of money to discourage you from quitting. This is America. At least we still have freedom of mobility. MOVE to where the money is. CEOs do it all the time.

      • Looks like you have never worked retail, or had to do much on wages earned on a public service type job, especially since the mid 2000′s.

        • I’m hoping it is, but I smell a troll, or at least the kind of person that would complain about a retail worker being, whatever, but wouldn’t be able to put up with someone like himself if he were one of us.

      • Please, do tell me how a person who is barely putting food on the table each week will be able to pack up and move, potentially to an entirely different state (or country, if need be).

        Really, I’d be fascinated to hear where the finances for their move will come from.

        • I’d like to know how a young woman, specifically a single mother is supposed to go out wildcatting, especially if the ones of today were like the ones Dad ran across in Montana and Wyoming 30+ years ago.

  3. They must think they’re Congress or something. And yeah I’ve been there, done that. At one place I had to take a cut in hours so that I was not able to complete my work unless I worked free hours. What for? So the head honchos could have more money in their pockets. When I worked in a restaurant every time menu prices went up the customers would say to me, a lowly waitress “I see you raised your prices again.” As if I had been in on that meeting. Then because they were paying more for the food, they’d stiff us on our tips. So typical!

  4. The phenomenon of how people treat one another in public is both disturbing and puzzling. In places where people gather socially, they are (usually) on their best behavior. But let two of those same people cross paths in a retail setting – one a customer and the other an employee – and every social inhibition flies out the window. Manners are forgotten – if they were ever learned in the first place – cognitive dissonance takes over – and people act in ways that should be punishable by jail time. Something about walking into a store makes people act as though they were Attila the Hun, and pillage, loot and burn with impunity.

    • Good comparison, the Attila the Hun. Retail is definitely a war zone for those on the front line. Right down to the top brass not even equipping the staff with weaponry to defeat the foe. (customer is always right, even when they’re wrong and costing the company)

  5. CEOs need a kick of reality. If their business is to do well then don’t use the money for themselves. Yeesh. Anyway I like how Marla kept trying to assert that the company did good only for Stuart to botch it up.

    Please America wake up and start another Wall Street takeover again. The 1% must be taken down a peg.

  6. This explains a lot. It’s disgusting how they make the employees work crazy hours up to and including the Christmas holidays, then cut your hours immediately after. It’s like they are kicking you in the a$$ after all your hard work. >:(

    • I once had a manager try to tell me that the lean-to-non-existent hours in January were our chance to rest and recover from the hectic December. He actually tried to spin it as something they were doing FOR us.

      • I actually to like that our hours go down after Christmas. But since my husband makes more than I do, we get by. I still feel the cut in hours, but we can still pay our bills. But I do understand that’s not the case for everyone.

    • I guess I should feel grateful about my hours. I work at WM and it’s just barely started to slow down, but even though my hours have been cut to 30 or 32 a week, my bosses are more than happy to let me work 38 or 39 a week because there are so many call-ins from employees in my department, I’m the only one working in that area most of the week, and my boss is grateful for my help enough to be giving me 39 hours this week! Anyone else this lucky?

      • Nope, even if we had enough employees to be able to call off like that, we probably couldn’t afford pay somebody to work that much more at the moment.

  7. This stuff is all too familiar here. A major danish airline had all its workers cut their wage by 15% but at the same time work more hours. 2 months 18 other workers gets a raise.

    Not to mention that payroll was but a very very tiny moneysink compared to everything else in that airline. But who cares about the people on the floor.

    • Cutting employee hours and/or staffing is something management can do immediately, without planning or making an effort to improve efficiency. Changing processes or seeking better equipment takes time, effort and strategy – in organizations where the way to the top is getting immediate results and looking better than the other guy, intelligence is not rewarded!

  8. A local store here tied that cutting hours crap and it backed fired. The local fast food places were hiring and so was the grocery store. The store (which I will not name) had to shut down for over a week until new people could be hired and trained.

    • I bet they also expected you to be available during usual store hours during days off for the rare call ins and therefore preventing you from working a part time job on days off or weekend for example.

  9. This all makes me think about how Hostess Brands went under.

    The company executives were giving themselves massive pay raises at the same time that they were demanding that workers make “concessions” for the good of the company.

    Finally, about 5,000 workers had had enough and went on strike. The executives claimed that the company would be forced to shut down if the employees didn’t go back to work.

    The workers basically replied, “Do you think we’re stupid? You just want us to make ‘concessions’ so you can raise your own salaries again. If you really cared about the company, you’d cut your own pay.”

    Hostess went into bankruptcy … and, of course, people immediately began blaming the unions, saying that the employees killed the company by refusing to go back to work.

    Right. It was all the employees’ fault for not wanting to be taken advantage of. It wasn’t the executives who had spent years looting the company to line their own pockets, and who were still increasing their own pay even as the company was declaring bankruptcy.

    Typical.

  10. I’m stuck in the middle on this because i am a full time supervisor at my sotre and this year they decided to try using a fixed payroll hours system including the store manager, but still make us manage our payroll budget against sales…so we arent allowed to go over percent budget or hours budget but sales are slow right now so it seems we are always going over. and my associates are unhappy cause they are only getting one or two 4 hours sifts a week and Corporate is breathing down our necks to cut cut cut. And through all of this frustration we are forced to make nice with customers even the idiot ones that cant read a freaking sign explaining the sale! I had a customer the other day ask why he didnt get the discount on his item and i explained the sale. His reply :” I only read the discount.” So glad i can hold my tongue because i really wanted to tell him “well im glad you passed the 1st grade sir, now act your age and pay so the nice lady behind you can be helped…have a nice day.”

    I have to agree with the statement from friends and quotes floating around everywhere: ” You don’t Scare me…I work in Retail!”

  11. I don’t understand this. If I was CEO, I wouldn’t ACCEPT a damn bonus in this economy. CEOs already make a lot of money.

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