47 thoughts on “September 27, 2015

  1. I have worked MANY jobs and I have found that:
    1. Retail offers a lot of things that non-retail jobs do not offer. For instance: ability to move around and not sit all day.
    2. What is ‘bad’ about retail jobs can be found in any job. Even a dentist is basically just a conveyor belt of work going from one to the other.
    Feuti gets everything so right and there are horrors to be found in retail; but I do love my job.

    • I started a new career in information technologies a couple of years ago after working a retail job for 11 years. There are advantages to retail thati didn’t realize when I was so desperate to get out. I miss meeting and working with so many different people. I like having weekends off but miss having a weekday off because errands are much easier to take care of during the week.

      The attitude that is shown by those customers is totally uncalled for. You never know where you can find talent! I was recruited to my company for a formal employee of mine at my store. I then recruited someone else who was an asm at a store. Me and the guy who recruited me both have been promoted so you really never know….

  2. I’d feel that panel #3 would apply to me though. There are many places I’d rather be before having work in a greasy environment.

    • Yeah many people don’t understand that the reason there are so many poorly paying jobs is because people don’t refuse to work those jobs.

      In Germany we have what I consider to be a huge problem in that regard. A package services (Hermes) hires unemployed people with a car to do deliveries for them, but pays them so poorly it hardly pays a living wage (and even violates minimum wage), and that goes until their car breaks down and they can’t afford to repair it, then they’re fired.

      So before that job, they were unemployed with a car, after that job they’re unemployed without a car. Yet they accept the job because they don’t want to live on welfare.

      Now you may say, good for them! Don’t leech of society! Then I have to tell you, who is really leeching of society? The people who take a few hundred Euros in welfare a month, or the owner of Hermes – Michael Otto, FIFTEEN TIMES BILLIONAIRE

      • I’ve seen that happen to people here in the US. Pizza delivery and newspaper delivery are notorious for destroying cars, and the pay is as you said, really not enough to get by in the first place.

      • “…many people don’t understand that the reason there are so many poorly paying jobs is because people don’t refuse to work those jobs.”

        It would take everyone who needs work to refuse to take poorly paying jobs to get those jobs to disappear. Too many people need money right now to make that happen. It’s never as simple as saying “Don’t work at poorly paying jobs.”

        • Money problems don’t got away because you accepted such a job.

          Don’t accept a job that you also have to pay for. Don’t you have welfare in the US?

          • If you’re offered a job and refuse it and the gov’t finds out (and believe me, I’ve had managers who would narc applicants to the unemployment office), you are no longer eligible for a lot of benefits.

    • Exactly. We’re all fellow human beings, just trying to get by in an imperfect world. A little common courtesy and decency on both sides would make things much nicer.

  3. Can we get an AMEN to Marla’s comment?!!! Retail is a very tough job. So tough that none of those losers could handle it. They’d go screaming out of the store the first day just like the guy yesterday. I don’t want to start another minimum wage discussion on here so I won’t comment about how much retail workers deserve but it is a lot more than they get.

  4. There is a flaw in the third panel, depending on what he was laid off from, Burger Dude might not be willing to hire him. After I was laid off (the company knew I was looking for another job anyway since I had just finished college, so I made a great candidate for layoffs), I spent two months looking exclusively for jobs that would be good entry level jobs for my degree… when that wasn’t working I started applying everywhere I could and found out very quickly that it was a no win situation… it wasn’t a secret that I was one of the first round layoffs (it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that when the layoff date is a week before they publicly acknowledge they are closing the department that I was in the first batch), so if I was honest and said it was because they knew I had just graduated, well then, they don’t want some college graduate flipping burgers who is going to quit the second a better job comes along, if I lie and don’t say I have a degree, I was just chosen for it, well then how good of an employee can I be if I was one of the first laid off. It took 6 months to find anything, and that was a graveyard shift guest service position at a small resort that was a 45 minute drive from where I live, and the only reason they hired me was because they had a person in their accounting department getting ready to retire and that they had already decided they would just move everyone up and bring in a new entry level person, and if I was willing to stay on the graveyard shift for 6 months, they would guarantee me that entry level position (which, hey everyone won… I got a paycheck that could at least somewhat pay my living expenses and a foot in the door, they got someone to promise to stay on graveyard shift for about twice as long as they could usually get someone to stay on graveyard shift, and their accounting department got their candidate search done 6 months before it even needed to begin.)
    The TL:DR version of that post is, panel 3 guy may be out of luck even at Burger Dude.

    • The problem that I ran into was similar. I graduated college at a time when lots of college-educated people were also out of work, so nobody in my field wanted to hire a grad with no experience.

      Fine, okay, I’ll look outside my field at customer service/manual labor. Except nobody wants to hire a college grad for those positions because yes, of course I’m going to bail if something better comes along. Anybody would, at what they’re paying!

      End result, I have a college degree and I spent two years working as a custodian.

    • The point of the third panel is that the guy is scoffing at the idea of working at a fast food restaurant. He says he is “almost desperate enough” to work there; he is looking down on the job. Whether or not he’d be hired is irrelevant.

  5. Nowadays, any job you can get is a good job. I don’t get how people can be so selective. Even with a degree, you may find yourself having to work a retail or food service job. Take my mother, for instance. She has *owned* businesses. She has been at the top of several chain stores. Made good money too. But now, at 61, she manages a Taco Bell. She spent 3 years trying to find a job while living on extended unemployment after her previous place went bankrupt in the 2008 downturn. She eventually just went around putting her resume into “normal” jobs and was surprised when Taco Bell, the *only place* out of hundreds, called her back.

    Turns out she loves it. She isn’t making much money (she makes about the same as I do, which is sad), but she likes it, amazingly. She intends to work there for as long as she can until she retires.

    So as for Retail/food service/whatever, people need to understand that it is a *job*, and nowadays, a job is a precious thing to have. When the US economy implodes in a few years, the people in the 2nd and 3rd panels are going to be out of luck.

    • I once knew a charming old lady was the manager of the graveyard shift at the local Denny’s.
      She took care of all the lonely and tired customers, chatted with them, cheered up. My significant other was there alone on Thanksgiving (work had taken me out of the country while he struggled to get his education) – she was extremely kind to him, too.
      She worked there until she retired. While I may not have been her dream job, she did like the socializing bits.

  6. I think that anyone who works deserves to earn enough to be self supporting. I’m not talking anything lavish, just enough to cover rent, utilities, food, and the occasional piece of clothing. As it is, in order to hold a job in retail or food service, people must go on welfare to cover their needs. I’m less sure that our tax money should be going to pay for basic things for the employed which should be covered out of their wages.

    • I think a person in America can very easily live on 20K. I did it throughout all of the 2000s. I paid my rent, had food, and lived a decent life. Did I have a cell phone, HBO, or a fancy computer and an Xbox? No. But I had food, clothing, and a roof over my head, which is more than most of the folk in this world. We forget that.

      The problem is you have folks that work in Wal-Mart, which is perfectly fine, but they demand to live like someone who works at Google. I’ve seen this amongst co-workers and it sickens me. Learn to save money, learn to clip coupons, learn to live on basic needs and don’t get what you can’t realistically afford, and retail can support you.

      • Uh-huh, and where do you live? What was rent like compared to other places in the city/state/country? What were food costs like? How does that compare to costs NOW? Has minimum wage gone up to cover those increasing costs?

        Do you have any special considerations to keep in mind, like a disability (mental or physical) or a dependant (a child, or perhaps an ailing parent/grandparent you’re taking care of)? Do you have a debilitating disease? All of this is INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE and often the charges you incur are MORE than the measly $20k/year people are asked to live on.

        Things like cellphones and computers with an internet connection are becoming a NECESSITY in our increasingly tech-dependant world, triply so if you’re going to school, so many people HAVE to have these things in order to stay on top of the increasing demands life is placing on them, and you are not necessarraly able to access the “free” ones (i.e. in a library) due to time constraints (hard to visit a library when you’re at school all day and work all evening) or location (libraries aren’t everywhere, and even public transport can get pricy if you’re living hand-to-mouth).

        So it’s nice that you were able to scrape by, but don’t confuse your situation with other people’s.

      • If you’re just making enough to get by, how do you save for the future? Or for emergencies? Financial experts advise people to have enough savings to pay expenses for at least six months. If your job goes down the tubes due to company mismanagement or something else that is out of your control, are you going to have enough saved to get by until you find something else? And what if your next job pays less than 20K?

  7. All honest work is honorable. If you’re not suited to a particular job, don’t do it. However, don’t look down your nose at the person who is doing it — you’re no better than them.

    • And that is the issue with the cases in panels 2 and 3 to me, it is that the pose makes it clear they think food service is beneath them. I would be very reluctant to work fast food because I know I am ill suited for it, I tried working in a food service environment once and I sucked at it. All I would be doing would be burning up the invested time for myself, my coworkers and the company to try and get me trained in the job I already know I would be bad at.

  8. Norm, this is a soapbox you’ve climbed up on frequently recently. While it’s accurate, it’s getting tiring seeing the same thing. Mind letting the awful plight of the retail worker go for a while?

      • I’m not saying that it’s something that shouldn’t come up. I’m just asking for a bit more variety in the humor, having variations on the same joke a bunch of times in a short space wears it thin.

        • The main audience of this comic are people who are/were in retail. This *is* our world. I hadn’t worked for a chain dept store, since ’80 (except for 4 months in ’94). I now work at an Auto Parts chain store. -o.m.g.- Things are so much like this strip! The two small stores owned by the same couple, I worked for (20 years!) was a luxury, compared to now.

    • Why do you read this if you don’t work in retail? You have no idea what it’s like.

      Someone else said “the truth hurts.” This comic is about people like you and the person who said that. I guess you can’t handle someone showing you how crappy you are.

  9. UGH! That last panel. I work in an office now, been there about eight months, but I worked retail for at least a decade before that. When there was talk about upping the minimum wage in my province to $15 everyone in at least my section of the office was up in arms about it. It wasn’t going to be all at once. Not BAM! You made $15 now. Over the next several years they plan on increasing it till it’s $15/hour because our current minimum wage isn’t a living wage anymore. And they were complaining and saying how everything would just be more expensive then. Like seriously!? I make twice a year what I did in retail. You guys make about the same as me and sometimes you just barely make it and live paycheck to paycheck. How is someone that makes less then we do supposed to survive right now?

    Sometimes they like to complain about our job and our pay and they’ll ask for my input and I’ll say, “I make literally twice what I did at my old job, I don’t have to deal with drunks, no one has threatened to kill me since I started working here. So I’m pretty good.” Or I’ll recant a story from retail. Like how one place I worked locked the bathroom door after midnight on bar nights because we use to have to clean up urine, semen, and feces from the walls. Or the time we got held up. Or the time a co-work caught a thief and the guy asked if he could grope her breasts as he was being thrown out. Or the time a guy tried to fight me. Or every time I was called a bitch because I wouldn’t sell someone cigarettes without seeing his ID. The needles we found on the floor. The summer we were broken into three times before the company putting in the gates got around to installing them. I have a lot of good memoirs from working in retail and someone of them are from dealing with customers but most of the worst parts are from dealing with people. And some of them are from people in the comic or like my co-workers who seem to think they’re above retail workers.

    I’ve had a few people try to talk down to me because of my job. The worst were the people that tried to talk down to me about the product I was selling. Buddy, you can act like a know it all, but the boss is just going to say the exact same thing I’m tell you. That game is out of production because the owners are getting divorced, they don’t send us those magazines anymore due to low sales, that box of cigars you bought in Mexico is counterfeit I can tell because the seals are wrong, and those pipes are cheap for a reason, now if you’ll excuse me the guy from the toy store down the road was telling me about what he’s learning in the Latin class he’s taking.

    Just because someone is behind a counter doesn’t mean they’re dumb or worth less then other people. I think too many people forget that.

  10. I worked in a campus cafeteria during my first college run. Will not make that mistake again. I came to believe that a majority of people were indeed raised in barns or by wild animals after seeing some of the messes they made.

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