15 thoughts on “September 5, 2017

  1. I would say this one has multiple translations. Anything from “were cutting your hours to we are changing how we do something then change it back within a week due to bad response and blame you for it.”

  2. Ahhhh yes, the bean counters. Rich people with Bachelors and masters in business who read trade magazines and attend seminars that are also led by rich degree-havers who all think they know how the floor works because their professor once took them to a wal-mart for a field trip. Been down that road before.

    You want to improve customer service? Want to make more money? Give your lowest staff more hours. Put more bodies on the floor. Put more on the floor than you actually need. Cheap workers too, right? It’s not like they’re making more than 9 an hour at best. Just flood the floor with staff and watch as stock gets done, customers radiate with joy from all the help they get and the cashier lines stay open and short.

    But no, it’s all about efficiency. All about saving 9 bucks an hour and then spending 50K to hire some numbnut who has no clue how the “commoners” live.

    • My favorite part of our company’s last brilliant training program was that it had a set in stone deadline we had to finish it by. We had to yank staff off of an already short staffed front end so they could go back and spend a few hours watching videos and doing quizzes on how to do the job we are already trained to do.

    • If a company has 700 stores and cut 1 minimum wage associate per store they’d save 7,000,000 a year. Labor is the easiest cost to cut when you’re not making your bottom line, which most retailers are struggling to do right now with amazon and automation. But if they’re cutting at store level they’re probably cutting at the corporate level too, you just wouldn’t hear about it.

      • The problem is, that’s a short sighted and self destructive solution. Lets use inventory as an example.
        Lets say the average daily freight in a particular department can be done by three people working steadily with 30 minuets to spare by the end of the shift. That means the freights average work time requires 22.5 hours. Because that department finishes early on average, the boss decide they can afford to cut one person there. They now have 16 hours of work taking place in an area that should have 22. That doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but each of those six hours represents items that don’t go on the shelf to be purchased until a day with light enough freight that the employees can play catch up.
        If we play with some numbers and say that each item is worth a daily average of 1 dollar net profit each to the company and requires an average of 5 min to put on the shelf to be purchased, that 80 dollars they saved per day just cost them an average of 360 dollars per day in profits.
        Further, in order to make up for the shortfall in hours the workers have to work significantly harder. That’s exhausting. Exhausted people make more mistakes, leading to more damaged inventory and more injuries. Exhausted people are also less likely to be helpful to customers and can be more prone to illness.
        In short, that department can expect to see a gradual drop in profits as items don’t reach the shelves, tired employees become ill or injured worsening the hour shortage, and customers are driven away by unhappy employees.
        Then the company will wind up loosing or firing the experienced employees and replacing them with newbies, who take twice as long to do as much work and won’t know enough to be able to help customers until they’re just as overworked and bitter as the guys who left were.
        THAT, my dear, is why Carlos was mocking the bean counters. They tend to forget those sorts of inconvenient details that anyone who’s working the floor understands.

        • I’ve worked retail for 13 years at the store level. You don’t need to preach to me, I live it on the regular. But that IS reality, regardless of how detrimental it may be. So thank you for the long winded explanation that most everyone here knows as well as they know their ABC’s.

          And I’m 30, not 80, I am not your “dear”.

        • This is exactly what killed Circuit City. They hired a bunch of cheap kids with no idea what anything was, and stock on the sales floor gradually became thinner and thinner.

          • And getting rid of floor people and hiring more corporate degree-carriers is what killed Value City. I was a dept manager/team lead at one for 12 years.

    • If you aren’t smart enough, motivated enough, and intelligent enough to do it yourself to improve your life or the lives of others, don’t cry about it. Accept what you are.

  3. This is the truth! Oh yeah they call it being “cost effective” and “efficiency” but it still boils down to having your hours cut. When I worked for American Greetings card company, when I first began there was a guide to how many hours we should be working per store. We went in when we pleased and worked as many hours as it took to get the job done, then phoned in our hours at the end of the week, and received a paycheck in the mail. Then they decided to be more “efficient” and get “more bang for their buck” by not paying us beyond a certain number of hours per week which was nowhere near enough to get the job done. I refused to work for free so things got backed up in the stores, and we were not allowed to explain to the store managers that we were only paid for X number of hours. To them that was “disloyal.” How loyal is it to cut our hours down so far we couldn’t do our work? What it really was OF COURSE was to pay for the fat bonus the CEO’s of the company had decided to give themselves. I struggled with the new limitation for a year, then the following year they cut the existing hours we were allowed in half. Then the district manager told me I could take on another store and do twice the work for two stores and make the same money I was making to do one, where I was not getting the job done due to lack of enough hours! I said screw that and quit. I had never quit a job in my life and didn’t like quitting this one, there were a lot of good things about it like going in at your own convenience and working alone without someone hovering over you. But I was not going to work for free so some fat rich CEO’s could get richer and fatter at my expense.

  4. I once had to attend a meeting on “efficiency.” It lasted 75 minutes. If I had been working for those 75 minutes, I would have been able to process 1,500+ extra records that day. I don’t work retail (anymore) but this kind of managerial thinking is pretty universal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *