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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Right...I'd forgotten they don't have to make a profit to stay in business...
But, I was particularly referring to the examples of the poor individuals not getting annual raises, etc., from a local employer...
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On Sat, 14 May 2005 14:52:41 -0500, Duane Bozarth

Or not getting paid at *all* when the mom&pop place goes through a cash-flow crisis. BTDT.
Lee
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Keeping up with the cost of living is tough enough. I know someone that owns a "dollar store". They either have to become a dollar-fifty store or go out of business. Just the increased cost of freight alone is taking the profits and they cannot give anyone a raise. Just not enough stuff that can be bought at the right price to maintain the dollar concept.
It's a tough world out there. I can cite plenty of examples in our industry where cost of materials bought has gone up and the selling price has gone down. We've walked away from about a $1 million in sales and profits did not change at all. It would have hurt to keep it. We did get a modest wage increase this year though. It is difficult to justify giving anyone more than a cost of living increase unless they do something to deserve it, such as take on more responsibility, or additional duties. You already (or should, anyway), get paid for doing a good job and showing up every day. That is just a basic part of being employed.
Sometimes you have to change with technology. Considering the proliferation of digital cameras, it would not seem prudent to invest your life savings in a one hour photo shop. There will always be film, just not as much of it.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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<snip>

In my industry, what sold for $400/unit in 1999 sold for $40/unit in 2004, and in significantly higher unit volume. Such is the world of Moore's Law.
Patriarch, not complaining
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Great that it can happen in certain industries. Problem is, people have come to expect it in everything. While computers and most electronics have improved and gotten cheaper, appliances have turned to crap just to lower cost.
In one case, we made parts for air conditioners. After year one, the customer expected a 10% price decrease and we were able to do it as we came up with better methods and efficiencies. In years 2 and 3 they took longer to pay. Much longer. In year 4, they wanted a 25% decrease plus a 6% rebate for the previous year. that is when we walked. The company that took over the business from us lost their ass and almost shut down. By year 5 the customer moved their operation to Mexico.
In another industry that we supply, we wanted to increase prices 5% to cover increased raw material cost. One of our competitors responded by offering the same customers a new lower price, less than our original price. They took the business away. They went bankrupt and were sold.
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I've seen that too. There is tremendous power in knowing when to, and being able to, say 'no'.
And mumble kma as you walk out through the parking lot.
Patriarch "Without vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18)
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Don't get me ranting on that one, Ed...LOL PLEASE!!!
I used to supply roughly 20 area kitchen dealers with solid surface counter tops. "The Big Boys" from the big city rolled in (and elsewhere in a 200-mile radius around Toronto) and started to beat my prices. Many dealers dropped me, some loyal guys stayed on (and some are still with me even though I sold the business.) "The Big Boys", with me out of their way, started jacking up the prices, but they simply could not sustain their low prices, because most of the costs are material-related and the same for both of us.... except, they had higher transportation costs, and their labour force was living in a much higher cost-of-living area than my guys and I. Soon enough, my previous dealers started to trickle back to me... My prices TO THEM were increased by 15 - 20%.. My guys got a raise... and we all lived happily ever after. One of the "Big Boys" had made serious investments in buildings and machinery and had to bail. Many investors lost their shirts.
Moral of the story: when one of my loyal customers calls for a rush job, I'll stay late to make it happen. If one of the dealers who dropped me calls for a rush job...he waits and his price goes up. That is not revenge, it's business. That was there excuse too: "Just business, Rob, really"....
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Glad you hung in there.
Second moral to the story. Bigger is not always better; more sales is not always more profit. You MUST make a profit.
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Let me guess. This one of your wife transitioning periods? :)
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Ouch ouch ouch...I wrote:
That was there excuse too: "Just business, Rob, really"....
Was supposed to have read:
That was their excuse too: "Just business, Rob, really"....
*shaking my head* That does it, I need to stop reading UseNet....LOL
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Their, their...
Lou

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wrote:

Is that a bad thing? If a guy has worked at the same place for five years, and still is as useless as the day he was hired- why would he get paid more?
OTOH, if a new guy comes in and works twice as hard as one of the long-timers, why should he get paid less?
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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Not to disagree with your opinion, but there are some things that make the long time employee more valuable, at least from the get go when hiring a new person.
- New person takes time to train and has to prove himself. Working twice as hard in the beginning, while laudable, doesn't state much since every new employee works twice as hard in the beginning. - Long time employee has assumedly proven that he's going to show up for work. - Long time employee has assumedly proven that he's trustworthy. - Long time employee has the experienced the occasional operation problems and how to accomplish something if there's a difficulty doing it the regular way. - If the long time employee has contact with customers, then he's going to have developed a relationship with some or perhaps many of those customers.
Sure the long time employee could be lazy, untrustworthy and barely worth his wages, but if that was true, then it's the management's problem for keeping him as an employee. One could also argue that the long time employee knows how to work the system, but anyway you slice it, there's always going to be some advantages that the long time employee has over newer employees.
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wrote in message >

Good points Upscale - you well identified some of the characteristics of "performance". Well worth paying for.
--

-Mike-
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(good list of attributes snipped)
All those things do add up to a more valuable employee and if true, he should make more. In the real world. that is not always the case.
Let's say we make widgests. We have 20 people making them. We expect each employee to make 100 widgets a day. It is repetative labor, not much skill required. The new guy comes in and makes 80 widgets today, 90 a few days later, eventuall work up to 110 a day. Old Fred has been here for 15 ears and makes between 99 and 101 a day. Has never taken on any additional duties, never showed interest in a promotion, just keeps making his widgets and goes home.
We sell widgets based on what our costs are and what the market will bear on prices. How can you justify paying the senior person more money?
In a skilled labor environment, experience make a huge difference. Knowing where the main power switch is on a malfunctioning machine, knowing how a problem was solved ten years ago can save the company thousands of dollars in down time. That makes an employee valuable.

One would hope so, but . . . . There will always be an exception. You don't need the old guy telling the new workers to slow down. Why do 110 widgets when the company only expects 100?
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I see you've worked in a union shop. Production plus one, even if you had to stop the line a couple times in the last hour for critical potty breaks.
BTDT
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Unfortunately, I've had direct experience with something similar in only one place and that was a union setting. When I worked at Pearson Airport in Toronto for General Aviation some thirty years ago, the 'minimum needed' type of work ethic was 'strongly suggested' in almost every case because it supported the union. The people I respected and befriended there were people who didn't subscribe to that ethic and to a man, they all transferred out to other companies at the airport during the two years I was there. I was glad to get out of there because of the strong-arming that went on. One or two of them I could have challenged and would probably have had to fight if it came down to it, but to challenge dozens at the same time is tantamount to getting the crap beat out of you.
The only other union shop I worked in was the job I had at Goodyear in a truck tire retreading plant. Unknowingly, I befriended one of the union stewards so that the job was relatively stress free, but like the idiot I was, I left that job for the better pay at the airport. That's something that was very demoralizing, reaching for something I thought was better only to find that I landed in a world of shit.
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Upscale wrote:

The upshot of all is always that labor is a cost of doing business--it's required that the labor be cost-effective for the employer or there won't <be> any long-term employment.
If productivity is improved, then there may be additional revenue generated that can absorb increased wages, but these benefits are often offset by rising costs in other areas.
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That would be the best case scenario.
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wrote inmessage

I'm not so sure. I've never applied for a job there, but I do see people of all ages there. Most younger ones pass through pretty quickly as I would expect. Middle age to older folks - and I don't see a lot of retired people working at HD or Lowes in my neck of the woods, seem to stay there for a long time. Seems they must like it pretty well. The job market is not hopping around here, but it's not so bad that a fellow would stay at a terrible, minimum wage job for several years just because there was nothing else for him to do.
It's amusing to watch the conversations here. So many of the regular posters here seem to love taking shots at the people at HD simply because they observed some simple human failure at work. Some little factoid that the HD guy didn't know, or somehow slipped up on, or in some other way didn't pass the test of doing everything to the absolute satisfaction of the poster. I'm convinced that most of these complaints or "observations" only come from frustrated people who have nothing better to do than to find the issues (or exagerate them in order to really create an issue) in other people (HD employees make such a big target in a group like this) in order to feel somehow above those folks and part of (this) "elite" group. The same thing comes through often is the way simple questions are answered with all sorts of obtuse, irrelevant mantras which wander off into bizzare threads - just to sound "authoritative".
Oh well - Saturday morning rant compete. BTW Upscale - this is not directed to you. It's really more of a generalized statement about what I see here every time a thread comes up involving people who work at BORGs, and the like.
--

-Mike-
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