Right...I'd forgotten they don't have to make a profit to stay in
But, I was particularly referring to the examples of the poor
individuals not getting annual raises, etc., from a local employer...
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.
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
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.
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.
"Without vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18)
Don't get me ranting on that one, Ed...LOL PLEASE!!!
I used to supply roughly 20 area kitchen dealers with solid surface
"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,
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
(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?
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.
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.
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
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