UPDATE: I totally forgot this part but it perfectly illustrates how the boss thinks of the associates. Let’s say she doesn’t like “John” (because John probably is over fifty-five and keeps his head down because he’s, you know, working). She’ll refer to all associates she doesn’t like collectively as “the Johns.” Isn’t that nice?
Many changes are coming down the pike at work, revealing the patronizing, dehumanizing attitude of the people who work in corporate (who make six figures to change a logo font size). A tsunami of unpleasantry is headed our way.
I am privy to much information, more than I let on. I’m wise, see. Or, at least I became wise when I was caught reading something confidential that someone printed out at the copier. Anyways, I also frequent an anonymous rumor site to pick up leads that I can research. I’ve been way ahead of the curve that way. I get to see the “training the trainers” propaganda videos they share internally and they infuriate me, because I know your nefarious plans (which all come down to one thing and one thing only—cost cutting. In fact, I sometimes think they love cost-cutting more than profits!) and then I see how you “sell” them to the associates in the most insulting and infantilizing manner.
These changes are made at a high level with zero input from anyone on the ground and with no regard to quality of life. No one up there connects unwelcome changes, guaranteed by their very nature to make workers miserable, with a decrease in productivity and an increase in turnover. I’ve heard that in certain other countries, the company culture takes a more bottom-up approach or at least accepts input from the people doing all the work, though I don’t know if that’s true in reality. The most “input” my company solicits is a survey administered once or twice a year which is used to batter the managers, not to change anything for the better.
Boss almost seems to relish the prospect of inflicting the changes on the store workers. The attitude of upper management is always that if you don’t like it, you can leave. Workers are not valued on an individual basis; you might be “valued” insofar as you’re useful, but heaven help you if you utter even a slight misgiving.
To hear the way they’re spoken of makes me sick. They are treated as lazy and worthless if they don’t pursue promotions, so lazy and worthless that even money is not an incentive to take on responsibilities. They’d clearly rather be broke and poor rather than work, am I right?!
But the company does not understand the culture of lower income workers at our location. They are not lazy and worthless. The mindset is simply that this is their job, this is how they pay their bills, and they want to come to work, put in a good day, and get paid for it. There is little interest in a “promotion” that adds stress on top of stress with little recompense. For older people, you’re asking them to totally upturn a routine they’ve been following for decades.
Not wanting to change is NOT a moral failing nor a character flaw. Some people are content with their routine and would just like a little more money so that they can, you know, keep their lights on AND buy groceries.
(And even if none of this were true, no one wants promotions because they don’t want to work directly for the boss. I know this for a fact because the perfectly qualified people I encourage to apply tell me so.)
To me, this is all very wrong, that one group of humans takes this attitude towards other humans: that it’s simply too bad, you are in no position to protest, there’s the door if you don’t like it. But in this socioeconomic bracket, every door opens to the same place! A whole class of people condemned to be miserable and derided for being unable to do anything about it.
I can just hear it now. “Oh, those jobs are only meant for high-school students to earn pocket money, not to support a family. Only a lazy moron with no ambition does that.” “Oh, my dad had to make his clothes out of newspapers when he was a kid because he was so poor and now he’s a millionaire, so they have no excuses.”
Well, maybe your dad did, and good for him. But that doesn’t take into account the hundreds of other people who did–and do–work just as hard but didn’t make it.
Back in the day, people could support themselves on a retail wage. But rising prices and cost of living far outstripped the pathetic pennies and nickels that are called “raises.” For others, they are caught in a generational trap that only a rare few can break out of.
I know that life is unfair and suffering is ubiquitous and employers suck, but I will never believe that’s an acceptable reason to shrug it off when people are treated like faceless pieces of shit devoid of any inherent worth.
I wish I never took a break from WordPress because I am sooo behind on everyone! I didn’t forget anybody, I’m trying to work my way through the backlog.