Friday, June 10, 2011

I Am Overhead, You Are Profit

Retail, service, and just about any other job seem to forget that one simple rule: Employees are overhead, and customers are profit. When the overhead slows or drives away profit, shouldn't the overhead be cut from the budget?

There's a certain amount of truth to this...

We've all been there. A bad customer service rep, a cashier that is more concerned about the end of their shift than doing their job, or the employees making themselves scarce once you enter the store. What happened to friendly, helpful service? And shouldn't the employees be grateful for the job they have, especially in this economic climate? I think the answer is a resounding yes.

Watch the news or pick up a newspaper. The economy may be slowly coming back (supposedly), but the jobless rate is still sky high. And it's not just unskilled workers that are hurting for jobs. Skilled and educated people are in search of work too. It's become so easy for just about any position in any field to be replaced. Employees are almost a disposable resource anymore. Sure, it may cost a bit to train new people, but if a company is getting rid of dead weight for a (comparatively) better worker, then what's the problem? Not only that, but a new worker starts off at a lower pay scale than the newly fired person was working at, offsetting the cost of training and then some.

So with this in mind, what does that mean for the people with jobs right now? It should be clear and simple: work hard and be productive. As stated before, employees are easily replaceable. But if an employee becomes a true asset to a company, then they provide their own job security. Sure, this sounds like common sense, but we all become complacent after a while. We get new jobs, do everything we can to prove to the boss that he or she made a good decision by hiring us, but then we find our groove, stop taking the initiative, and stop being as hard working. The boss may not take notice for a good while, but eventually they will, and then what? Fewer pay raises, fewer promotions, fewer attaboys, and then the new guy starts looking better and better.

Show initiative. Be productive. Smile. Help the customers. They're the ones that pay your paycheck. Use common sense, and your job is secure. The economy may be bleak, but you're future doesn't have to be.

What do you think? Am I full of hot air? Or good ideas? Let me know what you think! Leave a comment or contact me to let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

Maybe if you'd EVER HAD a job like that you'd understand that customers are fucking assholes and treat cashiers (and other workers) like shit. I work as a cashier and believe me after a day of that it's amazing I don't kill someone.

I took this job because there was nothing else available. Do you seriously, with little or no job experience yourself, dare to tell us we should be grateful for our shitty jobs? FUCK YOU.

Maybe customers should stop acting like assholes. Take a job as a cashier for one day and then come back and say this shit. You have NO IDEA what it's like.

10swords said...

Anon, it is exactly because of my job experience that I write a post like this. I have a new job, and it's as a pizza delivery person. My responsibilities are to answer phone calls to take orders, handle customers at the front of the store picking up their pizzas, and of course delivering pizzas, among other responsibilities. I would say that I have a fair amount of experience dealing with people in the same situations as you.

That being said, I would like to mention to you YOGOWYPI. You only get out what you put in. By being kind, polite, and keeping a smile on you face (WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE!), I have diffused every situation in which a customer has been hostile towards me. I have never been treated poorly when I promptly apologized for a problem and offered ways to fix it. Even when I mess up taking an order or when I travel 10 miles to a house to find out a cook messed up, by keeping cool and not giving the customer any ammo, they were never an asshole to me.

Now, some may call my job "shitty." The pay isn't great, all my tips (if I get any) go into my gas tank, and I work my ass of 5 days a week for an AVERAGE of $5 an hour. I too took the job because no one else was hiring, but it is my job, and I treat it as such. I'm professional, hard working (I can provide you with the store number so you can verify this if you want), and am happy to have the job I have. Why? Because it puts money in my pocket and puts food in my belly. With a rising unemployment rate and the fact that no one else has been hiring, I'd say that's a pretty good deal, don't you? And wouldn't you agree that a shitty job is better than no job? You have a poor perspective I'm afraid.

Yes, it would be nice if customers treated us better, and most of them do. Even the redneck hicks that make up 75% of my deliveries treat me well because I have a positive attitude and treat them with respect.

As for the last part of your comment, I was working there for a while when i wrote this post. I'm still working there and will continue to until I go back to school, so I still hold this view point as I write this comment.

Anything else you would like to say Anon? And thank you for continuing to read my blog. From the sound of it you've been reading for a while now.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Try doing it for four years straight and get back to me on that.

10swords said...

If I work there for four years, it will be because I became manager. You have to move up in life. Stagnating in a job without working to better yourself is a waste. I kind of covered it here