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travlin

Work Ethic

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You may tell me this post doesn't belong here, but I've been reading these posts this afternoon & can't help but give some input. My wife & I have lived in our motor home for 10 years & are here in Statesboro, GA for a few months. This is our first time east & we're not sure we'll be back. We will likely head back to Oregon from here when weather permits. We're quite disappointed in the work ethic here. In our estimation, the work ethic in Utah, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, etc is about 110% compared to about 50% here. After we noticed this, we were in contact with another full-time rv couple who are from this area & are now in the west. They said they "stock up" before they come back here to visit so they won't have to go in stores while they're here. All these new developments are great, but they have to be staffed with people that care about something other than chatting with their fellow workers & getting their check. Have you people been in WalMart recently? Yes, WalMart is on the low end of the work ethic scale nationwide, but we've seen many other workers across the southeast that fit this category. We're retired & educated people that are not racist & are trying very hard to NOT think in that vein. Yes, many times we get what we expect, but we did not expect this. We're wondering how many of these new buildings will be vacant in just a few years & how much a bad attitude/work ethic contributed.

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You may tell me this post doesn't belong here, but I've been reading these posts this afternoon & can't help but give some input. My wife & I have lived in our motor home for 10 years & are here in Statesboro, GA for a few months. This is our first time east & we're not sure we'll be back. We will likely head back to Oregon from here when weather permits. We're quite disappointed in the work ethic here. In our estimation, the work ethic in Utah, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, etc is about 110% compared to about 50% here. After we noticed this, we were in contact with another full-time rv couple who are from this area & are now in the west. They said they "stock up" before they come back here to visit so they won't have to go in stores while they're here. All these new developments are great, but they have to be staffed with people that care about something other than chatting with their fellow workers & getting their check. Have you people been in WalMart recently? Yes, WalMart is on the low end of the work ethic scale nationwide, but we've seen many other workers across the southeast that fit this category. We're retired & educated people that are not racist & are trying very hard to NOT think in that vein. Yes, many times we get what we expect, but we did not expect this. We're wondering how many of these new buildings will be vacant in just a few years & how much a bad attitude/work ethic contributed.

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Although this thread is so very vague and attempts to cast the whole SE in a poor light, I believe there is some legitimacy to ultra rapid growth and the difficulty to find good people to fill jobs, especially entry-level retail and restaurant jobs (that have the most public exposure). Perhaps that's direction this thread should go, and whether it's true or not?

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Many southern states have poor public schools (though I think Georgia is further up the list) and poverty is higher there for many many different reasons. A well fed, well educated person will be more productive than someone who is not. Also, it's hotter than hell for many months of the year. That has to have an effect.

When you're working a job for $6/hour, you can't expect your workers to be that productive. I've had jobs like that before, and I'm certainly not going to work my hardest, especially if I only see it as a part-time job that won't take me anywhere.

You combine a poor education with sustained poverty due to jobs that pay so low with a large increase in low-wage jobs that will only perpetuate poverty, and you are not going to have a good work ethic. How do you change this when no one can afford to pay for better schools?

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Many southern states have poor public schools (though I think Georgia is further up the list) and poverty is higher there for many many different reasons. A well fed, well educated person will be more productive than someone who is not. Also, it's hotter than hell for many months of the year. That has to have an effect.

When you're working a job for $6/hour, you can't expect your workers to be that productive. I've had jobs like that before, and I'm certainly not going to work my hardest, especially if I only see it as a part-time job that won't take me anywhere.

You combine a poor education with sustained poverty due to jobs that pay so low with a large increase in low-wage jobs that will only perpetuate poverty, and you are not going to have a good work ethic. How do you change this when no one can afford to pay for better schools?

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If I had to support myself, let alone a child or others while making $7.15 minimum wage in a dead-end job, I wouldn't be too cheerful at work either. I don't expect much from retailers, especially national chains. The larger the chain, the less service and satisfaction I expect. I know the workers don't want to be there any more than I do.

I don't think buildings are going to lie vacant as the initial poster suggested. People need to earn a living, and they need (want) to buy stuff. Rude "service" isn't going to stop that. I also don't notice any regional differences in retailer attitudes. I've lived in several parts of the country and have visited others. To me it seems the same everywhere.

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I have to say I agree with part of the original post, however I am slightly offended that the SE is being pegged for this and southern school's and poverty are being held to blame. I work with retailers on installing POS systems and training cashiers and office staff in the SE,NE, and MW. These issues are prevalent almost everywhere.

These are some of my reasons for the "observed lack of work ethic" in many retail establishments these days:"

1 - Inadequate training time.

2 - Younger workers (especially college and high school) tend not to treat the jobs as a career path and

don't care about their attitude.

3 - Booming service/retail sectors shrinks the available labor pool so the employer has to choose under-

performing staff.

4 - Many of the positions at non-union retailers are payed as close to minimum as possible, with little if

any pay increases or benefits.

5 - While the employee is supposed to smile, they are customers out there willing to make things miserable for them.

I have a list of many more I could post, but I find the same things observed in the regions I work in and across the country in travels. The city mentioned, Statesboro, GA; is a fairly well off small college town and that could help explain why it seems worse there. College areas seem to skew more negatively in this regard.

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Here people are friendly when they ring up your items. They smile, ask you "how are ya doo-in' taday? And crack sarcastic jokes about the weather 99% of the time.

I've watched people help other people find stuff in stores when neither of them work there. Most of the time some frustrated mother is complaining to herself quietly "Now where are those darned Q-tips".. and some unassuming old woman will overhear and be happy to offer assistance. Friendliness and work ethic work hand-in-hand, in my opinion.

Now...

Young people don't treat their jobs as career paths, because the jobs are not their career paths and their job is very dispensible and they can always go to the next restaurant or retail store down the street if they don't like this one.

I worked at a fast food restaurant when I was 15. I hated it.. because I hated the work, like everyone else. I worked there only 5 months, but I had 3 raises and the owners of the store treated you like family. They would give you a ride to work if you couldn't get there on your own, and the whole point of you working there, and they knew it, was to prepare you for bigger and better things. I respect them very much for that.

I love a place where raises are determined by someone that works with you every day based on their own scale. And nothing says dedication like the owner of the business making hamburgers along side you.

They had a woman that has worked there for 15 years now that has done the same thing the whole time, but they pay her very well, and they helped her pay medical bills when her son broke his arm and she couldn't afford the bills.

That is old fashioned decency by business-owners.. something that cut-throat bottom line above all business owners of today don't understand. Compassion is what this country needs. Business owners that connect with their lowest employees and give them real incentives to work hard and good training so they can do their jobs well.

Sorry, but the Wal-Mart cheer and a nice plastic slurpy cup for getting 10 credit card applications just isn't gonna do it for me... or maybe my expectations are too high? Maybe the future is really less for more.

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I was totally amazed to read the first post on this thread. I'm from the Southeast and currently live in Washington State.

I must disagree 100% about the comparison. When I first moved to Seattle in 1995 I was STUNNED by the contrast. Clerks in retail situations don't say hello to customers, unless the customer says hello first. Clerks don't say thank you. The customers say thank you, and the clerks say "you're welcome". If you don't say thank you to a clerk, they look at you like YOU were rude!

If a male customer asks a female staff for assistance, she automatically thinks he's trying to come onto her.

In other economic arenas, there is very very little pride of workmanship. When I was 16 and worked at a grocery store for minimum wage, I still gave it my all. Because I had pride in myself as an employee. Very little of that in the Northwest.

It has gotten better in recent years. I've been noticing big message boards behind customer counters lately: ALWAYS SAY HELLO TO THE CUSTOMER. ALWAYS ASK IF YOU CAN BE OF ASSISITANCE. FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER, NOT YOUR OWN PERSONAL PROBLEMS. etc etc Imagine having to be told such common sense things as these!

Oh by the way, if you complain about service to management in Seattle, you are branded a "whiner". You won't get any thanks at all for reporting it, and neither will you get an apology. After complaining I've even had store managers tell me "Well she's going through a bad time with her daughter" etc.

In Seattle employees aren't there because you are a valuable customer. In their minds they wait on you, and you should consider it a favor.

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I must disagree 100% about the comparison. When I first moved to Seattle in 1995 I was STUNNED by the contrast. Clerks in retail situations don't say hello to customers, unless the customer says hello first. Clerks don't say thank you. The customers say thank you, and the clerks say "you're welcome". If you don't say thank you to a clerk, they look at you like YOU were rude!

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Well this gets back to the whole idea of big box retailers who depend in part on exploiting the cheapest labor they can find. And I would say that it is very difficult for these people to be excited in the success of these companies when you have CEOs like the former head of Home Depot who was basically ousted for failing the company yet he got a $200M severance package. That is more money than what 16,500 minimum wage earners make in 1 year.

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Well this gets back to the whole idea of big box retailers who depend in part on exploiting the cheapest labor they can find. And I would say that it is very difficult for these people to be excited in the success of these companies when you have CEOs like the former head of Home Depot who was basically ousted for failing the company yet he got a $200M severance package. That is more money than what 16,500 minimum wage earners make in 1 year.

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Just think rnc, they're investing all that money so the $7/hr. pawns can have a better life. (excuse me while I laugh until I cry).

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No one makes $7 for an extended period of time unless they have no ambition and no intelligence.

Would you prefer that they have no job at all? No one is forcing them to work for $7.

The upper echelon of of corporate America lives in a different universe than the rest of us. I don't understand how a board room full of people can justify that kind of severance package. I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear the arguments used to justify $200M. It is obscene. The sad thing is that cases like this happen all the time and the numbers keep getting higher. Take the HP executive a couple years ago. She did her job so poorly that she was fired in less than 1 year, yet she was given like $45M for her trouble. Hell, I'd demand to be fired for that kind of money. It is mind boggling money that the average person can't comprehend and they toss it around like chump change.

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You don't understand why a person working for a company for $7-10/hr. might care if they got a $5 gift card and a swift kick in the a$$ for Christmas while the CEO got millions of dollars?

I've been in those situations, because I've worked at places like that. And the employees do care, and they talk about it. There's a lot more unrest than you think among all those low-down cashier types. I think the higher-ups should pay more attention and listen to them.

A local store here, while not having unions, has organized several mass call-in days and work slowdowns for better hours and higher pay. But this place didn't have a union-busting toolkit like Wal-Mart does.

That, again, could also be a cultural thing. People here tend to be much friendlier to unions and are very very populist when it comes to economics.

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I didn't say that they don't care, I question why someone would care.

I understand their (the employee and the 'common man' turned green) position, it's very basic, but that doesn't make it right, and it is irrational to boot. Collectivism, envy, and false-fairness are just not in my DNA I suppose.

Going off-topic is a trademark of mine, however, so before this gets out of hand, I propose we close this wild tangent of severance and populism. :) At the very least, I'm backing out.

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I've noticed the work ethic decline noticably over the past three decades. When I was a kid and went into fast food restaraunts, the cashiers were friendly, and were quick to clean up or do other chores when they needed to be done.

Now, when I go in, I get "Whachoo want?" rolling eyes, sloooow responses and when asked by the managers to do something, they give the managers lip.

I don't think its a minimum wage thing, I think our culture is changing, and not for the better.

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I worked in retail throughout high school and college, and I attribute poor work ethic to two things:

1) Low wages-who the hell wants to bust their a$$ for 7 dollars an hour? Not to mention most retail work involves a lot of actual physical work with very few breaks.

2) Rude, messy customers-who wants to be nice to a customer that just made a mess out of an area of a store that you just spent hours cleaning and organizing?

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No one makes $7 for an extended period of time unless they have no ambition and no intelligence.

Would you prefer that they have no job at all? No one is forcing them to work for $7.

I don't understand why anyone outside the shareholders would care if someone got severance of a several hundred million.

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Did 2 posts just disappear or did I dream that I posted something yesterday that isn't here today?

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1) Low wages-who the hell wants to bust their a$$ for 7 dollars an hour? Not to mention most retail work involves a lot of actual physical work with very few breaks.

2) Rude, messy customers-who wants to be nice to a customer that just made a mess out of an area of a store that you just spent hours cleaning and organizing?

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I worked in fast food while in high school making minimum wage of about $3.15/hour. I really liked the job, and I always went out of my way to help customers. Despite the fact that I was often overworked, constantly greasy and on my feet all day. I think it has a lot to do with how you're raised, to appreciate what you have, to make the most of what you're given, and to better yourself for the future. I don't think there is really any excuse to treat customers rudely.

But I also knew I wouldn't stay there forever. And I didn't care two hoots what the CEO of the company was making.

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