Why are we all subsidizing Mega Corporations?
Oftentimes when I go grocery shopping, I look for the shortest line to get out fast. Same thing when at home improvement stores, electronic stores, wholesale clubs and other stores. It’s the same when I call my credit card company and I am put on hold for 30 minutes or more or I call the mega payroll corporation to make an inquiry and left on hold for almost an hour in one instance, the usual being 25 to 30 minutes!
As a country we like to “just do it” like the Nike commercial but of recent, it appears mega retail and service corporations are exploiting our generosity. When we ring ourselves out at the checkout line after wandering around to look for things with no help from any staff, they are exploiting our “just do it” nature to finance and lower their payroll. Deliberate understaffing to line executive pockets has now become the norm. When I managed specialized retail locations, it always bothered me how much savings they got by reducing Technician hours vs that of the Executives & President whose $mils can be reduced without them feeling it. We need to call out the greed of some executives in corporate America. The cashiers are already overburdened on their feet then they reduce the registers and the line each cashier has to handle becomes longer!
When did some of us become so indifferent to the plight of “the least of our brethren” as Jesus put it, that our $100k two weeks island vacation is more important than the quality of life of our junior staff and customers?
Time IS money, real money. It’s the reason most people’s salary can be calculated in hourly rates. Why is it then ok for a mega bank or credit card company to leave a customer on hold for an hour without PAYING you for that hour? Is it because we do not make demands of greedy corporations that they keep replacing real efficient human beings with robots they call “Eva” or some fancy word like that? If you are a plumber and one hour is $65 to you why shouldn’t we demand that these corporations pay it to you if you spend an hour doing THEIR job.It was not always like this. Greed crept up on mega corporations who decided to reduce payroll for extra money in their own pockets. Then they thought the customers will not see through them with the self checkout lines that are now the norm, even in my wholesale club where they collect membership fee!
Corporations without enough checkout staff, banks with dumb robots, and mega payroll and other Corps who leave us on the phone for one hour should be made to PAY for the equivalent of the time we stay on hold? It is only if they pay that they will realize there is no savings in using the customer’s time in place of your payroll.
We can all gather around the kitchen table to talk about how jobs have been wiped off and how this is the new norm but norms are accepted by people. If they are rejected they will not become the societal norm.
Are you aware that every time you consistently use these robotic replacements for humans,or self check-out that they check how successful their proposed lay off plans for junior employees are? They use the self check out success to determine how many cashiers they REALLY need,(including you) possibly firing more after every review? Are you aware that the decline in customer service is partly due to the constant cutting of payroll not minding the customer’s hourly rate and the stress of speaking to a robot that’s only programmed a certain way and gets confused if you don’t use the words it’s programmed with?
YOUR time is money too and if these mega corps actually pay ALL their bill, the gap between the $bils and the very poor will close? They do not pay their bills. Many of them are deadbeats, looking for ways to avoid paying their bills, from taxes to cashiers and customer service agents. From avoidance of taxes, they moved payroll burden to the consumer, not compensating you for it. Who will not get rich if we all could shift our bills on unsuspecting people, disguising it as “convenience”?
As for me, no matter how full my grocery cart is, I refuse to self check out potatoes and bananas, allowing them to further use me free on their payroll. I will do it if they give me 50% off my full cart in exchange for my own time so it costs them $. If you deduct the hourly rate a plumber or surgeon or any working person spends working free for you by being on hold for hours, annualize it, add it to your payroll expense, it is debatable if you will still declare your huge profits.
It is your job as a grocery store CEO or executive, or a Bank CEO/ Executive to staff your locations and customer service lines before declaring huge profits. It’s your job to allow location managers the $ to put enough cashiers at registers for your customers, and thank them for shopping with you. It will not add to grocery cost or the already huge interest rates you charge on credit cards. It is your $mega million salary that you DO NOT EARN that adds to grocery cost, not the $15/hr a hardworking cashier, customer service reps or a few extra ones make. It’s not grocery shoppers’ duty to weigh heavy bags of grocery, put them in the cart, then in our trunk while you just pocket the money, add no value and jet off to your next vacation island on my free payroll contribution to your bottom line!
Mimi-Amy Jose is a Mother, Wife & Health Care Entrepreneur