Coming from the thoughts of an hourly employee of the American Corporate Machine. Have been working for twenty plus years in retail food service industry have noticed a decrease in how many employees there are to customers. Additionally, prices for consumers are increasing. This decrease and increase I perceive began as our hourly wage (example Ohio starting wage 2007 $5.25 – 2015 $8.25). My concern is that with many states striving to enforce companies to pay a minimum wage of $15.00 over the next 2 to 4 years. Can the consumer and the corporate structure truly support the increase. If the minimum increases so does all of the other wages above minimum increase, or they are supposed. Yes, having an increase in salary be nice visually but really and truly am I gaining anything by my state forcing my employer to increase my pay when I can no longer easily gain full time work in the industry I have always been in. The food or entertainment I enjoy increases to cover the cost of the employee that is providing the service I am using. Additionally, amount of team members I have to work with on a shift decreases to support the increase in money the company I work for is paying out.
Other aspects of company cost that have a tendency to build up is couponing, double couponing, fuel perks, courtesy card discounts or points. All of these ‘freebies’ are not free the money to cover these ‘freebies’ has to be covered by the company. With all these accumulating costs over the next five years where will the hourly employee be part time or full time or un employed due to the corporate structure consolidating as seen with Kohl’s, Walmart, and other big companies in 2016. For those that comment on forms of Social Media that customer service does not exist. Here are some thoughts the employees have to work with less co-workers to do the same work they did in previous years. When a company had six staff on the floor to provide “excellent” customer service; now they only are scheduled one or two employees. Many are part time and cannot obtain full time hours that their family budget needs.
For those consumers out there that get frustrated and impatient with long lines. From personal experience get used to it. In many locations in the retail and food service industry those lines will only increase as the demand for higher minimum wages increase means the leadership of corporate structure will need to reduce cost and that will be at the register, counter, or the method of production. The increases are sadly in my perception a done deal but as consumers strive to keep in mind that the people that are waiting on you are people to and that having to interact with rude and impatient people day in and day out become tiring. To put it in a visual picture the ‘family’ member that everyone avoids do you want to interact with that individual on a daily basis. Think of this when you are impatient or rude with an employee at your favorite shopping location. That employee has to deal with short tempered, angry people hour upon hour there is no walking away when you are at a counter, table, or register. Yes, as a consumer you should not be treated rudely but are you treating the worker with respect as well.