Manager’s at Minimum Wages

This is a post I am writing at the request of a co-worker who thought that this would be a great topic to write about. After a couple days of him politely reminding me about his idea, I finally caved in, and, well, here we go.

My friend, who works during the day, semi-full-time, in a Big-Box retail chain, and casually, part-time, at nights as a video store clerk had gone through a series of emotional issues with the owner of the video store. If you remember from my post of August 30th, a couple of weeks ago, he was having problems dealing with the ethics of selling to the costumers, what he thinks is a deal designed to rip them off. Since then, it appears that things calm down a little until his promotion?

Everything seemed to be going alright, the selling of this wacky video insurance was settled, and the job seemed to be turning in a positive direction and then a promotion was offered. Perhaps “offered” is too loose a word to describe it? Maybe the term “constructive promotion” would better suite this change in employment status? You see, most jobs, as you gain more experience you climb higher through the ranks, receive better pay, gain higher positions and then become a senor employee taking on more responsibility. At least this has being the case for myself and others I know? Then, one would pause, if only after 1 month on the job, with little or no experience, you are promoted to a manager, closing the store, a key holder, working solo: you are now in charge, but keeping the same pay! With little or no training, no security checks and proper counseling and orientation you are now a manager. What’s up with that!

I see a new trend between business owners and their employees. In the “old days,” employers of small business would need to depend on their employees so much that they would treat them like family. In a way, they must, they depend on them so much, they count on them, a lot is riding the those employees as they are the front line, unlike a large corporation with thousands of employees at their command. But now, that small business sense has taken on a different genre of sorts, something like, “you think big, you’ll become big?” Perhaps this is what happening? My friend is working for a fish that thinks likes a shark, in a very small pond, with other fish that think they are predators, while the pond is really the size of a puddle. The only difference of course is, he is still only getting the “below living wage” and probably a buck an hour more above minimum wage for the extra responsibility. But hey, at least he can call himself a manager and his employer is getting a deal too: cheep labour!

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