Good Business People-Do They Still Exist
I don’t mean Wal-Mart and Exxon and that crew, we all know they suck. So they’re out of this particular equation at least for now. For now, let’s stick a little closer to home and take a stroll down Main Street in Your Town USA. Or, as in the case of New London, let’s walk down Bank Street to places like Sweeties Bakery or we could take a walk up Masonic Street to LV Computers. Or we could go over to a few neighboring towns and check out Ballestrini’s Day Care Centers… or, well let’s just walk.
Mom & Pop Shops are supposed to be a little bit better to work for. Not necessarily in terms of pay and benefits but in terms of fostering a good work environment and being places where those just starting out can ‘learn the ropes’ of working and then go off and keep climbing if they choose. We generally think of them as friendly and clean places, comfy, cozy, welcoming. Those who frequent them, those who like to “Shop Local” (which is a good idea at its foundation) like to think we’re helping our community, our friends, and our local economy when we spend money in these places.
Maybe we’re not.
Maybe we’re being duped.
Maybe that girl working her ass off behind the counter to grill your Panini and serve it to you with a smile is being paid LESS than minimum wage AND under the table. Maybe everyone except the owners of that lunch counter are being paid under the table and less than minimum wage. Maybe some aren’t being paid at all because they’re ‘interns’…at a bakery. Maybe the young person taking in your computer is being paid even less. Maybe that person is actually bringing home fifty to one hundred dollars a week in exchange for nearly 40 hours of their time AND they too are being paid under the table. Maybe they’re getting eyed by their employer and being spoken to in an inappropriate manner on a steady basis.
Maybe that lunch counter really isn’t so clean. It is possible that the girl being paid so pitifully just cleaned up several dead rats from the back room, rats that had been there so long they looked as though they’d turn to dust at any second. Maybe she had to use a paint scraper to get rid of the mouse poop from behind the refrigerator, the radiator, and in front of the window but only some bleach and a wad of paper towels to get rid of it from behind the grill. Maybe, at the end of the day, those tips you put in the TIP Jar don’t go to her and the others who work there. Maybe that “tip” jar is being taken home by the owners who don’t even consider splitting it with their shabbily treated employees.
Maybe, that girl tending to your children all week is also being paid minimum wage. How do you like that one? What do you pay for day care every week? And how many kids attend that day care center? How many employees do they have? Just for shits and giggles; do you think your kids are worth having day care providers who make more than minimum wage? Do you really think that’s a minimum wage job?
Take both of these young women who being paid so pitifully yet still working to the best of their abilities, and they both find they need a second job…because they’re paid so poorly at the first one, of course. So they go out and get one. Yep, they’re real go-getters willing to work two jobs to get ahead. I know there are tons of people out there who are the mistaken belief that there are millions and millions of Americans who ‘don’t want to work’ but they’re wrong. These two young women prove that point. It’s not that people ‘don’t want to work’. It’s more along the lines of people don’t want to work their asses off for peanuts and still not be able to make ends meet.
So, these two women get second jobs. The Day Care Center refuses to give a reference for their employee and tells her that she’s not to use them as a reference in the future because they don’t have time for the phone calls. That young woman’s mother tells her this is illegal. The employer must give an honest and fair reference. Tough shit if it’s inconvenient for them. She secures a second job. The Day Care Center refuses to give her her paycheck. Nice, huh? Again Mom steps; Go back there and demand your check, they cannot withhold your pay under ANY circumstances. So does and she gets it. The next thing you know she’s no longer on the work schedule. She hasn’t been ‘fired’ she’s just not being given any work. No work = no pay.
Remember, under these stressful circumstances, these people are taking care of YOUR kids. Yeah, one more time; what are you paying for day care every week?
The young woman working in the rat infested bakery gets a second job. It’s going to pay her $11.00/hour! It’s 3-4 days a week and every other Sunday. The hours aren’t great, only about 5 hours a day but that’s ok with her. There’s plenty of time for her work both jobs because the hours are pretty stead, mostly afternoons, she can work the bakery in the mornings. So she goes to the bakery, where she actually likes working even under the ‘shitty’ circumstances, and she’s fired for getting a second job. This upsets her greatly, she feels bad, she feels like SHE let THEM down. Her mother steps in to tell her; Screw Sweeties Bakery, they don’t come first, you do.
If any of the above places had been a ‘good employer’ they wouldn’t have lost their employee, right?
I understand that Mom & Pop Shops face different difficulties in business but that’s not an excuse for paying off the books or for paying wages so low one can’t live off of them when that business–such as a day care–is making money hand over fist. Just a suggestion here but when you’re shopping for a new place to watch your kids maybe you’d like to ask how much the employees are being paid to do that important job. Don’t ask the HMC ask the nearest worker.
It’s not an excuse for not hiring an exterminator or for letting animal fecal matter pile up so long it has to be removed with a paint scraper. People are EATING there….ick!
So the next time you want to shop…anywhere these days, I guess…have a good look around before you plunk down your money or eat that sandwich or say good-bye to your kid for the day or drop off your computer.
Irresponsibility isn’t just for Wal-Mart.
Posted on 01/08/2013, in new london, Uncategorized and tagged american worker, bad business owners, ballestrinis day care, ct, lindsay kreutter, lindsey kreutter, low wages, lv computers, new london, shop local, small business, sweeties bakery, sweeties bakery new london ct. Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.