Monday, January 26, 2009
Dear President Obama
Does it really take rocket scientist to figure out the downfall of our economy today?
Do we really need to search any further then the dwindling honesty Americans have lost over the years? We, as American Citizens have deceived ourselves right into the poor house and now we want to blame the Government and expect them to bail us out?
These are the questions I'd like to see answered-by anyone.
As a woman I have owned and operated my own service related business for the past 20 years or so. I find that I too have fallen prey to vast changes that have taken place over the years in business today.
My very first job was in retail. We had to attend classes on how to treat the customer, they had "shoppers" who checked on how we treated the customers. For those of you who may be too young to remember-"shoppers" were people hired to pose as customers and then reported back to business on the treatment they received while making purchases. Something as slight as not properly Thanking the customer might have you on review with your boss and quite possibly finding yourself in the unemployment line.
If you want to see a classic example of the "changes" that have evolved in business over time the next time you are in a line to purchase anything: Watch the dialog VERY closely.
You will find this exact scenerio repeating itself time after time after time.
Clerk: "Eight dollars and Fifty Two Cents"
Customer: hands the clerk a ten dollar bill, the register reads: $1.48
The clerk then has to stop and think exactly what coins add up to 48 cents-after several tries the clerk "may" hand the customer a one dollar bill, one quarter, two dimes (but usually four nickles) and three pennies.
The Customer then responds: "Thank you"
and if the Customer is really lucky the clerk responds: "Your Welcome"
What just happened here?
Did the Customer REALLY thank the Clerk for waiting on him and giving him change?
The younger the Clerk is- the more this will happen if the Customer is lucky enough to get a response out of the Clerk before he/she moves on to the next Customer.
I remember a time when businesses prayed for Customers to visit their establishments and when they did visit the Clerk, Shop Owner, Shop Employee was very Thankful the potential client chose their shop to visit.
What has happened to employees over the years? Where has the pride in the workplace gone. There was a time when a minium wage employee was expected to be as socially gratious as the highest paid executive in any firm. Quite simply put the work force of today feels the shop owner "owes" them something, they feel they have a right to talk on cell phones, they have a right to stop work and make an important phone call to their faimly or friends before waiting on customers, they feel they have a right to collect a huge pay check for just showing up, and if they feel they are not paid approriately for the job they are performing then "they" have a right to treat the customers in any manner they wish.
If their current job doesn't offer them an opportunity to socialize and have fun, they simply quit and move on to the next business who might offer them 50 cents more an hour.
There is very little longevity in the work place anymore, retirement benefits for longevity are no longer an enticement to stay with a company.
Health benefits used to be a reason to enter the workforce and stay with a company but that is no longer a concern since many companies are now required to extend your health benefit options after you leave.
So now that our employees aren't treating the customers in a manner that makes them want to come back, we business owners are forced to entice our customers to enter our stores via a different approach........ADVERTISING !
Our Adverting approaches have us now expecting to read the "fine print" and cautiously looking for the "catch". Try to find an ad somewhere, anywhere that does not contain restrictions, experation dates, additonal purchases required etc.
We have been trained well to be wary of a deal that sounds too good.
AMERICA THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
Many of us have heard that sentiment over and over, only now it is accompanied by a newer slogan/rule.
IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS
Was there anyone schooled in the US who didn't learn the story of Honest Abe chopping down the cherry tree?
Today honesty only exists only to the point of: How far can I stretch the truth while still remaining within the limits of the law?
When it comes to advertising we, as consumers, are forced to take what is shoved in front of us.
Watch an ad for a fast food resteraunt. Did you see that juicy hamburger fresh off the grill perched atop that fresh bun with lettuce extending just enough past the burger to make your mouth water, the perfect slice of tomato with just a drop of catsup oozing out, a creamy slice of cheese melted just beyond the bun.
Visit that establishment and purchase that hambuger, and what happens? The meat is pulled out of warming tray that it has been sitting in for hours, just above room temperature, slapped on a stale crushed bun, hamburger half on the bun half and half off (by a teenager who could care less what it looks like), add a wilted piece of lettuce, a slice of cold cheese, and then squirt catsup all over the wrapper and if you are really lucky (and the kid making it isn't too hung over) it may be placed in a microwave just long enough to make the roll taste very stale and dry while still keeping the cheese in a refrigerated state.
You eagerly take your hamburger, Thank the Clerk for giving you your change and open it up to find something that appears to have been put through a garbage disposal. You don't complain-why? Because they'd only offer to make you a clone of the first.
Turn on the TV watch the food commercials-just visit any store and try to purchase "anything" that looks like it does on TV. Frozen dinners are shown on TV served on a dinner plate-when is the last time you took your frozen dinner out and served it on a dinner plate? When is the last time you even purchased a frozen dinner that had the ingredients stay in their respective portions of the tray? Corn on top of mashed potatoes, fried chicken on top of the brownie-again a garbage disposal appearance. Do you write the company to complain? NO. Do you take the item back to the store to demand a refund? NO. Why? It wouldn't do any good would it-they might refund your money, they might replace the item but ones things for sure-nothing would change-the very next time you purchase that item it would again be a clone of the previous one.
We, as consumers, have been trained to accept what is dished out to us. We have been trained that we as consumers have zero voice when it comes to pride in the work place.
Shopping has become akin to visiting a casino. Spend hours carefully selecting the items you think you can afford. NONE of the items are individually priced-all prices are stored in a main frame computer system leaving you to rely on series of small lines within a block printed on the package. The sign on the shelf may read 50% off, it "may" be for the item directly below it, it may not-it's akin to a lottery system-will you WIN today? There is positively NO way to connect the item to the sign-even if there is a bar code on the sign-few people are adept enough to compare the bar codes to be sure the sign is directly linked to the item you have in your hand. Your shopping cart contains 50 items, in order to be sure you are not being ripped off you MUST remember the exact prices of each of those items then monitor the cashier to see if the items are scanning at the prices you "assumed" were connected to them. How many of us have gone to a grocery store because the items on our list were in the ad and assumingly on sale only to leave and find that while we saved 50 cents on our bag of potato chips there were seven items that rang up more then the shelf was marked leaving us over charged by 75 cents!
The savvy shopper can catch those mistakes, but what exactly happens when we do? The light over the register is placed on "blink", we wait for an employee to be called to the register to do a price check. When that employee finally shows up he/she must find the item in the store verify the marking on the shelf or sign and return only to tell us the sign stated it was the larger item on sale NOT the one directly under the sign. We make a choice to purchase the item at the higher price or leave it behind. The next item rings up wrong-and we are now faced with either repeating the scenerio above, having the cashier void the sale or keeping our mouth shut and paying the price that scanned.
There was a time when every single item in the store had it's price clearly marked on the package, there was a time when stores conceded and sold us the item for the price marked on the package even if the price marked was a fraction of the intended price. Those days are gone-why? Because the stores insisted people were switching priced tags on the items and being totally dishonest. In today's time everything has been reversed it is now the consumer who pays the price that scans on the register no matter how much higher the scanned price is then the actual prices. The tables have turned.
Today's economy has the one who can be the most deceptive while staying just within the limits of the law as the most successful.
Do me a favor =begin lending money to your friends, lend them more then they can, are willing or are able to pay back to you.
When you have loaned out so much money that you can no longer afford to pay your bills-then turn to government and ask them to help you out-ask the government to help you make your house payment.
Do you think they will?
BUT-lets look at the Banking