10

Time and a Half

Posted by Herb7734 7 months, 1 week ago to Economics
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In days of yore I was in the retail business.I still have many friends and aquaintences in retail. One of the happy things about the Christmas season was that instead of hiring additional workers for the longer hours that I must have stayed open in order to be competative, I extended the hours of my current help, paying them time and a half for working over the 40 hour week. Now, keep in mind that it would have been considerably cheaper for me to hire additional part-time help. Keep in mind that the additional moneyearned by my regular help, paid for their Christmas and was looked forward by them in order to purchase many things without the need to finance them that they have been waiting all year to get. But there has been a radical change in the outlook of employees since I was in business. According to my friends still laboring in the management side of retailing, the help would rather stick to their regular hours than put in the extra work in order to get the extra pay. What? If I proposed this when I was in business the help would likely have gone on strike. I inquired do yo still pay them more for the extra hours? Yes, they sure do. then what is the problem. It turns out that there simply is bot enough payment to entice them to work the extra hours. This, to me explains everything one needs to know about the current labor situation in America. I think that every worker in every industry except in the USA welecomes the opportunity to make the extra money during the holidays.Thi really saddens me.


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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
    That is why, I am the only one in my area, (building engineer) at Hospice that puts in 10/20/30 hours a week in overtime...everyone else either doesn't want it or they are always taking time off.

    Sure, after some point, I am only feeding the "Beast" (our expression for government) but I am only making a little more than half the income I once earned when working for DeWalt Power Tools, which ended in 09.
    In every field I ever worked...there are just no jobs over 6 figures anymore.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
      There are lots of jobs over 6 figures. They are just IN government now, and perhaps some in silicon valley.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
        I discovered, much to my dismay after getting a Bachelors degree in bus admin and economics that the only well paying jobs were with ins co's and government...neither appealed to me so I used my knowledge to develop efficient practices within the printing field. (economies of movements within the production process)...having the right tools and supplies close by at the right time. The entire Printing process was not set up with a "Production line" concept. I also developed methods that insured 99%+ accuracy during the process also.
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
          I make LED lighting for off road vehicles, and economies in production are critical to success today. Its hard given all the employee regulations and high cost of american labor. We buy nearly 80% of our subassemblies from china now in order to stay in business. About the last thing I would want now is american production workers (unfortunately).
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          • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
            Whoa. That is really sad. I am of the generation where the only mention of China was in the context of carry out food.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
              I think the reason price inflation hasnt kept up with the money printing machine of our government is that most companies in the USA are either automating and eliminating USA workers, or buying from china and essentially reselling it.

              Check out www.alibaba.com and you will get a flavor of the stuff thts being made in china that is showing up here (quietly).
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
            Your bus would benefit from robotics...would it not?

            When I was young and working assembly and packing jobs...I would always challenge myself to beating the machine...I did, on every job, even still, It was boring.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
              We used to employee JUAN. Among other things he drilled holes for the mounting of the LEDS we use. Now we built in house a robot we call ROBOJUAN, and no longer employee JUAN. Its more accurate, faster, and cheaper doing a very monotonous task.

              Bring on the robots in fast food order taking and even the preparation of it. I cant wait. Replace wait staff in sit down restaurants to take and deliver orders. No tipping required !!!! Yeah. I love the self checkouts at the food markets,

              As the robots get smarter with more and more sensors and microcomputers, people had better use their brains more to compete, or be left behind.

              If we didnt have robots today, we would not enjoy the standard of living we currently do.
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
                If the order taking robots in fast food garbage shops are as smart as the automated call takers on the phones then we are in deep dodo.

                Not sure that I want to be serviced by a robot at my seat in a sitdown restaurant though...It's way too impersonal and takes away from the whole dinning experience, I think.

                PS...don't want to be driven places by one either!
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                • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                  Doo-doo is a word used instead of shit. Dodo is a rather ugly extinct bird that couldn't fly. Hmmm. maybe Dodo is appropriate.
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                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
                    Like dodo doo-doo...the auto answering voice, has no clue when you insist on speaking to real live person...and after an hour you end up with someone from India that only speaks Swahili !!!

                    Wishing that whole system, including the swahili speaking person from India would just quietly go extinct!
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                    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                      If they cut off the entire Indian peninsula, do you think it might float down to Antartica?Anytime I hear an Indian accent, I immediately hang up. I have had such bad results dealing with them that I no longer can tolerate it.
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                      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
                        Ah...so you "Don't" 'want to by his ding dongs', (insert the proper accent)...that dialogue came from a movie I saw...I think it was the one where a robot became conscious of itself.

                        As for the peninsula heading down to Antarctica...only if it exhibits "south" magnetics and follows our north pole to meet up with the south pole somewhere in the "Indian" Ocean.
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                • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                  The state of wait staff and order takers is terrible though. Hard to imagine the robot being worse
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                  • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                    Robots are fine until or unless you need to correct an error
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                    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                      Isnt that just a programming problem though? People are not so good t correcting errors either. All the robot has to be is BETTER than the human. The free market will figure that out I think.
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                      • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                        The market tends t figure everything out on its own.
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                        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                          Absolutely the market fixes pretty much everything on its own. Political correctness, and fear of left wing reprisals slow down market responses, and government regulations forbids market responses.

                          I would prefer to order restaurant food and fast food from an iPad and have it served by a robot if possible, or a busboy if that’s not possible - and save the tip. Restaurants should be free to set their policies as they want, and customers should decide whether to eat there or not
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                          • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                            It all depends on the kind of experience you're looking for.
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                            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                              I dont consider wait staff to be part of the family. All they need to do is take the order and bring the food. I dont really need to converse with them.
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                              • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                                They Must talk to you in order to take your ordeer. A pleasant bit of cheery small talk might enhance the experience or are you a "Bah! Humbug!" type?
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                                • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                                  Hard to explain, but I really dont want to talk to wait staff when I go out to dinner. I am there with friends to enjoy being with them.. I dont want to chit chat with random entitled people who work there.

                                  Applebees recently has ipads at the tables where you can order some things, request drink refills, and pay for the meal. Its a great idea, and I hope they expand it so you can order anything and have no need at all for a server. The busboy quietly brings the food to the right person and takes away the dishes.
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                                  • freedomforall replied 7 months, 1 week ago
                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
                    There are still a few that are good at it and make the experience enjoyable.
                    Dinning out, at least for me, includes that person to person engagement...good food, good people and a great waitress...spells a great time.
                    An experience I rarely have time for these days.
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                    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                      I like the good food and the good people. The waitress is just a person who butts in and wants to be tipped. Give me a robot that will listen to what I want, and then quietly deliver. If they can make a car that drives itself, they surely can make a robot wait staff machine
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                      • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                        You've obviously never been served by a really good waiter/waitress.They can make suggestions that can enhance the meal, refill the coffee without you asking, and much more. All with a pleasant smiling demeanor.
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                        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                          That sounds attractive, but I world suggest that those things can be done more efficiently and more universally using robot technology without costing 20%.

                          Today, in my experience, most wait staff are entitled people who give mediocre service most of the time and expect at least 10% for it. Nearly all fast food order takers are terrible- don’t listen to what you want, force you to repeat yourself instead of listening and can easily be replaced by robot technology available today.
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                      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
                        Boy...you must have bad waitresses where you live.
                        We have a lot of great ones in New England...loads of laughs and fun. I never considered it an intrusion, a great waitress becomes part of the family after a while...They really enjoy the work...maybe that's the key to a successful dinning experience.
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                        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                          I live in Las vegas, and you are right- the waitresses ARE terrible. They are used to serving tourists who dont often return to be served by the same waitress. Its all about TIPS here, which I think should be NOT given. I never tip at a buffet regardless of the service. I think their income should be determined by their employer, not me. The employer sets the wage, and the level of service. I dont want to be involved.
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                          • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                            No matter what the restaurant, my tipping philosophy is 20%, 15%, 10% depending on the quality of service and I must say that here in Florida it is mostly 20% because the service at most places is very good.
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                            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                              I would suggest a better way is for a restaurant owner to set the level of service he wants for his restaurant, insist his wait staff give that level of service universally, and pay the wait staff what he needs to in order to keep the wait staff.

                              By making their wage dependent on how much of a tip they get encourages preferential levels of service rather than a universal level of service. And now the wait staff EXPECTS at least 10% from everyone regardless of service.

                              The wait staff seems to be is a sales organization instructed to push the “specials” and increase the size of the orders by suggesting profitable items- for the benefit of the restaurant. Often they no longer even bring the food. Just what do we get from the tip that a kiosk or table side robot could not do with user friendly programming?
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                              • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
                                It all depends on the class of restaurant. Mickey D virtually created the self-serve hamburger joint, but a restaurant with waitresses is an entirely different class of establishment.it is a sit-down, and part of the experience is human interaction.being waited on by an efficient and cheerful person makes the eating out experience something to look forward to.It's the difference between a car wash and detailing.
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                                • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                                  Fortunately, the free market lets us all have what we want. I dont really want to converse with a random waiter or waitress. I go there to eat and enjoy the company that I went with, not some random person I really dont even know
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months ago
        That is exactly the problem. Careers in government should end, and the quickest way is to stop funding government completely. If government services are needed then the services should compete with private services and be funded only by revenues for the service itself and private voluntary investment. Sub-contracting so-called government services to private companies is not a satisfactory solution. It only promotes more spending without free market demand for the service.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      Unless you create one yourself, for yourself. With your kind of energy and a rational mind you should succeed.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
        I do not include proceeds from my book...ALL of that goes toward paying off the mortgage.

        There is something I have put a lot of time and effort into, one inwhich I'll share if successful, it's been just over a year now and getting close to finding out if I have wasted that time or not.

        Nothing ventured, nothing gained and nothing but skin in this game. No monetary investments thus far.
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        • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
          As a retiree, with no additional income other than savings, investments and social security, I cannot afford to take chances. I choose not to be a burden to either my family or the state.I'll pay my own way or face an early demise. So, as you can see, taking chances for me is no longer viable. Every time I started a new business I took a chance. now, its your turn..
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
            I have started, and sold several in my life: A small recording studio in Boston at age 25, then a small chain of stereo and auto stereo installation stores when 35 and in 09 started a handyman bus. to get by while looking for a reg. gig, when I did, kept that going plus an abandon home salvage job...working all three until it just didn't pay anymore.
            Now I write and work the job I have during the same hours but the biggest job I have is maintaining the large home I built and keeping my wife's diabetes [1] under control.

            Hopefully in the near future I can go on the road, promoting my next book and awaken the masses. I'd also would like to start a indoor food growing business that might sustain a few, at least, during what is sure to be a difficult Grand Solar Minimum.
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  • Posted by Domminigan 7 months, 1 week ago
    I make more than twice my base 40 hour annual exclusively due to overtime.
    There are many others in my company who do their very best to avoid working more than 20 hours a week.
    I am constantly appalled by the work ethic of those around me.
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months, 1 week ago
      I think that as an employee, one's work ethic relates to doing good work during the amount of time per week that one has agreed to. It does not necessarily relate to one's willingness to work more than those hours, even if the incentive is a higher hourly rate. There can be many reasons to decline paid overtime aside from an insufficient work ethic.
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      • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
        My interest in this discussion was that of the change in the general attitude of employees from the time when I was in retail until now. You're the exception and as they say, it's the exception that proves the rule.
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months, 1 week ago
          I've never understood the phrase "the exception proves the rule." All an exception proves is that the "rule" does not hold in all cases; it says nothing about the validity of the rule itself. Is capitalism the exception that proves the rule that socialism is the better system?
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          • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
            "The exception [that] proves the rule" is a saying whose meaning has been interpreted or misinterpreted in various ways. Its true definition, or at least original meaning, is that the presence of an exception applying to a specific case establishes ("proves") that a general rule exists. For example, a sign that says "parking prohibited on Sundays" (the exception) "proves" that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week (the rule). A more explicit phrasing might be "the exception that proves the existence of the rule."
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            • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
              I knew I could trust you to explain the rule
              And keep me from looking like a fool
              Or just a lowly silly tool
              A quietly morbid lurking ghoul.
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              • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
                In a short time I realised that I must tell my story to someone or break down completely. I had already decided not to abandon the quest for the lurking fear, for in my rash ignorance it seemed to me that uncertainty was worse than enlightenment, however terrible the latter might prove to be. Accordingly I resolved in my mind the best course to pursue; whom to select for my confidences, and how to track down the thing which had obliterated two men and cast a nightmare shadow.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
      That was my experience when I was software consulting. My base was $40 and my total was about $90 due to all the overtime (in the early 80s) but I only got paid for over time when they were billed and collected. That way it was good for everyone. A normal week was 60-100 hours. I'm glad to hear some employers still value the most productive.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months, 1 week ago
    The time and a half draw dates from the pre-credit card era. Back when all purchases were in cash, having extra money was more important than it is today, even if it meant less time for rest and family activities. Now that people can pay with money they don't yet have, it's harder to entice them to sacrifice their personal time over the holidays
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      What about Lay - Away? Where you put a deposit on an item(s) and the seller holds it aside and you have so many days to pay it off.?It was quite popular, once upon a time.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months, 1 week ago
        It's all about immediate gratification. I don't get the item I want until it's paid for with layaway, while I can take immediate possession of a credit card purchase.
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        • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
          Layaway is simply a cash purchase with a delayed ownership factor. The advantage of cash is that there's no enormous debt all at once that has been deferred. Plus an interest rate if payment is deferred that is unreasonable. the cost of which should be added to the price increasing the debt load. The USA owes so much that it can barely pay the interest let alone the primary cost.
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months, 1 week ago
            It's the word "delayed" that is the key. We live in a society that has impatience and a short attention span. The reason many people with good income save nothing for retirement is because they can't cope with the idea of having to wait to get their money.
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            • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
              I used to be that way. But now, in my dotage, I've mellowed out. I'm in no hurry to meet the guy with the scythe. Since I've become a ruin, I move slow. No choice in the matter..
              Actually I've come to enjoy it. Besides it pisses young guys off, which I enjoy doing, especially in a car.
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  • Posted by scojohnson 7 months, 1 week ago
    I wouldn't immediately dog them out, most retail workers are younger in the career, and being younger often have young kids - in most cities in America, daycare is a real problem and the cost of a few extra hours of it beyond the contract can be much, much higher than the time & a half pay.

    No idea of the specific cases, but I would speculate that is a common problem.
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  • Posted by Abaco 7 months, 1 week ago
    The government takes too much of their money. That's certainly one facet worth looking at. How will their life improve with another $200 in the bank? It's certainly different than working for yourself...
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      In today's strange economy it certainly may turn out that the extra money doesn't provide enough to warrant the extra work. In which case it doesn't bode well for the future of retailing.
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      • Posted by Abaco 7 months ago
        I was just asked to give up my vacation and work weekends. I'm salary so they get this from me for free. Meanwhile, one of my colleagues has a crappy work ethic and is on vacation about 1/3 of the time "...because he has family in other countries".

        I'm always the "go-to" guy. Not much longer, though...
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        • Posted by 7 months ago
          So....you are the Altas of your the workplace.too bad. It only makes sense if the reward is in line with the extra effort..If not ,you are a semi-slave..My son was that guy in his former job. After looking for a year and a half, he found a better job with more responsibility, but higher up on the executive hierarchy with greater pay and better rewards. Hope you get there as well.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
    Happy holidays to you and Your family! I feel your sadness , I also know that family will give you great joy in the coming month.

    What you describe reminds me of Atlas Shrugged.
    As the story unfolded it was more and more difficult for the producers to find quality employees to get the job done. When a conscious
    Worker became involved they shined like a bright star and even were invited to the gulch.
    I have never had an hourly wage or a salary. I work 2 jobs one that I love and the other pays the
    Bills I never consider a starting or ending to the day, week or month for that matter. I am not a workaholic but when I can make some dough that is my focus.
    I basically fit my life in between my work and sleep. Just like most of the gulchers I suspect.
    Zayn blyendik ir ale.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      Jeez, you almost make me want to go back into business in order to hire you. A gesundt auf dyna kopf, boychick.
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      • Posted by  $  Snezzy 7 months, 1 week ago
        Vos iz mit ale eydish? Az shoyn ken ikh nisht farshteyn.
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        • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
          It's that crazy Irishman, Dobrien.I might have sent him a phrase or two and he is now become a Jewish adept. Actually he's a brilliant guy. Be on your most accurate when dealing with him.
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          • Posted by  $  Snezzy 7 months, 1 week ago
            Ah, di freyd fun Google zets! Ikh ton dos mit der hilf fun visn daytsh, ober mit keyn eydishkeyt bay ale.

            Etlekhe fun di bester verter in english zenen fun loyf fun eydish.

            Dervayl, iber di konservative treehouse emetser hot nor gezagt az der donald iz aundzer ershter eydish prezident.

            Hey, be thankful I didn't put in the Yiddish in Hebrew characters that Google Translate gave me. My own knowledge of Yiddish is limited to words like shlemiel and shlemazel. Ikh heb a goyishe kop auf meyn goyishe layb.

            It is amazing how much of a mess Google Translate can make of this stuff!
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 7 months, 1 week ago
    This is what happens when the life of everyone is good enough, and people don't aspire to something more. Particularly if minimum wage is high enough. The result is mass apathy and comfort...until there is a time of need, or another thing "everybody" (entitled) should have.
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  • Posted by gharkness 7 months, 1 week ago
    Was this before - or after - the wide availability of credit cards in the US?

    Back in the day (oh gawd I sound old) there were basically NO SALES in January and February of each year in most stores. Why? Because everyone had spent every penny they had on Christmas.

    Now you can hardly tell the difference between December and February, because if you don't have the money to pay for it now.....just charge it!

    The lack of an actual CASH constraint on families these days is (at least part of) why they'd rather be out partying. Don't have the money? No biggie. Don't work harder or longer....just charge it.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      Just came across the statistic that the average American family owes $33,000 in credit card debt.Can you believe it?
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      • Posted by gharkness 7 months, 1 week ago
        Easily! But if you ask them, they all "pay it off at the end of the month." I don't know who they think they are kidding.....
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        • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
          We pay off our credit cards every month. no ongoing debt at rapacious interest rates. For us (BW & I)using a credit card is merely a bookkeeping convienience .
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          • Posted by gharkness 7 months, 1 week ago
            Actually, I don't doubt that you do (and if I did, who cares?) I put EVERY expense that I can on my credit card to get cash back. And yes, I pay it off. That's rule number 1 in my household, and since I am in charge of the money I get to make sure it happens.

            But my point was more generally pointed to the idea that if people are indebted to the tune of (average) $33k, they are not paying it off at the end of the month, no matter what they are saying. No personal insult or assessment intended.
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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
    I think that workers today feel that the amount of money they are paid is a pittance compared with their expenses. I cant really argue with them. Inflation has resulted in the dollar being worth a LOT LESS than it was in the past. Just look at the prices of things that are made here in the USA (not gotten from cheap labor in china). A suburban SUV goes for over $70,000 now.
    If someone is making $10 an hour, working OT gets them an additional $5 of which they get to keep maybe $3. That $3 might get you a value meal at burger king if you are lucky. There probably isnt anything at Costco that the $3 would buy. So, why work?
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 7 months, 1 week ago
    The average worker in the USA is
    A. Bone lazy and B. has been inculcated with the Idea that they can never get ahead...so why try!

    Not the go-getter attitude of previous generations but the best kind of attitude for big government controlled drones.

    Another factor here is the progressive nature of the tax system, the worker perceives that the more he works the more his taxes are. this is a clear damper on the notion of working extra. At the level of a store employee, this is not so much the case, but they think that this is the case. Welfare benefits are subject to this same curse, don't do too well or you will loose your benefits.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
      Or C. The big business government cronyism has made starting and running a small business nearly impossible compared to thirty or forty years ago.

      The curse you speak of is if you make more you will lose more in benefits . Unless the increase is substantial.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 7 months, 1 week ago
    When I got out of college in 1964, I was employed by an engineering and construction company. My father was in management for a steel company and worked long hours so I was surprised that salaried engineers on projects were paid time and a half. It seemed like we were "laborers" but it made sense because each project was unique and under extreme time pressure. If you are designing a control system for a manufacturing process it is unlikely that the "second shift" can come in and pick up where you left off when the bell rang at 5:00. Since the process knowledge plus the electronic expertise was relatively scarce it was wise to pay us to stay later. We also went into the field on startups so there was a lot of extra hours as a project was coming on line. We were invested in the success and time line of projects and would probably put in more hours just out of a sense of duty.

    My salary was just over $7K but I made $13K due to the OT. In 1964 you could do a lot with that and since we were newlyweds, we made a down payment on a house and bought a lot of furniture. I guess that if your people don't want any extra money, you must be paying them too much for their 40 hours.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      Paying too much? Brother you don't know retailing, where the profit margin is at best 40% and at least 25%. Add in overhead and there's no money left for high wages.You can easily see that overtime leaves the barest of profit. But, what the hell, its Christmas.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    Years ago I wrote a point of sale system for a friend's restaurant. At the time the hardware was a big cost, but today any restaurant that wanted to do so could let diners place their orders themselves easily, (as long as children or practical jokers are kept in check.) It's as easy to do as scanning items at the self checkout at Kroger or Wal-mart. Yes, there would be a small minority who needed help with anything technical but ticking off boxes on a screen is easier than using a VCR (Remember VCR's?) and the order prints immediately in the kitchen.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
      If the system was planned out to include common order variations so it was what I would call user friendly, I would love it. Today, people are using "chat" on their website to handle special situations efficiently. Hopefully, the usage of chat would be very limited if the software was written well, but even so, ONE server person could manage the orders and the chat for the whole restaurant.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
        Heck, the system could be set up to remember specific customers favorites and preferences easily today, so if you were a frequent customer you could flash your card or smart phone and your preference could appear instead of the menu. If you could count on being there at a specific time you could order before leaving or on the way.
        Surely some of this is already happening at some restaurants (like takeout pizza orders.)
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
          I say it a good opportunity to take advantage of. When I go to subway, I usually get the same thing and instead of having to repeat my order every time I go there to a clerk who isnt listening to me the first time anyway, I could have a QR code on my phone that the reader there checks out and gives the details to the sandwich maker without a word being spoken. Much faster and more accurate

          Applebees is using ipads (or the equivalent) at each table and you can order only desserts and drink refills currently and pay the bill. They are afraid to let people order the rest of the food on the menu, but how hard could that really be?
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          • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
            Lots of people like the personal touch of a waitress reciting the specials and describing and making recommendations from the menu.
            For those people it's worth a tip.
            I used to eat at restaurants all the time and enjoyed the food with service being very hit-or-miss imo. I enjoyed sitting at the bar in my favorite restaurant and the bar tender really did earn the tips because she remembered names and preferences. I must have tipped her 100+ silver rounds over time until she asked me to stop. She didn't want to spend her silver for the rent.
            I rarely eat at restaurants now. The food is overpriced, (often) marginally prepared by illegal immigrants, and ingredients are suspect. I get indigestion about half the time when I eat at restaurants and that never happens when I cook at home.

            My guess is that Applebee's doesn't want the confrontation when ordering mistakes are made by customers. Eventually the cost of staff will force most restaurants to use an electronic ordering system and people will get accustomed to it. Students will have to find another way to make spending money- like an apprenticeship.

            Big box stores should have phone apps written to guide customers to the right aisle and shelf within the stores and to call an employee for help when needed, too.
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            • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
              We areliving in a constantly evolving age in which everything changes every few months. Don't like it? Tough. The trend is constantly toward fewer actual people and more automation.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
              I agree that some people would want the "personal touch". Unfortunately, that personal touch where they remember you is very rare these days. I have wondered why the restaurants havent recorded email addresses and your favorites, and greet you on your phone or on a tableside ipad with well done commercials about the specials of the day with pictures, and make it a really informative and pleasant experience (not to mention accurate).

              A bar is somewhat different in that people have favorite bars and bartenders.

              I would love to ask SIRI where the baking soda is in the market I have walked into, or where the light bulbs are in a huge Walmart without having to ask an employee who usually doesnt know either.

              These are great ideas that can be translated into money both for the store and the people who figure out the technology. The customers will definitely like these ideas if they are done well. "well" means better than the solutions out there now. Doesnt mean perfect right off the bat.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
                I'm surprised that Home Depot hasn't joined forces with Apple or Google to get it done. It won't be 100% since it would be too restrictive for each store manager, but it could be 95% without too much difficulty. A lot of the data is already in the store's database.
                Its something that retail can do to slow the loss of sales to Amazon et al.
                Nordstom's board should have started the process several years ago. Computing hardware is cheap and Google may already have most of the software needed. The biggest risk is having to scrap a "solution" because a better one appears before implementation.
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                • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                  sams club has an app where you scan the item you want as you pick it off the shelf. Then you just go to the app and say you are done and pay, and leave the store. I havent tried it yet, but it seems like the way to go
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                • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                  I think these big box places are afraid they will somehow get it wrong and lose customers. The solution to that would be to get it right.

                  Home depot has self checkout, but I think they lose a lot of money with that. At least in Vegas, the low rent people cheat a lot at those. Their system weighs each thing you put in the bag to try and prevent that, but once the system records something wrong you have to call the attendant to reset the register. Unfortunately, the attendant is typically lazy and just resets it without figuring out what caused the problem (which is usually someone trying to get free stuff). Funny that the human is the weak link in the system....

                  Walmart neighborhood market has mostly self checkout, so it must work better for foodstuffs- even fresh vegetables. Much faster for me since there is little waiting
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      • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
        if it ws up to me, we'd all slow down around 50% or so We could call ourselves the 'Waitabits" instead of Humans. Slowing down will be better for the heart and most other organsincluding the Wurlitzer.
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  • Posted by chad 7 months, 1 week ago
    It saddens me that people lack the drive to do any minimal thing beyond what is required of them. I used to be a roofing contractor and developed a system of roofing that sped up the process. Young men that I hired were trained then paid by the square (amount of work completed) not hourly. This was 30 years ago and young men fresh out of high school were earning $25 ($100 an hour now) and hour. They were paid bonuses based on amount of work completed in a day. They realized the value of staying a little later on a job so we would not have to return to complete it the next day then spend unpaid time moving to another. They were always anxious to work and I sometimes sent them home early to have time to do other things of interest.
    One day they came to me and said they wanted to work for an hourly wage of $25 and get overtime if they worked after hours (I pointed out that the bonuses achieved by extra production was overtime) and be able to take breaks. They complained the work was difficult (I was working on the roof with them) and sometimes they wanted to take breaks. I told them to take breaks if they were tired. I wanted them to rest. They pointed out that if they took breaks they were no longer earning money! No kidding! Neither was I! I told them that if they were paid by the hour I was cutting their wage to $9 per hour because I knew their productivity would drop. They chose to continue because they liked the pay but eventually the state was called in, I was told I was being unfair and I closed my business. They no longer made $25 an hour, went to work for other contractors earning $7-$8.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
      You essentially did the "shrugging" as in Atlas Shrugged, and I think this is HOW it happens- one at a time without a John Galt. I left the medical device business after the FDA came in and required their approval before any new product could be offered to the public. It would take up to a year to get that approval, after I went through hell providing all the information they needed to fresh out of college people who decided my fate. It was insulting as I knew my customers far better than they did, and my niche was in inventing new ways to satisfy them that the big companies couldnt do. I didnt need a John Galt to get me to shrug.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      I had a similar experience. We had a mail order and a publishing firm. The mail order people wanted to unionize and set wages and hours according to the union. We closed the mail order and focused 100% on the publishing..
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
    I always find it interesting to point out to people how much the government takes in Social Security and FICA - which they will never see again. The other thing they don't see is the unemployment insurance that gets tacked on to the employer's side of things. One of the things I've always heard is that if people had to actually pay those things on their tax returns every year, those programs would be gone in a heartbeat at the next election.
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