The US Workforce Created it’s Own Problem

There is a labor shortage in America. This shortage is particularly prevalent in the service industry. Since businesses reopened from COVID lockdowns American workers have not rushed back to work in restaurants and retail establishments. I don’t care and I have no sympathy for the service sector.

I’ve had many service industry jobs. I know how they operate and why they are having problems. The service industry is racist, sexist, ageist and selfish. They see their team members as expendable unless they are young and White. A young, White person in an entry level job will be seen as someone who can be promoted and someone worth an investment from the company. Young, White, particularly male people are valued in the service sector. That’s who they want to have in front of customers and placed in leadership positions.

If you’re not young and White you are a grunt to the service sector. You are there to give lunch breaks, and give managers time off. You’re there to do work that managers don’t want to do when they don’t want to work. It doesn’t matter how long you work for an organization.

I’ve had jobs where a young Black man with tattoos and dreadlocks works in the stock room for years and is very knowledgeable about the store. The same can be said for middle aged women (often minorities) who perform well in a sales floor position for a matter of time yet are never invested in or promoted to higher paying, leadership positions if they apply. The service industry is rife with age discrimination and will find a reason to fire older workers. I suspect it has to do with health insurance payments.

Restaurants favor undocumented workers for back of the house positions. I assume they are able to hire and retain them for less. However, undocumented workers are often a transient population. Their roots are in a different country, not the US. They often move about the US from city to city. Undocumented workers can easily leave behind a job and burn bridges. It’s a lot easier for them to go elsewhere and even change their identity if needed. But that’s who the restaurant business preferred to hire. I bet many of them went home during the pandemic lock downs.

Most service industry jobs go by the mantra “We are going to do what’s best for the business” which translates to, to hell with you we are going to do what’s best for us. If you can’t meet our expectations we will find someone who will. If a retail or restaurant employee has to take time off from work their manager doesn’t make any effort to accommodate them. They will simply write them off the schedule and fill their hours with other team members or new applicants.

The service industry doesn’t hire most of it’s employees full time so they are able to hold hours over team members heads. Retail managers don’t make it known but employees are in a contest for hours. Employees that do things like open the most credit cards, sign up the most customers for the company loyalty program etc. are given more hours and therefore make more money.

A person can have a job at a department store and work thirty hours a week consistently over a period of time. If management hires someone new they can give the new person the hours simply because they fit the image that the company wants to project, i.e. young, White. This translates into the first employee losing money that they obviously need in order to make a living.

The working conditions of the service industry are terrible. Service industry jobs require working nights, weekends and holidays. Typically, a service industry employee will be on their feet several hours a day walking across concrete floors. They also have to deal with a lot of different people from managers, to co workers and customers. Dealing with so many different people is exhausting. To top it all off the wages are low. All of these conditions take a negative toll on a person over time.

The service industry has never been glamorous but thanks to social media we now see exactly what people think of service industry employees. I’ve seen on line discussion about how service industry jobs are kid jobs and people that work in them that are older than eighteen are just stupid. During the pandemic numerous videos circulated the internet of restaurant and retail workers being treated horribly by customers. Besides rudeness some service industry jobs like working at gas stations are some of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

The COVID lock downs were a blessing to many. It put the world on pause and gave people a moment to think. A pause or separation can be a great thing. It gives you time to reassess things. I believe service industry workers were use to their grind and went along with their lives with a degree of contentment. Once ties were severed with that industry they realized how nice it was to not have people in their face all the time and they had no desire to return to that environment.

The service industry has competition that it didn’t have in years past. People can start an on line business or place a service such as gardening or tutoring on Craigslist in order to make money. The service industry has failed to realize this and they failed to compete for talent. They took for granted that they would always have a plethora of applicants to burn through.

This is a case of having little to no respect or appreciation for the people that were willing to work with you. It’s fun to watch the service sector unable to cope without the people that treated as disposable. Besides that COVID took the lives of a lot of people in the service industry. Some of their former employees may have died or have lingering health problems from Coronavirus which makes them unable to return to work.

Big business has been threatening American workers for years with automation. I think now would be a great time for them to implement their robot workforce. That will be good for another laugh. I’m sure they’ll find that humans are easier and cheaper to work with even with wage increases. Good luck with all the software upgrades and system shut downs.

This is what happens when you are rigid, greedy and disrespectful towards people that helped build your business and industry. The labor shortage is being blamed on unemployment insurance by politicians. Even if that is true unemployment benefits shouldn’t pay more than a paycheck. The US workforce created this problem with it’s poor business practices.

Dating Scam: Low Bidding

I’ve discussed a few modern dating scams on this blog.  Low bidding is a tactic utilized by users, leeches and people with low self esteem.  (The leech can be male or female and any sexual orientation.  But I write from a heterosexual female point of view.)  They want a person (usually a woman) that is out of their reach.  Instead of using their energy and time trying to become a person (usually a man) that can get their dream date they settle.

Settling is not a bad thing if you have some appreciation for what you are settling for.  You may have wanted a juicy steak for dinner but you will settle for a can of ravioli.  Ravioli is delicious, inexpensive easy to make and convenient.  Sometimes it’s appropriate for the situation.  We’ve all settled at some point.  But if you’re going to be resentful and bitter instead of appreciative and grateful about the opportunity that presented itself to you please don’t settle.  Hold out for what you really want and leave the can of ravioli on the shelf for someone that would request canned ravioli for their last meal.  It’s all relative.

And settling is not a bad thing.  In this case I will call it redirection.  We all have a wish list and sometimes we find out the things on our list are not what they are cracked up to be, in short supply or the admiration is not returned.  At that point of getting checked by reality you need to recalculate your course and plan a new strategy.  We’ve all done it.  It’s called growing up.

Let’s say that a gentleman meets you and you hit some of his metrics.  You’re good enough for somethings but not others.  You may be good enough for the night time but not the day time.  You might be good enough for friends with benefits but not good enough to meet his friends.  He might put in a low bid.  Examples of low bidding are:

  • going dutch on dates
  • being vague about intentions
  • sexual innuendo/lack of respect
  • poor treatment

He’s letting you know from the start what he thinks you’re worth.  Only a desperate woman would accept any of the bids in the bullet points.  It’s up to you to set a high value  for yourself.  You can’t wait for men to value you because many of them don’t value themselves, women in general or long term relationships.  The term “pump and dump” comes to mind.

low bid

This photo came from an about bidding on materials in the construction business.  It illustrates why low bids can be a waste of time.  Here is the article if you are interested.

The Frustrating Truth About Deliberate Low Bids – No One Really Wins!

These men don’t value themselves as human beings if they are willing to share their body with any woman that will allow it.  That’s particularly true if they are having unprotected sex.  They don’t even care about potential offspring or their health.  And no, this isn’t a man being a man.  It’s a jerk being a jerk.  Jerk can be applied to either gender or the ones in between that I don’t quite understand.

If low bidders thought they could get a woman that met their standards to love and respect them they would pursue that.  They don’t think they can because they lack confidence.  Male language on social media reflects this.  Men that say they need to “get themselves together” or “get their money up” before pursuing a long term relationship are pretty much stating that they don’t have what it takes at the moment to attract a woman that they find worthy.  They don’t think of themselves as worthy.

I’m not saying that finances are not an issue.  But so is personality and couples can grow together.  And poverty is not an excuse to use another person.  If you want to wait until you’ve made your first million to pursue a relationship that is a respectable plan.  But don’t bother other people while you’re trying to achieve that goal.  You’ll probably get there faster without the distractions anyway.

Low bidding is a sign of a potential abusive partner.  He (or she) may do or say mean and inconsiderate things to see what their new potential partner is willing to tolerate.  They may like to control and exploit their partner.  Domination and intimidation is validating for bullies.

During the early stages of a relationship you should jump ship at the first sign of disrespect.  It’s easier to leave in the beginning because a big investment hasn’t been made.  A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots and bad situations usually don’t get better.  You just need to remove yourself from harmful relationships and the sooner you can do it the better.

The beginning stages of dating are an observation period.  If you observe troublesome behavior block the number and go on with your life.  Don’t allow low bidders to insult you and don’t entertain them if they decide to come back around.  If you allow them back into your life after kicking them out then you are behaving more desperate than you would have if you accepting them in the first place.  A leopard doesn’t change its spots and bad situations usually don’t get better.

leopard

He’s about to eat you up!

Imagine if you had a car for sale and you were aware of the Blue Book value.  You realistically assessed your car so you have a good idea of what you can get for it.  If you’re a smart business person you’re not going to accept a ridiculously low bid.  You’re going to disregard the low bidder as not serious and not allow them to waste anymore of your time.  Just block the number.

I made the comparisons to a single person on the dating market to meals and cars.  I’m just trying to make a point about a bidding process.  There are some things like real estate and cars that aren’t good values so they won’t warrant a high price.  However, human being are not property and inanimate objects.  No one is called to be used in a demolition derby, stripped for parts or torn down for what’s underneath them.  An Omaha 7 may never date an LA 9 but everyone that is nice deserves a suitable and loving partner.

MGTOW Encourages Feminism

OK seriously I am getting better.  I’m not watching near as many MGTOW videos on YouTube as I was.  I’ve been marking videos off as “not interested” when they appear in my recommendations, blocking MGTOW channels and mercifully I think I may have gotten blocked from a few of these channels.

But once in a while a video from the He Man Woman Hater’s Club pops up and I can’t help but indulge.  The MGTOW (Men Go Their Own Way) crowd abhor feminism and blame it for a lot of society’s ills.  However, they unwittingly encourage it with their attitudes and behavior towards women.

MGTOW gentlemen do not want to commit to women, co-habitate with them or raise traditional families.  They do not want to share their resources with women.  They are not even nice to women or like them.  It sounds to me that if a woman is smart she had better be able to make her own money and not be dependent on anyone for her survival.

MGTOW believes that women should seek out husbands and become mothers after high school.  If they had it their way women wouldn’t even finish high school and they would just become wives, or something like that when they are young teenagers.  But MGTOW believes that women are over the hill or “hit the wall” meaning they are undesirable and probably unable to have healthy children at thirty years old or not before.

These men do not express any love, affection or loyalty to any women.  So once they have used a woman for her youth and child bearing potential I’m not sure if they would honor their commitments as husbands.  MGTOW doesn’t speak much about raising families or creating legacies through family.  They only talk about women for breeding purposes like they are show dogs.

Most people live far beyond age thirty so women had better be prepared for that part of life because that lasts far longer than the PYT (Pretty Young Thing) part lasts.  Just like Judge Judy says, “Beauty fades, dumb is forever”.  And men are fickle.  If you don’t believe me just search out a MGTOW article on YouTube.  If you’re a single woman it will make you more focused and ambitious than ever before.

Beauty-Fades-Dumb-Is-Forever-Quote-By-Judge-Judy_408x408

One of the shortcomings of making marriage your end all be all is that even if you marry a great person and have a wonderful relationship people die.  Even if your spouse leaves you comfortable financially which MGTOW has no interest in doing, you will undoubtedly be left lonely and in the same condition as the cat ladies that MGTOW maligns.

It’s interesting to me how people manifest more of what they hate.  If MGTOW really wanted to prove to women that they were missing out on something they would choose a woman that they consider virtuous (they have a very thin line for what they consider to be a virtuous woman so good luck finding her) and treat her like a queen.  Instead that they speak about women horribly, flaunt their own bad habits and judge women for being human.  Who needs that?

Real Talk: Money Saving Tips

I read a tweet a month or so ago from a millennial asking Generation X and Baby Boomers for financial advice.  I answered the tweet without actually answering the question.  I told her that I felt like most financial advice that I’ve seen given in the media is usually geared towards people with fairly high incomes so I can’t advise anything without knowing her situation.

I’ve often been frustrated by financial advice given through the media because it is usually unrealistic for people who make less than $70,000 annually.  Suze Orman expects people to have tens of thousands of dollars in retirement by thirty five.  I remember her telling someone on her show once that they just need to make more money as if it was that easy.

Most young Americans spend their youth paying back debts and have no opportunity to save for retirement or a home.  I’ve heard financial advisers tell their audience how to get the best interest rates on a mortgage.  Well if you are in the market to buy a home or retire you’ve already crossed a certain income and savings threshold.  There isn’t much advice out there for people that need it most.

But I have some financial advice for those with modest incomes.  I’ve never made a great deal of money but I’ve managed to accomplish a lot with what I have.  I got a second Bachelors degree.  I’ve travelled out of the country twice.  I’ve taken my mom on a few nice vacations.  I’ve bought a few cars.  And it’s not a problem for me to treat a friend to dinner once in a while.  I’ve never really been broke.

I will start with the only financial advice I’ve ever heard on TV that anyone can follow.  Many years ago Oprah aired a series on financial responsibility.  She had a man on the show who simply said, “Pay yourself first”.  He said no matter what you make or what you owe take a bit of your earnings and save it for yourself.  It really does work and we can all do this.

Learn to cook.  I’m far from a culinary expert but I have some skills in the kitchen.  If you don’t know how don’t worry, if you can read and follow a recipe I promise you that you can cook.  Cooking saves you from eating out which is very expensive.  Even fast food and convenience items from the store is expensive.  Learning to cook simple meals will save you money and will probably improve your health.

Clip coupons.  People kind of laugh when they see the coupons in my purse but I have learned that there are certain items that you never, ever have to pay full price for.  The Sunday newspaper consistently has coupons for toothpaste, body wash, cosmetics, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper and paper towel.  Retailers like Walgreens and CVS have their own coupon programs which can be coupled with your newspaper coupons.  The savings over time are significant.

Coupon with a purpose.  Coupons can be a double edged sword.  I am on the coupon list for a few retailers that I frequent.  I’ve saved money at clothing stores because of the coupons they send me.  Some retailers send coupons regularly and I feel like I need to use the coupon or else I am wasting money.  But the truth is I could save %100 by not buying that item.  Coupons only save you money if you were going to buy the item anyway and you can apply savings.  If you are just buying something so you can use the coupon you are wasting your money.

Shop with a purpose.  I’m an impulse buyer and I rarely have regrets.  So my personal policy is not to window shop because I can’t.  I will always find something I like and I won’t want to walk away from it.  Even if I leave the store without whatever item caught my attention I’ll come back for it next week.  I stay out of stores unless I am prepared to buy something and have the discretionary income to do so.

Don’t waste money buying money.  ATMs often have fairly high fees to get cash from their machine.  Use your own banks ATM or get cash when you shop with your debit card at the grocery or drug store.  Avoid charging more on your credit card than what you can afford to pay in a month.  Paying the interest on a credit card is a real drag especially if you only make the minimum payments.

So there you have it.  There are a few of my thoughts on maintaining a budget and saving money.  You can make a little go far with a good game plan.  Good luck.  Go out there and prosper.