a reply to: DigginFoTroof
Here's the thing DTF,
Retail stores, especially large corporate entities, do not care about their customers, they do not care about their staff, and they do not care about
their produce, except in the following, limited fashion. They care whether their shareholders and executives can continue to make money, an
unnecessarily large amount of it, while spending as little as they physically can get away with. Your big, corporate giants do not feel a
responsibility toward their customers, either as a broad structure, or on the ground level.
There will be individual employees in customer service roles, who take their job seriously with regard to service, but even these people will,
eventually, be worn down by an uncaring management structure above them, abuse from customers that the individual employee did not deserve, and being
placed in positions where the company policy FORCES that employee to absorb the just indignation of customers with legitimate complaints. Eventually,
even the good retail employee, will find themselves suffering an existential crisis, where the demands of their masters put them at variance with the
needs of customers.
This is because the corporate structure is there for one reason, and for one reason only. To make huge amounts of money, for people who did very
little work to earn it. The managers do less than the floor staff, the execs do less than the managers, and the shareholders do even less than that,
and yet their pay is all backwards, relative to the amount of effort put in by each individual section of the structure. Of course, there is no amount
of money you could pay a person, which would be WORTH suffering the abuse of customers in such a venue, AND the terminal lack of empathy, compassion
or concern that your typical, massive corporate structures display towards either customers or employees. Over worked, underpaid staff, trained poorly
and rewarded in no way adequately for their forbearance.
These companies don't care if they annoy an individual. Their greed has gained them the easy route to power, power which gives them protection. The
trouble is, that the people you are dealing with are not in a position of power. They do not make the decisions which affect policy in the stores they
work in, or the chains of which they are a part. So there is no accountability there. The only thing that passes for accountability in such a
structure, is the measure applied to an executive who presides over a period of less growth than is expected or desired by the shareholder. The things
that happen to individual customers though, really do not matter in the grand scheme of things, because one or two disgruntled customers, or even one
or two thousand, make not a bit, not a speck of difference to the overarching success of the business.
They could have a huge number of sub par customer service situations, without it ever touching their bottom line in a manner that matters to the
people holding the purse strings.
Could a smaller company survive such a thing? Of course not. Could your family run convenience store survive that? No. If your employees are surly,
shifty eyed, rude and obnoxious, you simply cease using the store and tell your friends how dire your experience was, and word just gets around. The
bottom line suffers, and either things change and people stop getting crapped on by the business owner or their employees, or the business cannot
continue because it has alienated its entire userbase. But this is not the case with the large, corporate machines. The car companies, the oil and gas
companies, the power distribution companies, the internet service providers, all the big machines out there whose purpose is the transmutation of
product or service into profit, operate the way they do because they can, not because it is the only, or the best way to do it. They can get away with
operating this way because they established for themselves unassailable positions in the economy, where they both provide vital jobs, and keep the
people working those jobs under an oppressive scenario where their effort cannot buy them any mercy or respite from the crushing weight of the cost of
living, creating and maintaining a workforce beholden to the company on the one hand, but abused by it at the same time, exploited, demotivated, and
accepting of the hegemony, prepared to have a job that does not pay, work they continue to show up to, because starving to death slowly may be more
agonising, but still has a greater appeal than doing so quickly.
The decline in customer service standards is directly proportional to the amount of value the people working in roles relating thereto, can place in
the work they do and the results they see in their lives and their ease of dealing with cost of living, as a consequence of having done that work. A
person who works all the hours they are given, and still has to survive on MSG laden, low cost noodles just to pretend that they have put nutrients in
their bodies, does not have and should not have much motivation to continue to provide a service. A person whose work has not put in their hands the
means necessary to make their lives possible and handily so, has no reason to motivate themselves or raise their personal standard, and though it is
sad to say, finding someone who will work for peanuts but be better than a monkey, is, and SHOULD be rare.
Better pay and conditions, making sure employees are paid in a manner which adequately adds value to their efforts that they can actually see in
their pay packets and the ease with which they can cope with the bills every month, would be an effective way to return standards to an acceptable
level. But there really are no ways for things to improve without such a change. Things will certainly not improve when most employees at large
stores, are paid like crap and treated worse by the company they work for. No progress toward goals, where funding an existence or a life is
concerned, is a surefire way to create bad service at the ground level. An unsupported, economically depressed workforce is not healthy enough to
maintain high standards.