Published on: September 14, 2015
Responding to our recent reference to a Wall Street Journal
section looking at how millennials live their lives, MNB user Rebecca Ewing wrote:I have to say I hated the WSJ article and hope that the future they predict doesn't become a reality. I don't think they really understand my generation. Maybe we get married later, but many of us still want to get married or have a life partner. No benefits?? The benefits and health care policies are one of the biggest things I look at when choosing a job. I would never take a job without health care.
I do believe we will change the workplace, but definitely not in the way these experts thing. Personally, I want a job I can be consumed in, but have the freedom to work from home, or from 4am-10 then 2-4; and any hours I feel most productive. I hate hate hate working in a cubicle- I feel like a rat in a cage. (I know many people my age feel the same way.) The sad thing is I liked my last job, but sitting inside in a cubicle for 9 hours a day felt soul sucking and I honestly would have gotten more work done with more freedom. (I recently left my position for one with more flexibility.) I know we come off as entitled or arrogant, but we are perceived wrong. We want to work hard and are ambitious but we are questioning many of the rules that no one liked in the first place.
I'm sorry to go on a rant, I just think my generation definitely has its flaws, but can also accomplish many things, we are just misunderstood.
But another reader was a little more sympathetic:After growing up & going to college in a small town in southwest Virginia, immediately upon graduating I received an employment opportunity in Massachusetts. Less than a year later, an opportunity arose for me to take a job in Florida. I didn’t ever want to move back to the South again, but I decided that since I was 25 and had no reason not to give this a shot for a year or 2 that I would trade my snowboard for a surfboard and live by the beach for a bit. I’ll miss watching the leaves change in the Northeast, but they made planes for a reason.
This article really hits the nail on the head. Of course there are many in previous generations who have stayed single longer and moved around a lot, and many of my peers are indeed homeowners married with children. But the cookie-cutter vision of the American family who own a home with a white picket fence close to Grandma’s at 30 years old is not appealing or interesting to many Millennials.
It isn't just Millennials. I'm 60, and white picket fences isn't all that appealing or attractive to me, either.
Regarding Google Express making deals with Whole Foods and Costco that will expand their e-commerce footprint, MNB user Melissa Setser wrote:Can. Not. Wait. Til Google Express comes to my town…I think it’s inevitable, and B&M grocers need to get on board, or be left behind…I would pay dearly to have groceries waiting at my door (and have to think many others would, too). Love Amazon Prime Pantry, but I haven’t found the platform to be terribly user friendly. Regardless, Prime Pantry (including the box fee) was, on average, 10% cheaper than my local grocery store. Can’t beat that, folks.
On the subject of increased wages for retail employees, one MNB user wrote:Having been in the trenches, store manager and district manager, for both
Wal-Mart and Dollar General, I know first-hand what a pay raise does for
It has always boggled my mind how short-sighted and narrow-minded higher-ups
seem to be, when it comes to wages.
As Mr. Sam Walton always said, "Give a person responsibility, and as long as they handle it...give them more". He did not say "and pay them more for the extra" but it was always implied. I was a stockman and rose to a buyer position because of his belief. How dedicated, motivated, and happy do you think I was?! Extremely!!
I have proven in store after store, PAY for the person you WANT...whatever the position, not the person you HAVE, and then train them UP. If they cannot handle it, deal with them accordingly. In my experience you will have a very happy, determined and LOYAL employee. Indirectly, you lower your shrink, employee turnover, while increasing productivity and morale, ultimately increasing your PROFIT! So WHAT if your wage line goes up a little!?
MNB user Jim DeLuca had some thoughts on the subject of the cost of employee turnover:I am always suspicious of the cost of turning over a retail frontline employee. I have worked retail grocery on and off for 40 years with turnover varying from 20% to 50% a year. When I analyze my costs it is nowhere near $5000 per employee. I advertise on my doors, on Craigslist, on Facebook and to my email list. Basically no cost. I interview maybe 4 or 5 candidates, some twice; maybe staff time for that of about 40 hours max; more likely 20 hours: cost of about $600 tops. Training for most of my frontline positions: stocking clerk or cashier, is 4 intense days to get up to 80% ready and then then next 30 days to get pretty decent at the work and to get the culture. Four days of double pay is about maybe $400. Loss of effectiveness for the next month; maybe 32 hours lost or about $500 additional.
So my count shows a cost of $1500 maximum; still not cheap though. Some of that interview time is not really extra cost since the staff is already being paid to be there. I am not sure how to measure the loss of a great employee and the effect that has on coworkers and shoppers. Probably could cause some ripple effect that might lose sales or productivity too. While that might effect my small retail store, I do not see how that would effect a Wal-Mart.
We had a piece that mentioned Macy's increased focus on e-commerce, which prompted one MNB user to write:It was interesting to see this news blurb this morning since I just had an ‘experience’ with one of our local bricks and mortar Macy stores this past weekend. In general, the department store model, in my opinion, needs a big overhaul in order to remain relevant. In in addition to being woefully understaffed, ‘my’ Macy’s continues to winnow down product lines and choices and putting departments in awful areas. The lingerie and sleepwear is charmingly merchandised at an seldom used entrance door next to mattresses. It looks like a bargain basement and forget it if you need help. Plus sizes and maternity are merchandised next to suitcases and blenders like an afterthought in a bleak, poorly lit space.
It’s an awful shopping experience. Then, if you do manage to find something (and the sales person is ‘doing their job’) you're forced to respond to numerous sales pitches that revolve around Macy’s selling my shopping info to outside parties (their new Plenti program is one) and self-scroll through card holder deals to guess at what would save me the most money, so the check out experience takes 10 minutes. And, oh yes, I would LOVE to give you my cell number for push notifications...said no one ever. And let’s not forget feeling shamed for not participating in their charitable giving program - which costs $25 (it’s for GREAT causes though) and tracks your purchases for a year so you’re ‘rewarded’ for shopping. What the actual hell?
I went home and shopped online - at Zappos and Nordstrom.
Finally, commenting on a story about McDonald's, I cracked wise on one particular subject:"The company said in its statement that animal welfare is a top priority for the company. I'd prefer that McDonald's think more about human welfare and make a better hamburger..."
Which led one MNB user to write:Seriously? I can't believe you just wrote that. Humans have a choice in whether to consume McDonald's products. Animals don't have any choice regarding their living conditions. If we're going to eat them the least we could do is treat them humanely while they are alive and sacrifice them as humanely as possible when their time comes. Do you have pets? Probably not. That would explain this careless comment. $10 says you get a lot of heat on this one.
Actually, this is the only comment I got ... maybe because most folks realized that I was kidding, that it was part of my ongoing and probably wearying anti-McDonald's schtick.
We have two dogs. Love them both. The oldest, a yellow lab called Buffett, has her large and aging body wrapped around my feet even as I write this, just as she does pretty much every morning. (The other lab, Parker, probably is in the other room scavenging for a cookie.)
Second ... regarding McDonald's. yesterday, our car broke down on the Bruckner Expressway while we were driving home from New York City. Pulled into a parking lot and called for assistance. There happened to be a McDonald's there ... and so, while we waited, we indulged.
I have to tell you, the new Buttermilk Chicken sandwich doesn't suck. It probably is awful from a nutrition perspective, but I ate it, along with some fries, and I liked it. (And I don't even hate myself for it.)