Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The service economy.

One of the seminal disconnects of our era is that we live in a service economy and service, nine times out of 10, sucks.

It's not unusual for me to go to a big box retailer and simply walk out with what I want without paying. Not because I'm a thief, but because I can't find anyone to take my money. If you can find a salesperson, they are likely surly and ill-informed. They are, except in rare cases, uniformly unhelpful.

Last Friday I was in a restaurant in LAX. It was a pizza place. It took 20 minutes to get a small pie. 10 minutes to find a waiter. At which point, I was late for my flight. So once again I left without paying. (The experience did bring to mind the old Borscht Belt joke that says when requesting a table at a restaurant, always ask for a table near a waiter.)

The reason behind the crappy service we all experience is that there is in our modern economy of chain stores and absentee ownership no connection between hard-work and getting ahead. Why bother hustling? You will make the same starvation-wage whether you bust your hump or not.

Unfortunately I've found that the same etiology is now pervasive today in agencies. There is no incentive, outside of getting your next job, to working hard.

Raises, if your salary isn't already "frozen," are seldom above the rate of inflation. Which means you get poorer each year you work. What's more there is evidence all around you that subverts what was once a correlation between productive work and personal gain. In other words, "the lame shall inherit the agency."

Essentially in chain store retailing as well as chain store marketing, we are a cost that must be controlled, on its way to being wrung out of the system.

It's only when our wages are sufficiently reduced that the revenue we generate can be most profitably harvested by our absentee lords.

1 comment:

Elias said...

You get more political with each one of these and I really like it.