From Toronto — 03/22/2010
What on earth do some people expect?
I am writing this the day after 'ObamaCare' won its House vote, so maybe things will change in the 'benefits' department. And, in fairness, I am a resident of Canada, enjoying my government-paid medical insurance. But I find it ridiculous that one of the consistent complaints about RGIS is its lack of benefits. We're talking about a job a monkey could do. The management of any district has the task of scheduling enough monkeys to get an inventory finished in an allotted time. Each district has its core team of people, those workers who are available and reliable and who have developed some efficiency and alacrity with the scanners, and who don't constantly bitch and whine that they're treated like dogs or that they don't get health insurance or dental coverage or whatever other free service these 20-something slackers expect their bosses to provide.
If you had a real job, say a 9-to-5 gig at a bank or a business office or a government bureau, or a warehouse or grocery store shift, you could expect a modicum of a benefits package to accompany your hourly wage. But at RGIS we are all part-time workers. We are all transitional workers too, some of us finding something to do after getting laid off, some of us recent transplants with no other local work experience. In the Toronto district most of us are immigrants fresh off the boat with no other job offers. We should not expect a no-frills, low-rent company like RGIS to extend us a high, reliable salary, a company car and a retirement plan. Want to take a meal break every 5 hours? No ones stopping you; it's just that your time will be off-the-clock, and when you come back we will be finished with the count in one more hour. So we learn to work a 5.5 hour shift continuously without eating, or we learn to bring a snack bar and wolf it down during a 10-minute break on-the-clock. You're scanning T-shirts for 5 hours at minimum wage, you don't deserve a 3-martini lunch at the country club on expense account.
If you are a good worker and are reliable and accurate and fast, you will get scheduled more often. If you constantly whine and call the DM at home at night to ask for a ride or ask for more hours, and your APH is dismal, and you have a tendency to goof off and gab on the job and show up late or sometimes not at all, don't be surprised when your only work assignment next week is a 3-hour count 100 miles away that no one on the core team wants to do (they're busy with the bread-and-butter clients, the clients who want to see fast workers who don't gripe about how hard their store is to count, who ask 'how much longer is this gonna take?')
I'm no shill for this company. I came upon their job posting just like you did, I thought, "$hit, I can do that, and I'm totally unemployed, so anything will be better than nothing, even if the pay is crap and the hours are lousy." and I applied and got the job. Got the ugly shirt, bought the black pants, did a few counts and thought "so, my life has come to this, has it?" But as I got a bit more skilled and got to understand the basic economics I got working more and more. I get plenty of respect from my superiors.
After only 5 weeks I was supervising inventories, and not because I'm older (but my background helps), not because I'm white (but as an American immigrant I have no discernable language barrier), but mostly because my attitude. Yes, this is probably the worst job I've ever had in terms of its awful schedule, the driving, the physical toll it takes on my joints and feet, and of course the low pay. But until I get another job, this is all I have. And when I get another job, this will be the best second job I will have ever had.
If you go through life a snivelling, self-important, entitlement-expecting slacker who views his RGIS employment as a normal job, you will never be happy anywhere. Even in Canada, no one has a gun to your head making you work anywhere, no one stamps "Inventory Auditor" on your birth certificate.
Learn more about basic economics, supply-and-demand. Don't hide behind nanny-state labour laws that destroy efficiency. Read your Adam Smith. Read about the Lochner bakery decision. Listen to your grampa talk about work during the depression. Then, when you continue voluntarily to get up at 4 am, drive an hour and a half to a warehouse to count screws all day for 10 bucks an hour, don't come back in here and type about what a pain in the arse it is. Man up, shut up, or quit already.