Harry and Sally

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Flack
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Harry and Sally

Post by Flack »

My friend's parents (Harry and Sally) ran their own business for about a decade until it closed last year. The two of them, both 70, have no retirement and thought they could survive on social security. They couldn't, and rejoined the work force at the beginning of this year. Both of them landed jobs at Costco -- he as a front door membership card checker, and she as one of those people who hands out free samples.

Then, Coronavirus. Costco shut down their free samples sometime in March. Instead of firing those employees -- most of whom are either senior citizens or disabled -- Costco offered them alternative positions they couldn't physically do like collecting carts or delivering curbside orders, forcing them to quit. So, Sally's unemployed again.

Major corporations are dealing with Coronavirus in multiple ways, but one you may not have noticed is a reduction in staff and consolidation of duties. Harry works two different positions, and each one, formerly a single job, has turned into multiple tasks. When working the entrance, Harry is also required to wipe down every single cart that's returned, and also stop anyone attempting to enter the store without a mask and offer them one. A lot of the maskless people are ones making a political statement, and Harry, age 70, is literally the store's first and only line of defense. When he's not working the entrance, he's working the exit. That job used to only consist of checking people's baskets when they leave (more on that in a moment), but now he must also help assist with the self-checkout area whenever the "help me" alert goes off.

Harry's job of checking outgoing carts originally wasn't too bad, but things have changed. The increase of self-checkout lanes, combined with difficult financial times, has led to a massive increase in theft. Harry must now search every outgoing container (tubs, boxes, bags) in search of stolen items. He said he catches about one per shift, but knows a lot more makes its way out the door. Last week while Harry was busy at the self-checkout, someone attempted to walk out the exit with a flatscreen television. When another employee attempted to stop them, they were sprayed in the face with pepper spray. Police are currently on the lookout for someone of average height and weight wearing a mask.

The two positions Harry works both have Plexiglas shields installed, although so much of his job takes place away from it that he worries about getting sick every day... which is why the rumors he's hearing of being laid off are a bit of a mixed blessing. Harry can't keep up with younger employees, and as more and more tasks are piled on him, the more likely it is that he'll be pushed aside.

I do not know what they will do once they are both unemployed. There aren't a lot of places hiring around here, especially not people in their 70s.

Covid-19 sucks.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Jizaboz
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Re: Harry and Sally

Post by Jizaboz »

Yes sir. And so does Walmart (and I assume Costco but I never walked in one)

There are probably multiple situations like this. Hopefully Harry and Sally with be alright.

Casual Observer
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Re: Harry and Sally

Post by Casual Observer »

If she was doing samples, Sally was not a Costco employee - she worked for Club Demonstration Services (CDS)

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Tdarcos
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Re: Harry and Sally

Post by Tdarcos »

This post points out so many things wrong here that I almost don't know where to begin. But notice, I said "almost."
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
My friend's parents (Harry and Sally) ran their own business for about a decade until it closed last year.
The whole idea of running a business is so that it supports you in your old age, and either you can save money to retire on or sell the business. If it's not doing that, you're just trading what might otherwise be a reasonable job at a company for a much harder job working for yourself.

There are other things I could say but I'll leave it at that.
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
The two of them, both 70, have no retirement and thought they could survive on social security. They couldn't,
I thought it was well-known by now that Social Security is not enough for most people to survive on absent drastic cuts in one's standard of living.

Social Security was supposed to be one "leg" of the "three-legged stool" of retirement support: Pension, savings, and Social Security. It was not intended to do the job alone. Well, "defined benefit" or DB pensions were eliminated starting in the '70s because they became too expensive for most companies to continue to offer, facing huge competition from low-wage countries. In its place was instituted the "defined contibution" or DC retirement plan, most commonly known as a 401(K) after the section of the tax code it was named for. But the company isn't required to contribute toward it, and the employee has to ask to subscribe. Which means employees get less money in their pay check. Then, easy access to credit means people spend too much of what they make and save too little, so they don't have savings.

It is trivially easy to know how much you'll receive from Social Security. They have a calculator on their website at https://socialsecurity.gov, you just plug in how much your income is, when you'll be retiring and it will tell you. I think the average is around $1100 a month. It doesn't take much figuring to determine how long you can live on that.
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
and rejoined the work force at the beginning of this year. Both of them landed jobs at Costco ...Then, Coronavirus... Instead of firing those employees ... Costco offered them alternative positions they couldn't physically do like collecting carts or delivering curbside orders, forcing them to quit.
And this is where they made a mistake, as I'll explain later.
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
So, Sally's unemployed again.
The correct answer is to go back to your boss and tell them you're not capable of doing the work at the speed they want, so either they can fire you for being unable to do the work or accept the best you can do. If you are fired because you can't do the increased work, you can collect unemployment. But not if you quit.
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
Last week while Harry was busy at the self-checkout, someone attempted to walk out the exit with a flatscreen television. When another employee attempted to stop them, they were sprayed in the face with pepper spray.
Which brings up another question. Why are they not having employees wear face shields? (If you had shop class in school you may remember them.) Masks are okay when you're staying 2 meters apart, but if you are regularly getting closer you should have eye protection. People spit when they talk. Very tiny droplets, but they could get to your eyes.

Since this incident of assault has happened, it's time to demand eye or face coverings in addition to masks, or if you have to spend $6 and buy a pair at Home Depot (if they're open).
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
The two positions Harry works both have Plexiglas shields installed, although so much of his job takes place away from it that he worries about getting sick every day... which is why
Which is why employees in close contact with customers should have face or eye covering in addition to masks and in addition to any workplace shielding.
Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:15 pm
Covid-19 sucks.
On this, you'll get no argument from me.
"And if it snows that stretch down south won't ever stand the strain."
- Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman

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