Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Destroying Ourselves with a Smile!

Why Are We Policing Ourselves to Death?
By Jim Vail

I went to Sports Authority to buy badminton rackets and birdies for my son today. At the checkout counter the cashier asked me who served me and did this person do a good job.

"Did you just ask me who served me," I said, half incredulously. "I have no idea who served me. There were a few people and they all did a great job. But how would I know their names."

She kind of looked down toward her name tag as though I should have noted this as well and remembered the names to inform others in the store.

I couldn't believe it, and I almost flipped out. I said, so you want us the customers to get the names of your employees and tell you who is doing a good job, (and probably who is not if that were the case).

The other Sports Authority clerk turned to me and said it is simply to note which employees are doing a good job so they can get a bonus.

That is what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wanted for the teachers in our last contract - Merit Pay! Do a great job and earn a bonus!

And it's utterly ridiculous. 

What you are creating first and foremost, is a huge bureaucracy where you have bureaucrats everywhere watching their employees' every step. If you look at someone the wrong way, then write them up!

Isn't it enough to know your store is doing a good job when you see happy customers who do not complain. Do you really have to single out each customer - worker transaction? 

But it's even more insidious than that. You have us, the customers, helping to police the employees and keep tabs on everyone.

When I got Second City Teachers business cards made up at Office Depot, the girl who helped me design them did an excellent job and I thanked her. She then asked me if I could fill out a survey indicating my satisfaction. I said I would be more than pleased to do this. How many of us have been asked to do this and don't see a problem when we had a nice encounter in our quest to buy something?

But it hit me in the head at Sports Authority what we are actually engaging in. I am doing the dirty work of a corporation by taking my unpaid time to fill out a survey to indicate who is properly working in their business. I am being used to inform on workers, and create a data spread sheet to then use at employee evaluation conferences.

Think how much time we lose on the phone when we call one these companies, like the bank, or Sears or TJ Max, or whoever, and then have to go through all these computer generated questions and not talk to a live person to answer a simple question that was not covered in all those "menu options."

Corporations are running this country into the ground. And they are dictating the education reform policies of Race to the Top.

In the schools, they want the students to fill out surveys on how well their teachers did in the classroom. We all know how much that can be manipulated. 

I feel like those kids in the gangs shooting each other, with the police and society looking the other way. Let them kill each other - divide and conquer. 

In this case, we the consumers are lined up against the poor workers in a corporation.

And we're pulling the trigger and killing each other, doing their dirty work, with a smile!

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