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Author Topic: Joe Williams works retail
D.W.
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"Work ethic" manifests somewhere beyond $10 per scheduled hour. [Wink] Pay your mercenaries enough that they do more good than harm or motivate your employees such that they see rewards for the success of the business.

All this talk of loyalty is misplaced more often than not. What wages are more often constitute a bet against the apathy and desperation of the employee or the scarcity of similar jobs in the surrounding area. In that case you rely on the inconvenience (or loss involved) in moving to a new location with better prospects.

Loyalty exists when you see profit sharing. That’s almost unheard of on the low end of the wage scale.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
G3: How exactly are you justifying the employers demand that the employee work for the company and not be paid for that work?

The best you've provided is vague hand waving at "work ethic" and "only 10 minutes". Many of us have provided clear counterarguments to that point, which you haven't addressed. You've simply restated your original position again.

That's not a conversation.

How exactly are you coming to the idea that I think people should not get paid for their work? I am simply pointing out that showing up for work and not being ready to start is not good enough. I am also pointing out that when you're at work for 6-8 hours, you do not work 100% of the time. For some reason you seem to take the position that it's grossly unfair to think you should be ready to start working at the appropriate time but if you take a personal call or shoot the breeze with co-workers you should still get paid.

You can't have it your way only, as Joe Williams failed to learn it seems.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
"Work ethic" manifests somewhere beyond $10 per scheduled hour. [Wink]

I disagree. You either have it or you don't. At some point, you decide to give it 100% or you give it less than your best regardless of pay scale. Plenty of slackers at $100/hour. If someone has no work ethic at $10, I doubt their character improves much at $20 or $50.
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Seriati
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There's a thing that employees do to get even with employers that expect them to work before and after shifts on an untimed basis, it's called the class action law suit. It's pretty much open and shut case.

Managers at these stores often get hammered for allowing workers to work unclocked, of course they also get hammered if they allow overtime. It's not uncommon for senior manager's to audit secondary records, like entry logs, or computer log ins/outs to see if they have a problem. Not saying it always works like that, reality certainly diverges, but any employer is taking a massive chance in letting something like this become an institional policy.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
"Work ethic" manifests somewhere beyond $10 per scheduled hour. [Wink]

I disagree. You either have it or you don't. At some point, you decide to give it 100% or you give it less than your best regardless of pay scale. Plenty of slackers at $100/hour. If someone has no work ethic at $10, I doubt their character improves much at $20 or $50.
So in G3's opinion, quitting a $10/hr job in order to go to a $20/hr job that's more enjoyable, demonstrates lack of work ethics as well as "loyalty"?
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DonaldD
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boot up lawsuit California

boot up lawsuit - Xerox

overtime hours lawsuit - Scotiabank, Ontario

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Funean
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I agree with G3.

[Exploding]

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NobleHunter
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quote:
How exactly are you coming to the idea that I think people should not get paid for their work? I am simply pointing out that showing up for work and not being ready to start is not good enough. I am also pointing out that when you're at work for 6-8 hours, you do not work 100% of the time. For some reason you seem to take the position that it's grossly unfair to think you should be ready to start working at the appropriate time but if you take a personal call or shoot the breeze with co-workers you should still get paid.
I got two degrees to get a job where I don't need to be ready to work at exactly 9:00:00. At the call center, spending too long between call was to risk getting fired, so it was kinda hard to take personal calls or shoot the breeze on company time.

The Xerox suit is pretty much my experience.

I wouldn't have a problem if was just a matter of showing up for work and being ready to start. It was the requirement to start before work that I object to.

Seriati, it becomes less of a risk if you confine the "responsibility" to front-line management and their minions. If it becomes embarrassing, you publicly restate the rules about unpaid work/overtime, fire the store manager and keep going. All the people involved are extremely replaceable. It also helps if you keep an eye out for problem employees and fire them sooner rather than later.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
I agree with G3.

[Exploding]

Which part, Funean? Not the part where large corporations have contracts with certain employees to pay them for the hours worked, yet then not pay those same workers for the time the company requires them to be present at the place of work, certainly..?
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JoshuaD
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quote:
quote:
JoshuaD: G3: How exactly are you justifying the employers demand that the employee work for the company and not be paid for that work?

The best you've provided is vague hand waving at "work ethic" and "only 10 minutes". Many of us have provided clear counterarguments to that point, which you haven't addressed. You've simply restated your original position again.

That's not a conversation.

G3:How exactly are you coming to the idea that I think people should not get paid for their work?
You have said that they should be at an hourly job 10-15 minutes early regularly, do work related stuff like turning on computers, and not be paid for that time.

This is doing work and not being paid for it.

quote:
G3: I am simply pointing out that showing up for work and not being ready to start is not good enough. I am also pointing out that when you're at work for 6-8 hours, you do not work 100% of the time. For some reason you seem to take the position that it's grossly unfair to think you should be ready to start working at the appropriate time but if you take a personal call or shoot the breeze with co-workers you should still get paid.

You can't have it your way only, as Joe Williams failed to learn it seems.

I have already responded to these points. It appears you read what I wrote, but your post here isn't responsive to what I said. Again, you're just restating what you said in the first place.

I understand what you believe, and I would like to have a conversation about it. In order for that to happen, we need to respond to the specific things the other has said, not just continually repeat our base positions. I believe I have done that (see my posts on the previous page). Now it's your turn.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Funean: I agree with G3.
As always, I'd be interested to read your thoughts.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
quote:
JoshuaD: G3: How exactly are you justifying the employers demand that the employee work for the company and not be paid for that work?

The best you've provided is vague hand waving at "work ethic" and "only 10 minutes". Many of us have provided clear counterarguments to that point, which you haven't addressed. You've simply restated your original position again.

That's not a conversation.

G3:How exactly are you coming to the idea that I think people should not get paid for their work?
You have said that they should be at an hourly job 10-15 minutes early regularly, do work related stuff like turning on computers, and not be paid for that time.

This is doing work and not being paid for it.

quote:
G3: I am simply pointing out that showing up for work and not being ready to start is not good enough. I am also pointing out that when you're at work for 6-8 hours, you do not work 100% of the time. For some reason you seem to take the position that it's grossly unfair to think you should be ready to start working at the appropriate time but if you take a personal call or shoot the breeze with co-workers you should still get paid.

You can't have it your way only, as Joe Williams failed to learn it seems.

I have already responded to these points. It appears you read what I wrote, but your post here isn't responsive to what I said. Again, you're just restating what you said in the first place.

I understand what you believe, and I would like to have a conversation about it. In order for that to happen, we need to respond to the specific things the other has said, not just continually repeat our base positions. I believe I have done that (see my posts on the previous page). Now it's your turn.

Well, I don't believe turning on your computer is actual work. I mean, really, that's a actual definition of work here? Simply pushing buttons being work was something lampooned in The Jetsons - he was a "digital index operator" and "complained of his heavy work load- having to push a button for one hour, two days a week". That's what this sounds like.

Maybe that's the rub here, you believe pressing a button to turn your computer on is work and I don't. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect you to be ready to do what you're paid to do on time. You can make whatever "points" you want but the bottom line will always be that you should be at work on time and ready to start.

The same guys getting their shorts in a twist over coming in a paltry 5-10 minutes early to get ready are shutting it all down at 4:50 in order to be hitting the parking lot at 5:00 sharp - and we all know that. Those that want to micromangae their time are typically the same guys that get upset when the company returns the favor.

The kind of employee that does this, and there are many, will not see all that much success. They will always be in dead end jobs because they're dead end employees.

[ March 13, 2014, 10:04 AM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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D.W.
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Some are some aren't. If that 15 min is critical for me to be able to do my job then I should get paid for it. If it's me getting coffee, checking my personal email and finding the radio station I want to listen to, I shouldn't.

Booting up a machine may not be "work" but it is part of the job. Working with some intensive computer applications I've had days where my PC was saving, or regenerating or processing probably a full 15-20% of my day. That doesn't require me to do any "work" while I watch that progress bar. However I'm paid to be there waiting to keep the whole process going as soon as that waiting is over. I got paid for that.

We aren't always paid for effort or labor in the computer age. Some times you are paid to babysit the machines so that you CAN do work on them.

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NobleHunter
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No shutting down early on that job. We had to stay on the phones until 5:00, and couldn't end the call if it went later than the end of shift. Bad luck meant we could be stuck for a long time past when we were supposed to leave. Fortunately, we were still paid for the time past the end of our shift.

I don't have a problem with "it's a good idea to be early for your shift." I have a problem with if you aren't 10 minutes early, you're late. No matter what I have to be doing for those 10 mintues. If I have to be there: **** you, pay me.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Seriati, it becomes less of a risk if you confine the "responsibility" to front-line management and their minions. If it becomes embarrassing, you publicly restate the rules about unpaid work/overtime, fire the store manager and keep going. All the people involved are extremely replaceable. It also helps if you keep an eye out for problem employees and fire them sooner rather than later.

Believe me I understand that, but I've seen the issue more often from the other side. Where the company is looking at a class action suit, and how to protect itself. No amount of replacing low level managers gets you out of the damages claim that have already occurred. It's deemed a failure to have effective policies. Even corrective actions don't help you if they're not sincere.
quote:
Originally posted by G3
Well, I don't believe turning on your computer is actual work. I mean, really, that's a actual definition of work here? Simply pushing buttons being work was something lampooned in The Jetsons - he was a "digital index operator" and "complained of his heavy work load- having to push a button for one hour, two days a week". That's what this sounds like.

It may be what it sounds like, but I don't think it really is. With security and the programs that may need to be loaded it may take quite a while to get on. Why do you see being actively involved in mandatory set up as somehow less "work" than being actively involved in pulling up a client file for the call? Or waiting while the client tests something and reports back to you? Neither of which is particularly like work either. The key is whether it provides a benefit to your employer, and whether they are controlling your time and effort in getting that benefit. There's absolutely no reason, log in couldn't start at 9, other than the employer deems a benefit from having calls start at 9. They should compensate for that benefit.

I mean, from one of the examples in the original text, there is absolutely no reason that spending 45 minutes taking out the trash should not have been on the clock. The manager could have done it himself if didn't want to pay overtime. If you can't walk in or out a couple minutes before or after your shift and be effective, then there is very likely something that should be compensated going on.

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ScottF
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Hey guys, new to post here but long time lurker. I have to say I agree with G3 100% here.
Successful employees have an ownership mentality. That's not to say that if the actual ownership doesn't appreciate/recognize/reward your efforts you should just mindlessly keep plugging away.

But as someone who started at $4/hr in fast food years ago and now having a fairly large # of employees under me, I always look for people who are willing to do more than they're being paid to do. Then I pay them more. Or they leave because they find a level-up opportunity. That's the sequence that it needs to occur.

Should you technically get paid for arriving early and setting up, etc.? Probably, but the real world works on contribution value in a broader sense than minute by minute. I may not pay someone for showing up 30 minutes early every day, but I'm damn sure going to notice and realize he's adding more value than others. That's just good management.

Quickest way to achieve mediocrity is to make sure you report exactly on time, and leave precisely when the whistle blows.

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stilesbn
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Scott, you might reward the people who do that but do you expect and force all your employees to show up 30 mins early to start work unpaid? If all your employees show up for work early because you force them to on penalty of firing how do you distinguish those who have gumption over those who are coming because you threatened to fire them?

If an employee wants to show up early to make a good impression, that's their choice. If the expectation is that they work for you unpaid, that's bad management.

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G3
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Pulled together some stuff ...

Forbes has it, If You're On Time, You're Late:
quote:
One of my first bosses told me, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”
The 15 minute plan:
quote:
While being on time and keeping your meetings is necessary, being 15 minutes early can be a gold mine.
And finally, Lombardi:
quote:
According to former Green Bay Packer great, Paul Hourning, there were two "times" when playing for coach Vince Lombardi.

Regular time versus "Lombardi Time."

Regular time was what most people followed.

Lombardi Time was always 15 minutes earlier.

And it was adhered to by winners.

If a Packer meeting was scheduled to begin at 8:00am, astute players knew to arrive and be ready to go at 7:45am.

Every time.

Winners show up early, ready to go.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Scott, you might reward the people who do that but do you expect and force all your employees to show up 30 mins early to start work unpaid? If all your employees show up for work early because you force them to on penalty of firing how do you distinguish those who have gumption over those who are coming because you threatened to fire them?

If an employee wants to show up early to make a good impression, that's their choice. If the expectation is that they work for you unpaid, that's bad management.

No, I wouldn't force them to do it unpaid. But I would set expectations before I hire them that you need to be there 10 minutes (e.g.) before start time to set up. If they ask about being paid for that "setup time" I would just have them take an extra 5 minutes during break or whatever to offset.

Of course the second I'm having a conversation about 5 minutes here or 5 minutes there, my radar goes off and I've already made an assessment about the category of performer I have in front of me.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
I mean, from one of the examples in the original text, there is absolutely no reason that spending 45 minutes taking out the trash should not have been on the clock.

I did not get the impression that was unpaid - it was just after then end of his scheduled 6 hour shift. It sounded like the 6 was up and Joe wanted to leave after a ultra long 6 hour work day and didn't like getting hooked into another 45 minutes of garbage hauling without a little time and a half. From the article:
quote:
It was all part of the job, done after your shift has ended but without overtime pay.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
I'm somewhat surprised that there are companies that base their pay off of what is on the schedule...
It doesn't seem terribly surprising to me. As to why they aren't up front about this "requirement" is they know it's not an acceptable practice. If you balk, they will find a reason things don't work out with you and try to roll the dice on the next employee. When training isn't a huge investment for the company they are like the casinos. The house always wins.
I used to have a job that required me to show up on time, and expected me to be a bit early. But say I was scheduled to work at 10 but arrived at 9:48, I could sign in at 9:50 and could get paid to sit in the break room for the next ten minutes.

It was still an awful job (I walked out when they told me to roll down my shirt sleeves, I'M NOT A SLAVE!)

[ March 13, 2014, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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ScottF
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Just to add: I'm not saying you're a lousy individual if you have no interest in coming in early, or like to keep track of every 5-10 minutes worked. You're just not the kind of person that I will place priority on when looking at raises or advancement. Which I'm sure is fine with some folks.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Scott, you might reward the people who do that but do you expect and force all your employees to show up 30 mins early to start work unpaid? If all your employees show up for work early because you force them to on penalty of firing how do you distinguish those who have gumption over those who are coming because you threatened to fire them?

If an employee wants to show up early to make a good impression, that's their choice. If the expectation is that they work for you unpaid, that's bad management.

We're seeing a little inflation here - 10 minutes has turned to 30.

If someone in my employ showed up just in the nick of time every day, no, I wouldn't fire him or do anything like that. But when it comes time for raises and promotions, do you think that guy is going to be on the list?

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
... the real world works on contribution value in a broader sense than minute by minute

QFT.
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scifibum
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Okay, we're talking about two different things.

1. How to get ahead.

2. Whether it's ethical or legal for an employer to expect hourly employees to do part of their work outside the hours they are actually paid.

The problem is that employers tend to mix up the two.

ScottF, I sure hope you aren't allowing hourly people to work off the clock and then making sure that your employees know that this is how to get ahead. That's not right. It's different if you let them go on the clock early.

It can be perfectly rational for employees to try to play this game to get ahead, but not all of them get the supposed benefit from it, and just because it's rational from the employee's perspective doesn't make it ethical (or even legal) from the employer's perspective to ask for it.

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stilesbn
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I we're changing the expectation here. We've gone from "A company should expect an employee to show up 10 mins early and work unpaid" to "A manager is more likely to consider someone who comes in early for raises/promotions".

Do you see the difference?

[Edited for clarity]

[ March 13, 2014, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: stilesbn ]

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NobleHunter
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The call centre, contribution started with being on the phone. Contractually, all value was minute by minute as far as the customer was concerned.

Also, there's a big difference between being rewarded for showing up early and being penalized for showing up on time. I've no problem with that it being a good idea to show up early for work or to run a 5-10 minute a day surplus over official working hours.

It's completely different to say that you will be penalized and risk being fired if you aren't 10 minutes early every day, no exceptions.

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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Okay, we're talking about two different things.

1. How to get ahead.

2. Whether it's ethical or legal for an employer to expect hourly employees to do part of their work outside the hours they are actually paid.

The problem is that employers tend to mix up the two.

ScottF, I sure hope you aren't allowing hourly people to work off the clock and then making sure that your employees know that this is how to get ahead. That's not right. It's different if you let them go on the clock early.

It can be perfectly rational for employees to try to play this game to get ahead, but not all of them get the supposed benefit from it, and just because it's rational from the employee's perspective doesn't make it ethical (or even legal) from the employer's perspective to ask for it.

I agree we're talking about two different things. Regarding hourly clock-in, all of my employees are salaried, so I'm speaking from previous situations not current.

But if I *was* managing hourly employees, I would never set expectations that A=B. What I *would* do is observe behaviours and make determinations as to who contributes at the highest levels when it comes time to promote.

BTW, contribution is really not just about time - in fact it has almost nothing to do with time, it's about value. You can show up 30 minutes early every day and still be a low level performer. Just as you can show up 5 minutes before start time and kick butt all day.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
"Work ethic" manifests somewhere beyond $10 per scheduled hour. [Wink]

I disagree. You either have it or you don't. At some point, you decide to give it 100% or you give it less than your best regardless of pay scale. Plenty of slackers at $100/hour. If someone has no work ethic at $10, I doubt their character improves much at $20 or $50.
You've got it a bit upside down there- if you're only offering $10/ hour, then you're simply not going to be able to attract and buy people with the same level of work ethic as employers that are willing to pay a bit more for quality are going to be able to pull in- you're only going to get the employees that the better grade employers have already passed over.
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ScottF
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I think you may be conflating work ethic with experience level when it comes to compensation. I agree you're not going to attract someone who's experience can demand $20/hr with a $10/hr position.

But I think the broader point was that work ethic isn't necessarily affected by level of compensation. In fact there are studies that show increasing comp. helps with employee retention, but has no long term affects on motivation or productivity.

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Pete at Home
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" I think you may be conflating work ethic with experience level"

Alignment must never be conflated.with experience level. Question is, do you hire a ninth level neutral evil fry cook, or a second levelnlawful good fry Cook?

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Wayward Son
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I'd take the Good fry cook any day. Evil just doesn't taste as Good. [Wink]
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noel c.
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I have seen workplace expectations evolve to insist on punctuality... with a +\- tolerance for minute accounting. Large companies with a strongly unionized workforce incubated the mindset many years ago. My experience of this was with the UAW while working for McDonnell Douglas. It is part of the now pervasive litigation-adverse work ethic.

If common sense prevailed, G3's formula would be the rule, not the exception.

It is not about "loyality", but integrity. Employers interpret this behavior in an employee as "value added". Eventually the character attribute shows up in work habits regardless of policies (which frequently go out the window in a result oriented workplace).

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Pete at Home
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Noel, the phrase LOYALTY only arose in the context of the worker finding a better job and giving notice. Do you see THAT as an integrity issue?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
I agree with G3.

[Exploding]

Don't be so hard on youself. You could simply say that you agree with what G3 said (ideally with specifics). To say that you actually agree with G3 would imply your claim that G3 personally agrees with what G3 said. That's a motive inference that he could report you for. [Smile]
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
I'd take the Good fry cook any day. Evil just doesn't taste as Good. [Wink]

Then explain why chocolate is fattening?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I think you may be conflating work ethic with experience level when it comes to compensation. I agree you're not going to attract someone who's experience can demand $20/hr with a $10/hr position.

Experience is an additional layer on top of it, but even at the entry level, offering lower pay sends an explicit signal that you care less about hiring someone who wants to work than higher pay.

quote:
But I think the broader point was that work ethic isn't necessarily affected by level of compensation. In fact there are studies that show increasing comp. helps with employee retention, but has no long term affects on motivation or productivity.
That's not true at all- in fact, real world analysis shows exactly the opposite:

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2004-04-11/commentary-the-costco-way

It's not 100% in wages, to be certain, by wages are an essential first step in a company making the kind of investment in its workforce that it takes to merit high levels of productivity from its workers.

quote:
We found that by compensating employees generously to motivate and retain good workers, one-fifth of whom are unionized, Costco gets lower turnover and higher productivity. Combined with a smart business strategy that sells a mix of higher-margin products to more affluent customers, Costco actually keeps its labor costs lower than Wal-Mart's as a percentage of sales, and its 68,000 hourly workers in the U.S. sell more per square foot. Put another way, the 102,000 Sam's employees in the U.S. generated some $35 billion in sales last year, while Costco did $34 billion with one-third fewer employees.

Bottom line: Costco pulled in $13,647 in U.S. operating profit per hourly employee last year, vs. $11,039 at Sam's. Over the past five years, Costco's operating income grew at an average of 10.1% annually, slightly besting Sam's 9.8%. Most of Wall Street doesn't see the broader picture, though, and only focuses on the up-front savings Costco would gain if it paid workers less. But a few analysts concede that Costco suffers from the Street's bias toward the low-wage model. "Costco deserves a little more credit than it has been getting lately, [since] it's one of the most productive companies in the industry," says Citigroup/Smith Barney retail analyst Deborah Weinswig.


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noel c.
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Pete,

"Noel, the phrase LOYALTY only arose in the context of the worker finding a better job and giving notice. Do you see THAT as an integrity issue?"...

This is what I was responding to. :

"Loyalty exists when you see profit sharing. That’s almost unheard of on the low end of the wage scale."...

That is not "loyalty", it is invested self-interest. Giving two-week notice is not loyalty either, it is common decency.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Then explain why chocolate is fattening?
Because chocolate doesn't taste Good. It is an Evil taste, one that mimics such Evil seductions like sex and ice cream. [Eek!] It is a taste that any Good person would recognize as Evil, but only because of the Evil in ourselves are we fooled into thinking it is Good.

Fortunately, my stomach is sensitive to this Evil, along with others like coffee, tea, Coke, Pepsi, mocha ice cream and the insidious Sunkist Orange soda.* (Don't even get me started about Mountain Dew. [Mad] ) No longer am I drawn to the seductive wiles of Toblerone, Dove bars, dipped strawberries, Lindt chocolate truffles, or the legendary Satori Dark Chocolate with Extra Cream (which tastes like a supercharged milk chocolate [Big Grin] ). My stomach spews out such vile "goodness," recognizing the deceit that it truly is.

And those rumors that I was once a chocolate lover are lies, all lies! I was never a chocolate lover!

We were just very good friends. [Wink] [Smile]


*Sunkist Orange soda happens to have caffine, something I verfied through an inadvertant double-blind experiment.

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D.W.
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quote:
"Loyalty exists when you see profit sharing. That’s almost unheard of on the low end of the wage scale."...

That is not "loyalty", it is invested self-interest.

I, and many others, take pride in a job well done. That is also NOT loyalty. As someone stated earlier, loyalty is a two way street. You are loyal to your family and friends. To be loyal to your employeer they must be loyal to you. I've had one boss ever who I think earned that.
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