Is the American work force in decline? Do entry level employees have adequate skills to service routine business needs? This article provides disappointing examples during the life of Grant Hall.
The truck needed about 3/4 of a tank of gas. I pay cash for gas. Trying to estimate the amount it would take to fill her up, I placed $80 on the counter, explained to the twenty-something lady that I would like to fill the tank, and could she extend credit to me for some minutes if the amount tendered was insufficient. A glazed look came over her eyes, she bit her lip ring, and I contemplated repeating myself, thought it best to conserve my energy, and returned to the gas pump. The funds were exhausted prior to the tank being filled to the brim. No more juice from the pump. I returned for my receipt and went down the road. Her inability to follow the conversation cost the business $10-$15 dollars based on the gas gauge. No problem. It’s a tiny amount. Gas has low margins. Not a big deal. Really? Repeat this communication problem with an employee over time and the loss becomes significant. Do the math.
A fist full of dollars and an entry level employee
Just before the trip, I took two checks to the check cashing store for cashing. Mr. Clerk is in his mid-twenties, dons a shirt and tie and looks capable enough. My card is swiped. He sees my history and we engage in a conversation. He asks about the business and I explain what we sell. Next, we speak about banks, banking and check cashing stores. He hears me say through the plate glass window that I have had two banks and an insurance company fail during my career. We speak about the losses, the time it takes to process an FDIC claim and what it is like to be paid pennies on the dollar when an insurance company goes bankrupt. He nods periodically. I’m shocked when he asks about my current status with a trust bank account-something to the effect of being overdrawn. It dawns on me he has not followed the drift of it all. I repeat the banking privacy advantage of check cashing stores over banks. His face goes blank. I don’t bother explaining further.
I experience these types of instances far too often. I ‘m tired of talking down, repeating myself and wondering if nods of the head mean one understands-really understands. I guess it doesn’t. It becomes more and more evident to me that the U.S.A. has lost so much ground. At last check, U.S.A. ranked 26 in educational achievement. I have pondered this and believe it to be true as I watch our labor force stumble and bumble around and fail to provide anything related to first world service to customers.
I could cite a dozen such examples as above, but I suddenly have a sick stomach at the thought of it all.