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Author Topic: Slow service, slow shipping, ubiquitous 'Now Hiring' signs, etc.  (Read 234 times)
Silence Dogood
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« on: May 21, 2022, 12:37:27 PM »

It is not my intention to start a political discussion, so please do not take it there.  I am merely stating some observations I've made from my local area (Dallas/Fort Worth) and admitting my befuddlement over it all.  

We have local restaurants filled with empty tables, and yet customers will have to wait to be served due to lack of wait staff.  

I placed an Amazon order last weekend that has still not even shipped.  For years now Amazon would routinely get my orders to me the very same day.  

There is US Postal mail bin in my neighborhood that I've been using for years.  Every time I drop in an envelope I'll hear the "thud" of it hitting the bottom of the container since it gets emptied daily.  This week I went there on Monday, dropped an envelope and didn't hear the thud (i.e. the container was pretty full). I went by again Friday and could see the pile of mail inside the slit, so I know my Monday shipment was still sitting in the box Friday.  This has never happened in over 20 years of me living in this city.  I spent about 15 minutes trying to get hold of the local PO but no one ever picked up the phone.  

We have a local dollar store in the neighborhood that really comes in handy when we need a few small items.  They used to be open morning till evening.  For the last two weeks or so I've been going by there only to see a hand-written sign in the window stating that they closed at 2PM (due to lack of staff no doubt).  

I know that COVID happened, and that was supposed to magically explain anything and everything that went wrong in the world.  But all this stuff doesn't add up and I can't make sense of it.  Do people not need a job anymore?  Do students not want to wait tables for extra money?  Can the Postal Service not get people to handle the mail?  (This one in particular used to be a career-type job.  My wife's grandfather raised a family on a mail carrier's salary back in the 50s.)

Everywhere around here there are NOW HIRING or HELP WANTED signs in shop windows.  

Are things like this happening in your area?  
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B0WIE
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2022, 01:21:25 PM »

I'm very selective where I spend my money these days. Amazon lulled the public into trusting them, then they removed their human customer service, allowed countless scammers to sell refurbished and fake merchandise in their marketplace, and the "reviews" are worthless as the first thing you learn when becoming an Amazon seller is to seed your product with paid reviews. Not to mention, their pricing is rarely the best anymore. But, people have learned to just fill that Amazon cart without giving it a second thought. My friends and family are all this way.
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Silence Dogood
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2022, 01:35:55 PM »

I'm very selective where I spend my money these days. Amazon lulled the public into trusting them, then they removed their human customer service, allowed countless scammers to sell refurbished and fake merchandise in their marketplace, and the "reviews" are worthless as the first thing you learn when becoming an Amazon seller is to seed your product with paid reviews. Not to mention, their pricing is rarely the best anymore. But, people have learned to just fill that Amazon cart without giving it a second thought. My friends and family are all this way.
I, too, am selective where I spend these days.  I do as much locally as I can, but it isn't possible for all things.  Most of my Amazon purchases are things that I would have needed to go to Walmart for anyway, which amounts to the same thing: feeding the big box machine.  When we dine out, it's usually a small, locally-owned restaurant as well. 

I used to sell quite a bit on Amazon and they've made that very hard for the individual.  A couple of customers complaining (legit or not) can pretty much get you booted off, no questions asked and also no means of defending yourself or telling your side of the story. 
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2022, 01:38:39 PM »

No matter the issue here in Nova Scotia - blame Covid is the go-to!

It seems the working-from-home (WFH) epidemic has its costs and nobody seems to care - at least in my neck of the woods where our services industries IMO were always far inferior to what we would experience in the States.

I was last in the States in Nov. - Georgia and Carolinas - and still experienced great service. I surely hope the USA doesn't lose this too!
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2022, 02:09:43 PM »

It appears many individuals are currently able to live comfortably enough to avoid work.  I'm  not sure that is sustainable, and increasing inflation may bring that a lifestyle to a close for many.
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2022, 02:50:08 PM »

It's a very rare situation that I need same day or next day delivery from amazon. That is what I thought to be unsustainable. Of course I am not a member of the instant gratification generation.
I certainly have witnessed the over-stuffed mail boxes. Even right there at the post office. And they've had HELP WANTED signs up there for really quite a long time. Mail carriers around here earn about $41,000/year. Not too bad but you won't be stepping up to that McMansion on a salary like that, and contractors aren't building any starter homes around me.
From what I've been reading,  it's not so much a case of folks being able to live comfortably enough to avoid work. So many baby boomers have recently and are retiring now. And the restaurant industry has been impacted  mostly by their employees quitting to take better paying jobs. As was pointed out- all businesses seem to be hiring these days.

I do think inflation has topped out now.
Home mortgage rates were pegged at 3% as recently as last December 2021. Today, just 5 months later, the 30 year fixed rate is 5.25%. The result is a 43% increase in the cost of servicing that mortgage, year on year.
Walmart and Target stock price tumbled hard this week due to decline in sales and their latest projections. Amazon stock is way off November's high. The WFH buying spree to trick out the home office is definitely over now. So the Fed's increase in interest rates seems to be having the desired effect, not without the anticipated pain. And Fed Chair Powell has strongly hinted that another .5 increase is coming in the next month or so.
These are difficult times. But we've weathered difficult times in the past.

This too shall pass.
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Silence Dogood
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2022, 03:31:08 PM »

It's a very rare situation that I need same day or next day delivery from amazon. That is what I thought to be unsustainable. Of course I am not a member of the instant gratification generation.
I certainly have witnessed the over-stuffed mail boxes. Even right there at the post office. And they've had HELP WANTED signs up there for really quite a long time. Mail carriers around here earn about $41,000/year. Not too bad but you won't be stepping up to that McMansion on a salary like that, and contractors aren't building any starter homes around me.
From what I've been reading,  it's not so much a case of folks being able to live comfortably enough to avoid work. So many baby boomers have recently and are retiring now. And the restaurant industry has been impacted  mostly by their employees quitting to take better paying jobs. As was pointed out- all businesses seem to be hiring these days.

I do think inflation has topped out now.
Home mortgage rates were pegged at 3% as recently as last December 2021. Today, just 5 months later, the 30 year fixed rate is 5.25%. The result is a 43% increase in the cost of servicing that mortgage, year on year.
Walmart and Target stock price tumbled hard this week due to decline in sales and their latest projections. Amazon stock is way off November's high. The WFH buying spree to trick out the home office is definitely over now. So the Fed's increase in interest rates seems to be having the desired effect, not without the anticipated pain. And Fed Chair Powell has strongly hinted that another .5 increase is coming in the next month or so.
These are difficult times. But we've weathered difficult times in the past.

This too shall pass.

Great input here, and you've given me much to think about.  However, it is hard for me to understand how boomers have any effect on wait staff and lower-end jobs?  Boomers, as a demographic, haven't done these jobs in several decades.  It really just seems like a lot of younger people don't need or want to work for whatever reason.  I am Gen X and could hardly wait to get out and make my own way, because that meant having my own money and independence.  I do think that the younger generations generally have lower expectations than we had.  We wanted a good job with benefits, a house and family someday, etc, etc.  I remain befuddled. 
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Queequeg
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2022, 03:45:54 PM »

Great input here, and you've given me much to think about.  However, it is hard for me to understand how boomers have any effect on wait staff and lower-end jobs?  Boomers, as a demographic, haven't done these jobs in several decades.  It really just seems like a lot of younger people don't need or want to work for whatever reason.  I am Gen X and could hardly wait to get out and make my own way, because that meant having my own money and independence.  I do think that the younger generations generally have lower expectations than we had.  We wanted a good job with benefits, a house and family someday, etc, etc.  I remain befuddled. 
Yeah, I didn't mean to suggest that restaurant servers were retiring in large numbers.

But boomers are indeed retiring and the 'knock on' effect means those jobs become open and filled by Gen Xers and in turn, so on down the line.

Waiting tables is a difficult job, a (somewhat) dirty job, on your feet all day, dealing with the public who are not always considerate (to put it mildly) with few benefits and certainly not at the upper end of the pay scale. Is it any wonder that many people leave this line of work at their earliest opportunity? And today there are many opportunities.
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StringPicker6
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2022, 04:56:40 PM »

I completely understand the frustration.  I just want to say that I follow this forum to obsess about guitars and music. It’s one way I try to escape the harsh realities of today.     Maybe writing a song about restaurant service is a better way to vent? 
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2022, 09:54:08 PM »

Maybe I don't know all the facts, but 3-4 years ago entry level jobs were easy to fill with young people. Not so now. I work in the fast food industry in Southern Illinois, and we struggle to find employees. People have been retiring all along, but that hasn't affected businesses to this degree. The birth rate in the USA has been below replacement for years though. Is it catching up on our society?
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2022, 03:27:09 PM »

Get used to it. The powers that be, everywhere, have screwed up ... everything ... for your own good and the sake of the children, ya know.  
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2022, 03:40:14 PM »

It’s pretty tough to address most of those issues without bringing politics into the conversation.  It looks like even with the original “don’t go there”, and the forum rule #6 (   ), a few folks already have, or at least skirted that area.

Frustrating indeed at times. Hopefully it will correct itself.

Ed
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Silence Dogood
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2022, 05:53:11 PM »

I went by my usual Mail Drop bin yesterday and it is still full.  It’s not been picked up in a week.  I’ve got several eBay orders just sitting in there that should have been at their destinations by now. Insane. 
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2022, 09:04:15 PM »

It’s pretty tough to address most of those issues without bringing politics into the conversation.  It looks like even with the original “don’t go there”, and the forum rule #6 (   ), a few folks already have, or at least skirted that area.

Frustrating indeed at times. Hopefully it will correct itself.

Ed

Nothing to do with politics, at least, not in the normal sense. Politicians of every stripe and flavor are all behaving the same. Regardless of what you call it, it's about power. Who's got it and who doesn't. What they're willing to do to keep it or get it. Period.  
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Silence Dogood
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2022, 01:01:00 PM »

The slow service with my local PO seems to have gotten better, and my Amazon orders are showing up in a more timely manner again.  I'm still seeing help wanted signs everywhere, and the restaurant industry seems to be in trouble. 

Now inflation is getting insane, though.  A dollar isn't stretching nearly as far as it did a short time ago.  Our grocery bill has gotten insanely high, as have our water and power bills.  I'm working extra hours not to put money in the bank, but to pay the reg bills.  No vacationing for us this year either just because of the price of things. 
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Queequeg
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2022, 04:47:56 PM »

The slow service with my local PO seems to have gotten better, and my Amazon orders are showing up in a more timely manner again.  I'm still seeing help wanted signs everywhere, and the restaurant industry seems to be in trouble. 

Now inflation is getting insane, though.  A dollar isn't stretching nearly as far as it did a short time ago.  Our grocery bill has gotten insanely high, as have our water and power bills.  I'm working extra hours not to put money in the bank, but to pay the reg bills.  No vacationing for us this year either just because of the price of things. 
I'm old enough to recall the late 1970s when the inflation rate was much higher than it is today. Inflation rate (and mortgage rates, too) rose to 13%+ range.
Odds are (IMHO) the next BLS report will show something of a downturn in inflation.
There it is in writing so you can prove to me just how wrong I was on 07/24/2022.
And I promise to be contrite.
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