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Kevin Wolf

"Who is she anyway?  Peon.  Working a shit job at shit wages?  She was worth anything to anybody she'd have a real job, she'd work in an office, she'd be like me."

That's the crux. I mean, I'm with you, Lance, on the shit jobs and the unreasonable expectations for shit wages, and the enrichment of the owners, stockholders, etc., on the backs of replacable workers. I get that.

For me, it's the lack of empathy that allows all the rest - that's where I get lost. "Who are THEY anyway?"

mac macgillicuddy

I worked my way through part of college at a convenience store. It was called "Convenient." Someone stayed up late thinking up that name.

The store had the same policy. No more than -- back then it was $50 -- in the till at any one time. And we WERE supposed to stop everything and clean out the drawer -- no matter how crowded it was. So we did. We told people to wait a minute, and they waited, while we took out wads of 10s and 20s and brandished them around, and then carried them across the store to the office, where the safe was.

They had some other interesting policies, too. Like the shift ends at midnight. The store closes at midnight, too. So you had to close the store while it was still open, unless you didn't mind working for free. Most people did work for free, because closing a store while it's open is a pretty big deal to people who want to shop there.

It became an interesting game every night. Close what parts of the store you can while people are still shopping - restock the milk shelves around 10; deli could usually be put away safely by 11 p.m.; wash the floors at about 11:30 and put papers down where any late-nighters might walk (usually the the milk cooler that had just been restocked). At 11:55, pick up the papers, pull the till and carry it to the safe; street-side sign gets turned off so we could play possum. And then, at midnight, grab the papers off the floor, tear off the smock and head for the door.

Oops, don't forget the bag with the money in it that you have to walk to the bank on your way home.


Aldi has this same policy. Has fired employees for exactly the situation you describe, Lance. Mike Royko wrote about it; glad you're doing his job, because it has to be done.

Anne Laurie

Cumberland Farms is infamous for pulling stunts like this, enough so that the Boston papers wrote up a consumer boycott some 10 years ago. I've been able to honor that boycott ever since, but that's more luck than hard work. At the time the corporate ownership were major contributors to the Republican Party, something I suspect hasn't changed in the interim either.

Exiled in NJ

I have this hazy memory of Knight Ridder's Philadelphia outpost, before it became interested in only Community journalism, doing a report of the Cumberland Farm plantations in South Jersey.

As much as I loved Kinderhook/Valatie, I will not miss the Cumberland place on Route 9 which had gas pumps that took credit cards. That was the only feature that kept me coming back; I'd never go into that store. Company attitudes carried over to the poor flunkies who worked there.

Even though I could not pay at the pump at Stewarts, I'd go there anyday. When I returned to the southlands, I almost kissed the ground at the local WAWA.


Cumberland Farms is a little too confident that none of their employees are going to fight back. How dare they!

It isn't always possible to stash the cash when the drawer is too full. I worked at an interstate truck stop, and I did my very best to get my cash to the safe lest there by trouble. But the second I paused at a busy time, some whiny, pampered tourists picking up smokes would bitch and moan, as if they couldn't bear to wait three minutes, and it was made quite clear to us that the customer is always right. In that case, you let the drawer get full to keep the customer from calling the manager.

The customer is always right. But if a robber takes what's in your drawer, the customer certainly isn't to blame. According to the idiots running the company, you are.


C'mon now, people. Firing an employee because she didn't follow procedure that would have saved the company $182; it's just business--nothing personal.

And we're all OK with that precisely because it's "just business", right? I mean, if it's good for business, it must be OK. And we're all good capitalistic Americans here, aren't we?

Really, isn't that why we always choose for public office only those who belong to the subset of the population that seek public office for the express purpose of enriching themselves while acting in the interest of poor, beleaguered businesses who are just trying to make a buck?

Big business -- it's what America IS. C'mon--have a heart.

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