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Maximum Customer Service = Minimum Wage?
This is actually my first post. I long have visited Brickset and the Forums, but never had anything to say.
Recently I took a trip to my local Lego store to pick up the Red Five X-wing. (yes I am behind on exclusives) This Lego store is a lot smaller then say New York or Orlando but the staff is just as friendly and helpful as anywhere else. On this visit I saw two regular employees discussing something in the corner. I like eavesdropping so I heard part of the conversation.
Turns out is was about discipline "coaching" for not counting something a previous night. (I was hoping for some sweet insider info on release dates). He was really getting talked down too. You could see the salesperson was upset by the talk but still gave it his all when he approached me.
He said the typical "Hello, Welcome to the Lego Store. Who gets the set today?". I told him I was browsing and went on my way to the x-wing. After looking at every angle of the box the same salesperson came up to me to tell me about the X-wing. I told him not to worry, he'll get his commission. He informed me they don't make a commission off the sales (makes sense now, prices are the same online as in the store). I said they must pay him well seeing as Lego is such a big company now. He laughed it off. So I just (out of curiosity) asked "well what do they pay?"
$8.00 an hour...20-32 hours a week for most. That is less then the local McDonalds who can't get my order right. That's less then the lazy unhelpful cashiers at a Wal-Mart or Target. Heck a buddy of mine works at GNC another retail store, ignores customers all day and still makes a solid $12.00 an hour.
I remembered all the times that stores employees helped me out, how knowledgeable they are about the product, and how they will bend over backwards to make their customers happy. And all this time they are providing excellent customer service, they are starving.
At that wage they actually qualify for food stamps and government assistance. None of the employees that I have ever seen at this store are under 23. I asked the salesperson (not salesperson) if most of the staff was teenagers then. He explained no. Everyone there had degrees, and had graduated some sort of college or trade school. The Job market is just that bad that taking a job for that little is better then nothing for them.
But Still I don't see how they cannot pay them more, or at least enough to afford insurance.
Just needed to get that off my chest. I offered the guy a chance to interview where I work. Hopefully he gets in.
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