The human element - Life and All That Pertains to It; Philosophized
Nov. 28th, 2006
12:22 am - The human element
feel like I am on a rollercoaster ride of emotion related to people and their treatment of others...
The day before thanksgiving I had to go to the store to pick up a few items. Usually I manage to avoid the chaos but my brain had not thought of all the items that were evidently needed for our holiday celebrations. I was resigned to go to the store and take what was to come. I was pleasantly surprised. Almost everyone was friendly, polite, apologetic if they thought they were in the way, smiling and almost dreamy in their countenace. It was wonderful. Such a difference from what I consider the normal holiday grocery shopping experience.
When I went to the check out stand, the lady in front who was being helped had a bandage on her hand and the bag-boy was very concerned about it. He kept asking if she was ok and hoping she was ok. Finally, she explained to him and the checker that she had just finished her last round of chemo. She had gone through two series of six treatments. She gave a relatively brief overview of her survival, of which I could not make out most of. The checker patiently listened and responded with concern and kindness, even though it meant those of us inline were waiting for a bit. Then the lady with the bandage cheerfully and apparently tiredly went on with her day.
The checker, whom I have known for years (as a checker at the local grocery) was very pensive when she was ringing up my goceries. She was trying not to cry. She looked up at me and said "Do you know what it is like for someone in her position to go through the holidays like that?" Well, I did...My grandmother went through her chemo during the holidays...quite frankly, her chemo was hell whether or not it was a holiday. Anyway, I said yes, actually I did...The checker then told me how she had lost both her mother and her sister to cancer and both had gone through chemo during the holidays. The checker said "I am sorry, I am just dealing with a lot of emotion" to which I replied "Yes, I can see that...and thank you. Thank you for remembering the human element. I think that it made a difference to that woman that you took the time to listen." The people behind me were quiet. I don't know if they heard anything that had been said, but they all seemed to be in a patient mood. It was nearly a sureal experience...but nice. I left the store with a more positive view of humanity...people were not forgetting the human element.
Tonight...Tonight I was disappointed in someone who obviously did not remember the human element. My mother works very part time. She suffers from Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. She also suffers from depression. She helps me out with my son 3 to 5 times a week while I study for about 5 hours. Then she works 3 to 4 hours on Saturdays for her 'paying job'. She has worked this schedule for well over a year now and it has worked out well enough for everyone. Recently, the business was sold to one of the employees. The employee who bought the business has been with it for maybe 8 months or so. Mom has been there for nearly 4 years. When the new owner took over the business, she told mom that she was going to be replaced. That was a couple of months ago. Tonight, Mom got a call on the answering machine "I found someone new, you don't need to come in to work this week, or ever again".
I mean, really; that isn't even professional. You don't fire someone on their answering machine.
1.)It is the holiday season. More business usually occurs. Nasty time to fire people (regardless of the holiday you celebrate if any).
2.)The new gal is not trained. Would it not behoove the owner to keep an extra person around until the trainee learns the ropes a bit.
3.)Suck it up and pay the 2 hours wages to fire your employee in person or in writing. Don't call and leave a message on the answering machine. Tacky!
This woman bought a thriving business. Since her ownership, she has lost business. She isn't as willing to cut a deal or give a discount...people don't return. She does not treat her employees well. She has forgotten the human element and I highly doubt she will be able to keep the business succesful if she doesn't change her attitude or practices. It is so very sad. It makes me sad. A little pissed off to, but that will pass.