Low wages..what’s that?

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I’ve been reading a whole lot of rubbish on low wages…and experiencing it too, through shared experiences.  Frankly I find these two words rather dirty.

I would think fair wages as opposed to low wages?  Like fair trade, which is by the way, a nice catch phrase for  some of the so-called socially responsible companies out there, whether they practice fair wages or not,  is yet, another question…fair trade sells after all, don’t we all know that?   Fair wages?  Well…not sure….(i think i’d rather keep my employees like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them with shit and by the way..who knows?).  I know..I’m the busy body that talks to everyone…

I know of a multitude of companies out there, circumventing all sorts of rules and regulations to pay people lower and force them to work longer.  I don’t like that, in fact, i don’t like it at all.  I know of folks who stuck it out with a company for decades without a single dollar of pay increase (you could give them flexi bonus you know..if you are worried about the company’s year to year performance), and yet, their bosses are really living upscale lives….at the expense of?… Really!!

Many times i am faced with clients beating down on my already reasonable price or people asking for discounts and more discounts..I will swallow, as much as i can take it, because , take it or nothing at all.  I think of my staff, they have families and bills…better this or nothing and quick lets close this and move on to get some other stuff going!  As with everything, there is a decent margin and a hardly sustainable margin. ..again, at someone else’s expense, the company?  If we don’t do so good, the staff don’t get rewarded so good..logical?  So what happens, it all filters down and settle at the bottom of the feeding pool, so what is this hue and cry about the widening gap between the rich and poor?  Why in heaven’s name wouldn’t the poor get poorer?   Why are consumers so protected that they cannot pay a reasonable price for what they want, allowing a decent margin for the company and hence prospects for the people working down there?  Why are corporations so hell-bent in saving a couple of pennies (which probably is pocket change to them anyway) and yet, can make a whole lot of difference to so many people down on the food chain?

i do have to qualify that i am speaking from a small enterprise point of view.

Several years back I was at Chamonix, amidst all the swanky new johnny-come-lately shops bearing all the international brands and chain stores in all kinds of supplies (owned by the conglomerates), stood a quiet, quaint French owned grocery shop.  The lady there was kind of scary grumpy..but, i went in there everyday, anyway..just to pick up some stuff, just so to buy something from her.  One day, she told me she works 24/7 7 days a week, so hard to keep up with the mortgage…her brother and her runs the shop left behind by their parents..her brother has a girlfriend so he is off weekends..she has to stay behind.  So does she get to go skiing?…i asked.  Yes, very early before the shop opens, and she gets her tan by standing in the sun outside the shop when biz is slow.  And how is that people don’t come is so much now?…well..they prefer to shop in somewhere fancy..they think she’s got nothing much to offer inside her small grocery store..and she said, ask me..why not just ask me…i have almost everything…ya hor…can just ask what…

i pondered over this in my hotel room thereafter….privately brainstorming how it could possibly be better for her..re-invent her store?  Change her offers???  Whatever it is, 1st – it takes more money, 2nd – mom & pop store are expected to become marketing gurus (due to the new world order)…i can’t imagine…like asking a fish to live on land!  Offerings?? How can you beat the bulk purchase prices of big chain stores…now..let us not  be  so silly! You know what, now so many years later as i’m recalling these events, the best thing for her to do is to sell off the shop and live off the astronomical profits (i hope, if the outstanding mortgage is not too much!)

Way back even further, at a distributors’ meeting in Switzerland, i met up with a lot of people from all round the world and the UK guys told me in UK there are only 2 big chain sports stores and they control the whole market..i was like urgghhh..how generic everything would be then.  However, that is not the worse horror as yet, retrospectively speaking,  as a distributer it would mean you are really at mercy of these 2 big guns..either you are with us or you are not with us..oh bummer..i’ve got to kiss ass and lick boots!  And this is not the worse as yet, the final nail in the coffin is when they start making house brands out of your products!!

Oh well, i do what is right most of the time and i live by my rules, new world order, global economy swallowing up the poor…oh go to hell..changing with the times…whatever shit, have it your way served up with fanfare..i do not believe in you but i am aware there is no turning back, and just maybe… one day, the world will be managed by the “Umbrella Company” and i will be kick-butt gun totting Alice..

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