A Letter on Greed

Dear Greedy Business Owners,

My first legit experience with you was when I worked at Weis Markets.  I began in Oct. 2008 and thoroughly enjoyed my job.  After about a year or so things began to change.  I still enjoyed the actual work I did and I loved my coworkers.  The environment began to alter however as hours began to be cut.  At first it seemed casual.  Oh we’re slow this evening so let’s allow someone to leave an hour or two early.

By 2010 it was a near daily habit.  No longer were people being sent home early due to the store lacking customers.  Instead we would hear from management that 20 hours needed to be cut from the front end staff’s schedules that week.  It didn’t matter if we had lines back through the store or carts piling up in the cart corrals, if you at corporate said hours needed to be cut then cut they were.

Customers grew irritated.  Cashiers were annoyed.  I was stressed and depressed to the point that I ended up in counseling.  Most days I spent jumping on register to help out the growing lines while trying to get the front end audits done and trying to help out the customer service desk worker since we were no longer allowed 2 associates to operate it.  All this while making less than $9 an hour.  The cashiers who would come in and work an hour or two of a four hour shift and be sent home?  Most only made minimum wage.

Can you honestly say that you made that much more money by cutting hours of your lowest paid workers?  Those meager paychecks that put gas in a high school student’s car, paid for books for a college student’s semester and supplemented a senior citizen’s social security check.  I heard how most of you received bonuses for cutting X amount of hours in a year.  I’m sure you used it to buy another Lexus because you certainly never gave it back in any form to your employees.

I survived you, but I am watching my parents struggle in dealing with you and it makes me cry tears of anger.

My mom who has worked for several of you at various jobs and given 100% despite never receiving enough compensation for her efforts.  My mom who also busts her ass everyday for you because she is a hard worker despite the lack of recognition you give her as well as the lack of a simple one week’s paid vacation.  My mom whose knees and feet ache from standing all day because you won’t let her or her coworkers take a simple 10 minute break to sit down.

My dad who has worked for you since he graduated high school yet barely makes more than those who are hired fresh off the street.  My dad who at 56 years old you are forcing to work mandatory 12 hour shifts as well as Saturdays and who you are threatening with a 7 day work week.  My dad who has more energy at his age than anyone I know (and likely more energy than me some days too) that because of you is worn out, sick, cranky and who gets no time to enjoy life because it’s being consumed by work and sleep.

I picture you as Ebeneezer Scrooge sitting behind a desk counting your monies.  Always looking for a way to make just a little more even if it means tightening the noose around your faithful employees’ necks.  Who cares if they’re tired and not paid well enough so long as at the end of the day you have what you want?

I hate you.  I hate you for what you did to me in destroying any desire I may have had in pursuing a career in front end management.  I hate you for fueling one of the worst periods in my life.  I hate you the most though for what you are doing to my parents.  They deserve so much better because they give so much of themselves to you.  I wish they could walk out on you, but then again you probably wouldn’t care because you stopped caring about employees as individuals years ago.  As long as they produce for you that’s all that matters.  Who cares if they enjoy their work.  Who cares if they’re meeting ends meet with what you pay them.  Certainly not you.

You are what is wrong with America.  You embody the greed that blinds people and divides this country by class.  I can only hope one day karma shows you the error in your ways and you see how you treated those “beneath you”.  I hope it makes you see people like my parents for who they are – hard working, loyal individuals who are more than just a means to lining your pockets.

Weis vs Giant – A quick price comparison

I have begun a new money-saving project inspired by a tip I read on the Couponing to Disney website.  It suggested keeping track of the price of grocery items at various stores, so you know what is a good deal and which stores have the best everyday prices.  I’m not quite motivated enough to track every item I buy, so I’ve stuck to the ones that I buy most frequently.  I will possibly write a more extensive post on this at a later time (I’m also considering starting a separate blog that will be strictly geared to money related topics… feel free to comment/give feedback on that idea!). 

For now though I’d like to post my recent cost findings on some items purchased at Giant within the past month compared to Weis this past weekend.  Each of these items was listed at regular price.

Store brand gallon water –   Giant = 85 cents   Weis = 99 cents

Turkey Hill half gallon lemonade –  Giant = $1.65   Weis = $2.19

Yoplait yogurt 6 oz cup –  Giant = 60 cents  Weis = 75 cents

Bananas –  Giant = 49 cents per pound  Weis = 59 cents per pound

Tuna kit –  Giant = $2.49  Weis = $2.49

Prego spaghetti sauce –  Giant = $1.99  Weis = $2.19

I could’ve saved $1.13 buying these items at Giant instead of Weis.  That doesn’t sound like much initially but given I bought multiple of some of the items and I buy most of the items on a near weekly basis, that can certainly add up over the course of a year.  I’m sure there are items out there that Weis has better prices on than Giant mostly if they have a sale, but I’m posting as proof that Weis is expensive overall.  I worked there a little over 4 years and always thought that the prices seemed high, but now I have proof.  Needless to say even if I’m in the area (as I was on Sat.) I don’t believe I’ll be shopping at Weis again.

One last note – Giant’s gas rewards program is so much better than Weis.  You accumulate points regardless of the dollar amount you spend which adds up to saving money at the pump a lot faster.  In 3 visits to Giant I had earned 90 cents off each gallon of gas.  At Weis you only earn 10 cents off each gallon for every $50 you spend, and points don’t accumulate, they must be earned in one transaction.  My visit there earned me 20 cents off; I earn roughly 30 cents off each trip to Giant and I’m not spending near as much money on groceries to do so.  Just something to consider the next time you’re deciding where to shop.