In the case done by James Sheehy, he worked undercover in a fast food restaurant that was owned by a relative. Most of the employees were teenagers and college students. He found the employees had contempt for customers, lack of respect for management and unrealistic expectations about what was expected of them. The attitudes described by Sheehy are not typical in the work environments that I have experienced. Sheehy describes employees that are steeling from the company at every opportunity, that are “milking the place dry”.
He describes the customer service as trying to get rid of the customer as soon as possible and bating the customer to ask for management just to cause a disturbance. He states that the workers did everything they could not to work hard and not put forth much an effort. In my own experience with work environments, the majority of the employees are not steeling from the company. They are certainly not making it known they are steeling or using theft to make new employees part of the group.
The customer service in my work experience is opposite of what is described by Sheehy. My experience shows a genuine desire to help the customer, to be pleasant. Employees are human, so there will be times where we are in a bad mood or having a long day but we are not going to push all customers away. We understand that the customer is why we are here. For the most part, the co-workers I have had do there best to do what needs to be done. We have goals to meet and we meet or exceed those goals. Not putting forth an effort is not a typical attitude that I have experienced.
If the attitudes of the employees described by Sheehy are not corrected, this could have bad implications for the businesses that hire such employees. The actions described can cause a business to fail if not controlled. If employees are allowed to get away with stealing from this A New Work Ethic 3 company, they may start to think it is ok to steal from other employers as well. Theft can cause the business to loose money, not only in objects but possible future earning with customer and it can also cause the employee to be fired.
If an employee is fired due to theft, that reputation can follow you around from job to job. If the employees are allowed to slack off, and do as little work as possible, this causes more work to be done by the responsible employees. If the responsible employees have to do more work, than their fair share, they may get burned out quickly and decide to change jobs. This change in job may be beneficial to the employee but may be bad for the company because the only employees they are left with are the ones who attempt to do as little as possible.
If the employees are not treating the customers with respect, they are less likely to be a customer of that company in the future. In typical businesses there is enough competition so the customer can go where they are treated with respect. It is more reasonable to expect workers, a capitalist society to be devoted to their jobs and concerned with quality and customer service than to not. Capitalism involves working to gain a profit in order to obtain property. By being devoted to your job, you are more likely to move ahead in the company you work for.
Moving ahead generally means more profit and the more profit available, the easier it is to obtain property. The workers described by Sheehy are demonstrating the desire to do a good job which is indirectly not allowing them to become as profitable. Temptation, hardship, Low morale, and feeling that the company has mistreated them or owes them are all reasons behind employee theft. When things are right in front of you, and you know that no one will ever miss them, the temptation to take something is too much for some to resist.
When people are going through hard times, because of the economy, sometimes it is easier to A New Work Ethic 4 take what you need, instead of working more to be able to afford what you need/want. Low morale and feelings of mistreatment seem to go hand in hand sometimes. If one feels like they have been mistreated or that the company is not giving them what they think they deserve, some will just take to “compensate” for what they think they are worth. I do not believe that the culture of our capitalist society encourages attitudes as described by Sheehy.
I think our capitalist society encourages those that want to be successful to work hard. I think that the employees that he described are an exception to the rule. There are those that disagree. The critics of capitalist society believe that it causes economic inequality. The children born to poor families will not have the same opportunities as those coming from wealthier families. If the employees described by Sheehy are from lower income families they may not feel that they have a chance to succeed, so why even try.