This guy walks into a very fancy restaurant/bar in Manhattan. He just landed the biggest deal of his career and he wants to celebrate. Being solo, he asks to be sat at the bar with a menu. Tonight he is going to break the bank. The bartender comes over and takes his order. He orders top shelf everything, food, drink, dessert and a big cigar at the end. He misses nothing.
Full of food and himself, he asks the bartender for the check. The bartender says, “Gimme five bucks and we’ll call it even”. The guy almost chokes on his toothpick. He says, “Wait a minute, did you see what I had?” The bartender nods.
The guy still can’t believe he is getting at least a $500 meal for five bucks. He says, “This is incredible, how do you make any money?”
The bartender says, “ I don’t.” The guy says, “ Are you the owner of this place?” The guy says, “No, the owner’s upstairs with my wife, and what he’s doing to my wife, I’m doing to his business”. (Rimshot)
I tell the story because I see similar instances all the time. Not as dramatic, but similar. Well intentioned folks who start a business and hire distracted, underpaid people to run it because they’re cheap labor, won’t be in business long.
At Office Max this morning, I watched a Fellini movie play out in spades. Nobody in that place gave a shit.
I was returning an item and thought they might ask me some questions. Nada. The girl continued texting someone while she cheerfully refunded me my money. No questions asked. She never looked up. The rest of the store was in such disarray I felt compelled to leave and not interrupt their eight hour coffee break.
I was approaching an “associate” with a question, and when he saw me coming he ducked into the inkjet section and kept on going. Fear and loathing in his eyes.
When you hire someone to run your store at cheap rates, and you think ” minimum wage has never felt so good” make sure they’re minding your business, not mining it.
There is no free lunch.