A judge has ruled that the “guess the next cashier who will be fired” “contest” concocted by a convenience store manager created a hostile work environment. Several of the employees left after it and the judge ruled that their unemployment claims could not be dismissed on the basis of the workers leaving voluntarily. Here is the text of the kooky contest memo:
Realizing “video-game” contraptions played by these kids today may be catching on, Best Buy has devised the notion that it might hire and train employees who actually know something about the products to help — and possibly, exploit — customers who buy them.
The funny thing about a service economy, writes Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal, is that it’s created a world where people who interact with the public are deliberately trained to be rude and compassionless. She thinks it’s partly because we threw out manners right as we reached a cultural moment where we interact with strangers more than ever. But that’s only part of it–she also notes that clerks are trained to get in your face and aggressively push for higher sales, and that the dreaded “Dead Face”–that stony look that’s used to shut down any communication at all–is probably taught by consultants as an efficient way to handle people.
If you buy your devil juice from Pennsylvania, you might notice a difference in the way you’re treated starting later this month. Pennsylvania is spending $173,000 to train employees of its state-owned liquor and wine stores to be more polite, reports PhillyBurbs.com: “The board wants to make sure clerks are saying ‘hello,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘come again’ to customers coming in for wine and liquor.”