Thursday, April 9, 2009

Goodbye, small town life

In which, why do we downsize and outsource in times like these?

Whatever happened to the small town feeling in businesses? I miss it and find that I hang onto whatever closely resembles it, whenever possible. True, I never knew movie tickets for 50 cents or milk for under a dollar, let alone delivered to my door. But I do remember walking to the local store and hearing "Hey, Rochelle. How's your Mama?" Or. "I know you're good for it." When you're a nickel short. Then making sure to bring the nickel with you the next trip to the store. I just found out the bank my family has used for years is closing our favorite branch. This is not just a bank. I know the ladies that work there. They know us by name. They ask about my kids, using their names and remember the details. They know my word is good and that means something these days. We bought a puppy. So, "V" bought his brother because they are the cutest puppies EVAR! We have play dates with the puppies. But. The economy is in the toilet. Not a newsflash, I know. So, the branch I love, the ladies I grew to know and trust with my money, are leaving. They are closing the Walla Walla branch. I feel cheated. I feel bad that they are going to lose their jobs. Worse yet, no one can do a thing about it.

I started thinking about this while I was dealing with a ginormous company that owns at least 15 of the US state's phone lines. I spoke to 3 representatives in 3 different countries. Not one of them being the U.S. Don't get me wrong. I don't think people are "taking our jobs". The companies are moving our jobs away from us.
They are outsourcing. Not a new phenomenon. It's been happening more as the years pass by. It irritates me. Especially because unemployment rates are so high. These giant corporations should take the lead and bring some, if not all, of these jobs home. I know they are saving money but how much money do they really need? I think it comes down to plain, old fashioned greed. Want to bail us out? Bring the outsourced jobs back. That's a small step.

The one thing I really liked about the company I worked for was, even though it's a nation wide company, they were still "small town". They cared, first and foremost, about our superior and sincere customer service. The most important assets to the company, as stated in their literature, was the customer and the employee. You felt it too. A feeling of camaraderie. Then, things changed somewhat. Ok. A lot. It became more sales oriented. Not outsourced. They are still local. And glad for it. Not a terrible place to work, by far. And with unemployment being at a 20 year high, I am extremely grateful to have a job at all.It's just not as special as it once was, I guess. I understand there is a bottom line. I know that a handshake and a smile doesn't pay the bills. I am not completely naive. I just wish things didn't make me feel so much like Peter Gibbons 2 or 3 days a week. Maybe, it's me in the funk. Because I'm overdosed on hormones that make a girl crazy! It is highly likely that the over abundance of estrogen and progesterone in my body cause a little emotional imbalance.

But I think people, in general, have lost the personal touch. I wonder sometimes if people want things to be impersonal. I think we have all become, dispensable. And we, in turn, think these providers of services are dispensable. Too bad we still don't use the barter system. "I need eggs. You have chickens. You need wood. I have a lot with several trees. I will trade you one rooster and 3 chickens for a cord of wood and some seedlings." But then technology would crash because there would only be so much supply to meet the demand. How many chickens does one need in the end?

I do think we all need to feel appreciated and to be told "Thanks for showing up and giving 100% even though you make 50 cents over minimum wage." *giggle* A little appreciation goes a long way.

No comments:

Post a Comment