Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there have been many tales of employers being a touch stunned at their inability to hire staff. Or keep staff. Or pay staff enough.
Perhaps a recession will assuage some of their pain. In the meantime, however, I couldn't help but be moved by the attempts of one business, a diner, to make itself seem more attractive.
It displayed a paper notice adorned with these thoughtful words: "Due to lazy workers quitting with no notice and crazy inflation (thanks Biden), we have increased all our prices by 50% beginning June 4."
Of course, this was a recruitment ad. It seemed obvious from the beginning, right?
But the next sentence made it all too clear: "Apply now and help fill the workplace and lower our prices again!"
They'll be discussing that logic in business schools for many years to come. Some students may even offer exclamation points of their own.
He said he'd hire more employees, lower his prices and still make a hefty profit? Where did he go to business school? The University of Phoenix?
For now, though, let's look at how this boss continued to impress: "Great benefits, including a supportive work environment."
Let's pause again here. A boss who thinks their workers are lazy offers a supportive work environment? It's possible, I suppose. In another galaxy.
Back to the inducement: "Gift card raffles, free snacks, good salary, paid sick time (with a doctor's note) and pay increase (up to) $.0.50 per year guaranteed."
The owner means 0.50 per hour, surely. Or, who knows, perhaps not. And wait, was that doctor's note?
Finally, in shouty capitals: "STARTING PAY: $16/HOUR." Together with, in rather smaller type: "$13/hour + benefits = $16 an hour."
I suspect anyone reading this far down may have suffered from an involuntarily swiveling head. The pay is really $13 an hour, isn't it? Surely no one will be hoodwinked.
Because this was posted to Twitter, reactions were plentiful and bountiful. Some were moved by the politics of it all. Some were more excited about the philosophical aspects. Sample: "Why is it that employers who can't find staff aren't the least bit embarrassed about the fact that nobody wants to work for them?"
Another more pithy, human thought: "They want at-will laws, but only at their will."
A small business like this -- and its attitude to employee relations -- perhaps revealed a larger canvas of bosses. The ones who are so used to getting their own way that they simply can't adjust to a new reality.
It's a reality where employees are looking for a little more respect and a little more understanding of the way they'd like to live their lives. Yes, even if they work at Google or Apple.
It's almost humorous when some employers can't grasp that.
Rumor has it that this establishment is in New Jersey. I find no humor in that.