1779 Stormcrow.

Modern retail makes it very difficult to improve things ate the store level. The desire of the company to run every store from an ivory tower someplace very far away has made it almost impossible. No one trusts their employees, and rightly so in many cases. Americans have very little honor these days. So the whole system is breaking down at every level. Luckily, eventually, the young will rise up and take control. They’ll crave honor and justice and make it real again. Then the cycle of decay will start over. I’m sad that I had to live in this time where honor died. Although I hope I live to see the return of it. In fact, I hope my work can contribute to it.


Oh my gawd. It’s sad to see the lack of honor too. It’s not even limited to the older employees but also the young ones.

Employers don’t trust employees because of the bad ones, so the good ones get screwed and then all the employees hate the employers, because obviously they don’t care.

Of course, the government then supports the bad employees :p

Of course, that’s because the government is bad employees. Not talking politicians here, I’m talking John Q. Government walking into a local branch of whatever alphabet soup Department of Whatever annex making the decisions on individual cases that affect individuals.

The fabric of our society has been systematically eviscerated over the past 50 years. Of course it’s going to fall apart.

They only destroy what they mean to improve.

Which is almost everything.

And while there have been some improvements, it isn’t anywhere close to ‘almost everything”… But just you wait. We just need to convert power generation to wind, solar and tidal power and give everybody a guaranteed income and it will all be OK again.

We need to focus on Nuclear power because it is the cleanest and cheapest per unit of energy. It has the lowest environmental impact score, and with research into even better reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, we can make it the most efficient source of power. Wind and Solar have huge impacts on wildlife, and Hydrodgen is a decidedly not clean power source, since most hydrogen fuel is made from natural gas, and most of the power used for it is made from coal plants. Tidal power is just as damaging to the environment as hydroelectric on large scales.

Hydrogen has never been an energy source – only an energy transfer medium – and as that it is very efficient and one of the better options.

Sadly the energy sources used are horribly bad but fiscally superior – ie the companies make HUGE profits for their boards and maybe the shareholders – everyone else doesn’t show up in the equation and are just an annoyance or possibly a cost center.

Goshii, you say that nuclear power is the best form of energy for us to use but you neglect to elaborate on how tidal power is damaging to the environment. Plus, lowest environmental impact score? One word: Fukushima.

My best friend works at a bowling alley that has a bar and he’s known among his coworkers as the Smile Taker. This is due to state laws requiring them to close the location to any customers under 21 by 10 PM in order to keep their liquor license, which results in him ruining date night for couples where one of them is under the drinking age.

America eats it’s young. I’ve heard it said from the hippie area. Now those same people are eating the next generation

and the surrounding populace that is not ‘merican. There is little left of personal rights stateside but the galling thing is that anybody not deemed a true ‘merican have no rights.
Geee, that sounds oh so familiar from historical empires, and when they hit that state of affairs they did not last all that much longer.

Civilizations rise and fall all the time throughout history. America isn’t really all that different despite how many of its own citizens like to tout freedom and democracy on a daily basis.

One thing to keep in mind–for all our talk about the U.S. being part of the “New World”, we’re actually OLD, relatively speaking. Not to the empires of the past, of course–history, like technology, is accelerating, so our 240 years has the illusion of making us still teenagers, in Imperial terms. But virtually every other country in the world is younger than we are, now–not in terms of name, but rather governance. Some did fairly slow changes (Britain was in the transformation from monarchy to parliamentary society when the US declared independence, but the transfer of power was not yet completed; France’s revolution was inspired by ours, most of the rest of the nations in Europe underwent governmental transformations due to the two World Wars, Russia became the USSR and back again within our lifespan, China deposed their emperor and Japan’s has faded to European-style figurehead status, etc, etc.)

We’re the Old Man of the world, now, and our age is really starting to show.

I’d say that America will regain his honor when the people learn to be really independent from the State, thus enabling them to say a one big fuck you to the vicious corporate bussiness and the state. Taxes then would be minimal enough to cover the small administration.This way you don’t need an expensive military (organized local militias would suffice) and most public services could be funded when needed (public vote required to allow the program). Of course, things like an universal medical care, or big bussinesses sprawling over all the country would be nigh impossible to be able to exist due to the need of maintenance of costly infraestructures, which would be no longer funded easily… the question is that the People consciously could do without these… or not.

“America will regain his honor when the people learn to be really independent from the State.”

You mean like they did back in the ’70s (1770s)? As Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747 – 1813) famously said: “A democracy … can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. …with the result the democracy collapses…”

As ours is now.

Except it is the few who raid the public treasury and continue to rob and bamboozle the majority – Copyright Trolls, Patent Trolls, gatekeepers, monopolists, Fascism and Corporatism at it’s finest.

Wow, such a true statement and I hate it. :(

It’s also hard to fight. Very few people actually care about their next generation, even if they say otherwise. They care about themselves.

Vote into office those who will allow them to live on government assistance, while working less, because who wants to work more and be treated like crap, when they can work less or not at all, not worry about the higher ups acting like douches, and still be paid.

I see it quite a bit at my current job. More so with older people than the younger, but even the younger seem to be starting to give up.

You try to talk about self respect, but that doesn’t work when they’ve given up on themselves or don’t feel a lack of self respect just taking handouts. :/

It ain’t just America, Jackie. I’m seeing it here in Australia, too. At my work, we have low staff numbers, but an increased intake of stock. Our staff are running ragged, the shop looks like shit, our warehouse staff are burning out (and since I am also attached to the warehouse, on top of inventory duties, returns and repairs (I book in and ship off to repair agents), I see and feel it first hand). Head office doesn’t give a fuck. Our manager is barely more than a middle man in this mess. He is sort of like Mike (maybe a little more, since his name is also Michael): wants to help, tries his best, but ends up getting stomped down from higher up. And then criticised for not running his shop to spec.

I don’t think it’s a matter of people not having “honor.” Sure some people are shitty, but the majority of minimum wage establishments bend over backwards to treat their staff as disposable. Every retail story I’ve heard does not give the impression that these businesses do much to deserve the loyalty of their employees.
Maybe it is a question of honor. But it’s not because of a lack of it at the bottom. It starts at the top.

Staples is about as good as it gets (the one I worked at, anyway), and it was still a shitshow. I learned a lot about everyday tech that’s helped me in my subsequent IT career, but those were two painful years.

My father worked in retail for 20 years, at one of the big drygoods chains that used to have stores in all the small towns before shopping malls ate the land. He didn’t bitch about it in front of us when we were little kids, but his managers screwed him over, and it got worse after the company’s founder died (just as later happened at WalMart). He was essentially responsible for running the store but wasn’t compensated for it, and he couldn’t get a promotion because he didn’t want to relocate to a suburb in Ohio, and the corporate overlords eventually terminated all the folks like him in a big personnel reduction.

That was about 45 years ago, and he just had a bad nightmare about it over Thanksgiving weekend.

Jackie, you do a great job with this story. It’s a universal theme in our world.

Honor and respect go hand in hand, and both are in short supply these days.

Children have been taught for decades that they are smarter than their parents and that they should report them to CPS for any perceived abuse, even if it’s not substantiated.

Parents have been told for decades that they have no right to raise their children, that strangers in governmental institutions know better than them, and how dare they punish them for anything.

Government officials, elected or otherwise, put into practice theories that will ‘fix’ problems that have either not been properly vetted or have been proven ineffective or detrimental in the past.

Employers administrate to the lowest common denominator and then wonder why quality employees leave the company.

Employees follow company policy until they realize that either no one cares, so why bother, or are already doing the minimum to maintain the impression that they care about anything other than a paycheck.

All of these behaviors are part of human nature, for good or ill, and the only way any change will ever be affected is if each individual strives to respect themselves and others and share that ethos by their actions. It is a thankless task for the most part, and it is rarely easy, but change cannot be forced from without, it must come from within. This is why good parents, why good families, make all the difference in the world, and that is the one thing that has been systematically torn apart for decades by the actions of people either too blind to see their own folly, or too damaged to care about the civilization that they are eroding.

Hold the line, Jackie. You’re one of those people who strives every day to hold us together instead of tearing us apart. You may stumble or even fall from time to time, but you persevere and that is at the foundation of every great endeavor. The story told through the characters in Between Failures is your magnum opus; be proud of it. We, your readers, already are and are thankful that you share it.

As that maxim goes –
Failure is not an option – it is mandatory.
The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

And gol’dang’it we are proof of that Maxim, though sometimes we have to be reminded of that. ^_^

Thinking of bullies + tyrants, in general-

That reminds me of a saying, by Gandhi: [I’m paraphrasing]-

You can find comfort in this: Tyrants always fail.
They become old…and pass on, or they destroy themselves with a greed for power, or with a greed for other things.

They will always fail. Always.

Just need to make a small counterpoint: you generally only see the government get involved if you are causing physical harm to your kid. This was because shitbag parents would use their children as literal punching bags (though I get the sense many conveniently forget this). Its for a good reason.
And really, any parent who can’t manage to teach a child how to be a decent human being without resorting to physical harm just sucks at being a parent. There’s tons of alternatives; its just that a vast majority of parents suck and don’t know what else. Really, what should be improved is the common knowledge baseline of parenting techniques.
I agree on the employer/employee thing, but that’s a whole different conversation really.

Used to work in a Wal-Mart deli. Had 3 deep fat fryers that we used, pretty much all 3 all the time. Then word comes down that we’re going to start making fried shrimp. To avoid cross contamination, shrimp can be made in only one of the fryers, and only shrimp can be made in that fryer. So we lose 1/3 of our fryers for shrimp. Manegr at the time kept saying how great it was. How one Wal-Mart made $500 in one day off of shrimp! Not how much they made the rest of the week. Not how much they lost from down productivity. Not even where this mythical Wal-Mart was to be found.

The shrimp is required to have an internal temp of 300 degrees (or something like that, I forget the exact number). Cooking it to spec, it comes out a blackened lump that no one buys. Cook for less time, and the middle is still frozen. Turn down the heat on the fry oil, and the shrimp comes out a lovely golden brown that has a proper internal temp. Sales shoot up, not to $500 a day, but starting to turn a profit. But no, that’s not corporate specs, turn the fry oil heat back up. Blackened lumps are required.

I left there years ago, still shop at the Wal-Mart (lack of options) but occasionally stop by the deli. Turnover means I don’t know anyone, but they still chat. Tell me the shrimp still does sell, throw away around $100 in product every day. Plus whatever gets lost because they don’t have enough fry space to keep up with all the other stuff that needs done in the remaining 2 fryers.

I too once worked at the Wal-mart deli. They made a new change and now they just cook the shrimp in the same oil and put up a sign saying not to eat our stuff if you have a seafood allergy. Because apparently the seafood allergy population isn’t actually big enough to affect the sales all that much
But yes, corporate rolls through and you change things for them. Then a few weeks later you slide back to what actually works.

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