Varying Degrees Of Understanding

| IL, USA | Working | September 11, 2013

(The company I work for is a group of small shops located in host department stores. Managers are paid about $2 more than minimum wage. A regional manager has been transferred to my region and I am giving him a tour of the stores by car. While driving he asks me to critique the store managers in the region.)

Me: “…Then there is the Elston store. The manager there has been with us for five years and she is great. Too bad that she will be leaving in June.”

Manager: “If she is that good, why would we let her go?”

Me: “She graduates from a four-year college degree in June.”

Manager: “So? We like college graduates to work for us.”

Me: “It is not us; she will be quitting.”

Manager: “But why would she quit now after working for us for five years?”

Me: “Because she is graduating from college.”

Manager: “I am still not getting it.”

Me: *exasperated* “She did not work for us during the day so that she could spend four years going to college at night, and take out student loans to pay for college thereby going deep into debt, just so that she could stick with a job with no advancement path that pays barely more than minimum wage.”

Manager: “I am still not getting it.”

Me: “Okay, let me ask you this. You told me your daughter is also graduating this year. So when the Elston shop opens up she will be able to take over as manager, right?”

Manager: “Are you serious? We sent my daughter to college to have a bright future, not to work in a dead-end job.”

Me: “Exactly, do you get it now?”

Manager: “No!”

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