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The youth our reaganized "me me me" culture has produced

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:39 PM
Original message
The youth our reaganized "me me me" culture has produced
I've been to my grocery store 3 times in the last month.

The first time I had a kid cashier who cheated when counting inventory. I paid the same, but the inventory of the products in question were made useless by his action.

The second time I had a kid cashier. This one cheated too instead of properly accounting for each variant of product.

Today, however, I had an older person (mid-40s). She tallied everything correctly. She wanted to do the right thing. Yet she's probably being paid minimum wage and has to deal with shit management, who are likely overpaid.

I'm going to keep vigilant on this just for my own record. So far, it seems the older generation does things right. The younger generation doesn't give a flying fuck.

Is the younger generation lazy good-for-nothings? Or do they see how the system works (rich management take more and more and demand perfection from the employees and treat them badly) and are rebelling the only way they know how? Why should they care if they're being treated like shit?

There are two ways to look at the situation, but I don't want to be biased by either viewpoint. I can't base their actions on my own childhood, which would be unfair and not necessarily accurate either.

And why do I say "Reagonized"? With the increasing gulf in wage between management and worker combined with how management treats worker, I can see how there's going to be an all-out revolt within 20 years unless things turn around in favor of the worker again. (maybe this explains foreign outsourcing, where a grateful foreigner will work for the most meager of conditions and is thus wrongfully exploited by management...)

I dunno. In the end, the system is wrong and if the kiddies are aware of this and are doing what they can to buck the system, more power to them. (damn right I wouldn't go to management saying they did an improper job. It's sad I'd prefer to support a wrongdoer, but it is a wrongdoer based as a symptom. I will never support a wrongdoer that is a problem - aka corporate america management. They are a problem.)
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Brucey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Pop culture drives most things,
even Reagan and the termite-eater came out of there.
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leftist_rebel1569 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. hey, there's still some good kids out there
and you don't have to look farther than DU, really...
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Breezy du Nord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Don't count leftist_rebel though
:P j/k. We're good kids (most of the time)

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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Strategies
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 04:50 PM by Crisco
In the '80s came the rise of "strategy guides" for everything from Super Mario Brothers to taking the SAT.

The kids in the shop have a strategy for successfully completing the task, which doesn't necessarily include getting it right.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. It seems to be more prevelant
Young people just five years younger than me seem to be more likely to be self centered and out to cheat whoever they can if they can get away with it. I have several friends my age or a little older who also agree with me. Maybe, it is just because we have completed the full transformation into adulthood and those slightly younger people haven't. I'm 25. I think I recall that you are around that age too. It could be just that. On the otherhand, maybe teenagers and new adults have realized that this is the only way to beat the system. I don't know. Several months ago, I was appalled though when visiting my husband's childhood friend when I heard his younger brother and friends brag about how much soda and pizza ingredients that they were stealing at the Pizza Hut that they worked at. I hope this is not happening everywhere.
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Hey!
Don't be biased. I often think the same thing, then i remember JohnKleeb or the other young people here on DU and remember that they aren't all spoiled little greedy fools. (Though, unfortunately, many are.)
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Thanks dar
hey I hear youre going to that Kucinich rally in DC, awesome!
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Oops...
That last part of my post (though many are) wasn't talking about DU young people, but young people as a whole.
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Lizz612 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rebeling
They've seen the system, they've heard that it sucks, they've seen that it sucks, they're treated like shit, and don't think they should be. Idealy they should be treated better and be thankful that they're making minimum wage instead of the global average. But neither is going to happen. They're not rebeling as a way to take down the system or to make a statement, but just so they can go home and chuckle to themselves.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. As someone of the younger generation i can answer this
alternative 2 is the correct one.

"... Or do they see how the system works (rich management take more and more and demand perfection from the employees and treat them badly) and are rebelling the only way they know how? Why should they care if they're being treated like shit?"

Thank you
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Oh My.... n/t
*
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Mr. Brown of MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. As a "kid" cashier, perhaps I can shed some light
Okay, well, I don't know how much of a "kid" I am in this context, but I'm 19 years old and I have a part-time job as a grocery store cashier in addition to my going to school.

I work for an anti-union store (Food Lion) and I make $7/hour, which is the starting wage for cashiers at that store. I've had the job for about three months, not all that long in the long term but enough that I have a good idea of what may or may not cause the things you talk about.

When I was first hired, I didn't realize that exact inventories were so important. So if, for example a 12-pack of Coke product is on sale for $2.00 and a customer would come to me with two cases of regular Coca-Cola and two cases of Sprite, but they'd only put one of them on the belt, and asked, "Is it okay if I just put one of these on the belt?" Well, nobody'd told me otherwise, and the one thing we did get drilled is to be accomodating to customers unless told otherwise. I'd just scan the one that was on the belt four times. Until about a month ago I did not realize there was anything wrong with this.

There are also times where a cashier might "innocently" cheat the system - say if you've got some bottles of juice or something, grape, apple, orange, and pineapple. Let's imagine that all of them have a different price, too. But when the cashier scans the barcode of the pineapple juice, no price comes up, because it gives him an "ITEM NOT FOUND" message or something. He's got four people in line and he is at the end of your order and he doesn't feel like calling for a price check, so he might either scan one of the other juice bottles a second time, or just not charge you anything for that bottle of pineapple juice entirely.

Another variation of this might happen with produce - say a customer comes in his line and they have a tied up produce bag that has four different kinds of peppers in it. The cashier is supposed to weigh each kind separtely and punch in the PLU number so the price comes up. But is he going to feel like ripping open that bag and separating the four kinds of peppers and punching in all of their PLU numbers? Nope.

I think you touched on the main cause of the problem when you pointed out that the job is relatively low-paying and is under the heel of management that may be overpaid. I don't know how much the managers make at our store, but it doesn't really matter, I don't think their treatment of us (which is not outright hostile, but they get you in subtle ways, like you don't get time-and-a-half for holidays til you've been there for a year, or they schedule you weird hours or when you ask off, and if you're timid then you won't stand up to them,) is all that great. They're actually nice people, but I think they themselves are scared into mistreating us by people higher up.

Whether this is a universal thing or just what happens to me, I'm not sure. Hope that helps.

-CollegeDude
Dinner time, may have more to say later
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Thank You
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 06:51 PM by Crisco
Actually I think what you've hit on is a universal thing for anyone working with computers in our ruthlessly efficient working world.

The folks on the upper end are concerned about control-as-means to efficiency to the nth. Before there were barcodes, there was simple price tag on the product and *people* to take inventory.

You've been doing something naughty - excersizing free will and judgement at the expense of the efficiency of the machine. David Noble would call it 'sabotage' and be proud of you.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
11. Maybe the young cashiers weren't trained right?
I've worked with bosses who would rather have young clueless people who don't know what they're doing because they're easier to control, intimidate and boss around. They might not have been accounting for variants of products because they were pressured to reach a quota and didn't realize the inventory would be adversely affected. I doubt this was the first job ever held by the cashier in her 40's. Due to previous experience she probably knew the problems that could be caused by not doing it correctly.

I see this them as more of a product of the "let's make them complacent with Ritalin" culture than the "me, me, me" one.

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disgruntella Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. two words: generation gap
"So far, it seems the older generation does things right. The younger generation doesn't give a flying fuck."

That's quite a conclusion to draw from three trips to the grocery store. I think this is just the inevitable "generation gap" phenomenon. At age 33 I find myself looking at people of high school/college age differently and with less trust. But when I remember how I felt about adults and how they seemed to view me when I was 16-24, it's apparent to me that I am on the other end of the generation gap. My two cents.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. yeah or it could just be random chance
and you could see the 40 year old woman ripping you off and the hard-working teenager doing a good job...but its always the kids that are the problem with the world
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. The older generation always
says the younger generation has declining morals. I remember seeing some ancient greek philosophers lamenting the lack of morals in the youth. I think it's a mistake to make that comment and generalize about a few instances. It infuriated me when I was a teen and it still infuriates me in middle age. I know that many teens cheat, are ignorant, and lie. I also know that many adults cheat, are ignorant, and lie.

I have two teens and constantly have teens hanging at my house. I also volunteer for teen programs. I'm impressed by so many teens I meet at their understanding and comprehension of world events.
I also am appalled when I hear about the cheating on tests, the lack of math skills, and the divisiveness between jocks and geeks. I don't think teens are less moral than my peers were when I was young. Some are, some aren't. Just like adults today.
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Shanty Oilish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
18. You sound like my elders and I'm older than dirt
We heard the same venting from our elders in the 50's and 60's. Now that I'm ripe I realize that humanity is an acquired characteristic. Almost all young people are "me-firsters." And they're not as responsible, not as diligent, not as nurturing of their fellow man. That takes time and there are no shortcuts.
For that matter, if I could take a pill and become nineteen again, I'd probably go on a little binge of me-ness. Youth is a rapturous condition.
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