I received a job offer. What made it interesting is that the person making the offer knows that I have no experience in the position. I never worked in the banking industry, yet the offer was as a teller in my own bank. The manager would have hired me on the spot.
I was at the bank to make a deposit and had to stand in line for a while because only one cashier was working, although there were windows for two more. Finally, the manager opened another window and worked it herself.
As I conducted my business at the manager’s window, I asked why there weren’t more cashiers working. She said there was no one to hire who could pass the background check, then said, “I know you could pass it and learn the job quickly. Do you want a cashier job? “
The manager knows my background so I didn’t think she was serious. She said she was and if I wanted the job she could organize my hire and start “ASAP”. This is how desperate she was to find good employees.
In a restaurant where I eat breakfast regularly, I saw the owner clearing the tables. I joked that business really had to jump if she was to bus to tables. She said, “I just can’t find anyone who wants to work, so I don’t have to busser right now. “
Inability to find employees is a common complaint for a variety of reasons – some cultural, others due to flawed government policies. This discussion is for another day. This column focuses on one of the effects of this labor shortage – retirees returning to the workforce.
My first job (other than being a free contract worker at my dad’s business) was bagging part-time after-school groceries at a statewide grocery chain. At that time (1960s), all baggers were teenagers working part-time for minimum wage. Now, if you go to one of the stores in that chain, half of the baggers are old people who work part time.
A manager of one of these stores is a high school friend of mine, whom I met in a meeting. Like me, he started out as a bagger in high school in this chain, but he stayed and worked his way up the corporate ladder.
I shared my observation with him, and he told me that retirees are more reliable than teenagers. That retirees understood “the work ethic”.
As an example, he said: “We understand that retirees have to take time off for their doctor’s appointments and have more health issues, but at least they’re letting us know so we can adjust the hours. . Those damn kids don’t show up without warning because they didn’t feel like working that day. How are we supposed to run a business like this? ”
He said that while retirees don’t need the jobs, they are easier to manage because they “understand why we are in business”.
Throughout history in all cultures (except, notably, some controlled by Marxists) the elders have been respected for their wisdom acquired through experience. This is being lost in our contemporary American youth-oriented (increasingly socialist) society.
Too often we, the elderly, are the object of mockery, not to be taken seriously, by an ignorant younger generation. But, as an acquaintance of the grocery store manager told me, many companies are discovering that we, the elderly, are a pool of potential employees to fill the void of the younger ones who can’t or won’t do. work.
As Bill Hudson related, the affordable housing crisis has resulted in a shortage of employees in Archuleta County. But, as Bill also pointed out, there are a lot of retirees in the area. Have local businesses considered recruiting from retirees? It is not a solution to the affordable housing problem that needs to be addressed. But it is one way for some companies to cope with the shortage of employees.
Granted, there must be retirees around Pagosa who would appreciate the opportunity to get out of the house (away from their spouses) a few hours a week – and get paid for it!
Gary Beatty lives between Florida and Pagosa Springs. He retired after 30 years as a Florida State Attorney, holds a JD, is certified in criminal trial law by the Florida Supreme Court, and is now a professor of law.