Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Financial Security

I work for a division of Kroger in Western Colorado. It is how I pay the bills while I work on my writing career. We are one of the biggest employers in Grand Junction. I have been putting 10% of my paycheck into my 401(k) since I've been eligible to participate. Since the downturn in the economy and the volleying of the word recession from many analysts, I've been losing money. I checked the Yahoo! finance page this morning and looked at the blogs attached to the performance sheet. Kroger employees are just not invested in the company. They don't care what they need to do to make the company a better place that makes shoppers want to come back. It is all about them. They care about their paycheck. I understand that thinking. I live on an paper thin budget while trying to plan for the future. My thinking is that if these folks aren't invested in helping Kroger grow, it won't matter. We won't have customers returning and we won't have paychecks, that's the bottom line. Many of us are working stiffs in this country and don't have what someone like Dave Dillon, CEO of Kroger has, but we also haven't done what he's done. He had a option to pay big dividends to shareholders at the end of 2007, yet he turned around and reinvested in the company growth. Sadly, many folks that work for the company, including my division don't care. They are working because they grudgingly have to, they live pay check to pay check and one beer to the next. I work paycheck to paycheck and skip the beer to put money away for the future that I have a shot at creating. However, I can't do it alone. I have a plethora of frustrations at the store level and my biggest and most frustrating pet peeve is the lack of customer service. I live in a town where we have a lot of boomers with discretionary income that don't have to shop at Wal-Mart, but I guarantee that they do shop where they get treated well.

My ex had a posting on his Blog of a Mesa State Grad getting his diploma while talking on his cell phone. The ex said this country is in sorry shape and intimated that it is heading down hill fast. I initially thought he was being his usual pessimistic self, however, he is absolutely right! This country is in bigger trouble than we can even begin to wrap our simple minds around. People absolutely miss the cause and effect of their actions. They can be small actions or large actions, but all actions have a consequence. I hope that the Kroger employees get with the program on that or there will be no choices but to shop at Wal-Mart! We have the option of treating every customer with dignity and respect, we have the option of helping customers get what they want so they will come back. Or we have the option of treating them like they're a pain in the ass and never seeing them again. The consequence, no paycheck. I, personally, am not interested in ending up like some of the women that I read about on CNN.com this morning who are working, but living in their cars because savings wasn't done.

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