You may have seen a recent article about the Dollar Tree manager in Indiana that was fired for posting a sign that said they wanted to hire only baby boomers.
Let’s back up a bit. Why is this store chain called Dollar Tree? Do dollars grow on trees? Does everything in the store cost only a dollar? Hah!
Okay. Back to the store manager. The sign explained that she was apologizing for closing the store and blamed the closure on the 2 cashiers that just quit. They quit because the manager would not allow them to be accompanied by their boyfriends during their shifts. She also suggested that you not hire Gen Z’s because they don’t know what work actually means. All of this information was posted publicly on the store window.
Much of the reaction to the news story blamed Dollar Tree for having such high-turnover jobs. So, it’s not really a Gen Z problem, it’s a crummy job problem.
Not to kick the Gen Z’ers while they are down, but like many other baby boomers, I had some really, really, crummy jobs. Starting with summer jobs and right on into a post college job, I withstood some awful work experiences. But I persevered and did so without the aid of a girlfriend joining me at work, though that might have been interesting.
I’m not going to defend the Dollar Tree manager’s actions, but I did find it bizarre that cashiers wanted their boyfriends to hang around with them for an entire shift. Don’t these boyfriends have their own jobs? Or are they (pardon the pun) shiftless?
Do baby boomers make better workers (hypothetically) because they are more compliant (read gutless) or tolerant of poor working conditions? That would suggest that we were push-overs and these Gen Z’ers are just standing up for their rights. Nah. Not buying that. I do think that attitudes about work have mutated as the generations have progressed. Young workers are more likely to expect greater satisfaction and stimulation now than boomers did in their early work experiences, or even with late-in-life part-time jobs. Back then and now, it’s conceivable that we were just happy to be earning a wage.
It’s not a very scientific assumption, but I’m going to posit that the seventy-five year old greeter at Walmart is happy to be making whatever he’s getting per hour. And if he’s lucky, his girlfriend is somewhere in the back of the store working the returns counter.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon. But that’s not all. You can also purchase the Best of BoomSpeak on Amazon.