Soldiers on the Bikini Front
This past summer I worked in a small clothing boutique called Exposure. We sold overpriced bikinis, flip-flops, pants, shirts, and skirts and it was the worst job of my life. I had spent three months experiencing life in a secondary labour segment and it is something I never want to do again. Flexible labour, no benefits, no overtime, and soldiering was enough to make anyone quit their job. Although it was a dreary way to spend part of my summer it was an interesting learning experience and has once again encouraged me to engage my mind and contribute more than my bikini expertise to society. Exposure was a post-fordist firm. The owner and manager subscribed to profit and productivity maximizing techniques…show more content…
Therefore, as the summer wore on I started bringing magazines to work. I liked to read The Economist because then I felt work was not a complete waste of time – at least I got a little mental stimulation. Frederick Taylor would have been appalled by the gap between the actual and potential amount of work done at Exposure. Employees were under stimulated and not motivated. The result was intense slacking and shifts seemed to drag on forever.
My employer should have played off the self-interest of his employees in order to increase efficiency. Taylor recognized that soldiering was the result of the structure of pay, this should have been changed right away. If employees had been making commission on top of their hourly wage they would have been much more inclined to actively help customers and work harder to keep the store clean and attractive to customers. A friend, who works retail, recently started making commission and told me she never fails to ask customers if they need help. Though she is not a pushy sales person she is a much more proactive now that she no longer makes a flat hourly wage (Burnam). At one point during the summer I approached my employer about making commission, but he was not interested. Apparently my former boss did not see the importance of the structure of pay on the amount