It is not our practice to criticize advertising in any form that has been created and placed by others, and this article is not meant to do that either although it does refer to a current TV ad being run for Amazon’s personnel division. It shows people who are looking for work but who have certain needs and conflicts that have to be met or avoided, as the case may be. I am certain it has been effective in that regard because it is well written and acted.
But the copy written for the four actors in the ad epitomizes one of the horrible cancers that is spreading throughout our country without much opposition. One male actor says he can only work two days a week and the work cannot interfere with his other jobs. A female points out that she has children and cannot work early or late; and, that the pay has to be enough to make it worthwhile. Another woman says she is available for a full-time job but that it has to be at night, that she requires benefits, and the benefits have to be good. The final job seeker announces that he is available but that his employer will have to pay his tuition, hopefully all if it.
This new state of mind that makes a person available for a new job but only on their terms is a disease that is currently marching from the West Coast east and is on a fast track. Walk down any commercial area and the windows are full of “Help Wanted” signs. Go into a restaurant and be waited on by the owner, or a manager, because they have been unable to hire seasoned wait-staff. Even the kitchens cannot produce what is advertised in the menus because there is no one available to prep the food let alone cook it properly. Try ordering an egg “over easy” that is not served looking like a puddle of water rather than a cooked egg.
Why are our former workers doing this? Where have they gone? How are they living without jobs? The professional answer is probably very complex but suffice it to say
that during the pandemic the people who were furloughed learned how to survive by living off their savings, living at home, taking short gigs, and helping out friends in similar positions. In short, they learned how to get by without having full-time jobs and not being saddled with rules and regulations that are essential for an efficient workforce, but which make individual employees feel like they exist in a straight-jacket.
Many of us believed this mind-set would evaporate once small and large businesses reopened as the economy returned to “normal,” whatever that is or was. Not so. The workforce is still seeking to impose its job requirements and benefits on the employers who are trying to stay in business to support their families.
It is unlikely that this relationship between employee and employer will disappear any time soon. Rather, it is quite probable that businesses will have to create flex-jobs that cater to the needs of those qualified to fill the positions. Sure, this will make employees more expensive to maintain but that is the direction of our entire country today. Take your choice: pay more for products and services to fund these new flexible employments or don’t, with the result being that these out-of-work people will seek to survive by tapping the government’s faucet at the expense of the taxpayers. Either way, the workforce survives, and the cost of living continues to escalate. Neither option is very palatable.
By running TV ads like Amazon’s, our workforce is being educated about how to secure a well-paying job with few life-constraints. The bottom line is that this will perpetuate the cries for jobs that don’t require much passion, enthusiasm, or commitment. How do you think that will work out?