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Life ain't fair. Deal with it.


May 1, 2000

What do you get when you run a business that fosters a creative counter-culture with a lot of latitude, that gains huge popularity and grows business like the dickens, that offers its employees better benefits than most employers short of governmental, and that pays way better than anybody else in the same industry?  Apparently, you get people whining that they want more. 

I saw picket lines outside of Powell's City of Books on my way home today.  The recently unionized workforce is apparently up in arms again, although from what I could see they were mad in general, because their signs pretty much just said Powell's was unfair.  Okay, you kids already know my stand on that one, if you pay any attention to the slogan on this here site.  However, sheer stupidity still never fails to boggle my mind.

Never mind the fact that these poor, downtrodden, overpaid retail workers couldn't go to one single other bookstore in Portland and get a better wage.  Forget that they have better medical, dental, and vision benefits than I do, working in a law office.  Set aside for a moment the unfortunate truth that they are allowed to dress like complete slobs in positions where they serve the public, something absolutely unheard of in most of the retail world, save niche shops.  Wait.  WHAT THE HELL ELSE IS THERE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT?!@# 

I'm pretty sure they didn't unionize to change the management style because if so, they would have to be freaking retards.  The way I see it, if you don't like the way a company is run, and you don't own any of said company, you'd better go start your own f@#$ing company and run that one any way you damn well please.

Now if it were something more insidious, like some sort of managerial conspiracy to anally probe all the employees before and after each and every lunch break...hey, then I could understand a little ass-shielding revolt.  I don't, however, believe my first choice of revolutionary techniques would be to sign up with some damn union that is a tool mainly used for negotiation of a fair employee compensation.  I'd be down at the police station, or possibly the free clinic, screaming bloody murder until somebody put a stop to it (or me).  Seriously, what the hell!  That's like making an omelet by sleeping with the hillbilly neighbor so he'll get a few eggs out of the refrigerator for you, so you don't have to go to all the trouble of opening the door yourself.

If it were me, if I owned Powell's, I would do one of two things. 

First option:  Start the contact negotiations at wages and benefits less than or equivalent to those for similar positions in the industry.  Let them negotiate their way up to less than they had before.  Good lord, it's so evil its just such an absolutely, really, really tempting way to get a little vengeance, wouldn't you say?

Second option:  Call it a good run and shut the whole thing down.  "Gee, sorry you have no one to negotiate with anymore haha!  I quit!  I think I'll go enjoy my large amounts of wealth now while you go try to find some real jobs.  Where's the rest of that champagne?!  Braaaaap!"

This one's actually a no-brainer.  Close it down.  Sure, we'll miss Powell's but I for one will get so much more satisfaction just seeing those jerks open their eyes.  I bet that hillbilly isn't much help when you don't have a refrigerator anymore, not to mention eggs or even a damn skillet.  Baa.


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