Sunday, February 19, 2012

Corporate Disaster.

Recently a friend of the blog, The Bummer Free Zone, held a survey about the employees ** who are least likely to be helpful in the wake of a natural disaster.  Somehow the pole results chose Starbucks over Jo-Ann's fabrics.  This result was clearly derived from voters who don't know how to sew but do know how to drink coffee.  As someone who can both sew and drink coffee I heartily contest this result.

In defense of Starbucks employees; They know how to make the crazy-named drinks they are trained to.  If you tell them to make you a Grande-mocha-carmel-extra-fudge-macciato with extra whip, that is exactly the syrup laden acrid tasting beverage you are going to get.  They take you in order, they take your credit card for minuscule amounts and manage to not have a judgmental look on their faces.  These facts lead me to believe they can 1. follow direction 2. retain information for longer than 3 minutes (or at least read the code scrawled on the cup) and 3. mind their own business (Yes I lack the planning to carry $1.35 for a tall coffee, so what?!).  In the face of a natural disaster they will have access to a stock pile of coffee that may not be the tastiest but will be preferable to no-coffee. Even to the non-coffee-drinker the access to coffee may be valuable as a trade commodity.  Their ability to read code will make them useful message carriers as our internet and technology will have crumbled with our sources of power and their ability to stick to the task will be a boon with the many distractions of crumbling buildings and increasing chaos (when the Starbucks is full, they keep their heads about them and keep people moving out).

Jo-anns however... you are lucky when there is someone at the cutting table who knows how to sew.  They have this 'take a number' system that they rigidly follow.  If you are the only person standing in front of the table holding fabric they will look at the number over their head, and look at you to ask
"number 86?"
 "I didn't take a number."
"Oh, well you need to take a number so we don't lose track."
I pull a number, it is 94... chaos ensues despite the total lack of any other customers.  The employee will then need to fumble with the number counter to forward it all the way to 94.  If the employee doesn't know how to use the number counter, a supervisor will be called.
Standing at the table I hand the bolt of fabric to the cutter,
"Three yards please"
Then the cutter will marvel over the fabric,  the color, the texture, tell me how much it costs (clearly marked on the bolt BTW) and ask me what I am making.
"pit gussets" or "fetish wear" or "a giant yellow bird"
Who the f*** cares?
"uh how many yards did you say?"

The Jo-Ann's employee will be distractible in the face of change.  Despite the access to fabrics that may be useful for blankets (hello stockpile of polar fleece) most employees will be unable to create the clothes of the apocalypse due to total lack of knowledge.  Their basic glitter glue skills and ability to find the scrapbook aisle will be inapplicable as the dystopia of the future will be unpredictable.  The few employees with basic sewing or knitting skills are the few that we can keep in our stronghold designed to keep the hoards out, but for the most part I attest that the company tries to hire employees who lack the skill-set of your average Halloween enthusiast and will be a deadweight for our survival.

**Correction; The BFZ asked about the clientele, not the employees... new factors are to be considered for this question.


Anonymous said...

Good analysis of the two skill sets! Mom


I'm flattered to have my humble corner of the blogosphere linked here. You make some good points. I hadn't thought about employees. That's a whole other dynamic I hadn't considered. I was polling to determine which store's clientelle would be the least helpful. Maybe the poll's respondents determined that such patrons of Jo-An's as yourself would be competent, helpful contributors following a catastrophic disaster. That would be my assessment of the Jo-An's crowd. I personally voted for Hometown Buffet. That place is basically a leper colony. I can smell depression like a dog smells fear and Hometown Buffet positively reeks.


I was surprised that such a clear consensus emerged fingering Starbuck's patrons as shifty n'er do wells.

al'xae said...

Ah yes... Clientele. My bad... I will have to reassess my consideration here.

Anonymous said...

Yes, AJ, You need another tall coffee. However you can be excused as you most likely have been in Jo-an's recently and are still chaffing at the 20 minute wait just to find a clerk who knows where the pins are. DOD