Overworked and Underpaid

"Overworked and underpaid." It's an expression known and used the world over, barring communist regimes and banana republics of course, however, its employment is almost entirely subjective.

While an executive making a six or seven-figure salary may have occasion to feel that way, the people on the lower end of the salary spectrum, from whose backs that oft inflated salary is from, certainly wouldn't weep in sympathy.

In my experience, it's only rarely that I've seen justification for the salaries and benefits those higher up the ladder receive. My most recent venture into retail provided a prime example.

I was hired "off the street" for a supervisor's position at an off-price retailer's department store. "Off-price retailer" is a fancy way of saying "discount department store". We aren't talking London, Paris, Rome or New York here. We're not even talking an upscale boutique in Toledo, Ohio.

Other than mixing metaphors,

spouting homespun homilies and glad-handing customers like a politician on a campaign trail, the manager did absolutely nothing of worth. Of the two assistant managers, one spent the majority of her time on the phone with family and friends while the other walked around quoting phrases from training manuals and hypocritically warning employees about attendance when he was late more often than not himself.

I, on the other hand, frequently went home bone weary, being expected to have my half of a large department store perfectly merchandised and immaculately clean with almost no support and usually no staff assigned to my area, or at best, a part-timer who couldn't care less about the job and whose schedule over-lapped mine for one or two hours.

And I was not alone in my frustration. Of the five supervisors, two for the floor, two for customer service and one for the warehouse, only three of us actually had any work ethic or sense of professionalism and frequently wondered what the three management members and other two supervisors did to justify their positions and pay.