Exhaustion - black and white cat laying on red park bench.

Linked: Workers Left Behind By the “Great Resignation”

They might be exhausted.

The basic idea of the article linked below is this:

As a record number of Americans leave their jobs, those who can’t are working themselves sick.

This raises some interesting questions about wealth distribution among many other things. What does happen in service jobs, to the people left behind without other options?

From reading these stories, it’s clear that there is not always an appreciation for people who don’t leave, just an expectation that they will be taking advantage of more by employers, and treated worse by customers.

This makes me consider a couple of things:

1. This is happening first in service industries and healthcare, but the article talks about it spreading into other industries as well. I don’t think there is an industry that will be immune to staffing shortages. What we are seeing is a large percentage of the population simply dropping out of the normal workforce. They are making different decisions, whether it be simplifying life and living off one income instead of two, working for themselves, starting their own business, freelancing, etc. This is not going to stop, and it is going to create some massive issues for organizations. The people who don’t take this option are then going to be overworked because the work isn’t going away.

2. The work won’t go away unless you make it go away. As companies continue to struggle to attract employees, and the ones they have continued to voice frustration, exhaustion, etc. management will have to make a choice, take care of the employees, or just keep going and demanding more until they burn out. I don’t envy the choice, purposefully turning away business is not something we are used to seeing, but I suspect it will end up happening. The restaurant that is only open 4 days a week, will become the tech company that slows down development, or the law firm that slows down client growth because they simply don’t have the resources.

3. If you are a customer of a company dealing with staff shortages, and you decide it’s OK for you to be rude to the workers, you are an ass. Plain and simple. And, you are contributing to the harassment and oppression of working-class individuals in society. Those people who work in a service industry don’t exist to serve you, at the speed you are used to. They are getting paid to do a job, and are probably being exploited by their employers on top of putting up with your crappy behavior. Please don’t do that. Stop it.

After all, someday, one of your customers is going to be upset because your company has the same problem. I hope they are nicer to you than some of you have been to the people in some of those jobs that you look down on.


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