In 1971, after leaving college, I had 4 jobs. I was writing for a record industry trade magazine. I worked in a grocery store stocking shelves and cashiering. I worked the night shift at a 7-Eleven. And I worked at a record store. That was before you got your music from “the cloud.” Music came on vinyl records before it progressed to coming on 8 track tapes. But I digress.
I liked working retail. It was “customer facing.” We did “market research.” We ordered records to stock. We sold phonograph record needles — there were big profit margins on those. And you had to know what style needle fit an RCA Victrola phonograph record player.
My friend Arnie and I were the only 2 employees, plus the owner.
One year, we asked for a 10 cent an hour wage increase.
Whenever I give my daughter a price from long ago, she points out that today that price needs to be increased by a factor of 10. So we were asking for the equivalent of a $1 per hour raise.
The owner declined. And we both eventually left him.
The next year, he wound up hiring 8 people to work the store for Christmas. The minimum wage was (I think) $2.25 per hour. So he definitely spent more money on salaries than what we had asked for.
That never made sense to me. And it still doesn’t.
I tell all of my people ‘if you are worth more you will get more.’ We start our people at close to double the minimum wage and then give raises from there. We want to attract and keep good people. There is really good truth to the old English expression “Penny wise, pound foolish.” Except that today, it’s Euro foolish. And that’s not a political statement.