Long years ago, my daddy said “No one is irreplaceable.” I was roughly 16 years old and a bit too big for my britches at work. I was working as a cashier in a hometown drug store. I saw others scoot by doing minimal effort while I was giving 110%. I never called in sick, showed up early, and left once everything was done. That same daddy instilled one heck of a work ethic. I remember starting to get a little bit conceited. After all I was the best worker they had. LOOK at what I was giving them of me. Surely they had found the best employee ever!
One day I came home from work frustrated and venting. Daddy asked what the issues were and I told him. Of course to me, at that time, these “issues” at work were HUGE. In reality, there were merely everyday life. Some folks work hard, others don’t. You know, the old run-of-the-mill slackers and under achievers, how do they even keep their jobs?!!? My daddy listened to my rant. I was convinced I was some sort of victim and deserved a raise. I certainly was worth more than Joe Slacker over there, leaning up against that Coke machine, flirting with every girl that walked into the store. Daddy nodded silently as my rant ranted on. Once I was finished he looked me square in the face (I was ready for the validation) and said “You better tread lightly, No one is irreplaceable.”
Of course that statement slapped me across the face, but he was right. He went on to explain that I was one in a million teens desperate for a job. That while I may be a fantastic worker. I could be replaced by another warm body. My job wasn’t a skilled position. Anyone could do it. As much as I hated what was flowing from his mouth, I knew he was right.
It’s now some long years later and here in the US we have low level employees (the same level I was at when I was 16) DEMANDING $15.00 an hour. They are worth that much! While I agree humans, in and of themselves are worth far more, the job you are doing is not. And you would be wise to heed my father’s advice. Because you too are REPLACEABLE. Think not? Let me introduce to you your replacement. Here is the best part… Your replacement will never be late, never backtalk, never give attitude, wont call in sick, and won’t demand a raise, sick days, vacation, or any other time off. PLUS, your replacement is multi-lingual.
Curious yet? I met your replacement in Paris! Sleek and easy, gets the job done efficiently.That’s right. This is your replacement. Found these treasures at a McDonald’s in Paris. We don’t have these in our neck of the woods yet, I am sure they are coming. We do live in a rural area, not known to be first in the techno world.
It’s a bit sad really, but I understand the move to kiosks. Cuts labor cost across the board, as a business owner it makes sense. Heck, kiosks sped up our standing in line at the airport to an absolute minimum. So you can’t argue the speed at which they get things done. Yes, in the end you loose the personal touch and it does replace (or displace) a large section of humans that need the life experience and money from working those low level positions that many use as a stepping stone into adulthood and the real world, but that job isn’t worth $15.00 and hour. When I saw these kiosks in Paris I kept hearing my daddy’s voice in my head. “No one is irreplaceable.”