Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Video: "Noodles" Restaurant Worker Not Quite Understanding The Concept Of The Service Industry

Rob Lewis-- the main subject of the clip-- is not even in circle he's trying to square.

Parts of the video is some meeting of a few people who are looking to organize a union for something. One of the guys running the meeting goes into a squawking diatribe about the usual left wing offenses. Koch Brothers, 'The Rich', blah blah blah. It's been said before and will be said again. I'm only thankful that the video is edited enough to where his speech is way less than two minutes.  More info about that meeting here.

I suspect I'm going to be preaching to much of the choir with this. At the very least, most people understands how businesses are ran.

There are two parts where Mr. Lewis is showing his disconnect from reality.

The first part of his disconnect:

“You either work for someone else or you work for yourself. And most people work for someone else in a way that they aren’t free. You don’t really get to decide your work. For example, I work at Noodles, a restaurant, and basically it’s a dictatorship there. We’re told exactly what we’re going to cook, how we’re going to cook it, what time we’re going to get there. And basically if they don’t like what we’re doing, they try and tell us what to do. If we don’t listen, they get rid of us,” the employee said.

He's correct to a point about working for someone else or for yourself. Most people are employed by someone else. But its a mutual exchange. For the most part, it's time and labor on behalf of the employee in exchange for a set rate of dollars per hour. If Rob doesn't like it, he can leave Noodles and work elsewhere. Maybe he can find a job with a higher rate of pay. That's part of the perks and risks of living in a free market. All this should have been taught in Econ 101 in high school.

It can be said that even self-employed people are still working for people. Directly for their clients and customers.

As a restaurant that is dependent on repeat service and loyal clientele, consistency in food preparation is key. If the customers who walk into Noodles don't like their food, they will go someplace else next time. There are plenty of other restaurants in the area who would be happy to take in the hungry customer. Noodles doesn't have the benefit of being on the exit ramp near a busy highway where most customers would be one timers.

The second part of the disconnect is here:

The employee continued, “And so we’re not able to actually cooperate in a way that we make decisions together. I try to convince my fellow employees that we should have a union at Noodles so it’s a source of power to start with and then I think in terms of the bigger picture, we need to look at revolutions in a way that you actually get rid of any sort of dictatorship is by having workers take control of the place where they work.”

Who knows what kind of guy Mr. Lewis's boss is. But the key is that Mr. Lewis is free to leave the job and work elsewhere. His boss is the person who put up the money to buy the franchise of Noodles. He rents the building that the restaurant is located at. He has to make it work so that his employees get paid. Keep an eye out on the food. And so on and so forth. Stands to reason why he should be receiving a larger share.

And as a service industry based restaurant based in a college town, I'm sure that he has no end of job applicants to sort through. And with a minimal amount of training, the new person can be serving noodles with the best of them.

There may be a few other reasons but the main reason why people like Mr. Lewis want to unionize such an entry level position is for protection. He should be happy to have a job.

Now if only he would use his energy for socialism towards his job, he might eventually become a free market kind of guy.

Anyway: Stick with the video until the very end to see the free market transaction take place and you'll be doing one of these.

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