Carnes: Resigning over the Big Quit
Perhaps it’s just me, but this current situation is confusing.
Every news outlet, whether on TV, radio or websites, is obsessed with pointing out the nationwide dearth of employees and the number of available jobs, calling it the Great Resignation or, for the culturally hip, the Big Quit.
Put plainly, there are more jobs available than people looking for jobs, and the talking heads say it is because folks are either quitting current positions to find another or leaving the workforce altogether.
And this is where the head-scratching begins.
How are the voluntarily unemployed paying rent?
How are they making car payments, paying utility bills, buying groceries, gas, booze and, locally, season ski passes?
How long can this continue?
Most of the government freebie stuff from the pandemic is gone (extended unemployment, rent assistance, etc.), yet the workers have not returned. Sure, some are able to retire and live off savings, but you and I both know that’s as rare as a sociopath reality show TV host winning an election.
Workers are flexing their individual and collective power more than ever (observe the current strikes around the nation), and this means we’re in an employee’s market as opposed to an employer’s market, but I cannot grasp how it can continue for much longer.
I think it’s great to see workers having the upper hand for a change, but I fear the negative effects this is bound to have on the upcoming ski season. Just about every single business I know is short on employees regardless of the starting pay, and in some cases in spite of offering “signing bonuses.”
Wish that was a thing when I moved here in the mid-1980s.
If there is any silver lining around the edges of the pandemic, it’s employees are now in the driver’s seat, able to make demands they never would have dreamed of before. Case in point: Servers at Hooters now have the “audacity” to complain their new shorts are too short. (Guess where they debuted the new shorts? Yep, Texas).
Sure, some are unemployed because they refuse to be vaccinated, but that’s a separate story and naively self-inflicted. The only head-scratching there is why they insist on making health choices political.
But even more confusing around here is also the dearth of available rental units, such as the new massive project over by Wally World already having a waiting list.
Apparently there are more people here than ever before, yet more job openings at the same time? Happy Valley is not any larger, and the number of businesses is relatively static; so are all of these people trust-funders?
Methinks the answer is no.
From fast food to retail, the school district and the towns are all desperate for workers; so no matter how you look at it this season is shaping up to be one of the toughest on record for local employers, regardless of snow totals.
It’s as if we’ve reached the stage where employees can no longer be asked to wash their hands before returning to work, which is not only gross, but downright unethical.
While happy for workers to finally have the upper hand, I can only refer to the old saying, “Get while the gettin’s good.”
It can’t last like this much longer.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.