Categories
Principles Supply & Demand Unemployment

Paying to Have Your Photo Taken

Glenn has brought all of his previous foster children to the store so that he can get a group photo with all of them. While working in the backroom, Glenn mentions to Cheyenne that his family used to own a photo studio. Cheyenne is surprised that people used to pay to have their picture taken since she has grown up with digital cameras and cell phone cameras. With these inventions, there’s really not a reason to pay to have your photo taken, but Glenn says it was mainly for families and lonely women with dogs.

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Labor Principles

Replacing the Loading Dock

Amy fires the warehouse manager because of a conflict that arises between them. While she doesn’t actually have the authority to fire him, the rest of the warehouse workers quit in solidarity with their manager. Amy asks some of the other employees to help unload the truck since there are no more warehouse employees. There is a manual, but these particular employees are not skilled enough to follow it. Since they have not been trained in unloading the trucks, some of the packages end up broken and some of the employees are injured.

Categories
Labor Principles

Does Jonah Want to go Back to School?

An old college friend of Jonah’s now works at the corporate office for Cloud 9. When he comes to visit, he shows the other employees a video of Jonah doing a presentation, and then brings up the fact that Jonah’s enrollment is still active. Jonah initially quit college because he wasn’t happy there, but he’s not sure if he ever wants to go back.

Categories
Principles

Lost & Found Scavenger Hunt

The employees have a yearly ritual where they pick something randomly from the lost and found box. They could not donate the items to Goodwill because Goodwill considered the collection to be trash. The corporate office told their branch to get rid of the lost and found items but did not give them any direction on how to do it. Almost all of the employees select different bad items, but Amy actually ends up with a pretty nice leather jacket. She trades it to Mateo to get him to stop complaining.

Categories
Labor Principles

Doctor vs. Pharmacist

The store’s pharmacist considers himself the doctor to the doctors. He doesn’t have a traditional medical degree, but there are clearly times when he regrets not getting his MD. Human capital acquisition can be thought of like an investment that requires upfront costs, but has benefits paid out over a long period of time.

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Labor Principles

Incentive to Quit

The employees are in a betting pool to see which temporary employee will quit first. For each temporary employee, the original employees are trying to make the work experience less enjoyable than the alternative option of quitting. By doing this, they are increasing the opportunity cost of continuing to work. Their tactics range from emotional stress, manual labor, sexual harassment, and increasing the risk of injury.

Categories
Principles

Lack of Interest in Exercising

Garrett announces that there will be a 40% reduction in the price of exercise gear because the store is closing that section due to a lack of interest. If people aren’t buying the products on the shelves, Cloud 9’s opportunity cost may be high enough to encourage them to remove that section and replace it with a more profitable item. The price reduction should increase the quantity demanded for the exercise gear.

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Principles

Where is the Thumb?

In an effort to achieve the perfect day with no mistakes, Amy assigns employees to store areas where they are most competent. After realizing the normal deli workers aren’t at the store today, Amy and Marcus start working in the deli. Amy asks Marcus to work the meat slicer, assuming that’s his comparative advantage. It turns out he’s not very good at that.

Categories
Market Structures Principles

Differences in Detergents

Mateo helps a customer find laundry detergent and goes through the process of naming some of the different options available. Product differentiation allows companies to offer similar, substitutable products based on customer preferences. Each focuses on a niche market or defining characteristic but are generally substitutes.

Categories
Labor Principles

Interviewing Management Candidates

While interviewing candidates for the assistant manager position, Amy and Glenn try to learn more about the potential candidates’ ability to move into this new role. They are surprised by the applicants, namely that the pharmacist is interested in switching roles or by Marcus’s accidental admission of stolen property. The interviewing process can be costly because it takes time and effort to find a good “match” for the company. Interviewing candidates from the pool of current employees helps reduce the cost of finding a worker, but it still requires Glenn and Amy to take time away from the floor to interview people.