Categories
Labor

Tracking Employee Movement

A new company app tracks employees in the store so that they don’t need to clock in. It also rewards employees for doing particular things like going to the stock room or helping customers. It provides a variety of other store-related information, but Jonah is skeptical of how beneficial this app really is for the workers. The store encourages all employees to use the app and it appears that the company will start monitoring their performance. While this may be beneficial from a productivity standpoint, it may also cross the line in terms of privacy. Employees are now monitored when they’re in the breakroom to ensure that they aren’t wasting time.

Categories
Principles

Employee of the Month

Glenn approaches Mateo with a request to not award Mateo with employee of the month for a 6th straight month. Glenn recognizes that Kelly may want to transfer stores because she feels unappreciated. Glenn thinks that giving Kelly the award, she may feel better about her situation at the store. Pareto improvements mean no one is made worse off by an action, but Mateo points out that Glenn is taking something from him and giving it to Kelly. This redistribution is common with the use of taxes to redistribute income to others in a society. While not Pareto-improving, it can be used to improve equity.

Categories
Labor

Shirking on a Slow Day

The floor manager and the assistant manager have taken time off to host a ladies’ lunch at a nearby restaurant. The guys left in the store have designed a game in that lets them goof off. Since it’s not easy to monitor performance (because the stricter managers are away), it’s easier for the workers to shirk in their responsibilities.

Categories
Supply & Demand

Black Friday Bribes

As customers stand outside waiting for the store to open, one of them offers Mateo and Cheyenne $40 each to put aside one of the TVs that is on sale. Because prices are so low, there won’t be enough for all of the customers that want a TV, creating a shortage among the waiting customers. Having people wait in line helps allocate the items based on people’s willingness to spend time rather than money, but this man would prefer to have the item allocated through a black market transaction.

Categories
Labor

Amy Weighs a Promotion

After Dina stepped down as assistant manager, the store manager needs to find her replacement. Amy knows she is the likely candidate but declines the offer before Glenn can offer her the position. Her rationale conforms to the income-leisure tradeoff model. Since there is no increase in earnings from the assistant manager position, Amy doesn’t want to spend more of her time away from leisure. The scarcity of time available in her day means she must make tradeoffs on how to spend her time and she would rather spend it on her college classes.

Categories
Health Principles

Allocating a Flu Shot

There’s a long line of customers hoping to get a flu shot, but there’s only one vaccine left. Jonah has been tasked with identifying which customer will get the last flu shot for the day. Jonah argues that it should go to the person who needs it most, which would be an argument based on equity. The next person in line believes that he should receive the shot, which could be an argument in favor of efficiency. Because of the low price, there appears to be a temporary shortage. Rationing and a lack of a market for price adjustments creates shortages and inefficient allocations. The store could raise the price of the last remaining few shot as an incentive to have others return tomorrow for the normal price.