The Cloud 9 corporate office has told Glenn that he needs to layoff 10% of his staff, but Glenn tries to have Jeff reconsider by inviting him to Cheyenne and Bo’s wedding. He tells Jeff that Cheyenne is severely uneducated, and her job is the only thing standing in the way between her and prostitution. He introduces Jeff to other employees that he notes are right on the poverty line. By having Jeff meet the employees that may be laid off, Glenn is trying to make the opportunity cost more tangible.
Bo wants to make $5,000 and then quit his new job, and he thinks he can do that in a week. When he finds out that it’s going to take significantly longer, he begins complaining about how little the store pays for the work he’s doing. He believes his marginal revenue product is significantly higher, but he doesn’t realize that his marginal impact on revenue is actually quite small. His role at the store could easily be automated.
Bo is interviewing for a part-time position at the store, but he doesn’t really have any retail experience. Cheyenne tries to relate Bo’s experience as a dad to how he can use those skills in the store since she believes he is good with people. Bo let’s Glenn know that he’s only interested in earning some quick income and then plans to leave. Once he realizes Glenn is in charge of hiring, he takes back his statement.
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.
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.
Glenn is interviewing different candidates for the store’s open Santa position. One of candidates was trained by a legend who worked at the Chicago Macy’s and feels he has amassed enough human capital to be perfect for the Cloud 9 position. The interviewing process takes time and includes costs that aren’t monetary. Glenn could spend his day managing his employees, but he’s spending his time searching for a good match.
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.
It’s time for Cheyenne to deliver her baby, but there are no doctor in the store. Even though Sandra is a trained midwife, the other employees ignore her in exchange for a pharmacist, an employee who has delivered a calf, and another employee who has played a doctor in a theatre show. Each of the substitutes don’t have the actual training to deliver a baby, and the skills they possess likely don’t transfer to skill needed to deliver a baby. Only Sandra is actually qualified, but she doesn’t speak up.
The employees are locked in the store after hours while hanging up signs, but Amy laments that she has more important things to do: she has a midterm to study for. Trying to be relatable, Jonah reminisces about his time in college: getting drunk and having philosophical debates. It begs the question of how much human capital accumulation actually occurs and provides some support for the signaling model. Amy is treating college like an investment, so she resents Jonah’s downplaying of its importance.
Jonah has convinced Adam to buy a new grill and a new TV, but he didn’t know that Adam was married to Amy. Part of the reason he convinced Adam to purchase these items was so that his team could win the Color Wars and Amy could get a $100 bonus. While Amy and Adam are fighting, we learn that Adam is a serial entrepreneur and Amy invests in her human capital.
This scene is a good example of the tradeoffs associated with investing in human capital and physical capital. Adam wants to invest the money to support his business ideas, but Amy believes that investing in her college classes is better because it can lead to more money later.