After Myrtle was fired because of her age, the employees are unhappy with the regional manager who orchestrated the firing. They ask for Myrtle back, but he’s decided to automate her position (greeter) with a virtual version of Myrtle. Automation can replace routine tasks, such as greeting customers and helping customers locate items in stores.
There’s a big mess in the backroom, but Mateo is on the phone trying to secure Celine Dion tickets. Garret tries to recommend hiring someone from an app to wait in line for Mateo, but Mateo reverses it and suggests that the two of them hire someone to clean the mess for them. They are outsourcing their jobs to someone who is willing to do the job for less while they focus on the things they want to do.
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.
Cloud 9 is offering curbside pickup so that their lazier customers can have a better shopping experience. Monopolistically competitive firms often compete on non-price aspects, so offering curbside pickup may entice new customers to increase their demand. Since they aren’t hiring more workers, the employees are now required to work more, which they don’t see as fair. This increased demand following curbside pickup should result in an increased demand for labor, but the workers only seem to be working more.
A new key fob system makes cart collection easier. Automation allows for the replacement of routine tasks, like collecting carts or greeting customers. This new technology could make current workers more productive and actually increase sales for the store if the workers take their new time to improve customer satisfaction.
While Amy is a bit confused with her new love interest, her coworkers are debating the necessary requirements to be considered racist. In Becker’s discrimination model, firms are assumed to have preferences for one group of workers relative to others. In the taste for discrimination model, firms demand more workers from a preferred group. Dina nicely points out, “Isn’t having a preference the definition of racism?”
Glenn has been asked to fire 6 people before the end of the day, but he’s having trouble deciding which workers will be terminated. Amy decides to help him by having Glenn rank employees to narrow down the list. While evaluating employees, Glenn notes that Sarah is preferred to Elias. He’s trying to convert his subjective preferences into a ranking system.
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.
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.