In the previous season, a massive tornado destroyed Cloud 9. Earlier in the episode, the employees held a memorial for a coworker (Brett) who they believed passed away during the tornado. Dina, normally the most confident worker, is a bit freaked out by a rainstorm outside and suggests that they head to the storm shelter. Her risk tolerance seems to have shifted to becoming rather risk averse following the tornado strike. Preferences for risk can change and be context dependent. In this case, a traumatic event a few months earlier has made a large impact on Dina’s tolerance for risk.
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.
Amy’s husband has started working at the store as a temporary employee, but Amy has asked Glenn to have their shifts switched. Glenn asks if the request is because the spark is gone in their marriage or if they are just in a rough patch. His implication is that they have been together long enough that their utility isn’t constantly increasing. Amy is concerned about working with her husband because she knows that their happiness is interdependent.
Glenn announces a winner of the search for the store’s new Santa position. When the winner asks about the salary, Glenn tells him that he will be paid in smiles and wonder and so many other things. The winner quits, along with almost everyone else. There is one person who stays: an employee of the store.
Dina tries to impress her coworkers by giving them gifts, but she breaks into their lockers to give them their gifts. Some of the gifts are mildly offensive, but she thinks they are appropriate. The deadweight loss typically associated with gift giving is that people who give the gifts spend more money on the items than the recipient is likely to spend for the same item.
Bo and Cheyenne are shopping for wedding supplies in the store. Bo really wants to buy some laptops so they can smash them during the wedding as a form of entertainment. Amy is shocked because she knows how expensive it is to raise a child and believes that the couple should be saving the money instead of spending it on one day. Amy tricks Bo into playing a game with a price gun so that Bo and Cheyenne can see how expensive a child can be. People struggle to recognize the opportunity costs in their decisions, but Amy has made the cost more salient.
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.
Adam and Jonah are watching Adam’s YouTube channel on one of the TVs in the store, but Jonah will use this as an opportunity to try and sell Adam a new TV. In order to win the Color Wars, employees are trying to sell expensive items to increase their team’s total. Jonah doesn’t know that Adam is married to Amy and begins to insult her in an attempt to get Adam to purchase the TV. Adam makes some key comments that connect with the economics of the household, namely that his and Amy’s happiness is linked. He’s careful to consider Amy’s happiness before making purchases, because their utility functions are interdependent.
Amy asks Garett to finish the shift assignments, but he’d rather finish eating his lunch. Mateo jumps at the opportunity to make shift assignments and provide retribution for wrongs that have been done.
A lot of the employees walked out while on their shift in the hopes of getting Glenn his job back. The regional manager has arrived and is working with Jonah and Amy to see how they can get the employees back to work. Initially, Amy and Jonah ask only for Glenn to have is job back, but they must sign a letter saying that they apologize for walking out. While it seems like a small request, they decide that the employees really deserve more. Part of the goal of unionization is to turn a competitive labor market into a monopoly provider of labor. Through collective bargaining, Amy and Jonah demand more for their group.