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Non school related vent
Old 07-29-2018, 09:02 PM
 
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So I bought groceries today. My grown son was with me. At checkout, the cashier never spoke one single word to me. Not hello, not do you have your loyalty card, not a total amount due, not a thank you, not a goodbye. Not even a smile. So we're walking out with the buggy guy, and I said in a sort of off hand way, to both my son and the buggy guy, "Wow, that cashier never said even one word to me." Buggy guy was like ,"Maybe she's in a bad mood or something. She is usually pretty talkative." So I agreed maybe she was having a bad day. Later in the car, my son was like, "Wow Mom, that was a douche move. Telling one employee that another employee sucks. If it bothers you that much you should tell the manager." I told him I wouldn't want to get anyone in trouble. I guess I was thinking maybe buggy guy would mention it to her and she would realize she's being rude without my getting her in trouble with her boss. My son says she doesn't owe me anything except to check my groceries out efficiently and accurately. She's under no obligation to say hello or thank you. I reminded him that he himself would never treat a customer that way, and he agreed, but chalked it up to mere personality differences. I say she has an obligation, if not as an employee, then at least as one human being interacting with another, to be kind and decent. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything to the buggy guy, though.

Ok vent done. Thank you. Have a nice day. (See? That wasn't so hard...)


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Old 07-29-2018, 09:41 PM
 
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Ok vent done. Thank you. Have a nice day. (See? That wasn't so hard...)


That is my pet peeve, actually- cashiers or other service personnel who don't greet. I've worked as a cashier and a waitress, hostess, etc. and it was drilled into me that you ALWAYS greet the customer, even if you can't yet seat them/whatever. As a customer, I see what a difference it makes if I am greeted.

The other day, I was at a counter and the cashier didn't greet me. I said "hello" very deliberately and looked at him and waited for him to say it back Seriously, I hate bad customer service!
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:04 PM
 
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See, this would not bother me at all. I'm kind of with your son here- the cashier's job is to check out the groceries. I mean, if you asked her a question, I would expect her to answer, but I don't think small talk is necessary for that kind of a job. I'm an introvert by nature and I don't particularly want to be chatted up by every stranger I encounter. If an employee is doing their job appropriately but quietly, I'm fine with that. I'd actually prefer not to be chatted up, to be real.

Who knows what was going on with the cashier? Maybe she just got some bad news on her break and is processing it. Maybe she's not feeling well all the sudden- really bad headache or something.

Anyway, I'd cut her a break.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:43 PM
 
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One thing that I've been saying a lot recently, to myself and others, is "if you want better people, you have to pay more than $7.25 an hour." Retail is having a hard time finding quality applicants because the quality applicants can get and need higher paying jobs. If you want the person at the drive-thru window to speak to you like someone in a higher-paying field, you need that to be a higher-paying field.
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Cashier was in the wrong
Old 07-30-2018, 04:13 AM
 
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From the time I was 16 until 38 (I'm 47 now), I was in some sort of job where I had to be pleasant to my customers. I waited tables, worked in grocery stores, a men's clothing store, gift shop, all where I had to be pleasant. This is something that should still be done today, no matter what your pay.

TheGr8Catsby, I can't agree with your statement.
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One thing that I've been saying a lot recently, to myself and others, is "if you want better people, you have to pay more than $7.25 an hour."
When you're a good person with good work ethic, it doesn't matter how much you're paid. You do the work you're supposed to do with a smile on your face.

The problem with lack of customer service is not because of the amount people are being paid. It's a problem with how people are being raised. Parenting in this country is going downhill. Not for everyone, obviously. I'm not going to paint it that broadly. But I've been in this teaching gig for a long time now, and I'm seeing the effects of the lack of parenting in kids. I've gotta be honest...it scares the hell out of me thinking about what's our future holds.


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I recall once receiving a candy
Old 07-30-2018, 04:19 AM
 
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order for our school's fundraiser. All of the boxes were supposed to be pre-packed based on individual orders. They were totally messed up and we had to re-do all of them. Someone said, "Well, that's what happens when people are paid minimum wage."

I said, "I beg to differ. I remember working for $1.60 an hour and still doing a good job."

I believe one component of customer service is showing at least a slight interest in the person in front of you, whom you are SERVING!! It isn't just about the mechanics of performing the task. It is about making the person want to shop in that store. Any management team that fails to instill this concept in its workers is failing both employee and customer. Saying hello, how are you today should be second nature to anyone in retail of any type. I've had it with surly cashiers. Leave your problems at home.

As teachers, do we have the right to be short or curt or aloof with students just because of our personal problems? And aren't we underpaid?
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:16 AM
 
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I agree with your son. In most stores, the bagger is lower in the hierarchy than the checker. It seems cheesy to me to complain to him. You wouldn’t complain to an aide about a teacher, right? I mean, even if you were just hoping the aide would take the message back as you said.

I like DrGraceKrispy’s solution: if you really need the person to talk to you, you can easily force the situation.

I am the opposite of you. I just want to pay for my groceries. I am always polite, and sometimes even engage in conversation, but they’re not my friends. In fact, what I really hate is when the checker is clearly done and the person in front of me continues talking. I want them to shut up and leave so I can have my turn and go home with my melting ice cream.

I know my pleasant-but-efficient method is appreciated because earlier this year I said to a checker I wasn’t familiar with, “I’ve shopped here for 27 years. Today is my last day.”
She responded, “We’ll miss you. We like customers like you.”
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:20 AM
 
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I personally prefer when cashiers aren't chatty. I use the self-checkout whenever I can for this reason. That said, yes, the cashier could be interpreted as being rude, but I think going to complain about it is over the top.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:26 AM
 
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- we are different in deed. I am happier when they cashier doesn't talk to me but does a good job.

My local grocery store has had no, or very few, baggers or "buggy guys" for the last 6 months or more. This has made the checkout process very long since the cashier also has to do all the bagging or customer bags their own stuff. I get so irritated when they are having a conversation and stopping to chat-I have already been in line for 15 minutes or more so I want you to hurry up not add banter to the experience.

Also half of the cashiers around here have been replaced with self checkout for the very reason I mentioned. People dont want chit chat, they want to hurry up.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:30 AM
 
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I don’t care for chatty, however the cashier has an obligation as a Custer service rep. to greet and be polite. This is part of the problem today that people just don’t care. I work at McDonald’s for minimum wage and was always polite no matter what or I would be fired! As a society we are raising self entitled brats and I fear for the future!


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Old 07-30-2018, 05:38 AM
 
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The majority of checkers at the grocery store chain where I shop say:

Hello.
Did you find everything you needed today?
Your total is...
Thank you.
Have a nice day.

I think at the very least a hello and thank you should be given.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:36 AM
 
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I don't need a whole conversation, but I do expect some common courtesy. A greeting or a closing statement of some kind at least.
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I work at McDonald’s for minimum wage and was always polite no matter what or I would be fired!
McDonald's was my first job outside of babysitting and this was true then, but if this is still the case they would have to fire everyone at our local franchises! They used to also stand outside the drive thru and time us with a stop watch to make sure we were processing orders fast enough. That apparently is not a top priority anymore either.

Customer service is why I love Chic-Fil-A. It is always their pleasure- even when I know there are times when it is not!
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Checkers
Old 07-30-2018, 06:44 AM
 
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First, if I had said that to either of my DDs, they would have said the exact same thing. It's possible it's a generational thing.....not sure. That said, I much prefer to get in and out. A "hello" is nice, but not mandatory. Several checkers at my Trader Joe's are waaaaay too chatty, they hold up the line and I know more than I care to.

On a side note, I no longer go to one of the big grocery store chains in my neighborhood. The checkers are constantly bad talking management to each other...across check stands so everyone can hear.
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Cashiers
Old 07-30-2018, 07:48 AM
 
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I expect grocery cashiers to be efficient, but I certainly don't need to chit chat with them. If one wants to start a conversation, I'm happy to respond, but I don't care if they don't do so.

It makes for a more pleasurable experience when they are friendly, but I don't take it personally if they are not.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:45 AM
 
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I mean, you can complain that young people suck and everyone should have a good work ethic all you want, but minimum wage attracts minimum-quality. Better quality employees can get and need better quality pay. Someone who can do a job well isn't flipping burgers for long. The way to get better people is to raise the pay, so you can be more selective in hiring. You can say fire people with bad customer service all you want, but that's not happening. They're having a hard time filling minimum wage positions, and the applicant pool is of similar quality people.

Last edited by TheGr8Catsby; 07-30-2018 at 09:12 AM.. Reason: Added details
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Wow!
Old 07-30-2018, 09:27 AM
 
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I don't expect (or usually even want) a conversation, but I think that a Good morning is part of the job. And probably a statement of the amount to be paid. At the end, a goodbye/thank you--something.

Did you say anything to her? Because I think that the customer should also be saying hello, etc.

It is inappropriate to criticize one employee to another. If the employee's actions were not great, but no big deal, just ignore it.

If the actions were really a problem for you, either say something to the employee in question or to the manager.

Imagine how you would feel if a parent complained about you to one of the other school staff members and expected them to talk to you about it.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:17 AM
 
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[QUOTE] Hello.
Did you find everything you needed today?
Your total is...
Thank you.
Have a nice day.[QUOTE]

I agree with ZipLine's statement. This senerio is exactly what should be said at a check out. A cashier has 2 jobs to do - make a personal contact with the customer and check out what was purchased. If you don't want to talk to a person use the self checkout or order online. As we know this is what our world is coming to with all the self checkout lanes and stores closing in the mall. I think as a society we are becoming to self focused and forgetting that we are surrounded by people. We see it in our kids who text when they are sitting right next to each other.

Now that being said....I don't care for small talk with the cashier, especially if they initiate it. At times I have initiated a short exchange but not often. The cashier has a job to do and talking with me doesn't allow them to do it efficiently. BUT I do like to be acknowledged.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:29 PM
 
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To be clear, I also don't like chatty. Being chatty and simply being pleasant, professional and GREETING someone (i.e., letting someone else know that you realize they exist in front of you) are not the same thing.
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I don’t care for chatty, however the cashier has an obligation as a Custer service rep. to greet and be polite.
Yes!

Also, I should not feel like I'm making someone's day worse by simply buying tampons (or whatever... why I thought of tampons, I don't know ). I agree that pay doesn't matter. If you are hired to do a job, you do the job to the best of your ability. If you don't like it because it's crappy pay, then do your best to move up the ladder (by being good at your job!) or find something else you feel is more worthy of you and your special talents. If you're set on being miserable because your pay sucks, then you're miserable and should be hiding in the back where you can't spread that to others.

Now... why do I really want some delicious custard??? (I think it was the the "Custer" service mentioned above...)
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:50 PM
 
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I live in the south. Small town atmosphere. We are polite and engage sometimes. I go to Publix. They are the best store in Fla for groceries and service. It does not cost anything to be nice. It usually pays "dividends". I was in a Subway yesterday and encountered the same young man as I did the last time. You HAVE to talk to them in there as they do your order to the nth degree. I have to say he is one of the most polite and engaging service workers I have EVER encountered. AND I think he is from up north from his accent. Next time I see him IM gonna ask. But back to the store encounters. Do unto others.........
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:53 PM
 
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I just got back from the grocery store and I thought about your post.

Yes! Common courtesy means a checker greets a customer with a "Hi, how are you today. Did you find everything?" Or some other greeting. We, as the customer, smile and say, "I think I found it all, thank you."

Then the rest of the process can be chatty or silent. At the end, a good bye exchange of some nature happens and then we go on our way.

This is the way civilized people interact, and I don't care if it's a checker making minimum wage or if it's a colleague in the hall.

Telling the bag boy about the incident is called taking advantage of a teachable moment, and now if he becomes a checker he'll know that some people would like the world to have some civility.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:13 PM
 
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To those of you who say that pay doesn't matter - would you do your job the same way for $7.25 an hour? I definitely would not. I wouldn't do the job "to the best of my ability" if I didn't get a professional wage for being a professional. Would you even be a teacher for $7.25 an hour? I wouldn't. If pay doesn't matter, you would do all of the prep you do, all of the planning, and all of the outside work - because you're doing the best you can do for the job you were hired for - for minimum wage. No. You expect more from people who are better compensated.

The pay affects the applicant pool. If you want better people working the job, you have to attract better people. You attract better people by paying more. If I buy a basket from Dollar Tree, I have different expectations of it than one that I spent $20 on from The Container Store.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:34 PM
 
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Quote:
To those of you who say that pay doesn't matter - would you do your job the same way for $7.25 an hour? I definitely would not. I wouldn't do the job "to the best of my ability" if I didn't get a professional wage for being a professional.
I stand by my post. If I thought I was worth more than the pay given for a job, I would be doing what I could to move up the scale or find a new job. A cashier is not a "professional" job. And yes, I worked it with a smile for ~$3/hour when that was my job, and I was thankful to have an income. I have worked many minimum wage jobs and many professional jobs (some of which, quite honestly, netted me LESS money for the year than I would have made working f/t at minimum wage with very occasional overtime). If someone feels the job is beneath them, then they do what they can to find the right fit.

Do I think my pay, as a professional with a PhD who works my butt off in a helping profession with ~2wk vacation for the entire year, is adequate compensation, when a movie star or rock star or even a tech worker makes way more than me? No, actually, I don't. But do I do my job to the best of my ability? Yes. Because I have a good work ethic and I believe in doing my job and doing it well.

No one here is saying that someone working minimum wages has to be some fantastic, amazing person who puts their life into their work. What several of us ARE saying is that customer service should include greeting a customer and being pleasant.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:41 PM
 
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To those of you who say that pay doesn't matter - would you do your job the same way for $7.25 an hour? I definitely would not. I wouldn't do the job "to the best of my ability" if I didn't get a professional wage for being a professional.
Yes, I expect someone making $7.25 to still do their job. In a service job, which is what I consider a checker to be, that includes greeting the customer, accurately scanning and bagging the items, accurately making change, and making a closing statement of some kind.

Checkers say that it's frustrating to have customers on their phone throughout the whole checking out process. It should work the other way too, where checkers should be polite to the customer.

I don't think this is a pay issue. I think it's an issue of manners and basic human interaction.

How many of us see a student in the hall at school, greet them, and then have to remind them they should respond in kind. Sure, we could all live in a world where no one has manners but some of the niceties of life make our days go smoother. I would hate to give that up.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:07 PM
 
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I'm not saying that these people think they're too good to be working for the pay. I'm saying that if you want higher-quality employees, you have to market yourself to higher-quality employees. These are two different subgroups of people. You are paying people the minimum to work them for the minimum. If you want cheery people with fantastic interpersonal communication skills, market your position (and pay) for cheery people with fantastic interpersonal communication skills. You pay people without skills a price because they don't have the skills. Getting people with better skills requires you to pay better. People with interpersonal communication skills aren't in these extreme-entry positions.

At this time, personable people with communication skills don't have to work register because at this time they have more lucrative options.

There's also a difference between being paid less than you think that you're worth, and being paid the minimum possible amount without your employer breaking the law.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:33 PM
 
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I totally agree with you! It is a pet peeve of mine when I'm not greeted as a customer. I dont need to chat with them, but a hello and thank you IS an important part of customer service. I believe it's becoming a lost art with the younger generation. It doesn't make them right though. People who are not curtious and friendly should not be working with the public. Period. In 1983 I made about $3.25 an hour at McDonalds. I always did a bang up job with customer service. I remember earning an award for it when I worked drive-thru. I don't care how much you make an hour. Take some pride in your work!
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:45 AM
 
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I can identify. First, our kids (even the slightly grown ones) are our worst critics. They still think of us as a reflection of them or that they are us. Very codependent.

Second, the young generation doesn't know where we're coming from. We grew up when people spoke to each other and the cashiers were friendly. The young today stare at their devices instead of interacting with friends. Or they parallel interact. They will stare at the same device together.

....Is he a cashier? My granddaughter is and some customers are abusive to her, so when we shop together I know I'd better be on my super duper most polite behavior or I'm going to hear about it.

You're fine!
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:02 PM
 
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My daughter works part time at a grocery store and they are required to greet customers, ask if they were able to find anything, ask if they want help to their car, etc. I can't imagine someone even saying "hello" or the total of your bill.


This is another of my pet peeves.


Quote:
Also, I should not feel like I'm making someone's day worse by simply buying tampons (or whatever... why I thought of tampons, I don't know )

I don't really enjoy chatting at all with strangers but I hate it when the cashier makes it clear that you are bothering her/him! One time, the cashier complained to me that she was "stuck" serving customers (uhm me!) while another employee got to return stock and she has worked there longer so how fair is that? Clearly helping me was punishment...
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:21 PM
 
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Yes unfriendly cashiers are not very fun to deal with. However, I can’t begin to tell you how annoyed I get when I go to the store and the cashier says something like “Oh those are really good”. The one that almost sent me over the deep end was when one said “Looks like we have the munchies”. Or “Are you having a party”? None of your business.

I have to admit that I would rather have a cashier say nothing to me than to pry and ask questions that are none of their business. I also admit that I am as bad of a customer as some of those cashiers are because their witty rapport is usually met by a should shrug or a grunt from me.
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Apple Annie
Old 07-31-2018, 07:31 PM
 
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I could easily see how you made that comment to the cart person. It was absolutely rude that the checker did not acknowledge your presence. It is just common politeness to at least say hello and goodbye. That is the type of job that they are in. It is a service job.
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Then there was the 50ish woman
Old 08-01-2018, 08:27 AM
 
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who always greeted me with "How ya doing, baby? (or sweetie, or darling, or honey) I'd rather be ignored.

P.S. At 58, I'm a little too old to be called "baby" by anyone, much less a total stranger.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:

[To those of you who say that pay doesn't matter - would you do your job the same way for $7.25 an hour? I definitely would not. I wouldn't do the job "to the best of my ability" if I didn't get a professional wage for being a professional.] (I don't know how to do the quote thing...sorry)

I basically make minimum wage at my teaching job at a small Christian school. Do I do it the same way I did when making considerably more in a public school? Absolutely. They're paying me. It's my responsibility to do the job to the best of my ability whether they pay me $7.25 or $77.25 per hour. I make more working my summer job at the KOA where I'm paid $9.00 an hour. I don't work harder at it than I do my teaching job. I give both of them my all. That's the work ethic and the character I was raised with.
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