What Spongebob Squarepants Taught Me About the Workplace


What Spongebob Squarepants Taught Me About the Workplace

In the television show Spongebob Squarepants the titular character of the same name works at a fast food joint that has it's share of problems. Likewise in the real world I work at a tool store that has it's share of issues as well. Today I'm going to explain how the issues in Spongebob's employment are relatable to the real world.

Understaffing/ Labor costs

In the show, the Krusty Krab only has three major employees. Spongebob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs. He does this so he can keep labor costs down meaning less employees he has to pay. In the real world where I work at we have twenty employees. Out of those only six are full time. This also interferes with scheduling as most of the time we are understaffed and over Labour budget. So we don't get as many hours as we should because they say sales aren't good enough. Lately we've had some decent sales, but yet they say there's not enough hours to give everyone. I personally believe the company is doing it to cut labor costs.

What Spongebob Squarepants Taught Me About the Workplace

Constant changes in company policies

In the show Mr. Krabs often changes the company policies to benefit himself rather than the employees. In our company which I work for it's pretty much the same way. Recently our job title has changed to better fit the company philosophy as they say. Used to being called retail clerks we are now called either sales associates or logistics associates depending on where we mostly work in the store. The break policy changes often too. Sometimes we get a fifteen minute paid break, sometimes a ten, sometimes none at all.

Most of the time I', a nightshift worker working after the store is closed. We do have a mandatory lunch break if we work over five hours. Even the way we unload trucks and do our work has policies too. We have to have a fifty foot tractor trailer unloaded in two hours regardless or we are fined by the trucking company since we don't have our own truck line. Even tasks that used to not have a time limit now do. Like someone on stocking hammers has to have the whole section done in a specific amount of time.

Constant changes in management

In Spongebob the Krusty Krab has changed owners a few times. From his daughter Pearl to outside investors. Where I work we've only been open nine months. But we've had three management leave or transfer in the last nine months. The warehouse manager quit because he injured himself and refused to get workman's comp because he knew he would fail a drug test. He even came into work drunk and high on several occasions.

What Spongebob Squarepants Taught Me About the Workplace

The second was my supervisor who transferred to a closer store. He was not very well liked as he constantly cracked dirty jokes, creeped other employees out, talked bad about people behind their backs, and even was the cause of me having a panic attack in the middle of work one night. But always acted as if he was a friend and even gave me his number which I ripped up and threw away. Now our store manager is moving to another store twenty miles away that had recently purged most of its staff by corporate orders. So now the two store managers and warehouse manager who we have now are trying to run the ship only to find out they have trouble communicating and getting along with each other.

While the warehouse supervisor takes sides of her employees,the logistics head manager only cares about the speed and efficiency of the work done and not the health and well being of employees. Even though some of the people I work with are over 60. One is in his 80s. They give him a hard time because he is slow, but I was raised by older grandparents so I try to be more helpful to him. Honestly I don't believe he should be working there because of his safety. In fact, I don't think anyone over a certain age should be doing any heavy lifting or unloading freight for safety reasons. But it's the only hours they get before Social Security pays them anything.

Favoritism and misuse of employees

This last one is a bit controversial but I have a lot to say about this. In the Spongebob movie, Mr Krabs opens up a new Krusty Krab restaurant in conjunction of the first one. Spongebob has dedicated a lot of years, numerous safety awards, Employee of the month awards, and even kissing Mr Krabs' ass to recieve a better position in the company. Only to be shafted by Mr Krabs choosing Squidward even though Squidward is not friendly to customers, lazy, and all around just don't give a shit about his work. In my job its no different. But, it seems like all the cashiers or the majority are women.

What Spongebob Squarepants Taught Me About the Workplace

This is not a sexist statement by myself because I believe in equal rights and employment laws. But the company seems to favor attractive women more for cashiers positions because it helps bring in sales as the company puts it. I have mentioned that I have wanted to be cross trained after putting in eight months to the company just getting a fifteen cent raise and a good performance review. That has yet to take place. How am I ever going to get an opportunity to advance if i'm just stuck in one spot all the time. Sure I've never missed a scheduled day, Never complained, nor ever asked to leave before my shift. But people who have called out, left early constantly, and even have had their kids taken away by DSS and have probably used drugs have been offered full time positions and get hours better than I do. I've been loyal to them,but It just seems like i'm being cheated at the same time. I often wonder what do they have that I don't? Is it because I'm a guy, I'm not necessarily attractive, or is it that's the only way they want to use me?

Yes Spongebob may be fictional, but the workplace ordeals are not. This really happens in some workplaces. On a positive note I do have a job that pays a little, so I can't complain. But I do want better hours and a chance to prove myself that I can do anything in the store. I just wish that things were better.

What Spongebob Squarepants Taught Me About the Workplace
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