We keep hearing about the supply chain: boats stuck in harbor without labor to unload or deliver goods to retail and food distributors; not enough servers and kitchen staff to prepare and deliver the food to your table.
In our case the issue came to a head over the holidays. Getting a notice that after four months in a row of paper mill cost increases and lack of quality printing labor, our printer was shutting down after 50 years. And if that wasn’t enough, learning that the distributor who delivers our paper to your door was also shutting down.
There are not many printers out there anymore, and even less companies that distribute paper goods door to door. Finding them and agreeing to terms for a product that we provide at no cost is no easy task. I kept having to remind myself of my why: Why providing a free newspaper to my community was so important. It was a text message I received on New Year’s Eve from my friend Jeff that made sense of our struggle and why I needed to push on.
The supply chain issue is very real. The gap between worth versus value feels more like a generational divide these days. Words like entitlement, greed, pride, laziness, hard work and loyalty. A conflict between business owners, workers, customers, parents and their kids, and the community in general. Who deserved more and why. We are all re-defining, justifying and adopting definitions to a new economy. But at the end of the day, it’s still supply versus demand.
What value do we put on professionals these days? Katie is an ICU nurse and her husband Tristan is a firefighter. Both work hard in our community. I can’t think of two more relevant and important professions right now. Whatever they make, surely it’s not enough.
Should you get paid on how many years of education you have? How much revenue you generate for your company? I remember a time when airline pilots were highly valued and earned a great living. How about bridge engineers responsible for millions of drivers’ safety? How about politicians with millions of votes? Now what about the one that invented a new video game? Accountants, attorneys and the list goes on. Do we compensate teachers on how many students passed a test? Does a mechanic get paid if your car still isn’t fixed, does a doctor get paid if the patient dies? Is it OK for me to even compare the two?
I have to wonder, is this a confrontation between a generation that learned to settle for what was given to them, worked very hard to gain more, and a generation that won’t get out of bed until a fair compensation is offered? And if they don’t get out of bed, who pays their bills? No politics here, simply asking questions.
Over the next few issues, we will be highlighting more of the American worker. Values, trends of trades and workplaces. I’d love to hear your success stories and the struggles you encountered getting there.
As always, thanks for reading.
Contact Neighborhood Gazette Publisher Guy Nahmiach at 303-999-5789 or WRGazette@gmail.com.