I find Occupy Wall Street compelling. I feel connected to it in a way, mostly because of my own history working for corporations that have no seeming regard for the quality of life of its employees. . . well, the employees doing the face-to-face work with the consumers. As a store manager for one such corporation I was admonished on several accounts for hiring employees at $8 an hour. That's $8 an hour, with no guaranteed number of hours per week, no benefits, and one free beverage a day. I hired a few twenty-something musicians, but also had a fair share of family bread winners working for me. for. $8. an. hour. people with kids, no guaranteed income, no family health insurance.
Yep, they're making your $4 latte, ringing up your clothes at the mega store, and bagging your groceries.
I no longer work for that company but could tell you countless stories of profit margin winning out over the opportunity to treat their workers with simple dignity. Needless to say, I don't buy their products either.
Those experiences as corporate peon have shaped the values we hold dear in our household today. All preachiness aside, asking corporate giants to be kind and respect each individual for their skills, talents and abilities isn't anything new. This is exactly why we DIY. It's also why we vote with our dollars.
Companies that value me receive my valuable money. It's an equation of simple human kindness that we can all opt to invest in.
Want to know about the goodies I've picked out to go with this post?
Quill and Arrow Press Vonnegut postcard made in Penland, NC
Aurora Shoe Co. West Indian shoe made in Aurora, NY
Raleigh Denim made just up the road in Raleigh, NC with fabric made in Greensboro, NC
Shuron Eyewear made in Greenville, SC.
Kids's shoes handmade in the USA by Austin, TX-based Bear Feet kids's shoes