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Posted by Philip on 22 October 2013, 6:02 pm in , , , , ,

Vodafone, window washers, irony and paradox

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[Update 23 October 2013: After making a complaint, I'm pleased to say I had a successful resolution to my issue with Vodafone.] Today I had shocking customer service from Vodafone and then watched news items saying the Government intends to legislate against window washers at traffic lights.

Sure, those window washing guys are sometimes annoying – but usually they're good guys. I never have cash to pay them (and couldn't get to it if I did) and they've always been sweet. But then, they're earning $100 an hour tax-free, according to one transparent TV News interviewee.

Far more, I'm sure, than Vodafone call centre employees.

There's irony and paradox in these two stories.

The irony is that window washers are earning money in a somewhat entrepreneurial way, at a time where Government welfare policies are actively discouraging unemployment. But Government is shutting them down.

The paradox is that the less you pay your staff, the more profit you make. But you will have lower morale and loyalty. This is likely to result in less new and ongoing business, if my reaction to Vodafone's one-line email (a complaint and threat to look for a new provider) is anything to go by. 

I pay my five employees well above the minimum wage. I do this not unselfishly, to give them security of income and quality of life. I do it selfishly, to ensure I have a competent, reliable and content workforce.

So should Vodafone.

As for the window washers? If I had the means, I'd set up roadside window washing stations throughout the country and employ aspiring window washers. It would seem, if novices are making $100 an hour, there's a 300% profit-making business, paying employees way above the minimum wage, waiting to happen.

If there are any entrepreneurs reading this, the idea is yours. I'd be happy to be on the Board.

If there are Vodafone leaders reading, please pay your people more.



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