Article > Opinion

The Problem is Not the Stool



In response to your article in the March issue, “Get Off Your Duff” (by Gary Garberg): Out of the hundreds of autoparts stores I have visited and the 25-30 stores I have worked at in over the last 10 years, I’ve found none of what you experienced in your visit. Gary, it’s my belief that the real problem is not the stool, but the work ethic of the employee and, just maybe, some additional leadership skills of the boss.

I’m a 63-year-old who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and the recent recipient of a foot operation. Even though I feel I work as hard as some, an hour for lunch after four hours on your feet does not cut it. When the others have finished their smoke breaks, I take a fresh-air break — in sight of the front door and registers — and sit down on my roll-around stool.

I’m not a doctor but I find it hard to believe that being on your feet on a cement floor isn’t going to have some negative effect on a counterperson’s lower joints.

Now that I’ve made my pet peeves known, I’m going to proudly put on my uniform, clock in, find out today’s objectives, work until my feet and joints hurt, and sit on my stool for a few minutes. Maybe you’ll come by while I’m sitting and be mildly surprised that from that stool, I’ll greet you within moments of entering our store, make you feel welcome, relaxed and, quite possibly, happy that you are here.

K. Brandt, Martinsburg, W.Va.

  Previous Comments
avatar   cb   star   2/25/2010   2:05 PM

I have to agree with what most have said. I am only 28 and suffer from degenerative disc disease, so walking and standing are both painful. Because of this I have to sit down quite frequently, but i still put in around 9 to 10 hours a day at my store. I have worked for a couple of auto parts companies and believe that it does not matter if you sit or stand but how you help the customer, after all they are who is paying our paychecks.

avatar   a. honey   star   2/22/2010   10:12 AM

i really do agree...i suffer from kidney diease and at times it gets to the point i have to sit down ...i greet customers as they come in the store and quick to get up to help with something they might need assistance store that i work for is very helpful with my condition and understanding....i couldn't ask for a better bunch of team members

avatar   raul Armendariz   star   12/27/2009   11:59 AM

I agree with taking time to get off my feet too. and like you I too will be up and great you with in three feet of you coming into my store. I have had health issues too, but it wont stop me from doing my work.

avatar   DAVE ELLIOTT   star   9/23/2009   1:51 PM

Wolfe's gellin like a felon! Yes indeed, you need to take care of your tootsies. There are many insoles and I have a friend at "the zone" who has a pair of those spring loaded shoes from a specialty shop and she swears by them, her husband is a diesel mechanic and has a pair of work boots like that and has reduced his back and leg problems greatly.

avatar   Wolfe   star   8/1/2009   12:35 AM

Everyone needs to realize that concrete is not a nice floor. It makes a great base, but when you have to stand on it 8 hours a day (10+ for some), it can destroy not just your feet, but your back and more. Some stores have cushion mats to help ease the pain of standing all day, but if you have no mat, that stool is a God of relief. But if you are having serious issues with the floor, invest in some Dr. Scholls shoes. I got a $30 pair that has built in gel heels and they are working great so far. If that is too much, pick up the inserts. The commercials might be annoying/dumb, but they truly do make a world of a difference when you are in pain from standing. That concrete floor can cause a negative attitude that WILL be reflected on anyone who has to stand on it for too long.

avatar   Dave Elliott   star   5/14/2009   9:06 AM

Try hanging in there all day with diabetic neuropathy. I'm a 31 year parts guy. I don't know how to change jobs at this time where I can sit at a desk. My store doesn't allow everyone to sit, but they have made concessions to keep me employed. I am normally the number one or two in monthly sales, so it's not the stool, it's the work ethic as stated earlier..

avatar   Paul   star   5/8/2009   5:48 PM

Stools should be use for BRIEF rest breaks. If your store looks like the one Gary described, you don't need to rest. That's all you have been doing already.

avatar   T Glidden   star   4/14/2009   8:49 AM

The problem is not standing or sitting but ignoring the customer. If you are helping the customer they don't care if you are standing or sitting. But just telling them where to find something instead of showing them is bad practice whether you standing or sitting.

avatar   lee   star   3/24/2009   10:16 AM true

avatar   dee   star   3/8/2009   11:25 AM

I agree I suffer from bone spurs on my heels and it hurts to stand on the cement floors all day unlike some of the guys i work with they would say if you can do the job then find work some place else.. but its ok for them to take 7-10 smoke breaks in a 3 hour time frame and the complain if I prop my foot on the lower shelf to take pressure off my heel... I think you sitting is fine as long as you do you job.

avatar   james   star   2/27/2009   6:06 PM

I would have to agree. I get the pleasure of putting in 16 hour days from time to time and 16 hours on a concrete floor will do some damage to knees and feet.

avatar   m richardson   star   2/22/2009   2:16 PM

i agree it is not always the ability but the knowledge

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