Many of them told me that they did not think they could get any other kind of work. "I'm just glad I have a job," was one woman's reply when I asked her why she did not complain about some of the company's policies.
Sometimes women stay because they are truly committed to sewing and crafting. They want to help the women who are keeping these skills alive in our culture. That in part describes why I stayed for as long as I did.
On websites that describe employee attitudes to the corporation, women posting there will often say they stayed in spite of difficult and unfair working conditions because of the relationships they had formed with some of the customers.
I could write an entire article about how the corporation uses sales and coupons to extract the maximum amount of profit out of women shopping at Jo-Ann's.
What I will say here is that I am now torn about shopping at this store. I hate the cheap seasonal merchandise they carry, probably, at incredibly inflated prices. I hate the coupon books they put out every few weeks that promise savings until a customer gets to the store and realizes that everything has been marked down and the coupons cannot be used on 'sale' merchandise. I hate that the bulk of Jo-Ann's stock comes from Asia where God only knows what kind of working conditions must be endured by the employees over there.
But I occasionally shop there because the women who still work there want those jobs. I wish I could support them, their talents and abilities, their dreams and their kindness, without supporting the insatiable maw that is corporate America's approach to profitability.
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