So, I will no longer be giving my hard-earned dollars to Panera Bread. I understand this movement of employers looking for ways to get out of paying employees, and also to get out of having to offer quality services to their customers, but I feel like Panera has gone a bit too far.

My wife and I were in there this evening and came face-to-face with the self-service kiosks. Now, I boycott these, anyway, for the personal reason that I don’t like the idea of machines taking human jobs. Don’t get me wrong: I understand it happens, has been happening for a long time, and will continue to happen as long as technology exists. Regardless, I will do what I can not to support it.

I don’t really buy into the propaganda and excuses that companies are forced to do this because there exists a minimum wage. That’s hogwash, and if you believe it then I have a monument in Washington I can sell you. I think even if they could pay people a dollar an hour, they would still purchase machinery to keep from paying people anything. The notion that they would not is a pretty gullible assertion to subscribe to.

But, don’t get me wrong: I am not naive. I understand an employer choosing to take this route in order to save having to pay someone. They are maximizing profit, which, sadly, seems to be the only mindset our country currently supports. I’m not saying I think this practice should be outlawed or anything overboard such as that, just as a human who values humanity over dollars in the grand scheme of things, I opt out of using these dumb devices whenever I can.

Now, with that said, here is my other big issue: beyond the self-service kiosks, at the counter there was a sign hung that read FIND YOUR ORDER HERE.

Excuse me? So, not only do you want my money that I earned, you also want me to do what you get paid to do? You want me to be my own cashier and my own runner? What’s next? You want me to come back there and make it, too? I don’t think so. This is sad service. There’s no reason someone cannot inform me when my order is ready. That’s what your business gets paid for.

Please understand me when I say that the reason I find this practice to be a shining example of the deteriorating state of corporate America and the rigged workforce, and how lazy and entitled business owners have become, is because we, the customers, pay them to provide a service. We don’t pay them so that we can come into their establishments and do their jobs for them. It’s like paying someone to let you work for them.

The whole purpose the populace visits places like Panera Bread is so they don’t have to prepare dinner themselves, especially in a society when everyone is on the go. If we have to do at least fifty-percent of the work, what are we paying them for? Mediocre, overpriced food? If I wanted to do just about all the work, I wouldn’t be showing up to your place of business.

Hey! Since we’re doing the bulk of the work ourselves now, we should get the food for a cheaper price. Of course that won’t happen.

Anyway, Panera is off my list completely. This is a gross display of slothfulness and avarice on their part. People don’t want to support the poor and unemployed with their tax dollars, and I don’t want to support indolent, overly-acquisitive parasites exploiting the privilege of a Capitalist economy while showing no interest in offering a satisfactory experience for their patronage with my money.

If you want me to come in and do the work, then you need to pay me for my efforts. If people want self-service food, then they’ll stay home and cook. Talk about someone wanting money for nothing. Wow.

I only hope more people have the good sense to realize this, too.



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