Unsung Heroes #251

A couple of area businesses have come in for some harsh criticism on “06880” lately: Hook’d (the Compo Beach and Longshore concessionaire), and Optimum (the communications near-monopoly).

Other readers have other beefs, like Main Street stores that leave their doors open in the middle of summer, blasting wasteful air conditioning onto the sidewalk in hopes of luring customers, and banks that cut hours and services (but raise fees).

Many complaints are legitimate. But they should not be directed at front-line workers.

The teenagers behind the Hook’d counter do not set opening and closing hours, or decide whether or not to offer sauerkraut.*

The cable guy who arrives sometime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. is not responsible for scheduling policies, or for the amount of training he undergoes before he is launched on his own.

The young people working in stores with wide-open doors are embarrassed at and angered by corporate demands. And the bank teller no doubt earns less when Saturday hours are eliminated.

On the front lines at Hook’d. (File photo/Dan Woog)

It’s easy to take out our frustrations on the workers we see. They are the public face of private companies.

But they’re not the problem. Their bosses — so high up the food chain, they no doubt work from home (or the beach) — are.

So, to all the hard-working workers, young and middle-aged and old, who have felt our wrath this summer (and bite their tongues, rather than reply):

Thank you. We’re sorry. We know it’s not your fault.

And — if it’s any consolation — you are our “06880” Unsung Heroes of the Week.

*Hook’d does not. 

(If you know an Unsung Hero, email 06880blog@gmail.com)

(Unsung Heroes is one of “06880”‘s regular features. To support this one — and everything else we do — please click here.)

7 responses to “Unsung Heroes #251

  1. Claudia Jensen


  2. John Hartwell

    We’ll said, Dan.

  3. David A. Browne

    Beautifully conceived, beautifully written. TU Dan!
    PS – after that king, even tipping the front line folks we might take the liberty to ask how to share feedback with “the bosses.”

  4. Gloria Gouveia

    As usual I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the admonition “Don’t kill the messenger.” goes back a 1,000 years or two.
    Whenever I’m in the position of having to express my displeasure to an innocent employee, I heavily punctuate my unhappy tone with the statement: “I’m not angry at you. I’m angry about the
    And right you are David A. Browne. The most effective way to complain is to work your way up the supervisory food chain until you find the person with the power to make things right.

  5. Well said, Dan. Cudos to all these workers! We appreciate you!

  6. Patricia McMahon

    Bravo Dan!!!
    i’ll leave it at that

  7. Nina J. Marino

    Thank you for writing this, Dan. The Frontline workers- who are usually under paid and have next to no power, are the usual recipients of people’s anger and frustration. They rarely receive appreciation or thanks when they do a good job or brighten up your day. Thank you, Dan.