I'm sure Marx would vomit as aggressively as if he ate bad oysters if he saw the retail job market today. Culturally retail jobs are located at an employment "dead end." I was informed recently by an acquaintance that the idea of the employees at Walmart should strike wanting better insurance etc. is ridiculous; after all, he said, the fact that such "retarded" and "uneducated" people "who can't even count" have a job at all is something they should be grateful for. Asking for better treatment (or equal treatment) is, I suppose, Stupid.
I said nothing. I usually said nothing in public.
People who live off retail jobs are usually at the poverty line. I myself have been in this position, more or less, for the past decade. Despite all of my extreme education, I'm still in retail. I don't hate it so much. There are things I quite love about it.
I don't think it's dehumanizing. I don't think anything is dehumanizing---after all, we are all unalterably human. No work or machine could possibly change that.
Is it undignified? Oh, yes. But I don't think the employers are to blame for this. I blame the customers. Customers are monsters. Selfish, cruel, invasive, greedy, people demand perfect service from people who cannot express any negative emotions. Not all customers are like this; some go to the other extreme. Some want to know every detail of your life, or feel as if the professional relationship which exists is also a kind of friendship.
Christmas makes it worse.
Retail may not require much intelligence, but it isn't easy. The customers who complain most about customer service are always those who have never had to work retail. Or if they did, they have eventually moved up the economic food chain and see themselves as evolved. They have transcended retail and therefore are better than those trapped in it.