Whom We Elect Makes a Difference!

Technology gap or generational gap? Let me begin by explaining an experience my wife and I had…

On Sunday, Janice and I followed our normal routine. We went to church and then drove to Waverly, Iowa, to visit her mother. We often pick up something for dinner along the way. This time Janice decided to call in a pizza order when we were about 20 minutes away.  What a challenge that turned out to be!

I listened in as Janice “tried” to place a takeout order. Grandma likes her pizza a little different than we do, so Janice wanted to order one half of the pizza one way and the other half another. “I’d like Meat Lovers on one side. On the other side, I’d like pepperoni with onions. We want mushrooms on both sides.” Little did we know, this would be nearly impossible!

Someone who takes pizza orders as a job should have been able to understand this request, right? It took about five minutes just to place the order! First, the kid on the other end of the phone line tried to say we shouldn’t order a Meat Lovers. After a debate, Janice let him know we were still ordering a Meat Lovers.

Next, he said it wasn’t possible to take onions off half of the pizza according to his computer screen. Getting a bit louder now, Janice explained that we weren’t taking onions OFF half of the pizza because we know Meat Lovers doesn’t come with onions. However, onions could be ADDED to the half with pepperoni.

Then in the background, Janice heard him explaining our order to someone. She heard him say, “Put onions on the side without pepperoni.” Whoa… start over! Finally the order was placed, and Janice asked how long before it would be ready. He replied 35 minutes, and Janice thought that sounded a little long. When she questioned the time, he said that was about normal for a delivered pizza. What? I mentioned we were ordering a “takeout” pizza!

Our experience got us to thinking about three things:

  1. Minimum Wage. I’m not sure what that guy at Pizza Hut is getting paid, but I know it’s costing his boss to have him work there. Having owned a construction company for 15 years, I know paying employees for not doing their jobs is a huge waste. But having employees in a service industry who aren’t able to serve – and who upset customers – is especially costly!
  2. Education. Our governor is taking some heat this week for vetoing one-time education funding. Gov. Branstad said he nixed the funding because it would cause “uncertainty” for schools since it was one-time funding. He is frustrated that the Legislature did not approve a second year of school funding, as he had requested and as called for by Iowa law. We need an educational system that prepares kids for life beyond the classroom. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily fix the problem.
  3. The Economy. Is the lack of a skilled workforce holding back our economy? How does the quality of education affect our economy? How much are government policies and regulations to blame? I agree with Mike Patton who wrote in Forbes, “Unless and until a new regime is installed in Washington, one which is more business friendly and less concerned with remaining in power, I fear the economy will continue to suffer.”

It’s complicated and there are no simple solutions to fix the current state of the economy. But we must keep working on it! Elections are coming up, so exercise your right to vote. Take the time to find out how candidates stand on issues of important to you. Whom we elect truly makes a difference!