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Switching Out At Work

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

He's Switching... what do you do?

1. You go in and tell him off. "Don't do it again... please don't. Here's why not."
6
22%
2. You give him an official warning, if he does it again X times... he's fired.
1
4%
3. He's fired... immediately.
0
No votes
4. I don't see any issue with it. If he's not dealing with patients and business is down... what's the issue?
14
52%
5. You imitate him... it's time to get on the Switch yourself when you've got nothing. Sounds like fun. If HQ comes in, then hide it.
3
11%
6. Other
3
11%
 
Total votes : 27

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Infected Mushroom
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Switching Out At Work

Postby Infected Mushroom » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:29 am

Please consider the following hypothetical:

You work at an organization call Basic Psych, a fully licensed private organization that provides a lot of 1 on 1 therapy sessions.

The structure of one workplace is like this:

There's one manager supervising 20 therapists. Then there is an administrative staff at the front. Everyone is in the same building.

Every therapist gets a room + office by themselves and waits to handle individual patients.

Basic Psych is overwhelmingly successful and on most days, the therapists are very very busy (it's just one patient after another after another). There is no paperwork for the therapists to do (the admin records the sessions and then takes care of all paperwork). If there's any extra paperwork, it's set aside for one special day to handle.

Now here's the thing...

Suddenly, business is bad. The therapists are seeing a lot of downtime (less and less patients are coming in). This results in there being giant chunks of time where individual therapists sit in their rooms/offices doing nothing or pretending to work. They are supposed to be "researching" or "coming up" with proposals and ways to improve their individual approaches to counselling or to volunteer to help the Admin... however, there's a lot of downtime, too much to be used productively.

There's a 1 hour lunch break in which the therapists can do what they want. The rest of the day, whether you have patients or not, is supposed to be spent productively and professionally (there's no clear company guideline on what that means specifically).

You are the manager during this time.

You walk by the office of one of these therapists one day and you witness the horror:

A therapist is sitting on his spinning chair and playing Nintendo Switch. It is NOT lunch break, it's in the middle of the workday... he's on a low action schedule that day, business is bad.

To your knowledge, he is the only person doing this.

What do you (if anything) do about it as a company manager at Basic Psych?

Your options:

1. You go in and tell him off. "Don't do it again... please don't. Here's why not."
2. You give him an official warning, if he does it again X times... he's fired.
3. He's fired... immediately.
4. I don't see any issue with it. If he's not dealing with patients and business is down... what's the issue?
5. You imitate him... it's time to get on the Switch yourself when you've got nothing. Sounds like fun. If HQ comes in, then hide it.
6. Other


Which option do you choose? What's your rationale?

I'd go with Option 1. It's a bit of a killjoy option but it's going to be a problem if everyone starts to play Solitaire, Switch, and/or TCGs during downtime. It looks cool I'll give you that, but then again... it is a workplace right?
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:43 am

"Office"? What is this 20th century waste-of-time nonsense.

Of course you allow workers to switch out. If you don't need their skills in that minute, they can sell them elsewhere. Or spend time with their kids. Or their friends.

Pay them half-time, if they're in your office. And you have no claim over whatever they earn "switched out"

Employer: you don't like it? You want all employees on full-time, working or not? Fix up your business model or you're going to lose to businesses who don't pay any more than they need to for skill-x-time of employees.
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Postby Picairn » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:55 am

Working inefficiently for 8 hours is still less productive than working efficiently for 4 hours.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:13 am

Picairn wrote:Working inefficiently for 8 hours is still less productive than working efficiently for 4 hours.


I really agree. If an employer requires you to come into the office for 8 hours, but there isn't 8 hours of work to do, the employee's claim should be for 8 hours pay.

Now suppose that in the slack time, the employee can earn more than the hourly rate their employer is already paying them. Why shouldn't they? It demonstrates that the employee has skills and potential for productivity which the employer has paid for, but isn't using. Employer's fault, am I right?

But I can also see it from the employer's point of view. Their business model doesn't allow them to throw more work that employees way. They'd have to take work away from some other employee, and in some cases (assigned clients) this would be bad in itself. If it's a slack time, sacking someone and making the others work harder, would be a bad business decision. You want a strong team to deal with the boom times. Coping well with booming business is very important for business growth, so you want to keep the under-employed staff on in the slack times. And the best way to keep experienced staff is to keep paying them well.

So a compromise is best. Let staff slack off, play games, have sex in the unisex toilets, whatever makes them happy. But it's on the clock. They get payed half.

And if their off-time doesn't interfere with their assigned work, they should also be allowed paid online work in their off-time. The employer may tax their earnings in that off-time, up to their full hourly wage. But no further. If the employee is earning much more per-hour in their off-time, they don't need the job. They can leave, work from home, and someone else can have their job.
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Borderlands of Rojava
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:19 am

6. I go into his office and shit on his desk and when he says "what the fuck did you do?" I say "I'm rejecting my humanity." Embrace monke.
Last edited by Borderlands of Rojava on Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Arkandros » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:27 am

For this particular scenario, it’d probably be better to shift to contracting rates. For every X hours of session time, regardless of when that is, pay them a fixed hourly rate, with a flat base pay acting as a retainer salary. Don’t have work? Then you’re not going to get paid your full rate, since your skills aren’t being utilized to benefit the company.
In a more broad sense, slack time is a thing that will happen in companies and projects. When things run in parallel and series, eventually someone will finish their work early, and while they can be utilized to assist other groups, it may not be reasonable because they may not have the skill set. At the same time, however, their skills will be needed again, either later in the project or in the next project, and laying them off because they finished early is a terrible decision for retention. Letting employees utilize this slack time as they see fit may not be profitable, but it’s usually already planned for, and doesn’t really hurt the company. If they are so unproductive that the majority of their time is slack time, then you should look at firing them and outsourcing the work they were doing.
I personally oppose allowing employees to do work for other companies during this time, since it theoretically incentivizes slacking off to do other work and collecting double pay, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to read or whatever on their down time.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:31 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Picairn wrote:Working inefficiently for 8 hours is still less productive than working efficiently for 4 hours.


I really agree. If an employer requires you to come into the office for 8 hours, but there isn't 8 hours of work to do, the employee's claim should be for 8 hours pay.

Now suppose that in the slack time, the employee can earn more than the hourly rate their employer is already paying them. Why shouldn't they? It demonstrates that the employee has skills and potential for productivity which the employer has paid for, but isn't using. Employer's fault, am I right?

But I can also see it from the employer's point of view. Their business model doesn't allow them to throw more work that employees way. They'd have to take work away from some other employee, and in some cases (assigned clients) this would be bad in itself. If it's a slack time, sacking someone and making the others work harder, would be a bad business decision. You want a strong team to deal with the boom times. Coping well with booming business is very important for business growth, so you want to keep the under-employed staff on in the slack times. And the best way to keep experienced staff is to keep paying them well.

So a compromise is best. Let staff slack off, play games, have sex in the unisex toilets, whatever makes them happy. But it's on the clock. They get payed half.

And if their off-time doesn't interfere with their assigned work, they should also be allowed paid online work in their off-time. The employer may tax their earnings in that off-time, up to their full hourly wage. But no further. If the employee is earning much more per-hour in their off-time, they don't need the job. They can leave, work from home, and someone else can have their job.

Ha? OP clearly said that the employee is supposed to be doing paperwork. If you don't like someone getting reprimanded for not doing paperwork, then you're really not gonna like this

There are some hotel chains who will reprimanded receptionists who do something as mild as scratching their itchy nose when the lobby is empty in case a customer sees them. I dn't know how much of that is an exaggeration, but you get the point, hopefully. If you ask me, it's pretty disgusting to be that obsessed with apperances at the expense of your employees, but that's my opinion, and nobody cares about the opinions of raging lunatics
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Page » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:49 am

From when I was a young child all the way to now as a grown adult, I have always held busy work in contempt. If there's nothing to do, there's nothing to do. Giving someone a meaningless task just to consume their time is bullshit.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:50 am

Page wrote:From when I was a young child all the way to now as a grown adult, I have always held busy work in contempt. If there's nothing to do, there's nothing to do. Giving someone a meaningless task just to consume their time is bullshit.

Agreed
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Postby Picairn » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:52 am

Page wrote:From when I was a young child all the way to now as a grown adult, I have always held busy work in contempt. If there's nothing to do, there's nothing to do. Giving someone a meaningless task just to consume their time is bullshit.

Agree. The concept of "Success by hard work" is now total BS. In the age of information and machines, it's more like "Success by efficiency", which is, imo, 70% intelligence and 30% hard work.
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:52 am

Page wrote:From when I was a young child all the way to now as a grown adult, I have always held busy work in contempt. If there's nothing to do, there's nothing to do. Giving someone a meaningless task just to consume their time is bullshit.


I had this manager at my one job named Gino who was the same ethnicity as me, and people said "so are you guys like friends?"

Friends? The cocksucker keeps giving me make work when we aren't busy and I've been on my feet all day and wanna be able to sit down for a second.
The devil is out there. Hiding behind every corner and in every nook and cranny. In all of the dives, all over the city. Before you lays an entire world of enemies, and at day's end when the chips are down, we're a society of strangers. You cant walk by someone on the street anymore without crossing the road to get away from their stare. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. The land of plague and shadow. Nothing innocent survives this world. If it can't corrupt you, it'll kill you.

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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:58 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Picairn wrote:Working inefficiently for 8 hours is still less productive than working efficiently for 4 hours.


I really agree. If an employer requires you to come into the office for 8 hours, but there isn't 8 hours of work to do, the employee's claim should be for 8 hours pay.

Now suppose that in the slack time, the employee can earn more than the hourly rate their employer is already paying them. Why shouldn't they? It demonstrates that the employee has skills and potential for productivity which the employer has paid for, but isn't using. Employer's fault, am I right?

But I can also see it from the employer's point of view. Their business model doesn't allow them to throw more work that employees way. They'd have to take work away from some other employee, and in some cases (assigned clients) this would be bad in itself. If it's a slack time, sacking someone and making the others work harder, would be a bad business decision. You want a strong team to deal with the boom times. Coping well with booming business is very important for business growth, so you want to keep the under-employed staff on in the slack times. And the best way to keep experienced staff is to keep paying them well.

So a compromise is best. Let staff slack off, play games, have sex in the unisex toilets, whatever makes them happy. But it's on the clock. They get payed half.

And if their off-time doesn't interfere with their assigned work, they should also be allowed paid online work in their off-time. The employer may tax their earnings in that off-time, up to their full hourly wage. But no further. If the employee is earning much more per-hour in their off-time, they don't need the job. They can leave, work from home, and someone else can have their job.


In the scenario, the wage is fixed rate monthly (no matter how many patients a day)

sorry for the lack of clarification regarding compensation
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:23 am

Well, I’d first have to quit my job, because I am working for a company which regularly records private conversations between clients and their doctors, which is an egregious breach of medical confidentiality.

Aside from that, I would allow the worker to have some more time off. In fact, I would start thinking about cutting work hours, while keeping salary intact. That would increase job satisfaction enormously, with the understanding that when business gets back on its feet, people need to come back in again.

Also, being a manager, I would involve my workers in this decision because my actions require a democratic mandate, that I don’t have because I was supposedly appointed by the capitalist fat cats at the top.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:27 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
I really agree. If an employer requires you to come into the office for 8 hours, but there isn't 8 hours of work to do, the employee's claim should be for 8 hours pay.

Now suppose that in the slack time, the employee can earn more than the hourly rate their employer is already paying them. Why shouldn't they? It demonstrates that the employee has skills and potential for productivity which the employer has paid for, but isn't using. Employer's fault, am I right?

But I can also see it from the employer's point of view. Their business model doesn't allow them to throw more work that employees way. They'd have to take work away from some other employee, and in some cases (assigned clients) this would be bad in itself. If it's a slack time, sacking someone and making the others work harder, would be a bad business decision. You want a strong team to deal with the boom times. Coping well with booming business is very important for business growth, so you want to keep the under-employed staff on in the slack times. And the best way to keep experienced staff is to keep paying them well.

So a compromise is best. Let staff slack off, play games, have sex in the unisex toilets, whatever makes them happy. But it's on the clock. They get payed half.

And if their off-time doesn't interfere with their assigned work, they should also be allowed paid online work in their off-time. The employer may tax their earnings in that off-time, up to their full hourly wage. But no further. If the employee is earning much more per-hour in their off-time, they don't need the job. They can leave, work from home, and someone else can have their job.


In the scenario, the wage is fixed rate monthly (no matter how many patients a day)

sorry for the lack of clarification regarding compensation


OK, this is the employer's problem then.

A certain amount of retraining/backgrounding/development for the off-times, but let's not have a big dense book of "how to do your job" that employees should read all the time they don't have real work to do. It should be more interactive, involving other staff, or individuals out-of-office but in the same industry.

You'd just be expecting a standard of "upright, with book open" and that doesn't work in school. Why should it work in an office?

I'm saying, don't deny any worker their full productivity. If the job you've given them isn't enough, they should be allowed to do more work for someone else. You don't have to pay them full wages, when they're working for someone else, but I'd like you to pay half-wages to compensate them for being stuck in your lazy office.

Half is fair. They're not working for you, but they are being constrained by your office job to not do something else they would prefer. You want to retain them even though you don't have full-time work for them? Half pay, minus your share of their online earnings. And, logically for both you and the employee: when their earnings drop to zero there's no reason for them to stay in your office. You should offer them retirement with full benefits, and a good reference.
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Postby The New California Republic » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:49 am

Borderlands of Rojava wrote:6. I go into his office and shit on his desk and when he says "what the fuck did you do?" I say "I'm rejecting my humanity." Embrace monke.

Like a boss.
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Postby Nuroblav » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:55 am

This:
Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States wrote:Well, I’d first have to quit my job, because I am working for a company which regularly records private conversations between clients and their doctors, which is an egregious breach of medical confidentiality.

Aside from that, I would allow the worker to have some more time off. In fact, I would start thinking about cutting work hours, while keeping salary intact. That would increase job satisfaction enormously, with the understanding that when business gets back on its feet, people need to come back in again.

Also, being a manager, I would involve my workers in this decision because my actions require a democratic mandate, that I don’t have because I was supposedly appointed by the capitalist fat cats at the top.

Holding a meeting between workers to find an agreement on whether to cut hours with same pay while business is down, or leave everything as it is, seems like a good idea to me.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:59 am

Nuroblav wrote:This:
Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States wrote:Well, I’d first have to quit my job, because I am working for a company which regularly records private conversations between clients and their doctors, which is an egregious breach of medical confidentiality.

Aside from that, I would allow the worker to have some more time off. In fact, I would start thinking about cutting work hours, while keeping salary intact. That would increase job satisfaction enormously, with the understanding that when business gets back on its feet, people need to come back in again.

Also, being a manager, I would involve my workers in this decision because my actions require a democratic mandate, that I don’t have because I was supposedly appointed by the capitalist fat cats at the top.

Holding a meeting between workers to find an agreement on whether to cut hours with same pay while business is down, or leave everything as it is, seems like a good idea to me.


It's an easy way out. No worse for the business. Definitely better for workers.

It's not sending a good signal to the employer, though. "I don't need all these worker hours, I could save money by sacking some"
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Postby Ethel mermania » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:59 am

2,

And when I have to start laying off folks because of lack of work, he is first to go.
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Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:03 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Nuroblav wrote:This:

Holding a meeting between workers to find an agreement on whether to cut hours with same pay while business is down, or leave everything as it is, seems like a good idea to me.


It's an easy way out. No worse for the business. Definitely better for workers.

It's not sending a good signal to the employer, though. "I don't need all these worker hours, I could save money by sacking some"

That’s why everyone needs to unionise.

Wait... when we have all this professional staff... what exactly are those employers doing that I, the manager, with my democratic legitimacy, could not do?
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Postby Aclion » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:04 am

Go to boss and tell him we need you reduce our staffing, be clearly we have more staff then we need or can support.
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Postby Andsed » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:09 am

I would let it slide. Forcing someone to work just for the sake of work is ridiculous and inefficient. if the therapist has no patients at the moment and no other duties to attend to then I don´t see an issue with him taking some time to chill.
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Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:11 am

Aclion wrote:Go to boss and tell him we need you reduce our staffing, be clearly we have more staff then we need or can support.

There is no word on the 'can', though.
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:30 am

Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
It's an easy way out. No worse for the business. Definitely better for workers.

It's not sending a good signal to the employer, though. "I don't need all these worker hours, I could save money by sacking some"

That’s why everyone needs to unionise.


Not really. Unions are a protection against employers cutting wages, etc. Unions can improve conditions for workers who have no comparable employment options.

Unions defending hours of work and/or pay rate, for workers who were quite happy in employment before but now have fewer hours of work, are making an unreasonable demand.

Really bad idea. You're seeing the lack of work and the employer still paying everyone full wage, as an opportunity to basically increase wages (or reduce hours for the same wage) and this is how unions kill businesses. Not a fan.

Wait... when we have all this professional staff... what exactly are those employers doing that I, the manager, with my democratic legitimacy, could not do?


You lost me there.
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Founded: Feb 20, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:38 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States wrote:That’s why everyone needs to unionise.


Not really. Unions are a protection against employers cutting wages, etc. Unions can improve conditions for workers who have no comparable employment options.

Unions defending hours of work and/or pay rate, for workers who were quite happy in employment before but now have fewer hours of work, are making an unreasonable demand.

Really bad idea. You're seeing the lack of work and the employer still paying everyone full wage, as an opportunity to basically increase wages (or reduce hours for the same wage) and this is how unions kill businesses. Not a fan.

Wait... when we have all this professional staff... what exactly are those employers doing that I, the manager, with my democratic legitimacy, could not do?


You lost me there.

Unions use the collective power of workers to bargain for things the workers want. If that is more pay, than that is more pay. Research has already shown that we could halve most office hours and still have similar productivity, even in absolute numbers. Halving work time for the same pay is not going to kill businesses, and more importantly, Unions are not there to make equitable choices based on the needs of workers and capitalists. They are there to defend worker's rights. Besides, this will not kill business, it will just cut into the profits of the shareholders or other owners. Which is fine, obviously, because all that money could have been reinvested. If it isn't, then there is inefficiency. The business itself will terminate employees at the mere hint of inefficiency, so why should the Unions suddenly care about the owners if the owners couldn't give a rat's ass about the employees?

Only the mention of democratising the workplace and cutting inefficiencies at the top cause you to lose interest? Sounds like you are treating capital power as a given, and if you're not willing to debate that, that's just a lack of imagination.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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Nobel Hobos 2
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Posts: 11931
Founded: Dec 04, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:39 am

Aclion wrote:Go to boss and tell him we need you reduce our staffing, be clearly we have more staff then we need or can support.


This is a business downturn. That's not the employees' fault. The business should take it on the chin.

But go on, sack some workers. Productivity follows morale down ... but that's not your fault is it. It's those damn lazy workers.

The clients thin out. They'd like to speak to Mavis please. But you sacked her, for low productivity. They don't come back.

You need to sack more workers. But you don't even need to. Your best workers are walking out, they can see the end.

Now you have four workers, and they're not the best, so you have to make them work real hard.

You listen in and hear your best worker advising a client to go to your competitor.

Now you're in your office lodging your CV and a pitch, you need a new job.
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No footwear industry: citizens cannot afford new shoes.
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