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Guest Column: Sad State of Affairs

Keith Tucker

BY KEITH TUCKER

Special to The Enterprise

I was in BR supply the other day to see if they had gotten a resupply on some plumbing fittings they had been out of when Wes Kellogg stopped in and asked if I was like him and would have been easing into retirement but couldn’t leave everybody hanging. I told him that pretty much sums it up. The labor shortage has left everyone I know short of staff.

I was told Perkins in Milan closed from staffing issues. There are hiring signs everywhere. I have called the labor department to check on bringing in temporary foreign workers. One of my long-time customers called me up and said he had 20 sets of cabinet doors ordered from us and was measuring six more. He was worried about the lead time and rightly so. I was sympathetic but offered no real solution. I have checked on some material-handling robots, but it’s going take a while and a lot of money to implement that.

The trucking industry can’t move all the freight that is out there. The first quarter of this year people got online and bought almost a third more stuff than the same period last year. Now I have heard a new catch phrase: shrinkflation. The last cereal box I got was exactly the same size on the front but was a quarter of an inch thinner from front to back. And it was the same price. Those sly devils are at it again. Make the package a little smaller and charge the same price. Now to glass bottles and jars. It seems that we can only in the USA make 80 percent of the glass bottles and jars that we use. All the factories here are running at full capacity making all they can. So, the extra bottle and jar supply is sitting offshore waiting to get unloaded while factories are shutting down lines. Making the problem worse is the toilet paper syndrome. Supply is short so let’s buy extra now. I looked in my spare bedroom this week and saw two cases of toilet paper. Someone here is hoarding just in case, but I am not about to say a word. Corn cobs are hard to come by these days. If you didn’t get that, ask your grandpa.

Editor’s note: Keith Tucker is a Greenfield resident and owner of The Marble Shop.

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