Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
WHAT MARSHALL FIELD EMPLOYES THINK OF
THAT XMAS "PRESENT"
That famous big stone building at
the corners of Wabash, Randolph,
Washington and State streets
Marshall Field & Co. has fallen off
its "First Place on State Street" ped
estal. The spirit of the workers is
broken. The big Field family has
had a mental split-up. And all on ac
count of the Christmas "present"
that the parents of the family the
Big Bosses gave the children of the
family the workers. This present,
which came after one of the most
successful years in the history of the
store, was simply a letter of thanks.
While the owners reaped a harvest
xin coin, the employes reaped a har
vest in thanks. And ithe employes
are peeved and disappointed.
Workers in other big State street
stores who got a Christmas present
in the form of a financial lift a"re giv
ing the laugh to Marshall Field em
ployes. And these other big stores
are the ones supposed to run second
to Marshall Field & Co. in class.
Young girls and young men have
trained for expert work in salesman
ship at these other stores then they
have graduated to Marshall Field &
Co.There has been a feeling of pride
in working for this big institution.
But this feeling drew an awful set
back when, with profits running wild
for the store, nqthing was forthcom
ing for those who did the work.that
brought in the big sales, but "thank
The- f eeling among 'Marshall Field
workers is strong evidence of this.
What hurts more than anything, so
the employes say, is that higher-ups
spread the hint without making it
openly ' that the Big Bosses were
working on a bonus system. And this
bonus idea was fully expected to de
velop during the holiday week. If
thanks is a bonus, the hint panned
out, for that was all that the 4,000
pr more Field workers got, outside of
their regular earned j?ay.
When The Day Book came out
Thursday noon with a story contain
ing! the Christmas "present" that
letter of thanks Field employes
bought it The pews that one paper
in Chicago was carrying what was
big news to Field workers, as well as
workers in other big stores, spread
fast. It seemed that the workers
liked to read about themselves get
ting handed a lemon.
During the afternoon working
hours Field employes whispered all
through the store that The Day Book
was carrying THEIR story, and The ,
Day Book was the main topic of con
versation oehind counters, behind
business office desks, and even with
the little cash girls.
A Day Book man got on one of the
Field store elevators. At the fifth
floor, as three men employes got out,
the elevator man said: "Did you see
that story in" The Day Book?" The
men sinfled,but said nothing.
On the ninth floor The Day Book
man watched a young lady come out
of the general offices, go down the
eleYator and to" the news stand, pur
chase severaj copies of The Day
Book, with that story in it, and take
them back to the general offices.
A young salesman on another floor
was asked if he had ever received a
bonus of any kind from Marshall
Field & Co. "Well, I was offered 'a
bonus at one time," he said, "but the
idea didn't appeal to me. I was told
at one Christmas time that a year
later I would receive a bonus on all '
increased sales over the previous
year. When I got to thinking about
the plan it struck me that the em
ployers t could get me to plug unusu
ally hard for the year, in order to get
a little bonus. Then the next year,
if I didn't plug unusually hard and
my sales fell off a bit, they could
come back and ask me what the
matter was. The speeding-up bonus
I system didn't appeal to me, That's
&&&$ tvr fHhrftmrt -