Well, after several years somebody gave their head a shake–but they still only see part of the problem when they make the statement, “Changing the cultural perception of an industry position that is relatively underappreciated depends squarely on addressing the level of training the industry is willing to invest” ( “Counterperson Training,” Countertalk, September).
Training is definitely part of the problem, but an equal or greater problem that needs to be addressed is the lack of recognition and monetary reward for a skilled counterperson who continues to learn and upgrade his skills. Until this industry can pay better wages and benefits, similar to other professionals, to the people who fill the positions of professional counterpeople it will never attract the best people for this job and will continue to lose some of the good ones it has.
I can only think of a few other sectors that require skilled people to do a job but fail to reward them properly for their knowledge and expertise. I have seen people invest their own time and money to pursue recognition such as ASE certification and find out they might as well have invested their time and money elsewhere as it meant nothing to their employer.