Thursday, January 9, 2014
The minimum wage job
Being paid minimum wage is a sure way to know the people you work for don't care or respect you. They'd pay less, but it's against the law.
Maybe the company you work for can't afford to pay more than minimum wage. That's only true if all the management also only gets minimum wage.
If minimum wage was such a good idea, your boss would work for it too.
Should companies that can't pay more the legal minimum wage deserve to exist? Are they badly run, or do they make a profit? Pay dividends?
Here's the thing that really freaks me out about minimum wage. Workers generally are not only paid badly, but also treated badly.
Maybe I'd accept a minimum wage job if the other perks were amazing: Full health care. Company car. Free meals cooked by professional chefs. Paid vacations in exotic locations. Free quality housing. Use of the company jet.
Nope. Odds are, if getting paid the minimum, your company treats you like crap in many other ways.
What about the nobility of work? Yeah, what about that? If it was so noble, it would be worth something, right?
Minimum wage jobs have changed. They used to be either jobs worked by kids living at home, or people at the bottom rung at a company they could move up in. My father-in-law started work at a gas station but worked his way up to being a company chemist. That kind of mobility is rare today.
Minimum wage jobs can be traps. By working two or three of them, you might scrape up enough money to survive. However, you don't have any extra time, money or energy to rise above that level. At one time it was possible to pay for college by working part time during the school year and during summer vacations. In real actual dollars, wages have gone down and education costs have skyrocketed.
Let's say you had a decent job that paid $20/hour. Then the job goes away. Maybe you collect unemployment for a while. Maybe you are too proud and take a minimum wage job because any work is better than no work. (that nobility of work thing again) Working that low paying job makes it harder to get another good one. Human resources have no respect for minimum wage workers so they will have no respect for you. They will think there is something wrong with you.
I've go no disrespect for people who work minimum wage. They get enough of that from everyone else.
If you are an adult trapped in a minimum wage job you have three choices. Do everything you can to get out. Everything. Learn a skill someone will pay money for. Start a business. Every spare moment you have should go towards that goal of a better job.
A second choice is to live in such a way that low wages are all you need to get by. Live in microhousing or shared housing, avoid having a car, garden -do everything to live as frugally as possible.
The third option is to just keep working those low wage jobs and hope for the best. Yeah, good luck with that.