A burger and fries is how much??

fast-food-strikeWas a time when young people went to work at McDonald’s expecting nothing but some job experience and some spending money. As the economy got worse and worse you’d hear people talk about not finding jobs. Inevitably someone would say, “McDonald’s is hiring” as a way to say, “something is better than nothing.” So imagine my surprise when I heard last week that a person is supposed to be able to make a living working the line at McDonald’s.

But apparently people who work at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC and Burger King and who are making $8 an hour feel like they should be making more. Like double. After all, you can’t live on $8 an hour (and believe me, I know that). So workers in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Flint, Michigan are striking. Interesting group of cities, isn’t it?

Allow me to vent a bit. Because it’s my blog and I can. Go listen to some music or look at some pictures (on my blog, of course) if you’re not interested.

“Fast Food Forward director Jonathan Westin told CBS New York, ‘The workers are striking over the fact that they can’t continue to maintain their families on the wages they’re being paid in the fast-food industry.’”

To which I say, “um…seriously?” (which is really just a kinder way to say, “you, sir, are an idiot.” Are you seriously telling me that there are people working at McDonald’s or Wendy’s or Burger King and trying to support a family? And expecting somehow that they should be able to? It’s called “unskilled labor” for a reason.

And then there’s this winner: “Robert Wilson, Jr., a 25-year-old McDonald’s employee in Chicago, told The Washington Post that he makes $8.60 an hour after seven years on the job.”

Um. 7 years and you’re still making $8.60/hr? That says one of two things – you have absolutely no ambition, or you have absolutely no ability for something better. If you’re 25 and you’ve worked there for 7 years you should at least be a manager making $13-16 an hour. I guess I would ask, “haven’t you thought, at some point in the past 7 years, that you want to do something else? Haven’t you ever thought, “man, I need to find a better job”? And after thinking that, haven’t you ever, in the past 7 years, actually done something to find one? I mean, find something you want to do and learn what you need in order to do it. I know, I know…it’s so hard.

Look, I understand. I worked for over a year in a job that didn’t pay enough to actually live on. It was hard. It was frustrating. It was maddening. But at no point did I think, “you know, they should pay me $15 an hour to drive this van around. And provide insurance. And paid holidays.” It is what it is. It’s an unskilled job that virtually anyone can do (although I did it better than most). So rather than complain about my job paying me an unfair wage, I looked for another job. And eventually I got one. And now I can live on what I make. And I’m not satisfied there. I’m trying to learn to be able to move up from where I am. After all, when someone is hiring for an entry level position and they ask “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” (if anyone asks that anymore), why would they hire anyone who said, “you know, I don’t really have any ambition and I really don’t want to learn anything new or have to work hard, so I think I’ll probably be happy just doing this same job”?

So. Bottom line: grow up. Be a man (or woman, you know what I mean). Take responsibility. Stop expecting everything to be handed to you. Anyone who tells you that you should be able to live on a “first job” wage is lying to you and trying to appease you. Be better than that. If you like working at Wendy’s, fine. Work to be the best so that you can move up in the store. Stop being satisfied with mediocrity.

Anyway, I know I’m preaching to the choir, because no one who reads my blog (does anyone still read this?) wants to pay $10 for a burger and fries.

August 2, 2013  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: culture, If you're not outraged..., what are you drunk?

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