Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Are You Still Here???

Not you, I mean.  I mean disgruntled employees.

So, OK, I hate Facebook....not because I don't think it's an awesome invention, and not because I don't like my family or friends, who seem to have abandone their email and phones to join what they apparently feel is a joyous cacophony in order to communicate with the rest of us.  Which is me.

But anyway, because my family invites me to occasions on Facebook, and because they send me messages there asking for my siblings' address, which I promptly forget, I will then sign on to Facebook to respond to such a message, then forget about it while I'm writing a scathing reply to my colleague's sister's sorority house president's nephew's sharing of a picture from "glad to b liberal" labeled, "If you don't agree with socialized medicine, gun control, and 'free speech areas' on campus, YOU HATE CHILDREN!!!!!", then have to get off Facebook for a month so I can avoid arguing with such imbeciles....sorry, cuz.  I'll send it with my RSVP card.

And can I just say for a second that I've been lying and telling everyone that, since I've left the Republican party, I can see that liberals AND conservatives are just as ad-hominemy, infuriatingly, self-righteously mean....that isn't true.  Liberals are really, really, really mean and they don't make a heck of a lot of sense.

Which brings me to today's infuriating post from a colleaugue.  And I can't remember what the original post said, but it had to do with how evil people were who didn't want a minimum wage.

I of course stated my opinion as some paraphrase of "minimum wage means fewer jobs, fewer opportunities for the poor, etc" and browsed the rest of the responses, a few of which bemoaned the fate of people who they'd heard of who were forced into jobs that didn't meet their financial needs.

OK, first of all....who are these people?  I mean, I worked for McDonald's for a minute in the 80s, and maybe they do things different now, but I didn't earn their lowest pay (higher than minimum wage, incidentally) for very long, maybe two weeks.  And that must have just been for showing up, because my ADD, therapy-minded self wasn't the greatest burger flipper.  I did earn minimum wage in my first job, and don't remember the first raise coming along after a great deal of time....maybe after I passed my probationary period.  So who works at McDonald's or Wal Mart for  years and doesn't get a raise?  I've never met him or her, and not only am I not wealthy in terms of national standards, but my patients are poor as dirt, many working at service and other generally low paying jobs.  So it's not that I'm in some kind of wealthy "cloud."

Let's assume someone did find him or herself in the situation of being employed at McDonald's (I'm picking on McDonald's because of the recent YouTube film of the lady supposedly employed at Micky D's for years earning slave wages) with wages that didn't satisfy you.    I would bet you that most of us would be out of that situation in 2 days or fewer.  How?

There are a variety of ways to get out of a job that's not paying you enough....especially if it's at a nation wide chain of independent franchises.

1)  Ask for a raise.  Have you tried that?  If you didn't get it, did you ask why?  And if the reason was sensible, did you stop doing what was preventing you from getting the raise?

2) Collective bargaining!  You don't even have to engage with a big union , just talk with your colleagues, then tell management that if they don't give you more money, you will all not show up one day at the peak of lunch hour.  Or rush hour, or midnight, or whenever they need you all most.  Granted, you may be separated from your job by the boss firing all your behinds, but that might be the impetus you need to start looking for a better job.

3) GET ANOTHER JOB!  I'm not buying the fantasy that in 10 or even 5 years, you couldn't find one job that paid better, or one employer who was more appreciative of your skills and work ethic.  If you work at McDonald's, and really want to stay there, walk two blocks away to the next McDonald's who would, as long as they are under a different owner, LOVE to have an underappreciated team member from the competition come over and help them win more customers over.  And "but they're mean and don't care" doesn't cut it.  They certainly care about profits, AND about beating the competetion.  If you really are more valuable than what you are being paid now, I guarantee, they want you.  And if they want to keep you, giving you raises is how companies do that.

4) Create the job you want.  Are you a great janitor who has been cruelly kept at the poverty level by a greedy fast-food giant?  That means they're not recognizing your talent, right?  OK, why don't you start a cleaning business?  I admit, there's a lot of red tape the government gives you to get through if you start a business (like telling you what you should pay your employees instead of letting the market determine that), but even with the red tape costs, it should give you more than what you're getting now.

The irony is that liberals fight their little hearts out for minimum wage, then hate the fact that so many people earn it.  It almost makes me wonder if complaints for or about minimum wage would appreciably decrease if the market was allowed to determine wages without government interference.  

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