Beware Minimum Wage Workers…

Last night was one of the most awful fucking nights of my life.  I went to work sick, yet determined to do my menial, degrading job.  When I got there, I was approached by one of my supervisors. “Uh oh”, I thought as I walked back to the office.  I knew it was the day I was going to be fired.  I sat down just as my other supervisor entered the room.  Basically, what I was faced with was a double team “motivation session.”  I was talked to about everything from why I had chosen to give away my shifts, to my call out, to customer complaints.  I was not fired, but after that dry ass, bullshit, ball busting “attitude adjustment session, I wished I had been.  “Fuck it,” I thought as I went back out to my register.  I still had a job to do.

The rest of my night was equally shitty.  A customer had a large item (I forgot what the item was, really isn’t important) and somehow my finger got slammed inside of it.  I silently screamed “FUCK” but I couldn’t risk saying that in front of the customer.  When I went on break, there was play doh in the breakroom.  I constructed a bright blue sculpture of a middle finger and left for everyone to see; a perfect piece to show my affection for the company.

This is a typical day of a retail/fast food employee.  Most of us are overworked and underpaid.  I make 8.50 an hour; I would gladly trade checks with the company’s CEO.  I am 27 years old, and even if I worked full time, I wouldn’t make enough to have a life of my own (i.e. have an apartment, raise a family, etc.)  I wake up everyday with a sense of dread and disgust, yet I continue to go to work.

Undoubtedly, someone will see this post and ask “Why don’t you just quit?!”  Well my friend, I wish I could.  I truly do.  My writing approach is straight to the point and “no bullshit.” I never sugar coat anything for you guys.  My followers deserve more than that.  So to revisit the question, I don’t quit because my job does allow me a few pleasures.  I live at home with my aunt and three cousins, but I am able to pay my own phone bill, buy food, etc.  Those little luxuries keep me dealing with the bullshit.  The reasons that a minimum wage worker doesn’t quit their job are varied, but most people do rely on their jobs for the basics (food, shelter, insurance).  The struggle is real…

The second question that a lot of retail workers get is the incredibly ignorant, “well why don’t just go back to school?”  I went to school.  I have a Bachelors in psychology.  There are extremely limited options for what you can do in the field of psychology without a Master’s degree.  Therefore, I have student loan debt and no prospects for a good job.  If I go back to school, that’s even more debt to pay off. People in better positions than mine often say “cry me a river.” I have cried a river and the only thing that keeps me motivated is a willful and defiant spirit.

There are a lot of unhappy people in the retail/fast food industry and you should be very care about what you say and to whom you say it.  Trust me, if you piss off the wrong person, there is no limit to what they can do to harm you. I say these things not to scare you, but to inform you and force you to re-evaluate how you treat those you feel are “beneath” you. I have more than enough cautionary tales to tell.  For example, I worked for Victoria’s Secret during the holiday season of 2011.  A male co-worker was stocking fragrances and he was openly picking his nose.  Someone touched those fragrances, purchased them, and brought them home to their family members or friends.  Gross. 

I have my ways of fighting back too.  I am a cashier, so I am the last person who touches your food before you take it home.  People sometimes forget that.  I have shaken sodas, unscrewed bottles, purposely crushed bread, coughed and sneezed on items, and torn things open just to name a few.  If you’re disrespectful, you deserve it and I have no problem delivering…

The moral of the story folks is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  It’s a very simple concept.  If you wouldn’t want your family member/friend/child to be treated badly, don’t do it to anyone else.  I get it.  You want me to change the price or you’ve been waiting in line for a while.  I get it.  But that is no reason for you to treat me like I’m less than a human being.  I do this for a living, I don’t live to do this.  There’s a big difference.  I look for jobs everyday, but until I can find one, I’m stuck. If you’re ever confused about what is and isn’t acceptable, imagine that your child is standing behind that counter.   Stop talking to people who control your food and merchandise like they’re dogs.  We don’t get paid enough to take your bullshit.  You know what happens when you send back your food at a restaurant?  They spit in it. I’m just saying…

This is a hard dose of reality. Hate me now, but thank me later when you don’t end up sick.  T-minus 5 hours until work…



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