I just read a Huffington Post article about how the McDonald's Resource hotline recommended that one of their hourly workers should apply for foodstamps and medicaid to supplement her income. This employee has been with the company for 10 years, and is still only making minimum wage.
The comments that people left on this article really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Basically, people were saying that people who work these types of jobs get what they deserve -- they're lazy, didn't bother to go to college, and have children that they can't afford. Why should McDonald's have to pay them a livable wage?
As someone who lives in an area where the only jobs available are fast food or retail, this attitude leaves me scratching my head. People who work minimum wage jobs work long, hard hours without breaks, are often overworked, unappreciated, and have no means to "climb the corporate ladder," since managers pick and choose who they will promote (I was supposed to be promoted to a management position when I worked at Taco Bell, but then a family member died, I missed work for a week and when I came back another employee had been promoted. These companies really don't care about the employees working for them.) How, then, does working a minimum wage job translate to being "lazy?"
Sometimes it really makes no difference whether you have a college degree or not. I have two associates degrees and couldn't find work outside of fast food for a long time. My brother has a master's degree in Mathematics. The only job he could find around here was that of a delivery driver for Pizza Hut - the same exact job my boyfriend, who only has a high school diploma, works on the side (he had to take on a second job because Taco Bell didn't pay me enough for us to make ends meet, even with him working a full time job.) So now my brother owes thousands in student loan debt, but is unable to find work in his field so that he can even pay off the debt. How exactly does going to college benefit us again?
It seems that many people are stuck in the mindset that fast food jobs are meant for high school kids or retired folks looking to earn an extra buck on the side. This perception is entirely misconstrued these days. Most fast food workers are adults with families to support, who would very much rather be doing something else besides asking you if you would like fries with that. But the American economy sucks. Jobs are scarce. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in order to survive.
It just baffles me that anyone would think that people struggling to make their way in life are "lazy" because of the job position they are stuck with. A lot of people argue that "nobody FORCED them (fast food workers) to take those jobs -- they CHOSE that way of life." Seriously? People seriously think anyone CHOSE that way of life? What else are you supposed to do when there are no other options available?
Sure, there will always be lazy employees who slack on the job -- every workplace has those -- but the majority of America's workforce are hard working, underpaid citizens, who deserve respect and dignity for doing what they do -- even if their job requires them to wear a grease splattered apron and a hairnet. Or maybe even BECAUSE they wear those things. They certainly don't deserve to be look down upon by upperclass snobs who think that anyone standing on the other side of the counter doesn't deserve to be paid a livable wage.
What is your opinion? Do you think people who are stuck working minimum wage jobs are "lazy"?