(Closed) Fast Food Workers and the Slow Death of Hard Work

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
2793 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@EffieTrinket:  Wildly, absolutely, ragefully disagree. The person writing this article clearly doesn’t understand what it means to have grown up poor and begin adulthood being poor. Yeah sure the American dream is that anyone can pull themselves up from any set of circumstances and succeed. That doesn’t mean every single person out there can be a self-made millionaire, and that even if a person was on his/her way, he/she wouldn’t start off in a minimum wage job. A living wage doesn’t mean that the person flipping my burgers or cleaning the floors at my workplace or bagging my groceries makes us much as the peope supervising him. It just means the ability to be able to pay for the basic needs of life (housing, clothing, food) each month after working fulltime hours.

The comments section is filled with equally ignorant and hateful statements. Ugh.

Post # 4
1222 posts
Bumble bee

God, the ignorance in this article… I hate it. Getting a better wage is not as simple as “just getting another job.” There are people with GRADUATE degrees working in retail because that’s all they can find. SO works in one of these menial jobs and there are those of all backgrounds because people are taking whatever the hell they can get to feed themselves or their families- and it’s not enough. SO and I are living with my parents and we’re still struggling. He makes over minimum wage yet we’ve gone a month without car insurance, his cell phone, haven’t paid on our other debts this month, because we simply can’t keep up. I would LOVE to see the writer of this article try to support himself (much less a family) on minimum wage. You’d have to work 60+ hour weeks to do it. Around here a ROOM to rent (not a house or apartment) can run $400 or $500 a month before utilities. That alone is nearly an entire paycheck-before taxes are taken out. After taxes, that means one paycheck (assuming biweekly), if not more, goes to rent alone. Nevermind power or water or food. I don’t think fast food workers are wanting to live in the lap of luxury- but they would like to live with a roof over their heads.

Post # 5
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

@EffieTrinket:  I couldn’t even read it all that’s how much I disagree. I work in a minimum wage job. I’ve worked my ass off to get the pay raises I’ve gotten. But that still barely pays all of our necessary bills. We live within our means. But we have children we also take care of. We both work our asses off 60+ hours a week. Minimum wage isn’t a living wage when rent is skyrocketing and food costs as much as it does. I abso-freaking-lutely can’t stand the people who write articles or blow up my fb feed with negatively charged comments on people who use the system to help when they are scraping by. Their high and mighty attitude pisses me off to high hell and I seriously pray to god they never get into a situation where they would need the help of others. But at the same time I wish they would. So they could see why it is very important to have a system that we do out there. Yes, I understand that SOME people abuse the system. But they should not shape everyone. And yeah, I went a little off subject there, but to me they both go hand in hand. I understand that people do need to work their butts off to get what they deserve. But in all honesty, everyone needs to be making a wage that will help them pay their bills and not have to use help from the state to pick up what they can’t afford. And not struggling, living paycheck to paycheck. That’s my little rant. My sleep deprived, probably sound like an uneducated fool rant post.

Post # 6
7553 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I’m in between here. A fast food job or minimum wage job isn’t meant to support a family, that’s why they hire people who don’t have high school degrees. If you choose to have children I would hope that you would plan to have a job that could support children. 

I completely understand that we don’t all start off on even footing, but high school is free. Or if a child is forced to go to work to support their family, they could get their GED. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth but I worked very hard to get good grades, earn scholarships and pay for college without taking out a loan.

Also, there are lots of great career planning options that don’t involve going to college like getting a one or two year technical certificates. At my high school there was a ton of career prep so students could get electrician or welding certificates before graduation. Community colleges nearby have the same programs where graduates like dental hygenists are earning $40,000 a year. I hope career-ready prep will become more popular across the country so everyone can have access to these opportunities. 

Post # 7
31 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

I have to agree with the article but not in the tone he gave his opinion.  My fiance and I both worked minimum wage jobs and we could pay the bills.  Its do able.  The problem is that some people find some things to be essential and they are not.  We still do not have cable or a cell phone because we can not afford it.  I was able to find a job in a my field but if I hadn’t the internet would have been the next to go.  If you don’t like what you are getting paid get a better job.  Or work more than one. 

Post # 8
3051 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015


@RubyLeprechaun:  +1

I also agree with the article. I’ve worked minimum wage before. Living off of it ISN’T EASY by any means. But it was definitely motivation enough to get me working towards a better career. Even if I hadn’t changed career fields, I’d have worked my ass off to get into management. I was only 1 promotion away.

The idea of 109% wage increase for fast food workers…if I’m not mistaken that’s 9% over DOUBLE minimum wage. I make double minimum wage now & I’d be LIVID if fast food workers started making the same. Why did I go to school and get my degree? Why am I in debt from student loans? That’d be total & complete bullshit.

The problem with raising minimum wage is that it doesn’t trickle UP. Someone who WAS making 7.25 is now making 7.75 and the person who’s been there for 2 years is only making 7.80. It should trickle up until you hit the mid range of salaries for the company.

Post # 9
1456 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I understand their frustration, but a fast food job isn’t supposed to support a family. I’m not doubting that many of the fast food employees are skilled or passionate about something other than fast food, but the reason it is so poorly paid is because it requires very few skills to work there. Literally anyone who can function in a work environment could work a fast food job in some respect. Jobs that require skills pay better, because there are fewer people who have those skills.

Post # 10
2393 posts
Buzzing bee

We’re so freaking spoiled and entitled in this country. Before anyone whines about having to flip burgers for minimum wage, they should go to a garment factory in Bangladesh and see how that works. Then we’ll talk. 

I agree with the writer of the opinion piece. I’m not surprised that some people are offended and angered. But it doesn’t offend me at all, in fact I applaud him, because my family’s ethic, going back generations, is that

1) If you want something, you go and get it

2) Life is not fair and not everyone is dealt an equal hand (the follow-up being… what are YOU going to do about your situation?)

Those who think they have it rough today with their fast-food jobs should have known my late grandfather, who had to drop out of third grade to help support his family when his father took off. He later supported a family of four during the Great Depression by working his ass off at whatever menial jobs he could find. Unlike today, there were no food stamps — not that he would have accepted them. Often there was no milk in the house for the kids, and potatoes were the main course for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

This is a free country, and anyone with any gumption and a brain can work themselves out of the fast food ghetto by doing a few simple things, such as not having a series of babies they can’t afford, and getting vocational training or higher education after hours; or just showing up to work on time and being professional so they can get promoted into fast food management.

I’m more offended by the sense of entitlement among SOME poor/disadvantaged/uneducated people who have no motivation whatsoever to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I am so sick and tired of being approached by fat, healthy, well-fed panhandlers pushing their baby strollers in parking lots — especially when they are covered head to toe in tattoos and nose rings which I know were not free. 

Someone please tell me what is so offensive or controversial about the last paragraph of the article… isn’t this just common sense?

It is the job of the individual to figure out what is special about them, what skill or skills they have that sets them apart from others and how to market those skills to earn a living. It is your job to make sure that there is nothing illegal to prevent them from doing so.


Post # 11
730 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I completely agree with the article, and with previous posters about minimum wages…

If one isn’t happy earning minimum wage, there are far too many opportunities for education and advancement in this country. So do it. I did. Millions of others have and continue to do so without the expectation that “more” will just be freely handed over. 

The flagrant sense of entitlement a large portion of American society displays these days is revolting to me. And I suspect, as in my case, the people who are vehemently against continually adjusting minimum wages to meet/match costs of living, are the very ones who HAVE WORKED themselves out of poverty, started at a minimum wage job, got educated, and advanced. 

You don’t just get to dream up some level of living & lifestyle then expect the rest of the world to pay for it, or make it possible for you. 

Post # 12
2393 posts
Buzzing bee



There are Mexicans literally risking — and losing — their lives to cross through the desert to get here illegally, because they would be grateful to work at the menial jobs that we complain about, just to have a shot at opportunities.

Meanwhile we have our own people moaning and complaining that minimum wage needs to be increased 108%.

Gee, I’d like a winning lotto ticket while we’re engaged in magical thinking. It boggles the mind. 


Post # 13
1379 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

What about people that do have the education but still can’t get hired? There’s plenty of people who have master’s degrees and work experience working in food service and retail because they are stuck in the in-between place where they can’t get hired because they’re unqualified for some jobs and overqualified for others. And what about recent college graduates? They are stuck in the catch-22 where you can’t get hired until you have experience but you can’t get experience if no one will hire you. It seems that so many entry-level jobs these days require 3-5 YEARS of experience doing that specific job function.

You can go to college, even grad school, work hard, get good grades, do internships…and still get stuck in a minimum-wage job because you can’t get hired in your field.

And I disagree that fast food doesn’t require skills. You need physcial stamnia, customer service skills and the ability to juggle multiple tasks at the same time.

Post # 14
2450 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I totally and completely agree with this article.

If we just give away raises and benefits, where is the incentive to work harder and earn your raises or promotions?

My husband started working at Wal-Mart a little over three years ago. He started at 9 dollars and change an hour. He’s been promoted every year he has been there and is now making almost $14/hour… and the next position above him is salaried.

Meanwhile there is his friend who has been at that store longer… gets paid less… and gets passed over for promotions. Why? Because he lacks the drive and initiative needed for higher positions. Should Wal-Mart have to pay him more for doing the same humdrum job? Just because he thinks it’s not fair that he makes less money than his friends?

Most of the people that complain about being paid low for so long… usually it’s their own doing. I’m not saying everybody can be rich if they try. I’m just saying there are reasons that some people move up faster and some people stay at the bottom.

My husband and I started living together in 2010 and we had a lot of ramen noodle weeks. There were times I had to borrow money from my assistant manager so I could have enough gas to get to work. In three years, we have worked our way into financial middle class. And this is without college degrees… just plain old hard work. 

So yeah… I don’t want to hear someone saying “It’s not fair that the management can afford vacations and sending their kids to school and blah, blah” because those people who are in those positions worked hard to get their. some started at the bottom and worked their way up, and some used school and paid their way up. either way, they earned it.

Post # 15
2393 posts
Buzzing bee


What about people that do have the education but still can’t get hired? 


It’s true that right now there are a lot of highly educated people who are looking for work and accepting jobs that are below their skill set.

But this is not related to the issue being discussed in the article — which is increasing minimum wages to the tune of 108%.


Post # 16
2450 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@worldtraveler:  What about people that do have the education but still can’t get hired? 

If they get stuck working a minimum wage job, it’s not their employer’s fault that they decided to spend the money to go to school. McDonald’s shouldn’t have to pay someone with a masters degree more than a highschooler to do exactly the same job as a highschooler.

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