Sunday

10 March 2013

What made me get up and leave Starbucks today, long before I had planned to:

Look, here's the thing. You have a business, say a store, and you need to hire a stockboy. Well, you get a guy in a wheelchair applying. This guy, he can’t reach. He can only get to maybe two shelves. He shouldn’t get paid what regular people do because he can’t do as much work. What’s why minimum wage is a mistake, because we need to be able to pay people what they’re worth. Disabled people aren’t worth minimum wage. Come on, this country wasn’t built on minimum wage, it was built into greatness before that became a law and we need to go back to it, like in the seventies. Pay people by the work they can do, not a number the law says we have to.

That is seriously as close to what actually spilled out of this guy’s mouth as I can quote. I left before I could no longer bite my tongue—and if I had stayed it would have gotten a colorful shade of ugly—but as I packed up my stuff he was going on about making waiters and waitresses work for tips only, because “that would make them more productive” and “no one deserves minimum wage AND tips.”

I wonder how he would feel going back to the labor force in pre-minimum wage days, when there was no Fair Labor Standards Act, and he would have been rolling those burritos for 60+ hours a week at the equivalent of about (I’m guessing) 75 cents an hour.

I’m also guessing he has no idea when minimum wage came about, because if you look back, the strides the U.S. made post-FDR were huge. From his “like the seventies” statement, he has no idea minimum wage was implemented in the 30s.

Hell, when I started working—in the seventies—minimum wage was $2.30/hr. If it had kept pace with inflation, it would now be $10.59 instead of $7.25 (national.) If it had kept pace with productivity, it would be $21.72.

Based on that I’m pretty sure we're already paying people less than what they’re worth. Even if they can’t reach the top shelf.

He better hope we don’t start paying wages based on I.Q. points.



13 comments:

Angel and Kirby said...

That person should have been ask to leave, customer or employee! My first job in 1968, I got $1.00 an hour in cash! And I was proud of it. My Granddaughter, a waitress, got $2.10 plus tips. If her tips and that did not add up to minimum wage, the company had to make up the difference. If that happened weeks in a row, she was ask to find other employment. this was in 2012!

Carli N. Wendell said...

If customers were asked to leave Starbucks for voicing a stupid opinion, Starbucks would be at least 1/2 empty.

Shannon akaMonty said...

I just have no words at all. For maybe the first time ever.

Cheysuli and gemini said...

He probably doesn't like cats either... Just saying. What an idiot.

Jan Scholl said...

I made 90 cents an hour as a bartender at age 18 in 1972. I was expected to make up the difference to minimum wage (1.60) with tips-rarely happened unless the frat boys showed up. It was down the road from a major college and across from the court house-the lawyers would rarely leave even a nickel. I also acted as waitress when the real one didn't show up and I closed down the place when the manager got drunk on his shift (his wife owned the place). I took home about 50 a week after taxes. My rent was 120-I had been living on my own since age 17-I did my last semester of HS in the morning, took a nap and then went to work. So to supplement I babysat 5 kids for 50 cents an hour-total. Not per kid. I don't have a phsyucial or mental challenge (well maybe I was nuts to do what I did at the time, I would not now!) but I have seen those who are run circles around me and others like me. My friend David has cerebral palsy (he is 50 now) and he is a DJ at the local jazz station, does a religious program on Sundays at another, coaches his nephew's basketball team AND will join a pick up team when he sees one. All while taking care of his diabetic disabled mom. Tell me who can't reach but two shelves! If that were an employee who said that, I would have told him off and included his boss for an education. But I am the most mouthy person on earth and that is why the war protest group I am in puts me in the front row. Peace!

Victoria Henderson said...

All I can think is, "PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE, by any god you want, do not let this man breed more idiots!"

Derby, Ducky said...

Stupidity is rampant in the world. Open mouth, spout what you think to be truth and if enough people listen and keep passing it on, then more people become stupid.

David E. Francis said...

The really sad thing is that this guy is not alone in his opinion; there are quite a few in this country. I believe it to be part of this "I will do anything I can to get mine---to hell with anyone else getting their fair share" mentality that pervades this country.

While I feel that if one works hard, one should reap the rewards of that labor I also feel that we should feel compassion and understanding to those who are less fortunate.

Dee

Anonymous said...

I see that you did the Nike virtual 10K, so I made a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as promised.

Thumper said...

Sweet! Thank you!

joanie caroon said...

It amazes me that such people exist who have no empathy yet feel free to spout off showing their stupidity and greed. Maybe you can use him as the bad guy in one of your books. Make him of some use.

caircair said...

Unfortunately, Ron White is right: You can't fix STUPID.

Anonymous said...

If he can only reach two shelves, he can't meet minimum performance requirements for the job. Move on to the next candidate.

That, and paying people by the hour ruins them.