Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Adventures in Minimum Wage - The Series

* This will be the first of a series of expose's on the adventure known as minimum wage work. It will not be what you expect, and that's why it will be fun to read.*

So my bill came back from getting my POS truck fixed: Over $600 OUCH!~ there goes all the money in the emergency car repair fund. I mulled it over for a bit and decided to find a part time job to refill the repair fund and to pay off my credit card bill.

The fun part is that my credit card bill was from having to put my tuition on the card due to the fact that the UW System refused to refund me monies from dropping out of a class that forced me to read and review a book on rape, incest and abuse. Nope, haven't forgotten about that, ol' UW!

SO onto the applications. It's the usual stuff plus a part where you put down when you are available to work. This semester has me taking classes Mon-Wed-Fri from 9 to noon, so that's out. I don't want Sundays and I really want less than 1-2 nights/week in case something comes up with the flock and or family matters.

The first place that calls is a chain of retail stores - NOT WalMart. We'll call them "H5N8" for want of a better term. H5N8 is actually the designation of the bird flu now killing off millions of birds in the country.

I interview and right off comes irritation #1. "Oh, I see you have a schedule that you'd like to work. Well! let's just throw that out the window and work what *I* want you to work! Sundays ? NOPE! gotta work! Nights? NOPE gotta work...until 2 am because we need you to do it!"

So why the fuck did I even put down anything if no one is going to listen?

Irritation #2: "Yes, you can start here. Um...by the way, you need to buy a bunch of clothes as a uniform here." These clothes that I was forced to buy equate to about 4 hours of pay at $7.25/hour.  I don't know where the fuck these people think this money will be coming from. Thankfully we have some money in the bank, but really! If you want to pay minimum wage - PROVIDE THE UNIFORM FOR YOUR WORKERS!! Don't expect them to do so on their own dime -er pennies.

I remember my Son getting a temp job that required non-conductive 'steel' toed anti-slip work boots. Minimum outlay for such a thing is $80. He worked a week before they laid him off.  It barely paid for the boots. I got to wear them for an entire winter just to justify their cost.

Irritation #3: Honestly, this is the one that might be the deal breaker for company H5N8. Yesterday, I went in to watch training videos. Boring enough, right. But after 3 hours, I completed them  and signed off. I was about to leave when the manager says, "I have to check your purse." Uh, what? "Our DM (district manager) makes us search everyone's purse. Oh and don't bring in a soda when you start the shift. The DM thinks you guys are stealing sodas."   There are no safe places to put my purse while at work. I'm expected to lock it in my car ...in the parking lot. Yes, because *that's* a safe place!

Treating your employees like they are thieves from day 1 is not going to garner you any good-will from those employees. In fact, the 20 minute training video that blamed 3/4 of the 'shrinkage' of the store on it's employees really did nail down how much company H5N8 thinks of their employees.  $7.25 an hour don't give you permission to treat me like a common thief.

Irritation #4: 15 minute video on how to stack cardboard. Really? I don't know which suit got the directive to put this out there, but that person ran with it like it was a freshly killed bone and s/he was a Labrador puppy.  I mean, 15 minutes on how to stack cardboard on a rack. The poor fella who had to read the script and act like this was the biggest and most effective means of saving the world should get an Academy Award.

And after all this from company H5N8, I've got an interview tonight with a fast food joint. If they offer me either better pay or better hours, I'm gone. It won't mean this series won't go on, it will just be from a different perspective. 

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