Author Topic: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work  (Read 3640 times)

Bucksandreds

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Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« on: July 15, 2019, 05:04:03 PM »
From a book that’s being released tomorrow. My first job in 1998 was KFC. It was fairly laid back at the time but it looks like technology has changed the situation. Makes me even happier to be on the road to FIRE and glad I vote for candidates who want to raise the income for people like this.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/the-highlight/2019/7/6/20681186/fast-food-worker-burnout

Raeon

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 11:41:47 PM »
My first job was fast food.  It was f***ing terrible; pretty much exactly as described.  I dreaded going in to work each day. I'd have knots in my stomach with anxiety hours before I needed to leave the house.  I quit 3 months after graduating high school.  Being offered a management position scared me off.  There was no way I was going to let them suck me into a "career" from hell.  It was time to move on. 

Interestingly enough as my real career has progressed my working quality of life has increased along with the pay.  I guess I always thought the misery would double when the pay does.  It seems to do the opposite. I still haven't figured that one out. Maybe I'm just lucky.  I still have job stress; pretty sure I will until I hit FIRE.  It just tends to be a slow burn instead of these folks' "hair on fire" levels. 

I'll always feel sympathy for the folks behind the counter though and I'll never understand customers who treat them like crap.



seattlecyclone

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 12:52:20 AM »
I guess I always thought the misery would double when the pay does.  It seems to do the opposite. I still haven't figured that one out.

If they're paying you a lot, it's not out of the goodness of their hearts. It's because you have skills that are in short supply, and it would cost more to lose you than to treat you pretty nicely.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 01:25:31 AM »
My first job was awful. Retail = demanding customers, lots of hoops to jump through to keep my manager happy, small and trivial rules that you had to follow, etc etc.

That said, I'd take that any day over the stress, anxiety, and burnout that comes with a pressurised corporate career. Sure, in a professional job you no longer have someone telling you what uniform to wear or where to put the broom. But you also no longer get to leave work at work when your shift ends. And when something goes wrong, it's up to you to fix, no matter whether it was your fault or even your responsibility.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 03:43:29 AM »
Food service is incredibly stressful.  I used to wait tables and it taught me that people can be really shitty for no reason.  This article really opened my eyes, as I always thought of fast food as easy work.  It looks kind of fun on the occasion that I stop in a fast food restaurant...guess not.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 04:29:22 AM »
I’m going to encourage my children when they’re teens to work in food service as I think that having experience working and associating with people of lower SES will help them appreciate having options in life and give them empathy for those who don’t. I’m a dentist in prison and my patients are the lowest level of SES and my coworkers are just a notch above my patients. It gives me great perspective in life.

chemistk

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 05:48:18 AM »
Having spent the first 7 years of my working years in some kind of foodservice - I can vouch for the fact that it's incredibly stressful, especially when you're a mid-teens highschooler who is still trying to figure out exactly how life works. Crappy bosses, horrible customers, disgusting messes, long hours, etc. are a huge drain on anyone working foodservice (at least, in a non-management position).

All that being said, I'm a huge advocate for foodservice as a first job/entry into the working world. If you can handle a little rejection and stress, you gain very valuable skills in dealing with unhappy people, juggling multiple responsibilities, and managing your time effectively. But, above all else, you're exposed to two things paramount to everything else: 1) you (hopefully) see how to treat an employee of an establishment as a human being and 2) you learn why food safety is so critical to foodservice (spare me the horror stories) and the food industry in general.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 07:10:36 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

Davnasty

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 07:41:11 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 07:47:32 AM »
I flipped burgers for a time. One time, I got a really awesome break when they had be empty the trash cans in he parking lot where I got to play a little game called "I hope no one I know sees me."

Aelias

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 08:00:39 AM »
This is what I don't understand about the Barista FIRE model.  If you're working some cushy professional job, it's going to be a HELL of a transition to food service work.  Just because they're getting paid a tenth of what you're paid doesn't mean they're doing a tenth of the work!  And it doesn't mean it's low stress either!

I've been an exempt employee all my professional life -- never had to punch a clock.  Sure I've had to be "on call" evenings and weekends since forever, but there's a big freaking difference between answering a few emails on your couch at 9PM and getting a warning for showing up 5 minutes late for your shift.  I don't think I could handle it at this point.

So yeah, be kind to people.  Especially front line service people.  Especially when you can see that they're swamped.  I try to be my very kindest to folks who work at the airport because you KNOW they see the absolute worst of humanity.  Daily.

rothwem

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 08:09:47 AM »
This is what I don't understand about the Barista FIRE model.  If you're working some cushy professional job, it's going to be a HELL of a transition to food service work.  Just because they're getting paid a tenth of what you're paid doesn't mean they're doing a tenth of the work!  And it doesn't mean it's low stress either!

Ugh, Asheville has a ton of people that I assume are Barista Firing, or at least trying to.  Those are the coffee shops that are awful. 

As for the topic of the article, I see a lot of Toyota Production System in the McDonalds system.  I've worked in a few manufacturing plants, and its really easy to mess up TPS beyond all recognition and make everyone miserable.  The people responsible for making TPS awful are usually the managers that think they can discipline and understaff their way to efficiency, rather than level loading and making good systems to get work done. 

I think this also is why there's mixed reviews about fast food work--if your manager sucks, you job will suck.  Just like every other job out there.  Its just that in fast food, you manager is more likely to suck since they don't pay well enough to attract talent. 

startingsmall

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 08:24:35 AM »
I work in a corporate veterinary clinic and my support staff is all under basically the same pressures. Unfortunately, I can't share this article with them because they just won't see it. And that's what makes me sad.

My staff would argue that they have nothing in common with a food service worker and therefore miss out on the fact that they're treated the EXACT same way, right down to the injuries that occur as a result of being rushed. Heck, I've even HEARD them complaining about the $15 fast food wage movement, complaining that "those people" don't deserve to make $15/hr when they don't even make that much as vet assistants with years of experience. They seem to miss the fact that this isn't just about fast food - it's ALL low-wage workers in corporate (and I guess non-corporate, too) America.

Davnasty

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2019, 09:26:03 AM »
I can absolutely understand why these working conditions wear people down. The constant monitoring and changing of schedules is a problem for all the reasons they gave and more. What I'm not sure I understand is that people want to resolve the situation by raising wages. And don't get me wrong, I think it would help by making life outside of work more manageable, but it wouldn't address the root cause of what makes this working environment stressful and dangerous. Driving people to compete with robots is madness and it's going to cause problems regardless of compensation.

It seems to me the additional money would be better spent hiring extra workers and relaxing quotas and schedule manipulation than paying your skeleton crew more.

FireHiker

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 09:55:36 AM »
I worked at McDonald's for about a year and a half in high school. Honestly my experience wasn't that bad. I could walk there after school (no car), got free (crappy) food, and I thought the job was pretty easy. I wouldn't have wanted to do it for any sort of long duration, but it was my first "real" job aside from lots of babysitting. I grew up poor and at times homeless so having money of my own that I earned and could save was incredibly rewarding. I got raises (albeit small ones) and it was overall a positive experience. I think it certainly did teach me to be respectful of people in any job, which is valuable. I'm thankful I don't have to work in fast food now, of course, but it was just fine as a first job as soon as I turned 16. I didn't move up to management or anything because I left for a higher paying retail job at 17, but like @EngagedToFIRE I saw it as overall positive and easy. I did have decent managers, though, which makes a huge difference in all industries.

ministashy

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 10:20:50 AM »
My first job was Taco Bell, which I worked in the summers starting from when I was 16 until I went to college.  Never got to spend any of the money, either--all my checks were handed over to go into my college fund. (To be fair, the parents did offer a small stipend so I could go out and do a few cheap fun things.)

I HATED that job.  For someone who hates math, counting up your register at the end of the day is a nightmare.  I was always short, even if it was only by a few random cents or a dollar or two, and could never figure out why.  Plus my feet were in agony by the time I was 2 hours into an 8 hour shift (what I didn't realize at the time, but know now, was that I have plantar fascitis.  And my parents didn't understand this either, which meant I was told to grin and bear it.)  I thought that it was normal--that everyone just hobbled around feeling like razorblades had been stuck into the soles of their feet after an eight hour shift of standing and walking.  The people I worked with were decent, as were the managers--I don't remember any real jerks, anyway.  But the worst part by far was that I was completely, utterly, ineffably BORED.  The job was so mind-numbingly boring, I would spend a good chunk of my shift calculating how much time until my next break, and how much time until the end of my shift.  Never did a clock move so slow as it did when I worked there.

It did teach me how to work and collect a paycheck, though.  And the thought of doing something like that for the rest of my life was GREAT motivation to do well in college.

BicycleB

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 10:36:00 AM »
I admire anyone who thinks fast food work is easy, and has actually done it. It wasn't easy for me.

It wasn't an attitude issue. I worked multiple food service jobs in teens and early 20s. Tried hard consistently, brought a good attitude, etc. I just don't have the physical and social speed to do well there. I performed mediocrely and was tired out every time.

I do think there are times when people make it worse than it has to be due to attitude, or not taking advantage of what's there. But mostly, the rare people who like it also have underlying reflexes/skills/abilities that match that environment's demands. For them it is easy, or fulfilling, or whatever. Much respect to them... and also to the many workers who grind it out through a difficult day.

mm1970

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 10:36:38 AM »
My low wage jobs in high school and college were bagging groceries, working at the gas company, and working at the campus pizza place.

Bagging groceries was not that bad, except when it rained.  I made $3.35 an hour, but there was room for promotion for people who wanted to stay, and back then the pay and benefits were fairly decent.

Gas company summer was a lot of physical labor, and being female that meant I only had to dig one ditch, but I did have to clean the only bathroom every day.  That's a job that will physically wear you out, but at least there's a pension.

The pizza place was okay - I worked with a mix of work study and people who lived in the city.  For the most part, I liked my coworkers but some of them were grumpy, and some were late for every shift (so I was called in a lot to cover, but I think I was making a whopping $3.85 by then).  Eventually I got moved from making pizza to the cashier's position.  Which was not a great fit because college students are snobby assholes, and I didn't take any of their shit.  Yes, I'm in college too and no I cannot afford to eat without this job, so fuck you.  No, we do not make that kind of pizza, pick something else.

My sister had a friend who worked at McD's and was a manager while I was in high school.  She worked a shit ton of hours (salaried) for pretty crappy pay. 

Rosy

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2019, 11:05:56 AM »
From the article:
Quote
At McDonald’s, I asked the manager who wrote me up for losing my temper at Mustard Lady if anyone had ever thrown food at her, and, if so, how she’d kept it together.
Was there ... a trick to it?


My manager looked at me as if I were oblivious, and responded that of course people had thrown food at her. “You have a family to support. You think about your family, and you walk away.”

Exactly this ^^^ or even if you are single and know this is your only chance to make rent and you can't afford just to throw in the towel - just yet.
A lot depends on where you live - maybe McD is your only option.
To me, this was actually shocking to read - who the hell throws food at people? Maybe people who live in their own kind of hell? with no power over their own situation? Lord forgive them because they know not what they do?:) or maybe their mama just didn't teach them any manners.

Understaffing
Deliberate understaffing to the point that your employees get hurt and injured on the job is despicable and akin to a criminal act.

Employees
A clueless teenager with all the energy of youth and full monetary and family support will experience a job at McD completely different. They'll stash some away for their first car or gas money, video games or save up for college. They know this will not be forever, they are not stuck.

McD has perks
McD has a paid education program for young people something the author blithely ignored.

Digital time clocks - I disagree with the author
Well, yeah - any employer has the right to expect and insist that you show up on time. Who knows it might even say so in your employment contract:) If that means you have to take a train that gets you there 20 min early that is clearly your problem.

Good managers are what makes a company run smooth and keep both the employees and upper management happy. The ones who have both an eye for profit but also know to accommodate the needs of their worker's situations to retain the best and mentor those who have the potential to benefit the company.

The summer I worked at a restaurant was sheer misery for me. It taught me that this was one job I never wanted to have to do for a living.
The place itself was OK to work at - not the best and not the worst, just overall not my cup of tea.

I totally agree with startingsmall - people don't always see the big picture and cannot understand that all low wage workers in corporate or non-corporate America have similar issues dependent on the idiosyncrasies of their particular job.
They fail to notice that they are in the same boat because they feel superior to food service workers or simply cannot connect the dots.


I do agree that nostalgic waxing about your first FF job when conditions have obviously changed for the worse is not helpful to the current workers who are forced to labor under totally different conditions.
Out of all the grim realities listed, the constant changing of shifts is the most troublesome to me.
Not just because it makes your life more difficult, but it wreaks havoc on your finances when you can't reliably count on X for income.   

fuzzy math

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2019, 11:55:15 AM »
I worked at McDonalds in high school. It was a real eye opener as a sheltered privileged white girl. I recognized how quickly just being smart and efficient made my life much easier from my bosses, and recognized how many people in my same job did not have the necessary life skills to accomplish the same things. I also saw how little I was rewarded outside of praise (my raise that year was $0.10 an hour more than my lower performing colleagues).  I also came home barely able to walk after an 8 hour shift, covered in fast food grease requiring a shower and basically having to sit / lie down for the rest of the day. Its a great motivator for someone to want to achieve move in life. I also worked in a vet clinic in college, and kennel cleaning was much worse than fry slinging.
I have tons of sympathy for people who work these back breaking thankless jobs into their 40s, 50s and beyond.

Car Jack

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2019, 12:25:55 PM »
My first job was Taco Bell, which I worked in the summers starting from when I was 16 until I went to college.  Never got to spend any of the money, either--all my checks were handed over to go into my college fund. (To be fair, the parents did offer a small stipend so I could go out and do a few cheap fun things.)

I HATED that job.  For someone who hates math, counting up your register at the end of the day is a nightmare.  I was always short, even if it was only by a few random cents or a dollar or two, and could never figure out why.  Plus my feet were in agony by the time I was 2 hours into an 8 hour shift (what I didn't realize at the time, but know now, was that I have plantar fascitis.  And my parents didn't understand this either, which meant I was told to grin and bear it.)  I thought that it was normal--that everyone just hobbled around feeling like razorblades had been stuck into the soles of their feet after an eight hour shift of standing and walking.  The people I worked with were decent, as were the managers--I don't remember any real jerks, anyway.  But the worst part by far was that I was completely, utterly, ineffably BORED.  The job was so mind-numbingly boring, I would spend a good chunk of my shift calculating how much time until my next break, and how much time until the end of my shift.  Never did a clock move so slow as it did when I worked there.

It did teach me how to work and collect a paycheck, though.  And the thought of doing something like that for the rest of my life was GREAT motivation to do well in college.

Not Taco Bell.....Burger Chef.  But I figured out very quickly how to guaranty that I'd never be short.  There would be orders where I knew what the total cost was and that the customer was a regular and would not want the receipt.  I give them the food, collect the money into the register and not ring up a thing.  One or 2 of these a shift easily covered for possible mistakes. 

Raeon

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2019, 09:14:45 PM »
It seems to me the additional money would be better spent hiring extra workers and relaxing quotas and schedule manipulation than paying your skeleton crew more.

Absolutely. Increased pay won't make a person happier long-term. It DOES increase the amount of crap they are willing to put up with before they quit, but they won't stay happy.  I see a lot of managers in these places treat people as if they own them simply because they're on the payroll.  If you want to keep turnover low you need to do so much more than pay a competitive wage.  Books have been written about theories but I've always found it comes down to one word. Respect. It needs to go both ways.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2019, 06:59:48 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

Not sure exactly.  Maybe around 2001

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2019, 07:03:34 AM »
I work in a corporate veterinary clinic and my support staff is all under basically the same pressures. Unfortunately, I can't share this article with them because they just won't see it. And that's what makes me sad.

My staff would argue that they have nothing in common with a food service worker and therefore miss out on the fact that they're treated the EXACT same way, right down to the injuries that occur as a result of being rushed. Heck, I've even HEARD them complaining about the $15 fast food wage movement, complaining that "those people" don't deserve to make $15/hr when they don't even make that much as vet assistants with years of experience. They seem to miss the fact that this isn't just about fast food - it's ALL low-wage workers in corporate (and I guess non-corporate, too) America.

Go be the change!  Start a clinic, pay everyone $15+/hr and do everything you swear your company is doing wrong.  Go show them!!!!  Use this article as a guideline.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2019, 07:10:27 AM »
I worked at McDonald's for about a year and a half in high school. Honestly my experience wasn't that bad. I could walk there after school (no car), got free (crappy) food, and I thought the job was pretty easy. I wouldn't have wanted to do it for any sort of long duration, but it was my first "real" job aside from lots of babysitting. I grew up poor and at times homeless so having money of my own that I earned and could save was incredibly rewarding. I got raises (albeit small ones) and it was overall a positive experience. I think it certainly did teach me to be respectful of people in any job, which is valuable. I'm thankful I don't have to work in fast food now, of course, but it was just fine as a first job as soon as I turned 16. I didn't move up to management or anything because I left for a higher paying retail job at 17, but like @EngagedToFIRE I saw it as overall positive and easy. I did have decent managers, though, which makes a huge difference in all industries.

Thanks!  I'm not sure what is so terribly complicated about it.  When it's busy, one persons job is literally to drop fries in the fryer and fill up fry containers.  If that is somehow difficult, I'm not sure what to say.  I got to go to McDonalds manager training which I found insightful.  As I said in a previous post, it's all perspective.  As an employer, I see it all the time.  Some (most) workers take a very negative view about work and the company they work for.  They are a self-fulfilling prophecy through and through.  Everything is awful, all the time - and it doesn't matter what you do to make the day better, to them, it just makes it slightly more tolerable.  These are the same type of people that would show up to manager training at McDonalds and completely miss the point, because to them, it's just about getting the stupid training over with.  With 30 employees, I asked the manager the other day "Who would you trust the business with out of all of our employees?" (to be a manager as well) - and he could only name 1.  Do the same exercise at your own workplace.  It's kind of a shocking realization, actually, just how shitty people are when it comes to work - at least in the semi-lower wage jobs.  It becomes painfully obvious why this type of worker remains in such jobs and makes up the bulk of that workforce.

It's why when I see an article like this, I just kind of think "yeah, this writer has no clue"

mizzourah2006

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2019, 07:19:05 AM »
I worked at a grocery store from 1998-2006 and a lot of this similar stuff was going on. We didn't have "on-call" but if you didn't answer your phone enough times when they called for you to pick up a shift it definitely impacted your relationship with your manager and your ability to get requests for days off, etc. I worked in produce for a number of years and I can't tell you the # of times the assistant store manager would ask me to spend an hour or so getting carts and bagging groceries because they were understaffed up front. Then I'd come in to work the next day to a nasty note from the produce manager saying I didn't get everything done to her standards...well I hada 4 hour shift and 1.5 of it was spent bagging groceries...you try to do all the work you asked of me in 2.5 hours. Of course the ASM didn't bother telling her he made me work the front for 1.5 hours so it was just my word that I wasn't in back watching TV for 1.5 hours.

Customers are often shitty everywhere. I got yelled at by customers all the time, sometimes it was them yelling at me because they were in a hurry and couldn't find something, other times it was their kids knocking a jar of pickles off the shelf and it shattering on the floor and them just walking away. I was getting carts one time and I had a lady that locked her keys in her car. She asked for my help, so I tried to open both her doors and confirmed they were locked. I told her she should go to the front desk and ask them to call a locksmith. About 20 minutes later I got a call from the manager saying that a lady had come up to the front desk and told them that I had told her to "go f*ck herself" when she asked for help....I guess the expectation was that I bash her car window in or that I was a trained locksmith with tools in my back pocket....got written up for that one...In hindsight I guess I could have escorted her to the front desk, but I didn't realize not escorting her was the equivalent of telling her to get bent.

I don't know if my experience taught me this or I just would have naturally done this, but I am always extra sure to treat anyone in these types of jobs with extreme courtesy because I know they have their fair share of customers that for whatever reason think they are better than them simply because they're on the other end of the counter.

oh yeah and my final pay after 8 years...$9.75/hr.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 07:23:42 AM by mizzourah2006 »

KBecks

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2019, 07:22:38 AM »
It's called work because these jobs are not fun, they are not entertaining, and there are rules that have to be followed.


Davnasty

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2019, 07:29:39 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

Not sure exactly.  Maybe around 2001

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Davnasty

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2019, 07:46:50 AM »
It's called worknotfunorentertainingruletime because these jobs are not fun, they are not entertaining, and there are rules that have to be followed.

Is this what you meant? because the word work implies none of those things. Not to mention, no one is complaining that these jobs aren't fun or have rules. It's a very specific type of rule and management style that is being criticized.

Do you have an opinion on the actual topic of the article? How do you feel about variable schedules where workers can be told to go home or come in for an extra shift with short notice?

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2019, 07:54:59 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

Not sure exactly.  Maybe around 2001

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Have you been an employer?  Employees spending hours in the bathroom is unbelievably common.  We get at least one or two every year.  It's always an uncomfortable situation to deal with, too.  But when someone heads off to the bathroom for 20 minutes every hour or so, you have to deal with it.  All of the other staff take notice, they get upset, etc.  Just pointing out that these quotas and scanning/monitoring exist for a reason.  They are direct result of the behavior that the employers have to deal with.  Going from bagging groceries to employing 30+ people over the last 20+ years, gradually, through all sorts of jobs and positions, I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on.  And one thing I can say is that, when you actually own a company and employ a decent amount of people, it totally changes your perspective.  You become a target.  Threats of lawsuits over just about anything.  Employees stealing.  Showing up late.  Taking long lunches.  Calling out without notice.  By far the hardest part is dealing with employees who won't care about their job no matter what you do for them.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll produce at 1/4 the rate.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll spend all day watching movies in the bathroom.  Fast food is really no different.

And yes, of course poor management sucks, but what is so remarkably new and groundbreaking about that?

Davnasty

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2019, 08:25:29 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

Not sure exactly.  Maybe around 2001

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Have you been an employer?  Employees spending hours in the bathroom is unbelievably common.  We get at least one or two every year.  It's always an uncomfortable situation to deal with, too.  But when someone heads off to the bathroom for 20 minutes every hour or so, you have to deal with it.  All of the other staff take notice, they get upset, etc.  Just pointing out that these quotas and scanning/monitoring exist for a reason.  They are direct result of the behavior that the employers have to deal with.  Going from bagging groceries to employing 30+ people over the last 20+ years, gradually, through all sorts of jobs and positions, I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on.  And one thing I can say is that, when you actually own a company and employ a decent amount of people, it totally changes your perspective.  You become a target.  Threats of lawsuits over just about anything.  Employees stealing.  Showing up late.  Taking long lunches.  Calling out without notice.  By far the hardest part is dealing with employees who won't care about their job no matter what you do for them.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll produce at 1/4 the rate.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll spend all day watching movies in the bathroom.  Fast food is really no different.

And yes, of course poor management sucks, but what is so remarkably new and groundbreaking about that?

I have not been an employer but I'm also not denying this happens. I have worked these jobs and it's pretty easy to spot this type of worker, like I said earlier, I acknowledge they exist. And I should have been more specific about being questioned for taking too long in the bathroom. I've seen people get in trouble for 10 minute bathroom breaks.

Going back to the article the issue isn't just that workers are being monitored, it's the computers and algorithms being too effective at doing so, and also not being able to take human factors into account.

If I had to pick one issue that the article mentioned that I think is the biggest problem, it would be the schedule manipulation. Not being able to plan your life outside of work or getting less hours than expected when you're counting on a paycheck would be awful. I don't know to what extent this was done in the past, but modern technology has made it easier to monitor and trim schedules in the employers favor.


EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2019, 09:07:32 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

Not sure exactly.  Maybe around 2001

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Have you been an employer?  Employees spending hours in the bathroom is unbelievably common.  We get at least one or two every year.  It's always an uncomfortable situation to deal with, too.  But when someone heads off to the bathroom for 20 minutes every hour or so, you have to deal with it.  All of the other staff take notice, they get upset, etc.  Just pointing out that these quotas and scanning/monitoring exist for a reason.  They are direct result of the behavior that the employers have to deal with.  Going from bagging groceries to employing 30+ people over the last 20+ years, gradually, through all sorts of jobs and positions, I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on.  And one thing I can say is that, when you actually own a company and employ a decent amount of people, it totally changes your perspective.  You become a target.  Threats of lawsuits over just about anything.  Employees stealing.  Showing up late.  Taking long lunches.  Calling out without notice.  By far the hardest part is dealing with employees who won't care about their job no matter what you do for them.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll produce at 1/4 the rate.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll spend all day watching movies in the bathroom.  Fast food is really no different.

And yes, of course poor management sucks, but what is so remarkably new and groundbreaking about that?

I have not been an employer but I'm also not denying this happens. I have worked these jobs and it's pretty easy to spot this type of worker, like I said earlier, I acknowledge they exist. And I should have been more specific about being questioned for taking too long in the bathroom. I've seen people get in trouble for 10 minute bathroom breaks.

Going back to the article the issue isn't just that workers are being monitored, it's the computers and algorithms being too effective at doing so, and also not being able to take human factors into account.

If I had to pick one issue that the article mentioned that I think is the biggest problem, it would be the schedule manipulation. Not being able to plan your life outside of work or getting less hours than expected when you're counting on a paycheck would be awful. I don't know to what extent this was done in the past, but modern technology has made it easier to monitor and trim schedules in the employers favor.

I would agree that losing the human aspect is a potential big issue.  I had a manager working for me that I had to argue with about this all the time.  With my work history, I was very empathetic with the staff who were not necessarily model employees.  We still had to deal with it, but I understood "why" and could relate.  The manager never could understand that.  That manager was fired.

As for schedule manipulation, that's always been a thing and is nothing new at all.  That was the hardest part about those types of jobs, was wonky hours and no consistency in how many hours you get until you get a full time/set position.  I don't see this as anything new, at all.  We used to monitor labor percentage on a shitty computer in the back of the McDonalds and would cut staff or reduce hours on the following week.  It's the nature of that type of business and it seems about the same as it's always been if that is still going on.  Being a waiter was similar (still is).

I guess I'm not convinced there is anything new being presented here though it's trying to be presented as such.

rothwem

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2019, 09:11:26 AM »
Have you been an employer?  Employees spending hours in the bathroom is unbelievably common.  We get at least one or two every year.  It's always an uncomfortable situation to deal with, too.  But when someone heads off to the bathroom for 20 minutes every hour or so, you have to deal with it.  All of the other staff take notice, they get upset, etc. 


Funny story--at my last job, an engineer got fired because he was going to the bathroom and sleeping, literally, for hours.  They caught him when someone noticed that his feet hadn't moved in the stall in a while and they described "labored breathing" coming from the stall, they thought he was dying or something.  They busted the stall door down and smacked him in the head, he was doubled over, fast asleep.  They fired him that day. 

He is remembered as the "crapper napper".
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 09:14:08 AM by rothwem »

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2019, 09:14:14 AM »
What a shame people feel this way.  I worked at McDonalds as a teenager and even moved up to a management position.  I still talk about how it was my favorite job (minus the crappy pay).  But never did I find it stressful or difficult. It was fun, stayed active, the days went by fast, very social, etc.  I learned a lot there.  Some people go to jobs like this and learn nothing, then say how awful the job is and whatever else.  Very negative.  For me, I focused on all of the procedures and training.  It's a business that takes low wage people who are miserable and don't care about job/life and somehow gets them to put out a good product and service.  It's remarkable how they do it and getting to work there as a manager gives you a very behind-the-scenes look at it.  It's all just a different perspective I guess, and it's why certain people remain in these jobs, miserable, stressed, etc.  And certain people excel past them, taking the lesson and experience with them.

What year did you start there?

Not sure exactly.  Maybe around 2001

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Have you been an employer?  Employees spending hours in the bathroom is unbelievably common.  We get at least one or two every year.  It's always an uncomfortable situation to deal with, too.  But when someone heads off to the bathroom for 20 minutes every hour or so, you have to deal with it.  All of the other staff take notice, they get upset, etc.  Just pointing out that these quotas and scanning/monitoring exist for a reason.  They are direct result of the behavior that the employers have to deal with.  Going from bagging groceries to employing 30+ people over the last 20+ years, gradually, through all sorts of jobs and positions, I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on.  And one thing I can say is that, when you actually own a company and employ a decent amount of people, it totally changes your perspective.  You become a target.  Threats of lawsuits over just about anything.  Employees stealing.  Showing up late.  Taking long lunches.  Calling out without notice.  By far the hardest part is dealing with employees who won't care about their job no matter what you do for them.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll produce at 1/4 the rate.  If you aren't on top of them, they'll spend all day watching movies in the bathroom.  Fast food is really no different.

And yes, of course poor management sucks, but what is so remarkably new and groundbreaking about that?

I have not been an employer but I'm also not denying this happens. I have worked these jobs and it's pretty easy to spot this type of worker, like I said earlier, I acknowledge they exist. And I should have been more specific about being questioned for taking too long in the bathroom. I've seen people get in trouble for 10 minute bathroom breaks.

Going back to the article the issue isn't just that workers are being monitored, it's the computers and algorithms being too effective at doing so, and also not being able to take human factors into account.

If I had to pick one issue that the article mentioned that I think is the biggest problem, it would be the schedule manipulation. Not being able to plan your life outside of work or getting less hours than expected when you're counting on a paycheck would be awful. I don't know to what extent this was done in the past, but modern technology has made it easier to monitor and trim schedules in the employers favor.

Funny story--at my last job, an engineer got fired because he was going to the bathroom and sleeping, literally, for hours.  They caught him when someone noticed that his feet hadn't moved in the stall in a while and they described "labored breathing" coming from the stall, they thought he was dying or something.  They busted the stall door down and smacked him in the head, he was doubled over, fast asleep.  They fired him that day. 

He is remembered as the "crapper napper".

Almost had one of those last year!  An employee went to the manager because another employee was in the bathroom for nearly an hour, and they were worried about their health/safety.  Just going in with a simple "are you ok" remedied that problem and I think just being aware that others noticed solved the issue long term.  We had a previous employee nearly OD in a bathroom, too.  So it's not something to take lightly.  I'm stealing that nickname though for our next napper.

startingsmall

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2019, 11:41:19 AM »
I work in a corporate veterinary clinic and my support staff is all under basically the same pressures. Unfortunately, I can't share this article with them because they just won't see it. And that's what makes me sad.

My staff would argue that they have nothing in common with a food service worker and therefore miss out on the fact that they're treated the EXACT same way, right down to the injuries that occur as a result of being rushed. Heck, I've even HEARD them complaining about the $15 fast food wage movement, complaining that "those people" don't deserve to make $15/hr when they don't even make that much as vet assistants with years of experience. They seem to miss the fact that this isn't just about fast food - it's ALL low-wage workers in corporate (and I guess non-corporate, too) America.

Go be the change!  Start a clinic, pay everyone $15+/hr and do everything you swear your company is doing wrong.  Go show them!!!!  Use this article as a guideline.

I'm looking to get OUT of vet med, not further entrenched in it!!  LOL.

mm1970

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2019, 01:17:29 PM »
Quote
Out of all the grim realities listed, the constant changing of shifts is the most troublesome to me.
Not just because it makes your life more difficult, but it wreaks havoc on your finances when you can't reliably count on X for income. 

I agree with this, and I disagree with whomever said "it's always been this way".  The difference is, a couple of decades ago you could count on full time work.  These days, a far greater % of workers are "part time" because it's cheaper for the company.  Also, algorithms have gotten very snazzy at changing hours around in a way that didn't happen 20-30 years ago.


EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2019, 01:35:30 PM »
Quote
Out of all the grim realities listed, the constant changing of shifts is the most troublesome to me.
Not just because it makes your life more difficult, but it wreaks havoc on your finances when you can't reliably count on X for income. 

I agree with this, and I disagree with whomever said "it's always been this way".  The difference is, a couple of decades ago you could count on full time work.  These days, a far greater % of workers are "part time" because it's cheaper for the company.  Also, algorithms have gotten very snazzy at changing hours around in a way that didn't happen 20-30 years ago.

There is nothing to disagree with.  I'm telling you, as a matter of fact, that getting full time work both at the grocery store (major chain) I worked at and McDonalds (and another fast food restaurant) was very difficult.  Complaining about hours was something 75% of the staff did at every single place, every single day.  It's probably one of the most memorable things I can think of when it comes to those jobs.  The craziness and struggle of getting hours that everyone was going through. There were people that would literally get 2.5 hours a week just to keep them technically employed.  Unless you were a long term employee or manager, this was "normal."  It worked similarly as a server/bartender at several places, too.  A few got the hours, everyone else was on call and part time, with hours that could range from 15 - 40.  Nothing is different. I kind of question if you have ever even worked in these types of places 20+ years ago.  It was a disaster trying to get hours.

jlcnuke

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2019, 02:15:58 PM »

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Sorry, but in the early 1990's I had every single thing that author whined about happening in my fast food job, except that the understaffed schedule was done manually not with corporate algorithms. 
Constantly understaffed so everyone has to work harder? Check (although, if the job is getting done, which it generally is, then understaffed isn't really the actual condition, right??)
Unpredictable hours from week to week? Check.
Finding out schedule just days before it was to start? Check.
Close one night and open the next morning? Check.
Expected to stay late or come in on short notice if needed? Check.
Run-ins with shitty customers on a somewhat regular basis? Check.

How stressful would I rate that job? About a 3 out of 10.
How stressful would i rate my job in the Navy? About a 7 out of 10.
How stressful would I rate my corporate position currently? About a 4-5 out of 10.

While there can be some stress associated with the above, it's not like you're making life and death decisions in an emergency room or battlefield, and no one's going to lose 7-figures worth of revenue if you make some customers upset because you were late dropping the last batch of fries. You have to get to work on time??? OMG?? So do I. You have to work late when needed? So do most people. There are jobs that are high-stress, fast food isn't one I'd call high-stress though, even with all those "changes" the author of that terrible article discusses.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2019, 07:03:04 PM »

The main point of the article revolved around the ways that these jobs have changed in recent years. Your experience of 18 years ago was different than what people deal with today.

Some people do have a bad attitude at work and they make it harder on themselves, but the type of monitoring they're subjected to can create a bad attitude even in a good worker.

And I agree that this article wasn't a very good one, but the underlying problems they were trying to address are very real ones. Just because you haven't seen it personally doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Have you ever had a job where someone looks over you shoulder to watch you work? Have you ever been timed and given quotas on a daily or even hourly basis? Have you ever had a job where you scan in and out every time you go to the bathroom? And then had your boss interrogate you about how long you're taking in there?

I think these are real problems and are counterproductive to what a business owner wants to accomplish. Writing it off as some people just have a bad attitude is A) true, because there are some people who will make the worst of any situation and B) ignoring the role that poor management and business practices play. Abusing workers and making them miserable may give some short term benefit but in the long run it's bad for business and bad for society.

Sorry, but in the early 1990's I had every single thing that author whined about happening in my fast food job, except that the understaffed schedule was done manually not with corporate algorithms. 
Constantly understaffed so everyone has to work harder? Check (although, if the job is getting done, which it generally is, then understaffed isn't really the actual condition, right??)
Unpredictable hours from week to week? Check.
Finding out schedule just days before it was to start? Check.
Close one night and open the next morning? Check.
Expected to stay late or come in on short notice if needed? Check.
Run-ins with shitty customers on a somewhat regular basis? Check.

How stressful would I rate that job? About a 3 out of 10.
How stressful would i rate my job in the Navy? About a 7 out of 10.
How stressful would I rate my corporate position currently? About a 4-5 out of 10.

While there can be some stress associated with the above, it's not like you're making life and death decisions in an emergency room or battlefield, and no one's going to lose 7-figures worth of revenue if you make some customers upset because you were late dropping the last batch of fries. You have to get to work on time??? OMG?? So do I. You have to work late when needed? So do most people. There are jobs that are high-stress, fast food isn't one I'd call high-stress though, even with all those "changes" the author of that terrible article discusses.

Thanks!  I spent plenty of time in these types of job on my way up.  You wrote it much better than me, so I'll just "ditto" it.  All that shit was common back then, maybe even worse.  We still had a computer even 20 years ago, believe it or not.  And the computer monitored sales and labor.  We had to monitor it closely and do all the terrible tweaking of hours, schedules, etc.  Nothing new is going on, at all.  It's the same ol', same ol'.

Just Joe

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Re: Interesting Excerpt About Low Wage Work
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2019, 10:05:28 PM »
I'll ditto it. Also the occasional manager who made a really big deal out of petty rules. And the manager who kept us past 2AM at a Hardees to do a spring cleaning of the store off the clock. I was a really dumb kid who didn't realize I wasn't getting paid for the time. All good lessons to build upon.

Have a young relative who just left a WalMart job for something a little better. WalMart was surprisingly a pretty good place to work.