Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Not Only That, but the Shake Machine's Broken

A couple of weeks ago, after finding nothing in the refrigerator or pantry that appealed to  me, I decided to indulge in a hamburger at the nearest drive-thru restaurant. Knowing that the service at that particular "fast-food" place is normally quite slow, I packed my Kindle in my purse so the wait wouldn't be boring, then set out to pick up supper.

Mine was the fourth car in line at the drive-thru. The first car in line had been parked next to the ordering speaker ever since I drove up, and I'd already read about half a chapter by the time I noticed that nobody had moved. Right then I saw a young male employee come around the corner of the building, headed in our direction. His steps--and his smile, too--seemed tentative. As he drew near, making eye contact with first one driver then the next, I rolled my window down so I could hear what he had to say.

"I'm so, so sorry, y'all, but I just thought I should come out here and tell y'all that I'm th' only one that showed up at work this evenin'. I don't know why they didn't come, and I'm doin' the best I can by muhself, but I cain't do ever'thing fast enough. I didn't want y'all to have to wait so long that you go all nine-eleven on me."

Bless his heart. That was a brave thing to do, and I appreciated it. As for his co-workers who didn't show up? Well, that's the sloppy work ethic we've all come to expect, isn't it?

A former in-law visited that same restaurant a few years ago, walked inside to place his order, and discovered--after shouting "hello" a few times--that he was the only person in the building. I suppose nobody had bothered to show up to work that shift, either, and the last person to leave from the previous shift hadn't even taken the trouble to lock the door.

There's a fried chicken place a little farther down the road that's just been reopened after having been closed for quite some time. I don't plan to visit there anytime soon. The last time I went there before the place shut down, I ordered a two-piece meal. The voice-in-the-box at the drive-thru replied, "I'm sorry, ma'am, we're all out of two-piece meals. Would you like a three-piece?" Huh? Does that make sense on any level?

These are the kinds of incidents that come to mind when I read about fast-food workers striking to double their wages. I'm usually pro-union, but not in this case. The best thing about fast-food jobs is that entry-level workers can handle them, so they're good places for teens to gain a little work experience. Good workers move on to bigger and better jobs. As for the ones who stick around because they aren't capable of moving on to something more lucrative, for goodness' sake, let's not give them the idea that they're doing such a bang-up job that they deserve more money for it.

That's my opinion. Would you like fries with that?


  1. I spewed coffee over the three piece meal! I feel the same.

    I knew something was up in our economy on my last big production job over a decade ago... Our production team thought we were grossly underpaid at $32 an hour. (And we were!) But when we asked for a raise as a team, our boss informed us he was hiring "producers" for $10 dollars an hour! People were that desperate for work. I remember thinking...just because you can doesn't mean you should. The corporate greed ended up putting them out of business.

    That being said, I see friends with high skill levels like myself having a hard time finding former wages and being asked to take 1/4 or less of what they once made. When a highly skilled, award winning, nation campaign creating graphic designer can't find a job paying $20 an hour, I have a hard time wanting to pay a fast food worker more than minimum!

    1. Holly, thank you for helping me make my point. Fair wages should be paid according to the skills required by the job. If someone is working as a national campaign creating graphic designer, he or she should be paid well for those skills. However, if that same graphic designer decides instead to take a job flipping burgers, then he or she should be paid for burger-flipping skills, not graphic design ones.


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