The worst-paying jobs in America

"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 22 percent of Americans hold one of the lowest paying jobs that the agency categorizes... 1. Fast Food Cooks."

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  1. Jeez, 22%?!?

    But don't worry, America! Surely, many of those folks are actually working two lowest-wage fast food jobs. So it's all good.

    (I sometimes look back at my SSA recaps of my early-20s employment history -- as a foodservice cook -- and wonder that I survived at all. Some years, I barely cracked 10k, and I was pretty consistently/fully employed. Shit, I made $10/hr running a kitchen, once.)

  2. It's demanding work, for sure. And the pay is generally demeaning, to boot.

    I had an owner who didn't want to give me a raise from (a comparatively high) $8.25, after I'd been stuck at that rate for a year. This wasn't fast food, mind you, but a higher-end white tablecloth place. He offered me a chance at health insurance, which I can appreciate now, but that at the time was simply insulting; so, not only do you refuse to pay me enough to cover rent and food, but now you expect me to jump at paying money out?!?

    Anyway. Once I moved on to slightly more "real" jobs, I gave hiring priority to people who had a significant history in those sorts of trenches. Rreeaaalllyyy cuts down on entitlement and petty whining issues.

    And people who cop a sneering "just world" attitude towards service workers -- of all stripes -- can just go eff themselves. I honestly think it should be a legal requirement to do that sort of work before accepting a "good" job.

    Arrglbarrgle!

  3. this x 10000000000000000000

    if you've ever worked with people without prior service industry experience, those people tend to be the lousiest, most ineffectual co-workers. not in every case, of course.

    it's an entirely different mindset that comes with "doing a job immediately, according to the demand and whims of the general public, and each order is different. Oh, AND the client is watching you do your work the whole time." in this way, restaurant work has more in common with being an EMT or active duty military than most people realize. except we're also expected to be polite to a fault.

  4. I think part of the problem is our perceptions of who works at these jobs. The expectation is that fast good is staffed entirely by teen agers, who don't "need" good wages - it's pocket money, the most they might have to pay is their insurance or car payment, but we expect that the majority of that is gas, clothing, and entertainment money for people who aren't having to pay rent or for others in their households (this in itself is probably wrong and problematic - I wonder how many teenagers actually are actively contributing to household expenses, often at the expense of their educations!). But I think that those who do fast food work tend to be older now and are bread winners in their families. Women and men with children.

    We need a living wage in this country... we really do.

  5. You've got it backwards. The poor spend 100% of their income - often more. The really rich only "consume" 10%, or 5 or 1. The rest gets invested. So a consumption tax, like a sales tax is utterly regressive.

    The most progressive tax I know of is real estate tax, which is why there is none at the Federal level, and I think none of the 50 states has one either. How much real estate do you think that fast food chef owns?

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