• Thu, Dec 12 - 10:00 am ET

5 Reasons To Stop Telling Minimum Wage Workers To Get Another Job

fast-food-worker-minimum-wage-worker fast food worker minimum wage worker Unhappy teenage girl has a boring job serving fast food.

This lil’ lady is tired of hearing you tell her to “get a real job.” | Source: ShutterStock

You’ve probably heard about the fast food workers’ strike, and you’ve probably heard people bitching at fast food workers to “get a real job” or just “get another job.” Whatever you think of the wage argument–and there are valid points on both sides–please stop telling fast food workers and minimum wage workers to get another job. Here’s why that’s a pretty ignorant thing to do.

“Good jobs”–as in, jobs that pay $15 or more per hour–are hard to come by.
For every “good job” that’s posted, there’s an average of seven people vying for it. Don’t act like people aren’t trying.

But what about job creation and those fun job reports that are popping up?
Guess what? Those jobs are low-wage jobs. Try again.

It’s easy to get stuck.
When people get home from a shift at a full-time job, they’re tired. Looking for work is a full-time job in itself, as is studying to improve one’s workforce qualifications and clout. If you’re low on sick or vacation days, try balancing that with your job interviews. It’s not easy, but getting complacent is.

You don’t know everyone’s story.
Maybe the girl at Burger King you just gave attitude to got laid off from a “good job” when the markets went awry. Maybe the guy cleaning the floor at Taco Bell is just picking up extra shifts because his wife got injured a car accident and can’t work anymore, and he’s not qualified for much else. The point is, you don’t know, so you shouldn’t judge.

You sound like an asshat.
Seriously, if it were that easy, wouldn’t more people have done it already? And if everyone got a better job, who would flip your burger and put up with your attitude at the drive-thru because you were too lazy to put on pants and go inside? Count your blessings and take a seat.

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  • Cassieleigh

    I thing a more constructive way to talk about minimum wage jobs, be they food service, retail or whatever, is with the understanding that that type of job should be temporary. Folks who work in these jobs (I was one my self for MANY years before, during and after college) should learn the necessary skills and then grow.

    If I had my druthers, I’d have every high school student be taught the same lesson I was by my HS economics teacher: you should not expect to work for minimum wage for long. These jobs should be seen as a means to an end for most people. If you’re capable of working beyond that, then you should. And we, as humans, should encourage our fellow humans to reach as far as they can/want.

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