It never fails. Someone has a single bad experience at a fast food restaurant and right away, that person will cry, to the effect, “AND THEY WANT $15 AND HOUR?!!”
No, I’m not stupid. If you’ve visited fast food places multiple times, chances are, something has gone wrong more than once. When I say “a single bad experience,” what I mean is that your most recent bad experience is the reason most of why you feel they do not deserve to make $15 an hour. (Yes, “they,” because of course, it could never be just that one person who may not deserve it, but the entire industry of fast food workers who you apply this to)
Which is my entire reason for writing this post.
You may think they feel like they are “entitled” to ask this, but let me tell you why YOU are actually the entitled one.
For starters, who are YOU to dictate what someone deserves to be paid in a job you are not even in charge of? The only real reason you have an issue with $15 an hour is likely because you know minimum wage is currently $7.25. So in comparison, that is a big jump. But if you did not know that, it wouldn’t even be a big deal; as much as some of you would claim that it was. It isn’t, because you’re measuring it up to where we are right now. That’s among the only reasons we know that something is “expensive;” because we are comparing it to the cost of the items that are much cheaper.
Not to mention, do you even know what all they do? And before you say, “I worked in fast food before!” Yeah…so did I. And what I remember is that while this person over here may do one particular job, that person over there may actually do four different jobs.
So how many times have you asked that when going to the fast food restaurant after that person may have messed up your order? I’m taking a wild guess and saying none. So in thinking that his or her entire purpose in life was adding pickles to your sandwich when you said “no pickles,” I would say that just might be a little inaccurate.
Sure I remember all I did when I worked at Wendys many years ago. But that has nothing to do with now. I’m pretty certain none of us hang around to see the entire scope of what someone does to be able to decide how much they deserve to be paid.
Yes…even at a fast food restaurant.
Next…there is a reason it is called FAST FOOD. Their entire existence is for the convenience of not having to WAIT as long for food as we would had we gone elsewhere. When many go to fast food restaurants, you’re looking to be in and out, correct? I don’t believe in my heart that many people go to fast food places and expect to be in line for a half hour. That’s the reason they chose to go there.
And with quickness comes mistakes. Fast food places pride themselves on fast service. And I don’t hear too many of you saying that they should not, especially as YOU are standing (or sitting) in line. But there is this expectation that with all that insane speed, that mistakes are never to happen. Ever. That is just ridiculous.
Yeah I get it; they’re getting paid to do a job. But no matter what someone is getting paid, they don’t become less human. And do you seriously think that pay dictates whether or not mistakes happen? We’ve just grown to expect that the more someone gets paid, the less likely they are to make mistakes. Hell, our president is a big damn mistake, and we see how much money he has.
Let’s move on.
Not only is there speed that they have to deal with, but the commotion of everything else going on. The drive-thru isn’t the only thing going and neither is the front line. This is not to make excuses, but believe it or not, you are NOT the only customer there and you are NOT the only one they need to attend to. I leave a little room for a mistake to happen here or there and I do my best not to act an ass about it. But to go through life expecting everyone to forgive all your mistakes as you’re harsh toward others about the ones they make, well…that’s a gross sense of entitlement.
Speaking of which, as I mentioned near the beginning of this…I most often hear people cry about those who want $15 an hour immediately after they went to that restaurant and a mistake happened. Now I get that some people are lazy and have no pride in their work. Understood. They don’t care and do the absolute bare minimum.
Now…stop focusing squarely on them.
A person makes a mistake at one particular fast food establishment. Why do you need to beat your chest about EVERYONE who wants $15 an hour? Seriously, how many other fast food workers have messed up your orders for you to be able to conclude in an educated manner that they all AS A WHOLE do not deserve $15 an hour?
To me, that sounds similar to blaming all black people for committing crimes. Or blaming all white people for mass shootings. Or blaming all Latinos for illegal immigration. You get the idea. The funny thing is, the same of you who don’t mind doing this for one group would absolutely HATE if this were done to you. It’s the same here. Stop judging the ENTIRE fast food work force based on the worst of the worst. If folks cannot treat YOU that way, don’t do it to them. Period.
Even if you claim to have had your fast food orders messed up that many times, my question now to you is this…why the hell are you still going? Again, not to excuse those who do wrong, but if you go just SO MANY TIMES that you feel you are enough of an “expert” to determine that it warrants NO ONE in the ENTIRE fast food industry deserves $15 an hour because mistakes happen THAT often, what does that say about you?
Yeah I know…”well I have friends and family who have said this too…” Of course. Let’s throw our friends and family under the bus as an excuse to be overly judgmental. I say again…even if your friends and family have THAT many horrible experiences with fast food restaurants, why would you still go? Personally, if I spent my money at a place where my experiences were just THAT horrible to where I felt it was ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS that the workers dare ask for a pay raise, I probably would stop spending my money there. Not go 3-5 times a week.
And if you go THAT often to feel THAT strongly about it, obviously you still need them to some degree. So let’s stop acting as if these workers are just peon peasants who you are so far above. Because if you still frequent these places, that says just as much about you. Sure, you could live without them…but so far, you haven’t.
Next…”If they get pay raises, that means they will just raise the prices of the products.”
I think the average Joe can figure that one out. So why are we mad with the workers for this? They aren’t the ones who decided to take advantage by grossly underpaying and then using the demand for a pay raise as justification to raise prices. Kind of along the lines of tipping in general. You get mad at those who tip poorly, NOT the billion-dollar companies who chose to pay them as little as they do to where tip have graduated from extra to essential.
Besides, this one is easy. The workers get their raises, so the company raises the prices. What we do is stop going there. They only raise their prices because they feel nothing with change as far as their customers go. Once they see that it does, maybe it won’t happen RIGHT away, but I truly believe they’re more likely to lower prices. They want money, but money comes from customers.
Yeah I know…the workers are eventually being replaced by computers, so they shouldn’t want pay raises for that reason. Please. Real people still have to prepare the food for us. We are nowhere near a place where this will all be done by robots, no matter how many episodes of Star Trek you’ve seen. We are a LONG way from that.
Many of you like to also say, “FAST FOOD WAS NOT MEANT TO BE PERMANENT JOBS. THEY’RE MEANT FOR TEENAGERS AND YOUNG PEOPLE.”
Who decided this?
Listen…work is work. For you to sit on your high horse and dictate to people what qualifies as “real” or “permanent” work is nonsense. So after a certain point in life, you need a job, but you shouldn’t go to work at a fast food place because others look down on it? Why? Who determined that fast food places are only for teenagers and young people? It’s always funny to me to see and hear people put down the people who work at the very places they go to all the time. If I walked up and down the street selling folded up pieces of construction paper and you looked down on me, while you STILL bought them off me, what does that say about you?
And lastly, you complain about them saying they “deserve a living wage.”
Let’s be frank about this. If you applied for a job that you were well-qualified for and you knew what the minimum salary was for that particular job, I would be willing to bet that upon being asked during the interview, damn near ALL of you would go higher than that when requesting a salary. Especially if you considered your experience and how well you felt you could do the job. And chances are, it would line up just a little bit with a living wage; likely more.
So how do YOU get to dictate that for yourself, but they don’t? How are YOU entitled to a living wage or more, but they aren’t? And don’t give me that you’ve gone to college. Please. I know of a LOT of people who went to college and are working in fast food. College doesn’t make you better than anyone. It just means you went to school longer. But just because a person chooses to work in fast food, that doesn’t mean they are the lowest of the low and are never entitled to make more than minimum wage. You also don’t get to decide how long they work there.
By the way, let’s stop thinking that a person works fast food because they cannot get any other jobs. Some people actually enjoy doing it. I know quite a few people who can easily get jobs elsewhere, but choose to work fast food. You don’t have to understand it. But at least try and respect it without treating them as if they are garbage.
I probably could go on, but you get the idea. If you go to fast food restaurants that often, then they obviously aren’t making enough mistakes to get you to stop, which means at least at the moment, you still need them; pay raise and all. And if you do NOT go very much, you’re too far away from the conversation (or too ignorant; let’s be real) to try and dictate that someone over here should not receive a pay raise because of what someone over there did.
If I as a black man cannot judge every white person based off the worst thing a white person has ever done to me, then a decent person would NOT judge an entire industry of fast food workers based off the worst of that bunch.
End of story.