Why I Don't Settle for Minimum Wage (anymore)

I was offered a leadership position at the job I worked at in high school. The thing about that job is I would only be making 20 cents above minimum wage. A 20 cent raise? I was flattered they liked me and was considering me for a leadership position..but a 20 cent raise didn't make me feel valued
for all the work and loyalty I put into the company. So, here it goes. A post about minimum wage.

There's been a lot of controversy over the minimum wage for workers for quite some time now. While certain jobs take a lot of education and experience, one could argue that working in food service/retail/other typical minimum wage jobs really take a lot of hard work.

It's exhausting at times. LONG hours, working early mornings and late nights, working holidays (that includes black friday and sometimes even Christmas), cleaning disgusting messes, working in a fast paced environment, following orders from unqualified individuals, no sense of creativity or individuality, getting yelled at by angry customers on a daily basis and that doesn't even include the actual job. Yes, other than that, food service and retail workers actually have to do visuals, restock, work cashier, cook, serve customers, etc. This can be just as challenging as working a 9 to 5 desk job, teaching kids their ABCs, fixing cars, or editing papers. Work is work.

And all of that for a mere 7.95 an hour?
No thank you.

I worked minimum wage jobs throughout high school. Literally, there wasn't a year I didn't work somewhere. And I got by fine. Maybe that was because I didn't have to pay for anything besides clothes and the occasional chipotle burrito bowl. So minimum wage for someone in high school? Sure. That sounds fair enough.

Now let's think a bit deeper. A college student that owes thousands of dollars for housing and tuition.
Maybe they have to pay off their car and pay rent. Maybe they have to pay for a phone bill. Maybe they have to buy food for themselves. Maybe they have Christmas presents to buy for their family and friends. Minimum wage seems less logical.

Now let's look even deeper. Someone who has kids. Perhaps a pet or two. Maybe an entire home to tend to. A FAMILY. They don't have a mommy and daddy to help them out anymore. They have to pay bills not only for themselves, but for everyone else that lives with them. Now minimum wage seems even LESS logical.

Some would argue we're paying some people a bit too much. But I'm not going to whine about that right now.

However, I will whine about this: there are hardworking individuals out there who do not get paid enough for all the hard work they put in. Face it. Not every adult gets a big shot 60,000 a year job. Some adults have to work off of minimum wage and should not be called lazy or uneducated. It's the best they could do. Maybe they even LOVE what they do. Without the adults in food service, you wouldn't be able to get your #6 combo at 11:30 PM on a Tuesday night. Believe it or not, high school students can't run a company on their own. We need CEOS, managers, supervisors, shift leads, treasurers, team members, cashiers, assistants, owners, etc. We need ALL of those people. And not all of those people are 16 year olds that only have to pay for a homecoming ticket.

With all of that in mind, I think it's time the minimum wage be raised. Not gradually with inflation and not by 5 cents. We need companies that compensate their workers for what they're worth.

We all know I'm not one for huge social justice posts, but this is an important issue. I don't settle for minimum wage anymore because I know I am worth more than that. I have been paid more than minimum wage and I am not planning on backtracking. There are lunch specials more expensive than an hours worth of work.

It doesn't matter how old you are or what your resume says. You know what you've accomplished. You know who you are. Show the world and maybe they will compensate you.

Maybe if we lived in a world where we were sponges that could afford living in a pineapple by working as a frycook, minimum wage would be fair. But we do not live in that world.