As a teenager, I worked for Subway. The Subway was located in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Mississippi is still one of the top racist states in the United States. Minimum wage was $7.25 during my time working for Subway. Race, labor, gender, and region had a lot of affect on my experience while working there. I was the only male to be hired during my time there. That was shocking to me because the owners were both (white) males and they hired only black women. All of the hourly workers were people of color and the only supervisor of the store was white. She was an older white woman too. She carried herself as if she grew up in the era when racism was at its peak in Mississippi. She never did any of the hard labor such as mopping, washing dishes, fixing the food, or food preparation. I understand that some of those things weren’t part of her job title but she never tried to assist neither when we were busy. During the busiest parts of the day, she would literally watch all of the hourly workers work and purposely take an hour break. From my understanding, while working a part time job, a break does not exist. The hourly workers kept the store in great condition. Me and my past co-workers went far and beyond to the store running smoothly. We never received any credit. Our supervisor would get the credit and never glorify our success in the store.
At the time, minimum wage was $7.25. I was working for a couple of owners who control if that pay rate changed or not. I worked for Subway for an entire year and never saw a pay raise. My co-workers always said, ” John and Troy love giving raises”. I always made production and was on time for work everyday. I was the top performer in the store numerous times. I even worked seven days a week and covered for my co-workers whenever they were unavailable to work. I never received a raise. I think I never received a raise because I never gained a strong relationship between the two owners. One day one the owners asked me, “why aren’t you smiling”? I didn’t have a response because it had been a long day and we were very busy. That situation was similar to Lisa and Janis, from $1o an hour, and how she had to be customer friendly to get a raise.
Due to the region that I worked in, I understood why most of those things occurred. In my opinion, It was similar to labor houses. The two white male bosses were the masters, the supervisor was the mistress of them both, and we were the workers. I’m not trying to depict them as being racist but this may have been the way they were raised. Also, I worked under these conditions for $7.25 an hour. I never looked at their system of employment and how they ran their store as an issue until this semester. It has been an eye opener.