Raise minimum wage..or nah?

Since I began college in 2011, i have held 5 jobs. Two of which paid minimum wage. Coming into college, you know, you don’t have a lot of bills (if any at all) so you aren’t too focused on what you made. I simply looked at my money as gas money for my trips back to Memphis from UT Chattanooga! Now that I am in my final year of college and I have my own apartment with my own bills, (keep in mind my roommates wanted to be all fancy, so the apartment is NOT cheap) I definitely see the meaning of minimum wage and how it can affect your living situation. Although I make more than minimum wage NOW… I didn’t when I first moved. How can you afford to pay rent, utilities, car insurance, hell weekly gas trips etc…off of a $300 check every two weeks (for our college students that cannot work full time due to school, including myself). Hell, your rent is more than what you make by itself. I suggest we go up to or write to the people that are in charge of changing minimum wage and ask them to do a simple task. All they have to do is live ONE month…probably not even that long…off of $7.25 40-hour work weeks. Or let’s throw them an extra quarter…$7.50 an hour. I want to see them stretch that money and worry about making ends meet. If they have been there before in life, I want to remind them of how hard it is to find a decent job paying more than minimum wage. I feel that the lesser paying jobs make you work the hardest. Let’s take Walmart for example. Although my position was one of the higher paying positions (cashiers get paid $7.65 compared to the $7.45 and $7.25 stockers and cart associates make), I scanned thousands, and I do mean thousands, of shoes, clothes, groceries, bikes, furniture, plants, etc per hour. I did this 8 hours a day, 4 to 5 times a week. You deal with rude customers consistently, you deal with theft, fights, getting cursed out about an expired coupon (seriously?) and then get fussed at your supervisor for going two minutes over your break. You get pulled into the office for not scanning fast enough. All of that for $7.65 an hour. Not to mention Black Friday and the holiday season and all of its craziness. Keep in mind, this is your first real job and it is extremely hard to get hired elsewhere due to “lack of experience”.

Of course I know that the cost of living will go up with the increase of minimum wage, but you have to give people a fighting chance. You can barely fight with $7.25. You can throw a pillow at your problems and that’s about it. I understand that minimum wage is something that you are supposed to start with and then you can work your way up, but what about those jobs that do not offer progression and you have to be buddy buddy with the manager to even get your yearly raise? What about those who were not fortunate enough to be able to afford and attend college, but have just as much drive as you do?

It’s time we stand up and make a difference in everyone’s lives. Then we can all sit down and eat some pecan pie…or nah? 🙂