Fast food workers: Path to better pay is paved in ketchup

The fast food workers want a raise.

They’re in good company. Everyone who has ever worked has wanted a raise, with the exception of ancient Roman soldiers, who were paid in salt, and who knew that an increase in pay led to higher blood pressure.

That’s the thing with working. Every single human who works thinks they’re underpaid, when in reality the only underpaid workers are proctologists and the airline employees who work in the “lost baggage” department.

So the fast food workers protested their wages by holding a convention in Chicago. I’m guessing there weren’t a lot of Ferraris in the parking lot.

MSNBC’s coverage of the convention noted that “Speakers repeatedly emphasized the inclusiveness of the fast food workers’ movement, and its commitment to immigrant rights, racial justice, gender parity, and LGBT equality.”

That’s nice and all, but I wish the speakers spent less time on LGBT equality, and more time on making sure I get enough ketchup packets.

The Associated Press quoted 20-year-old Cindy Enriquez of Phoenix, who says her $8.25 hour income from McDonald’s is not enough for her to pay her bills. That’s especially true if you’re spending money traveling to Chicago for fast food worker conventions.

Cindy suggests workers may have to pressure their employers to reach their goal of making $15 an hour. There’s talk of nationwide “sit-ins,” Cindy says, with employees potentially sitting in front of restaurants “to make sure they do not sell anything.” So in other words, Cindy isn’t shooting for “Employee of the Month.”

Perhaps she means well, but I’m under the assumption Cindy, like our president, has never run anything larger than a 5K or errand, because purposely hurting your employer’s business while insisting on a raise is like starting a roaring fire on Christmas Eve and demanding Santa drop down the chimney with gifts.

Cindy and her friends may learn the only thing harder than making it on $8.25 an hour is making it on $0 per hour.

Nobody is forcing these people to work at gunpoint. I wish they were. Then maybe they wouldn’t forget my ketchup packets.

When I was 13 years old, I worked for the owner of the Granby A&W for $2.15 an hour. Was I worth that lowly amount? Certainly not.

I was worth much less.

Especially considering the amount of root beer I drank. Not to mention all the frosted mugs I dropped and broke. Those couldn’t have been cheap. Then there were the fries I’d sneak. In reality, I should have been paying him.

My point is that you are worth exactly what you are getting paid.

You may hate the market. You may think the market is unfair or cruel, but you can’t argue with the market. It does not lie.

You want more money? You have to go out into the marketplace and scrape and produce and fight and earn it. Or you go buy a Powerball ticket in Rifle.

The head of the North Carolina NAACP was at the convention. Apparently there aren’t any issues in the black community more pressing than what the fry cook at a Toledo Burger King makes. He equated these fast food worker’s demands for more money with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, at which point Rosa Parks’ grave spun at a speed that made a particle accelerator look like rotisserie chicken.

A better speaker at the convention would have been Isaac Green, an African-American from Aquasco, Maryland. Years ago, he started out as a cashier at McDonald’s making $2.95 an hour. He now owns eight franchises.

As a low-paid worker years ago, he didn’t complain, or protest, or try to block customers from entering. He worked his butt off, and his example provides a road map of tips that Cindy and her complaining cohorts should follow: Work hard, move up, seize the opportunities that come your way.

And most importantly, don’t forget my ketchup.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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