Tuesday, October 05, 2010

not even a card

In a comment to a recent post, JJ Ross links to a story from Florida about a hit and run victim.  He was riding home from his job as a dishwasher, a job he'd held for ten years, obeying bicycle safety protocol when a car hit him.

It's a tragic story, but in my reading there's a whole other tragedy, and I honestly don't know what to think without more of the story.  Whatever the rest of the story is though I can't help but get stuck at $7.25 and hour.  That's absolute shit that he's making that little money.

As the article mentions, $7.25 is minimum wage.  So ten years at the Crab Shack gets you minimum wage.

I kinda gagged in my mind when the manager mentioned that he was family.  Does he treat all his family like that?

The article ends with the suggestion that the man was solitary and "lived within his means."  Well, yeah, I guess you have to at that point.

And again, there's always more to the story.  There's something or other that I don't know and might get if I heard the story, but it all just sounds too . . . Republican? maybe?

It's just this story of a man who died in such a horrid way, and he's solitary and doesn't really do much of anything and certainly never bothers anyone.  He prefers the job of washing dishes and is likely very good at it, and he earns the smallest amount of money you can pay your hourly staff.  But that isn't the point.  He was poor, a noble savage perhaps.  He did the best he could with that pittance he was allowed.

I didn't know the guy, and I'm parially bothered because I can almost see my future self in this guy.  That could be me in ten years.  Hell, I'm halfway there at the job I've got now if you leave out that solitary part.  There is a lure sometimes in the dishroom when you're kind of away from it all, but usually I'm just trying to make a little sense of the mess in there as I grab whatever utensil or storage container I stopped in for and shove racks of dishes through the machine at the same time.  Outside of the dishroom I'm kind of an ass but in a good way once you get it and realize it all sounded so funny in my head right before I said it.

Maybe he was happy exactly as things were.  Maybe he'd found his point of balance.

But to pay the man, for ten years, the bare minimum amount of money that you possibly, legally can?