By David Glenn Cox
I was perusing the employment ads when I ran across one that struck a memory chord. Looking for someone to work in the tool room. Someone ambitious and willing, cause for the right candidate this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Learn the product line and learn the customers. Do the inventory and keep the place clean. Make sales and learn the customers preferences and in just two to five years, “You’ll be in charge of the tool room.” Starting pay, $15.00 per hour. But it’s a great opportunity, there is big money to be had down the road, for the right candidate.
My own misadventure began when I was eighteen and was hired by a tire store to change and sell tires. The owner Cecil was going to be opening another store next year maybe or the year after and would need a store manager. It was a great opportunity for the right candidate. I was young and green as grass. I learned the product line and kept the place clean and sparkling, and I knew all the regulars by name.
Whenever talk of raises came up Cecil would get a hesitation in his voice and begin to explain about the logistics of opening that new store. How it was vital that he hold on to every penny. Why I was virtually scuttling both our futures by asking for a raise. The dam burst when Cecil’s wife who didn’t work showed up in the biggest, prettiest, newest Ford automobile money could buy. Cecil’s plans for that new store included driving there in a new automobile, while I would continue to ride the bus. I left immediately and read in the papers that someone named Karma had walked away with the bank deposit a few days later. Because Cecil had been distracted and too busy to go to the bank.
How can you learn a job if they won’t pay you enough to stay? The tool room job might be a great opportunity, but I doubt it. “Thanks Cecil!” Too much down the road and not much here and now. Us University of Cecil (Go Suckers!) graduates are required to take at least one semester of general cynicism. “Hmmm, flip hamburgers or learn the tool room and the pay is the same! One is a great opportunity says P.T. Barnum, the other a dead-end job. You just dangle a carrot on a stick, and the jackass will work all day.
I was in a gas station/convenience store and the clerk apologized for the long wait. The other employee scheduled to show up didn’t. I asked, if the job paid twenty bucks an hour, do you think they would have showed up? Hard to build brand loyalty to the polyester smock when you’re hungry and your tires are bald. To the point where losing said job creates little additional financial hardship. It’s hard to be worse off than broke. The whole idea of Capitalist employment is to avoid being broke. Are you broker today than you were last month?
For exhibit A. I give you Walmart, a more dispirited group I’ve never seen. Gulag workers at the lead mine couldn’t be more despondent. Why for the right person, this opportunity will take you to even more poverty in just two to five years! Money doesn’t buy everything, but it does allow you to choose your own poverty. Now thanks to modern technology the manager or simian ape like creature is the holder of the scared key. “Let’s see you lock that door. Good, now let’s see you unlock it. Keep that up, and you could be an area manager with a whole pocket full of keys in two to five years.”
To those to whom nothing is given much is expected. A brutal sub-human minimum wage is as embarrassing as slavery because that is what it is, slavery. State subsidized slavey as Americans of all colors sleep in the streets priced out of American life by a brutal minimum wage. Struggling day in and day out against an uphill climb living with fear and homelessness and hating national holidays because they short your check. Paying for health insurance you can never afford to use. If you can’t afford a day off, you can’t afford a doctor visit.
I was watching Robert Sapolsky and if you don’t know who he is look him up. It isn’t nature versus nurture, it’s nature and nurture. Our genes are like an ap store, if our mothers are hungry and stressed during the third trimester of pregnancy, they will give birth to children more prone to emotional issues. More prone to being overweight and hypertensive. More likely to have diabetes and more likely to become hooked on drugs and more prone to violence. That’s why they say, when money goes out the door love flies out the window.
One of my jobs at the big green auto parts machine was hiring. I did a lot of hiring; workers left every day for a quarter. Until it was like filling a bucket with a hole in it. Until we ran out of nearby candidates. The company would burn the store down before they would pay anyone a decent wage or even keep up with competitors. An endless procession of the underpaid un-motivated uncaring applicants looking for another job on their first day. Leaving over ten dollars per week. I too was underpaid and overworked. When the employees failed to show up, I was required to fill in their shift. I was also required to follow up on missing employees who just dropped from sight. Either they quit or maybe overdosed on drugs in their car. It could be either, in this here America. And either way, I needed to fill their shift.
Who here is pro-life? I mean what sort of country allows its children to be damaged and brutalized in utero? What sort of country are we building or are we building? A job is a great thing, but what’s in it for me? There has to be some value added to my life besides the glory of swinging pick in the lead mine for thirty years. If I work really hard and get some overtime. In just two to five years, I could pay the rent. If I don’t eat too much or get sick. Cities of despair and mansions in the sky.