Minimum Wage

I am for at least minimum wage, and full benefits.  Really, can you expect anyone to live on anything less nowadays?!  I am not an economist, nor a businessman; just an old time xylophonist and I try my best to be a good citizen who serves.   If two parents make minimum wage and have a couple of kids, at the end of the week, after all their deductions and expenses, they are probably left with nothing.  It is ridiculous.

But…If a person gets even twenty bucks an hour to serve up some fries what should a Fireperson get?!!

Oh P U L E E Z E…..

That person should start out at two-hundred-and-fifty-thou.  You do not agree?  Okay I’ll settle for one-hundred-seventy-five.  I have observed many people that do not deserve more than minimum wage.  Their lack of expertise in their field shocks me and poisons the very marrow of my bones.

I was in a music store that had classical sheets and I had been going there for many years.  I could see that the internet was killing them as the repertoire pieces were beginning to thin out, but I could always rely on this place to order something for me that I needed for a concert.  I asked the salesman for a particular piece by Borodin.  He looked at me like I just landed my space ship from the planet Zulac.

He said, “Er…ah…Borodin, I…well…can you spell it?”

I answered, “Yes I can.”

He said, “Oh, I’m not sure who that is…
“Are you a musician?”


“No, you are not.  I would like to see one of the older salespersons.”

A regular of the place came over and after the numerous, “Oh Mr. Finkel, please let me help you.” I ordered the Borodin Piece.  The old-time-regular-guy told me the salesman was new, only getting minimum wage and I should have come to him for help etc.  I said, “Right behind his computer is a whole shelf of Borodin and good gosh, sweet lord, man oh man, forget it will ya?”

One year later I was in Barnes and Noble Bookstore and I inquired as to a book by Thurber.  The salesman said, “I’m not sure who that is.  Can U spell it?”

“Yes I can.”

“Er…would you spell it for me?”

“Okay…T H U R B E R.” I did this very slowly.  The literary expert types it into his beloved computer and turns to me and says, “Nothing has come up.”  I looked at the screen, he spelled it wrong.  I say, “I want to see a manger.”

“But I am a Manager.”

“You’ve never read a book by T H U R B E R!”


“Did you ever attend college?”

“I have four degrees in…blah…blah…”

“Okay forget about it.”

I turn to leave.  Guess what is on a shelf about two feet from his station.  Yes, that’s right, about a dozen books by T H U R B E R.  Should he get minimum wage, or more?  Or benefits?  What the hell was he reading in college?  Sports Illustrated?  Rooster Fighting In The Philippines?  Novels by Ian Finkel?!!!

Next:  Prescription filled.  I get it at a big drug store and go to a counter to buy a package of gum…sugarless of course.  The little sign says:

SALE $1.00

Hey not bad!  I pull out a buck and take one.  I think it was peppermint.  Well you know it wasn’t wintergreen…More about that some other time.  I put it in front of the salesperson.  She hits the computer and says, “Four-dollars-and-fifty-three-cents.”  Notice the absence of the word “Please.”

I say, “It is gum…The sign says, Sale, One Dollar.  Are you kidding?”

She answers, “The computer says four-dollars-and-fifty-three-cents.”

“But it’s a pack of gum!”

The salesperson who I already felt should get four-dollars-and-fifty-three-cents an hour, turns around and brings over a guy.  Is he a manager?  And they both stare at the computer screen ala deer in the headlights and he says to me.

“The computer says four-dollars-and-fifty-three-cents.”

“For gum?!!  Oh, forget about it!”  I yell, put the gum back and leave thinking that if that Manager was a Fireman; his barbeque would look like The Burning of Atlanta.  And the dirty rotten idiot is getting paid a somewhat decent wage to know nothing.

I could go on and on and on as anyone could but I could not top this.  I must first tell you that this was told to me by my brother Elliot.  Elliot accompanied his daughter Jamie to the Motor Vehicle Bureau; this was in New Jersey as she had to get her driver’s license.  She had all the proper papers and her American passport as her ID.  She presented her paperwork and the lady behind the desk said, “I cannot give you a driver’s license as you are not an American Citizen.”

Jamie said, “Of course I am!  The passport reads I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.”

The government employee shot back, “That is in Mexico.  You are Mexican.”

“No Albuquerque is in New Mexico, USA.  I am a citizen.  I was born here!”

“Let me consult with my colleague.” I hate the word colleague as lately it is used to pass the buck.

“Oh Ceil, Ceil…Albuquerque, New Mexico…Where is that?”

Ceil sleepily looks up from her way-over-minimum-wage desk and says, MEXICO, Mary.

A shouting match ensues and my brother Elliot who had never heard his daughter raise her voice comes over and asks what is going on.  When he gets the whole ridiculous story he adds to the scene and of course Security is called.  Elliot asks the Security Guard if he knows where Albuquerque, New Mexico is.  The guard replies:  “South next to Texas.”

“In the USA?!”

“Of course.”   Give that man a raise.

The first lady, “Mary” quickly issued the license.  No apologies given of course.

So as I review all the insanity, the Americans that are proud of their stupidity, the general frustrations we go through, I still insist that everyone should get a decent wage, benefits, and a wonderful life.  I of course should receive a minimum of one billion dollars a week with an extra box of Cuban cigars at the end of the year’s holiday.

For more of my writing click here.

Next Blog:         Dogs in Commercials – Yellow mustard



Minimum Wage

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