A local business has been called out on social media after towing the line of saying "Nobody wants to work," drawing cards to pick which factors they want to blame others with, without looking inward at their own problems. The article reads:
"As businesses continue to deal with staffing shortages, many are offering more money per hour in hopes of finding and retaining the much-needed help. In Medford, the beloved Donut Country is offering $17 per hour after three or four weeks of training in hopes of doing just that.
Jamie Stewart, a longtime employee for Donut Country and the daughter-in-law to owner Susan Stewart, explained the business has always offered more than what the state’s current minimum wage does, but they have never seen a lack of candidates since pandemic restrictions eased in the beginning of 2021.”
Sometimes very small, family owned and operated businesses can be uncomfortable to work for. Employee relatives can get away with a lot more bad behaviors and also receive unfair preferential treatment. Sometimes there’s just some kind of culture established within the family that leaves you feeling on the outs all the time.
Continuing with the article:
“Even with the small business offering $17 an hour, Stewart said it has been a challenge to find reliable help. 'Usually, we would get 70 plus applications per one position that we would have available. Now I have had a fryer position open for four or five months now and I have maybe got a handful of people,’ Stewart said.
She said there have been several times where people go through the hiring process, accept the position, and start working, but leave after only a few hours on the job.’
Stewart said she has tried several different avenues to advertising the open positions, including on social media and in one of the most seen locations, Donut Country’s drive-thru.
‘Since a lot of us are family, some us do come in six to seven days a week, because we want to keep business going and help,’ Stewart said.”
Now I’ll get to the community responses:
Leslie Peterson commented: “Interestingly, I actually applied here after I lost my job in healthcare. I applied for all kinds of things. Never got a call back.
I don’t know if Leslie’s qualifications were lacking somehow, but several other people also commented about not hearing anything back from this company after applying. Shayna Renae Rossi also said, “Many people on this threat have applied with 0 callback. Many I know in person have applied with no call back. Apparently, it's not a joy to work there so they keep losing people.” Yikes.
Merrylee Kruger fed into the “nobody wants to work” narrative saying, “The going wage is pretty much the same at fast food and everywhere. Let's face it. People don't want to work (sorry if this offends some of you out there).”
Thomas Richard tagged along on this, adding, “It’s not offending if it’s true. I don’t work fast food anymore, but I see ‘now hiring’ signs all the time at fast food places and the wages they offer. I never thought I would see the day anytime soon where fast food employees could make a wage like that.”
Susan Cullop also added, “You’re right. What would happen if they were told to get a job or no more benefit?”
I shake my head at this attitude, but I used to think that way too. It’s cruel and ignorant. People out there really think that other people are getting paid by the government just because they don't want to work as if we already have universal basic income.
Grayson Donnahue offered some insight:
“Many don’t want to give up HUD housing, Oregon Health Plan, Oregon Trail Card, and ACCESS pays people’s utility bills.” But another user clarified that Access only pays utilities like 1 or a few times. They don’t just keep paying it to the same family indefinitely.
So people get benefits because they are too poor and need them survive, but it’s not a great quality of life and, as far as I know, there are a lot of steps to qualify and keep these benefits. It becomes a poverty trap where people really can’t earn more because the higher earnings would disqualify benefits, but not be enough to pay their bills. It’s a big problem, but I find it offensive to just assume it’s always because people don’t want to work. Maybe some fringe cases, sure, but not the common attitude.
Alright, I’ll start sharing the comments where community members started picking apart what’s really going on.
Juanita Stovall: “Fry donuts for $17, Cook at Panda for $18-20 as advertised locally, or starting pay at bank...$22 no food flipping. The truth of the matter is folks can't afford the 14% rent rate cap increase at any of those rates.”
Bryce Flory mentioned that “Donut Country has had hiring issues WAY before the pandemic. They would often have job listings on Craigslist. They have a high turnover rate which makes you think after a while that it’s not just the employees’ fault. Seventeen dollars is great but they have to call people back who have applied and figure out how to make it a better work environment so they can keep employees longer than a few months.
Cheyenne Riggs added: “Going to be hard to find someone to work for $17 bucks an hour when others are paying $20-$24 an hour. Just saying. If it's been 5 months trying to find someone for this position, I would look within the company and see what they're lacking.”
Julia Bott commented: “What we are willing to pay for a donut is part of this equation.”
This was an interesting comment because I can understand how you can only raise the pay offered to donut shop employees so much before you’d have to raise the cost of the donuts you sell, and I know people are only willing to pay so much for a donut before it’s not worth it.
Josh Ridders touched on this a little more too adding, “There is no such thing as a living wage for a minimal skill set job. The only thing raising base wages accomplishes is making everyone that much poorer…you would think that was pretty evident...”
My response: Do the business owners live on the earnings of this shop? I assume so. In that case there IS a living wage for minimal skillset if the “minimal skillset” employees end up running the shop. The owners had the capital to open shop, but apparently actually running the shop only requires a minimal skillset if they pay low or minimum wages. Looks like they need to take a pay cut by hiring someone at higher wages if they’re not in there doing it themselves, but I don’t know. I don’t know all the facts.
I will end with Susan Farber’s comment: “When I was in my college and early twenties I rode a bike, lived with roommates (sometimes twin beds in one room to cut costs), worked at restaurants to get a shift meal for free, ate cereal for breakfast ‘til I worked up the ladder in management - to afford a reliable used car. Paid bills on time to establish good credit so a bank would loan me $600 when my engine blew up and required a rebuilt engine in my VW Bug. It takes sacrifice & responsibility.”
Good for you Susan. Hard work and sacrifices are often important to investing in improving your life later, but your profile picture looks like you also went to college when it only cost like 300 bucks. Please don’t criticize the habits of younger generations when you don’t know the economic differences faced today.
There are dozens and dozens of stories of this out there. Business owners and other people in general love to complain and blame any reason they can think of for people not wanting to work, but never look inward or apply some critical thinking to figure out what the real problems are.
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