Work Doesn’t Pay

| October 13, 2011

Editor:
I just read Ryan Burn's article entitled "Kids Today" (Oct. 6). He missed one reason I see for kids not taking jobs as seriously now as when I was their age. They make exactly the same amount of money. When I was in college I took temporary jobs and earned about $11 an hour. Students who go to work for jobs here now make that or less. It takes them more than half a day's work just to pay for a tank of gas. Granted I worked in the New York metro area but it was more than 25 years ago! Jessica and other employers might find that kids do show up for work for trimming jobs that pay $18 an hour or more. Only by working illegally these days do they get the pay their efforts deserve. When employers start valuing the work their workers do, perhaps these workers will value the jobs they are given.

 

Marcy Burstiner, Arcata

 

Editor:

In reference to Ryan Burns' piece on "Kids Today," kids may seem lazy and entitled to some, and maybe a few are, but for the most part I think they're just smarter than us old farts and are learning from our mistakes. Most of us have spent a good three-quarters of our lives so far working like dogs so we can enjoy a weekend off. Oh boy, a whole weekend!!!  Most of us also work like dogs and have relatively little to show for it except a tired old body that we can use to hobble around with during our greatly anticipated "retirement" years.  Finally, we get to relax and "enjoy life" when we're too old and worn out to really have fun. Is it any wonder kids are trying to avoid that same senseless lifestyle? If I would've been wise enough to project this far in advance when I was in my 20s, I also would've been looking for other choices and trying to shift this worn out paradigm of working for the weekend for most of my life.  Kids shouldn't be looked down upon for wanting more out of life than we got.  Is life really all about working like a rented mule until you're too battered to enjoy free time? I don't think so, and my guess is kids today don't either; they just want a healthier balance between necessary servitude and real life.  Someone needs to buck this silly trend and I applaud the younger generation for realizing it and seeking an alternative.

Jeff Bue, Eureka

 

Sweet Spot: Hoping he'll take a break and enjoy it -- maybe even on a weekday? -- this week's Bon Boniere sundae goes to Jeff Bue.

 

Comments (3)

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Maybe if enough people won't work for low wages with a poor work/life balance the employers will learn to accomodate them. There are many ways an employer can make a workplace a nice place to be and clocking in at 8am with pay docked for coming in at 8:05 isn't one of them. Plus, maybe the rest of the world will take a page from Humboldt's book and encourage/support more tiny businesses so that income is diversified and people have their own businesses rather than scrabbling around for jobs without autonomy or joy.

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Posted by heather on 10/13/2011 at 12:50 PM

"Take a page from Humboldt's book"?? Despite all the national and local economic research, humboldt's movers and shakers are fighting harder than ever to maintain the same-old public subsidies required for quick-profit big boxes and sprawl. Saturating communities in poverty wage jobs and the houses they can't afford just tanked the world economy.

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Posted by Anonymous on 10/15/2011 at 4:59 PM

"I lived in New York metro area, so I know why kids from rural Humboldt County won't work." Only someone brain dead (or Professor) would even try to compare the two. The going wage for Humboldt County 20 years ago was $4.25 an hour.

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Posted by anon.r.mous on 10/17/2011 at 10:43 AM
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