“When you do more than you get paid for eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”- Zig Ziglar.

(A re-blog from two years ago.) 

I am against a minimum wage; I know that sounds harsh but . . . hear me out, please.

In my part of the country, one can generally hire high school boys for yard word for $8.00 an hour.  Joe came to our door looking for work.  We liked his appearance and demeanor so we told him to come back on Saturday to roto-til the garden and clean it up for winter.  Saturday morning he appeared at a reasonable hour ready to work but Sammy wasn’t ready to go out.  We told Joe to go on out and rake between the beds.

Looking out a bit later, we saw that Joe was standing with the rake apparently confused about what to do.  We watched a bit.  I said give him some time he would surely not choose to stand very long.  After a while, Sammy went out started the rototiller and Joe took over.  It was hard work.  I checked a few minutes later.  Joe was back at the rake, even raking a little.  Sammy came inside.  We looked out.  Joe was standing with the rake.

I told Sammy that I had not made an agreement with him about the pay, so if Sammy went out to keep him accountable, maybe he would be worth $8.00.  Sammy went out and gave him a new assignment, raking acorns from under a tree.  I looked out, Sammy was roto-tilling, Joe was holding the rake over his head.  I did that three times, once the rake was over his head, once he was picking a few individual leaves off the rake, once he half-heartedly drew the rack back and forth a few times.

I went out, called Joe to me and told him that he was welcome to change his mind and go home if he didn’t want to work.  He said he wanted to work but he didn’t have any break time.  I told him that was true, but he was taking them.  He said he was thirsty and hungry; I told him I would be glad to give him something to drink but I wasn’t going to cook.  He could go home to eat if he wanted to.  He repeated that he wanted to work.  I said, “Go for it then, but I don’t want to look out and see my 86-year-old husband working and you not doing anything.”  Joe said, “He’s eighty-six!?”  I told him yes, we were a generation of people who worked hard and I expected the same from anyone who worked for us.

For the next three or four hours, he worked diligently with Sammy. When they decided to take a break, Sammy told me in Joe’s hearing that he thought Joe was worth ten dollars an hour.  Joe came back after a while and worked for a couple more hours.  When he quit, he was apparently very pleased with his sixty-five dollars for the day.

Now my argument about minimum wage.  If we had agreed with Joe for ten dollars an hour, I think I would have told him after about the third time to see him doing nothing, that I didn’t need him any more. If I kept him a few hours then paid him ten dollars an hour, he would not have had to satisfaction of knowing we were paying him more than we had to.  If minimum wage had been fifteen, we would not have had him in the first place.  The job was not that critical, and I will not pay that for someone whose work I do not know about.

However, I do have a lady who comes to help me with yard work on occasion.  I pay her fourteen to seventeen an hour because she is so capable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy.  She is welcome to work here whether or not I am home.  I prefer her work to anyone else, but I’m hindered because of the my shortage of money sometimes and her shortage of time since she has other jobs.

As for me . . .  I would much prefer the lady for sixteen dollars an hour than two Joe’s at eight dollars an hour.  I just hope she can get a job sometime with someone who can pay her what she is worth!  But a ten dollar, or twelve, or fifteen minimum wage law will not help her . . . or Joe.  Our state is among the lowest for rent, groceries, gas, etc.  But no one can live on $400-600 dollars a week without two workers in the family or help from some other source.  So the argument that we need $10-15 minimum is bogus.  Leave the workers to prove their worth; good employers will be looking for them.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. Debbie L says:

    Amen, Sister! Good examples. We plan to be able to out work the youth for as long as we are able to stand!!!

    • oneta hayes says:

      It is surprising to realize that a lot of young people do not even seem to know how to work. I had another high school boy one time who seemed to think he needed to take off the leaves that stick onto the rake. He would rake a few strokes then remove the leaves by hand. Aargh! Another time I told a young man I was going to start charging him teaching fees for showing him how to transplant flowers or something like that. They took it in good humor. 😀 But I really do like to get someone who doesn’t have to be told how to work!

      • Debbie L says:

        I know! It’s a scary future when we’ve raised a generation that doesn’t know how to “work.” They’re stuck on their cell phones watching social media. Come quickly Lord!

        • oneta hayes says:

          Well we can be thankful for those who volunteer in the armed forces. They certainly make sacrifices. I was talking to a young man recently; I asked him what kind of job he was looking for. He said one that paid a lot of money. I told him to come to Oklahoma and get hired as a lineman for an electric company. They pay well. He didn’t seem to think that was an offer he couldn’t pass up. 😀

          • Debbie L says:

            Amen about our Armed Forces! Just hope the previous administration didn’t do to much damage for them to do their jobs! So thankful our new President respects their calling!
            Wow, so OK has good work for linemen? I’ll have to tell my son in law. He had a good friend who is but it’s hard to get on in Virginia. But then with two little boys and my daughter’s career, he wants regular hours …. he’s not driven by money.

            • oneta hayes says:

              I don’t know that for sure; I’m just guessing. The real experience I had that made me say that happened a few years ago. I think it is fairly easy to get a job here, if one will do the risky kind of stuff. My grandson just got on with an oil rig. He works long long hours. He had to be willing to work up to 120 a week. That sounds impossible but he gets time and a half, he has to work Thanksgiving at double time. I don’t know how long he can do it, but he is so relieved to get some serious money! My granddaughter (his wife) has to take cancer shots at $1500 a week (13 weeks). She is feeling pretty well but they were getting buried with that expense. She could have had Obamacare but it was over $1200 per month for just herself so she didn’t join. Of course, it turns out that she should have but that just shows how impossible it is for Obamacare to float. I told her to sign up the next time she has a chance (March). Isn’t it ridiculous to think anything like that will last but she might as well trade her $1500 per week treatment for the feds $1200 premium. Of course the deductible might be 30,0000 per year!
              Back to linemen. I imagine they get paid well just because they are on call a lot here in Oklahoma. So the hours are probably not good.

  2. says:

    You are so right. Some kids are not taught how to do any kind of physical law or. Many things are done for them

  3. Dawn Marie says:

    I am so glad you re-blogged this thought-provoking post which gives us MUCH to ponder upon!!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Actually the same principle applies to a lot of professions. It is hard on an energetic, creative, compassionate, knowledgeable teacher to know the slough-off on the same floor is biding time waiting along with his/her students to get the day over and go home. Oh, now I fiddling around with labor unions. I’d better move along. Thanks for the comment. 😀

  4. Licirose Lee says:

    Yup, this makes alot of sense!

  5. This is an interesting perspective and one I would like to use for an essay prompt. Would you mind letting me use your post here as long as I fully credit the author and site? I can send you a copy of what I will use it for if you like.

    • oneta hayes says:

      I am much complimented. I would like to see your completed essay if it is not too long for blogging purposes. Have fun with it. And I would love the exposure. Maybe get a new reader and all bloggers love that, don’t we?

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