In recent months we’ve been seeing quite an outcry about the horrific state of the federal minimum wage in this country, particularly among workers in the fast food industry who have been rallying on Facebook and Twitter under the slogan “Low Pay is Not OK” and often creating memes showing a young person holding a handwritten sign saying someting like “I Can’t pay Rent on $7.50 an Hour.”
Well fast food employees aren’t the only ones feeling it, I’m here to tell you. Having had to leave my position at Sprint (where Iworked for close to three years) back in April, I struggled for a bit trying to find something new and finally accepted a position with another call center. This isn’t a particular company’s call center. Rather it is a call center that is in the business of being a call center, handling inbound calls for a number of companies that find it less costly to hire them than to employ their own people and pay them a living wage.
That is to say, the company I work for pays shit.
To be fair, they do pay a bit more than minimum wage, so I guess I don’t have too much to complain about. And the job itself is pretty easy. A monkey could do it, in fact. Maybe I shouldn’t say that… they’ll start hiring monkeys and I’ll be out of a job again. Then I might wind up flipping burgers. Oh the horror! To do the same job at almost fifty that I was doing at sixteen. That’s one way to feel young again, I guess.
The particular company I’m working for now (notice how cautios I’m being not to use the company’s name) is infamous in Las Vegas call center circles as being one of the shittiest places to work in town. Most people who work in a Vegas call center for almost anyone have cut their teeth at this place. I kinda did it in reverse, winding up here after spending more than ten years in various Vegas call centers. Alas. I guess I do everything bass-ackwards.
So I’m here, plugging away every day for my pittance of a paycheck and standing in spiritual solidarity with my burger-flipping brethern. There’s a special bond we share, the underpaid, and even though I don’t really know any fast food workers and I don’t sit next to them on the bus, I am proud to be counted among their fellows.
Yeah, that’s it… that’s the ticket.