Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Make yourself valuable.

One of the things I see are some of the kids that get out of high school that go straight to the local fast food place to get find work. That's not really a bad thing as one has to get started somewhere and work is work.

It doesn't take a whole lot of smarts to work flipping burgers or whipping up Tacos at Taco Bell. Still, it's a job and a good place for someone to keep busy and make a few bucks while they are biding time.

These are called entry level jobs for a reason. It's where you enter the work force and get started. These jobs are not there to be turned into careers.

I just read where a bunch of employees are planning on striking unless their pay is doubled. These people are likely to put more work, time and effort into this than if they took the same time and effort and found a skill somewhere and a better job.

Fast food places stay affordable partly because they keep labor costs down and when a burger goes up to $10 or $15 people are just going to go down the street to the local buffet and get more food for less money. On top of that, they'll get a better, more balanced meal if they choose.

My first job was in a supermarket and from there I went to work in a concrete pipe factory for a while and then into the service. From there I got a job where I learned skills and became a pretty handy guy that never lacked work.

What these people that are planning to strike the fast food places ought to do is get themselves some skills someplace.

There are still a number of places willing to take a young person and train them to do something. There are still a few apprenticeship programs out there and there are still people that are willing to train someone.

A person doesn't have to make a career flipping burgers. People a year or so out of school don't belong in these places, anyway. They belong somewhere learning a skill, either in college, a trade school, an apprenticeship or doing an on the job training program. The fast food circuit is for kids either still in school of fresh out of it that are looking for something better.

While I worked in a supermarket I did everything I could to make myself more valuable. When a produce guy was sick I offered to pitch in there and busted my ass for a couple of days. Sure enough when someone in the produce department left, I got sent there and got a raise to boot.

I learned a bunch of little things like how to unjam the trash compactor when it got jammed. That helped make me more valuable.

When the frozen food guy went on vacation I offered to fill in there and inside a week I got useful there, too. After that I learned to work in the grocery department and worked there for a while.

After a while I didn't have to bag groceries unless the registers were jammed up with people. Then I'd pitch in there until things went back to normal.

It didn't take long before I became a lot more valuable than a lot of people that had been there longer than I had and my pay went up as a result.

The same line of thought and deed has followed me my entire life. When you get somewhere, make yourself valuable. Learn as much as you can and get good at it as fast as you can.

The other day I ran into a guy that I started in this business with and he is doing just what he did the day he was hired and making basic entry level wages. To tell the truth he's a little resentful of me. A few years back he gave me a ration of crap about being where I am and I told him to look at himself. We both had the same opportunities and he never took advantage of them. I guess the shock set him straight because he was cordial when we met the other day.

There's no reason a person should be stuck in an entry level job if they have even an inkling of brains between their ears.

Walking out on a entry level job or trying to act like it is a career and demanding skilled wages is just stupid. They can simply replace you with another school kid wanting a few bucks. Acting like flipping burgers is a career is a joke. 

The statement I have heard and use sometimes is that if you have a job you can be replaced doing by someone living in a mud hut then either get another job or plan on living in a mud hut.

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