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Underemployment is not working out

TUES. | 12-07-21 | OPINION

     Americans, for as long as time will tell, have been stereotyped as people who love to spend money - spending over $101 on average a day. It seems that some Americans have become reliant on having things given to them right then and there. As someone who works in food service, I’ve noticed that a lot of customers assume that their food is ready for them as soon as they get to the drive thru window, but when a business is lacking the employees to make the food, it’s going to take a lot longer than expected. 

     I can speak for most drive thru businesses when I say that there is a set time for food to be out the window. For some, that time is under four minutes. It may sound difficult, but with the right amount of help and good working tactics, it can be easy. However, when you lack the help, work begins to move slower and customers wait a lot longer. 

According to James Chen of Investopedia, in May 2020, the unemployment rate sat at 13.3% but has since increased to 22.8%. This is of course due to how many people were let off from their jobs due to the pandemic, but it seems odd that it increased even after jobs started hiring again. Some are asking where all the workers are, especially since many opportunities are available. 

     One of the big reasons for businesses being understaffed is rage quitting. This is when one gets so angry with their job that they storm out and quit on the spot. Many have done this as a protest against minimum wage. I work with quite a few college students and only making $7.25 an hour is not 

(Liv) Underemployment graphic.jpg

Graphic by Liv Carpenter

enough for them to even live; they still rely on their student loans. The only way they can support themselves is if they work 40 plus hours a week, but they end up not having enough time for their classes. It’s easy to see why people would be upset. 

     Personally, I feel that a big reason for rage quitting is the amount of authority figures who abuse their power and cause employees to not want to work with them anymore. At my first job, I can safely say that my managers were not ideal. They would always get in my face and scream at me for things that were out of my control. I had no problem telling them when they were wrong all the way up to when I quit. Luckily, my job now is a lot more enjoyable, and my managers are very understanding. However, I can’t speak for everyone.

     I feel that a lot of under-qualified people are being promoted, and this is what’s causing issues.This isn’t just in minimum wage jobs, but in high corporations too. In places, such as the school board, many higher-ups haven’t even worked the job they’re managing, but they are still allowed to have control over rules and regulations. Most school board members have never even taught a class, but it’s not the authority that angers me.

    One thing that has really affected me and my job personally is the amount of people who are scheduled that never show up. We’ve had to close the drive thru many times because of a large number of people who call out; some don’t even give a notice. I will never understand not going just because you don’t want to. If you have something planned, you should’ve prepared for it, but if you’re sick or have a family emergency, at least call. It’s very frustrating for your co-workers and managers because they have to find a replacement for you if you haven’t gotten one already, and that takes a lot longer than it seems. It kind of upsets me when I go somewhere and they’re understaffed. I wonder if it’s because they don’t have enough employees or if their scheduled workers just don’t show up. 

     I don’t think I can express enough how important it is for people to understand under-staffment. Not many customers seem to get that there is nothing that can be done about it except just wait for the right people to get hired, and the fact that many places are hiring and don’t think of qualifications for the job is really upsetting. If someone wants to help out their local business, whether it’s a chain or not, they should apply, even if they’ve never worked before. 

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