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Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee


So most companies in the same area pay much better, you say? It would seem the choice is obvious: get hired by one of those companies. Unless, perhaps, you aren't very good at your job and the lowest paying positions are all you can get. Talia Jane seems to be one of those lowest common denominator workers who cannot accept that she is incapable of earning at the level needed for living where she desires. Most of the far better paid technical workers I know whose jobs are in San Francisco live well outside the city because it is simply unaffordable.

Many companies in such expensive areas keep their support operations far, far away, in place where the cost of living is far, far lower. This is in recognition that these personnel are never going to earn at the level required to make even commuting a substantial distance viable. The personnel doing these jobs don't operate under the fantasy they can live in big fun, exciting city with an education that draws zero interest from those with lucrative positions to fill. This is hardly a unique facet of the high tech world. I can recall my twenty-something elders complaining about similar situations back in the 1970s.

I've done phone support and hated it. Not just that it paid lousy but also the job itself was just miserable. I'm currently under-employed and struggling financially. I could get another of those phone support gigs tomorrow but I'm not even looking at such items in the listings. Some people are good at support because they have the right personality, much as some people are well suited to teaching slow children. I do not and I know if I did this again for six months I'd end up suicidal or a serial killer. Maybe both.

Fortunately, there are other jobs for which I qualify but my region is very well stocked in that skill set, so finding a permanent full-time position is difficult. But I'd rather struggle along with freelance stuff and part-time gigs than knowingly accept a position I know will be concentrated misery from start to finish. The current trend towards a lack of good jobs for unskilled workers (and yes, in most of the field an English degree makes you unskilled) is only beginning. I expect unemployment to only grow over the next few decades and become one of the consuming issues of my lifetime. Overpopulation won't be a problem due to lack of food and other resource but because a major portion of humanity is simply surplus to the needs of the civilization coming our way.

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