Please Stand

Getting a job can be difficult. The interviews. The applications. Driving back and forth looking for “help wanted” signs. That in itself is a full-time job. It is exhausting and almost impossible at times, until we get that ring on the phone, the email ping and the words that we are hired. The dream came true when we got that cashier job (or any job) and were able to make some money while going to school. What people do not understand is that it might be harder to keep a minimum wage job than it is to actually get hired.

            We often focus on the verbal beatings that customers give employees working a minimum wage job. Having to be the front line for the constant abuse, the pi**y attitudes, the everything, can be exhausting. It is even worse when you have to do it for eight hours a day with one 30 minute break. What people do not realize is that not only is working a minimum wage job for eight hours a day terrible, just physically standing for that entire time can be far worse.

We were not meant to stand eight hours a day doing nothing but staying upright in one place. Although walking around one’s workspace can help, it does not fix the problem that minimum wage workers have to be on their feet for eight hours a day or more. Even worse, they can’t even lean on a wall without getting berated by their managers for trying to find some comfortable way to transfer weight during those eight hours. To stand for eight hours a day and be punished when finding relief is practically torture for the person working such a job.

There should be improved means to help people who need to stand in order to make a living. There is a reason places that let their cashiers sit down during work are popular among applicants, and it is because many of these places treat their employees with a modicum of respect.

            How do we go about fixing this situation? There are many ways, such as asking for better treatment when on the job. Calling the company or writing to them asking for chairs would also help. Although it does not seem like a lot, a chair can help people immensely to make the work they do more bearable. In addition, chairs can allow disabled people to work without feeling extreme pain in their legs.