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Thread: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

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    Elite Member SammysMom's Avatar
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    Default This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    Im watching Oprah and its about making it on minimum wage. Ive been there and it just makes me so mad and sad for these people.

    They are talking about a show called "30 Days Living on Minimum Wage"

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad

    This may be an unpopular thing for me to say, but there are a lot of people who take minimum wage jobs because they choose not to obtain training for skilled jobs. I'm not talking about people who are doing the best they can in order to keep minimum wage jobs, but rather lazy people, like a couple of my family members, who bitch & moan about having a crappy job when they've never bothered to make themselves desirable to employers.

    There are resources in most decent-sized towns that will help you better yourself. Unfortunately, itty-bitty towns often don't have much to offer in the way of training or jobs, so you get what you get. Still, you ultimately choose where you live.

    My dad has a convenience store. Something we've noticed over the years is that low-income people are the ones who come into his store & buy drinks, snacks, candy, grocery items, etc. Everyone knows how jacked up convenience store prices are, so I am kind of intrigued by this pattern.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
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    Elite Member SammysMom's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad

    It just reminds me of the times Ive gone through tough times. Especially when I was married to my first husband (there has only been 2). I mean we had to go to a place called the Food Pantry where they give you up to 5 sacks of food. There was also a place we were able to get kitchen stuff like dishes, cups, and tableware for free.
    I will now always buy extra food to donate, I will donate to SPCA and if I see someone in the check out line and they have to put stuff back I will give them the money they are short. Now I dont do it if there is beer or soda and candy.
    I always tip wait staff way over the 15% of the bill. I know where some of these people are at Ive been there and now I have the means to give those a hand up.

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    Default Re: This is making me sad

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobelia
    This may be an unpopular thing for me to say, but there are a lot of people who take minimum wage jobs because they choose not to obtain training for skilled jobs. I'm not talking about people who are doing the best they can in order to keep minimum wage jobs, but rather lazy people, like a couple of my family members, who bitch & moan about having a crappy job when they've never bothered to make themselves desirable to employers.

    There are resources in most decent-sized towns that will help you better yourself. Unfortunately, itty-bitty towns often don't have much to offer in the way of training or jobs, so you get what you get. Still, you ultimately choose where you live.

    My dad has a convenience store. Something we've noticed over the years is that low-income people are the ones who come into his store & buy drinks, snacks, candy, grocery items, etc. Everyone knows how jacked up convenience store prices are, so I am kind of intrigued by this pattern.

    I have to second what your dady has noticed. Me and the Mr owned a covenience store for five long years and it was just as you said. Those that could least afford it spent the most money on the most expensive junk.

    I have noticed that it's not only a lack of training and lack of smarts spending money, it's also a lack of any basic life skills. Example? The dullard-dumbass who works in my cubicle is diabetic and much younger than I. I noticed last week she was looking green around the gills and she started complaining about feeling bad. She started talking about her diabetes being out of control, how the doc had switched her meds to injected insulin and a monitor, how frustrating it was to be held hostage to a malfunction of her body. I had to ask what type of diabetes she has and it's the type 2 kind that is largely preventable by diet and exercise so I started questioning her about her habits. Turns out she claims no one ever told her in 7 years of having diabetes that you could better control your blood sugar by not eating every meal at McDonalds and 7/11. This is what this ignoramus was eating before I said something to her and pointed one of the doctors in our practice her way for nutritional counseling for diabetics.

    Breakfast: Coffee, chocolate milk, 2 doughnuts and either a McDonalds breakfast sandwich like a McGriddle or 2 7/11 Breakfast Bites.
    Lunch: Two full sugar Pepsis, a serving of mashed potatoes, gravy, mac cheese, biscuits and fried chicken topped off with either a slice of cake or a brownie.
    Midafternoon: whatever leftover sweets are in the lunchroom like another brownie or two or ten.

    After that I have no idea but I suspect it gets better, not worse. In the past week I'm managed to put on my social workers hat and nag her to at least add salad and vegetables to her diet at work. She's huge and she's in her early 30s with all these health problems that people who make even a slight effort to care for themselves don't face.

    So I think many minimum wage people just want to do whatever is easiest, cheapest, tastiest without any real effort. Like this lazy bitch, you cannot eat your cake and avoid shooting up your insulin at the same time.

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad

    Breakfast: Coffee, chocolate milk, 2 doughnuts and either a McDonalds breakfast sandwich like a McGriddle or 2 7/11 Breakfast Bites.
    Lunch: Two full sugar Pepsis, a serving of mashed potatoes, gravy, mac cheese, biscuits and fried chicken topped off with either a slice of cake or a brownie.
    Midafternoon: whatever leftover sweets are in the lunchroom like another brownie or two or ten.
    Good Gawd.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

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    Elite Member SammysMom's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad

    Yeah I was going into sugar shock just reading that menu.
    No wonder her diabetes is out of control
    My mom has Type 2 and takes no meds, she controls it strickly by her diet and walking for 30 minutes in the evening. She says she can not justify paying for meds in the hundreds when it can be controlled for free. You just have to work at it.

    I remember when I worked in the ER we would have this one young lady, in her 20's with Type 2 and her sugar levels would be in the 300's and once it was well over 400 and once they leveled it out she said she had no memory from the past 3 days due to her levels being so high. Makes me so angry when people want others to fix the problem. Well it starts with them.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad

    I watched this episode too Sammysmom--and I love the concept of the show that was being promoted '30 Days' or something right???

    It was extremely interesting. And VERY VERY sad.

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    Default Re: This is making me sad-Oprah/30 Days

    I really wish I saw this episode. My dad has a pizza shop and we have definetly seen that pattern there. People bringing in all change to pay for stuff they don't need. OR paying the delivery charge to have someone walk thier order over to the low income apt's behind the pizza shop.

    About the diabetes, my husband has juvenile diabetes and I get SO pissed at him for constantly eating crap. He got the insulin pump 7 years ago and since then he sees it as a free for all. It makes it easier to administer insulin (no shots, it's a catheter). I am not interested in hearing when his sugars go crazy and he knows it!

    I forgot to add that these people on min. wage will order out food at least 5 night a week.

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    I'm finally getting around to watching this now, but I'm so shocked. I mean, I work minimum wage, but I also still live at home. I earn $8.15/hour working retail-and I'm on the high end for regular retail b/c I used to be a manager and never took a pay cut when I went back to regular sales associate. I don't have rent, and my parents help with my car payments, and I still have trouble making my own ends meet. I literally buy myself almost nothing, my money all goes towards school and gas, and I get help from my family on school stuff. I can't imagine throwing rent or children into the mix. It's completely mindboggling. It's also incredibly scary since I graduate in a year and there is no guarantee that it will ever get any better.

    On another note, I've already set 30 Days on a series recording, I remember enjoying it last year.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    Read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickeled and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America. It's a real eye-opener.

    I've noticed that a lot of low-income people buy a lot of crap but I think there are three possible explanations. a) they don't know any better and/or don't care b) it makes them feel better c) they live in places where there aren't healthy alternatives.

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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    I've got the Oprah episode on DVR...just started watching it.

    I love that book Nickeled and Dimed! I've read it 3 times. Most of the working poor are IMO, very courageous. When you come from nothing, it is hard to get ahead even that one little bit to take the next step out of poverty. Any minor emergency can set someone back for weeks. Imagine putting $5/week in a jar trying to save for a deposit on an apartment, then getting so sick you have to go to the doctor. You have no insurance, so whatever is in the jar is gone. Just like that.

    If you want to help, volunteer for or donate to Habitat for Humanity. Or check out modestneeds.org.

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    Elite Member teforde23's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    I didn't watch the Oprah episode because the commercials looked so depressing. When I was in college I use to work minumum wage clerical jobs and go to school and it was so hard. A couple of months ago I worked as a recruiter at a cleaning company. During the interviews a lot of the applicants would tell me that they can only work part time because if they made too much money they would stop receiving benefits from the government. I got so pissed. And it wasn't just one applicant but, dozens. This job payed $12/hr and if you are hired on permanently you join the union with great benefits and the pay will be like $14/hr. Some people choose to live this way I'm afraid. Even in the low income projects in NYC you always see Audi's, Mercedes, BMW's and other luxury cars parked outside. I once knew someone from my church who had the gov't paying for her 3 kids babysitter, plus she got section 8 so her housing was basically free, plus she got WIC from the gov't every month for $400, and she made about $250/ week working minimum wage. And she drove a 2006 Grand Cherokee.
    I also interviewed on lady that was basically begging me for a job. She worked as a cleaner for another company making $7/hr and her heartless boss cut her fulltime hours down to only 10 hours a week. Can you imagine making $70/hr before taxes and supporting 4 kids. I put her at the top of the list to get hired.

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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    I think a lot of people who are in debt are also in denial about it. The pressure of worrying about a negative number day after day is not fun!

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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    After reading all these posts there's so much I want to say, but will try to keep it brief and polite

    First, unless you've had the misfortune of being on benefits, don't lump everyone who is into the same basket. I've also seen those who take advantage of the system (someone collected from three different residences, as did their unclaimed spouse - they got 6 cheques each month!!) but the majority I've seen are struggling and the "work for welfare" rules make things worse. If you go out and get a job every penny is deducted from the benefits, leaving you farther behind than if you just stayed home. Yes, you may get lucky and pass the 3 month mark and get hired on permanently, but try getting that far! Plus you have to worry about transportation, childcare, work clothes, etc. Being employed costs money.

    As for convenience stores... it's so true. And so odd. The only thing I can see is that it's 'convenient'. When you have no transportation and only a small amount at a time to spend on groceries you can't buy in bulk at the grocery store. Once you factor in the cost of a bus or taxi, it could be cheaper just to buy it at the store on the corner.

    And as for training for skilled labour - costs money! If you're already poor your money goes on living expenses and there's rarely enough left for higher education. Even if someone had the desire to get the education they still need the funds to make it happen. As you say, not every town offers these things for free. I live in a large city and they don't offer free work training programs. Nor do they give out college educations which is something you apparently need even to re-shelve books at the local library

    Getting back to the Oprah show - I remember watching it when it first aired and even with first-hand experience it was a shock to see. Minimum wage doesn't go very far as they proved. Even with them watching every penny and spending only what was necessary they couldn't stay afloat, let alone get ahead. And people wonder why the poor stay poor. I can't wait for the documentary to be released so I can watch it in its entirety.

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is making me sad - Oprah / 30 Days

    As for convenience stores... it's so true. And so odd. The only thing I can see is that it's 'convenient'. When you have no transportation and only a small amount at a time to spend on groceries you can't buy in bulk at the grocery store. Once you factor in the cost of a bus or taxi, it could be cheaper just to buy it at the store on the corner.

    And as for training for skilled labour - costs money! If you're already poor your money goes on living expenses and there's rarely enough left for higher education. Even if someone had the desire to get the education they still need the funds to make it happen. As you say, not every town offers these things for free. I live in a large city and they don't offer free work training programs. Nor do they give out college educations which is something you apparently need even to re-shelve books at the local library
    There is a grocery store a stone's throw away from my dad's convenience store, and it makes no difference. Plus, these are people who drive up & walk in.

    If you work in a large city, and there are no work training programs to help people in poverty there, then all I've got to say is that my state is unfairly labelled as backward. We have all kinds of programs & assistance to help people get trained to do something.

    I've worked with countless teenagers who have this fantasy that life will just rock, the minute they turn 18. They'll talk about the freedom they'll have, the cars they'll drive, the apartments they'll have, etc. I ask them how they'll pay for it all, & they look at me like I'm crazy, and they answer that they'll "get a job." Some of them have a clue about what kind of job, but they have no idea what the first step would be to be trained for that job. None of them understand how much things cost & how little many jobs pay, so you get out the calculator for them, start adding up their hypothetical wages, tax it, and watch their jaws hit the floor.

    I think we need more career counseling in schools, to help seniors understand exactly what they're getting into. There will always be people who milk the system, but there are some who could be saved from a life of poverty if they're just helped to make better life choices, sooner. For example, don't have kids immediately. Do what you need to do to start a decent career first.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

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