I tell you, almost every single day when Matt comes home he looks exhausted. And he really is. Matt works, on average, about 75 hours per week. Nobody can ever say that he has a terrible work ethic or doesn't do his job to provide for our family. He really does and he goes above and far beyond.
Every day though, he comes in looking exhausted and I always ask him how his day went and what did he do. Mostly because he's kind of the everything guy at work. He makes tools, fixes tools, fixes machinery, fixes problems on other people's projects, troubleshoots things, basically does whatever needs to be done. As of late though, he's been really frustrated with some people he works with. The majority of his coworkers sound like pretty decent guys. The age really varies, as do the personalities, but it seems like a pretty common mix of guys that would work in a machine shop.
The largest issue is the lack of work ethic. And by that, I mean guys who just don't show up and don't even bother coming in at all. They make their own schedule and see no issue with that. Then you have people who will not, for anything in the world, work beyond their 40 hours a week. But you can bet they are the first clamoring for a raise and the first to complain about not having enough paycheck to cover bills. Matt says he usually just shakes his head and leaves the break room, which sounds about right because it takes a lot to get Matt to voice his opinion. But I can tell it's wearing on him.
Then I was having a conversation today with a woman who said her husband has been laid off for awhile and just cannot find anything. I told her that if they are really strapped- McDonald's is hiring. She completely scoffed at me and said he's going to hold out for something that pays at least $20 an hour. I had to just walk away from her.
Because it's so much the opposite of how I see things.
I feel like, if you're without a job or you have a job that doesn't pay your bills- you work more. You get a job wherever you can even if it is flipping burgers. Because a job is a job. I don't think it's realistic to expect a job that will hire you at $20 an hour to start. Sure, it'd be nice. I've never even had a job that paid that much in my life. I know of quite a few places that are hiring and sure, it's minimum wage or a little bit higher, but it's at least something. It's so frustrating to hear the argument that you can't make ends meet on minimum wage. I get that, I really do. I don't think it's realistic anymore to be able to live on one income.
It seems to me, the issue isn't that the minimum wage is too low. The issue seems to be a combination of people having no work ethic and being completely lazy and unmotivated coupled with a sense of entitlement. Just because your friends can afford the Coach purse doesn't mean you need one. You cannot afford it. Hell, they probably can't afford it either. They probably bought it on a credit card. I guess maybe that's also my issue with unions as well. I think fundamentally, the idea of a union is a great idea. I'm all for protecting worker's rights and making sure people are in a safe work environment. But people want these really outlandish incomes but they want to check out at 40 hours, no questions asked. I don't really understand that. I was always raised to finish what I started. Which even now, if I'm at work I will work until whatever I started was finished or I got to a good stopping point. I can't even tell you how many hours I've worked for free at all of my jobs because I felt a sense of responsibility to get something done. I'm not saying people should work for free, but in places where I've worked overtime wasn't an option but the job had to get done. I'm not even saying that kind of work ethic should be rewarded, I'm saying it should just be expected. I think employers have a right to expect a high level or work out of the people they are paying.
When people ask me why Matt works so much my answer is always that we have bills to pay and what else would he do? He'd come home and be bored on the couch. I don't need to work necessarily, we could get by without my check, but I work because I enjoy having a place to be every day. I like interacting with new people , I enjoy my coworkers, and I like having the feeling I'm needed somewhere.
So the next time you complain about not having enough money- I encourage you to look at how much you work. Do you work your 40 hours and get the hell out of there? That might be your issue.
I'm hoping the coming weeks will get better for Matt at work. When he's stressed out, it stresses me out, and then the kids get the trickle down of that. I'm also hoping that things turn around for us financially soon so we can at least plan a mini summer vacation with the kids. Just a little road trip a few hours away is all I'm asking for. That's not so much to ask, is it?