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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thanks for Lunch

Every so often, I indulge in lunch out of the office.  Either I don't bring my lunch with me to work, or I decide that I want something different.  It doesn't happen that often, but it does happen.

I ordered this yummy looking sandwich, a salad, soda and a cookie.  The staff over at Panera is always so polite and helpful, they make me want to come into their establishment for lunch.  Yet, this same lunch that they are taking the time to fix for me,  they are not being paid enough to order for themselves.  

I am not terribly well paid, so Panera is a big treat for me.  I figure that after taxes are taken out, it amounts to an hour of my work time to pay for a lunch out like the one I had today.  Yet, most employees at lunch counters or other fast food type restaurants are making significantly less than me.  

Talk about an eye opening moment.    

I know that there has been a lot in the news lately about raising the minimum wage.  I think it's a good thing.  I know that I may catch some grief about that, but oh well.  

If we think about fairness and equality, well, it only makes sense.  A lot of people will say though, well, let them find a better job.  But, what if that is the only job they have been able to find.  Others will say, it would hurt businesses to raise the minimum wage.  

I say, take a look at cities and other municipalities that have raised the minimum wage.  The mom and pop shops are still there, and business is booming in those areas.  Unemployment is down and jobs are a plenty.  Most people seem to be doing better overall.

I wouldn't mind spending a few extra cents or a quarter or even a little more than that if it meant that the employees were paid more.  It wouldn't hurt my pocketbook, but it certainly would help that nice gentleman behind the counter who was so nice to me today.  Maybe, just maybe, it would me he also could afford the luxury of taking a lunch out now and again and letting someone serve him.  Or, it could mean something else that he would be able to afford, thus adding to the overall economy.

I think of his smile and kind attitude.  I can tell he wasn't always in this line of work.  Maybe once upon a time he also worked in a nice office job and would go down the street to pick up a lunch now and again.  But, for whatever reason, he is where he is now.  

So, next time you run across the street to grab a little lunch, take a moment, think about that person across the counter from you.  Maybe you can't make them pay them more, but, at least you can give them a smile and be courteous.  They are offering you a service that oftentimes they cannot afford for themselves.

Thanks to all the hard working people out there that do those little jobs.  It does mean a lot to others when you have a smile for us or a friendly word.