By the time one hits Round Six in the boxing ring, it means they have some fight in them. It also means they likely have a cut lip, black eye and some sore ribs. They didn’t make it through five full rounds by dancin’ pretty.
Welcome to round six of reflections of an election heart. As I write today, my head hurts and I’d like a nap. How’s that for stumbling back out of the corner and into the fray? Am I the only one or can you relate too?
There are days we have no choice but to show up. It seems in our great land of the free, however, that showing up is becoming optional but I’ll be by to collect my $15 an hour paycheck, thank you very much. Before you get irritated with me, let me explain…
Personally, I cringe and so does my husband, when we consider the boatload of work we have cranked out over our working lifetime for that $15 per hour wage, and much less before we ever reached that earning capacity. The state where I live voted in that amount as our new minimum wage. There’ve now been some blows taken.
This week I happened across an article about this very topic, written by the former CEO of McDonalds. You know, of crispy French fries and Big Mac fame. States that have enacted this higher wage are now facing reality. An entire company in California is relocating to Texas because they can no longer afford to operate there. Small businesses have closed in waves – which hits close to home because we operate a small business. Our livelihood. Staff is being laid off or having their work hours dramatically reduced. I know what that means because I’ve experienced it before: the laid-off staff no longer has a paycheck, and the remaining staff must pick up the existing workload with a stress factor that leads to all kinds of ill health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I’ve yet to figure out which one has the better end of that deal.
By Round Six, it’s no longer ‘suck it up, buttercup’. More like “Adria-a-a-n-n-n!!”
Lord Jesus, how we need You.
The McDonald’s former CEO (I liked this guy) has a good head on his shoulders and handle on the situation. He endeared himself to me in the article with his “I told you so” followed by “It pains me to have to say that.” The more I pursue life in Christ, the more I discover how balanced it is to live out of the heart Jesus gave me. Not the one I gummed up but the one I have been rediscovering is increasingly made fuller as I stay leaned in day by day.
The CEO shared that McDonald’s has announced the rollout of self-serve kiosks across the nation. Where there were once real people at the counters taking your order and providing customer service, it’ll be DIY. Except you can’t flip your own burger (you might add an extra slice of cheese) or bag your own fries (your order is for that teensy little bag not the super size one!), but you’ll pay higher prices for the privilege of taking your own order. I can do that at home with my hubby manning the grill, for Pete sake. I’ll miss the fries though.
As the CEO pointed out, self-serve kiosks are already bringing us into assumed compliance at chain restaurants across America. Grocery stores too. I realize I am a generation older than the techiest among us, but I’m also old enough to realize that meaningful employment and paychecks once cooperated together to produce a work ethic that is seemingly becoming obsolete. My husband and I still work hard as I know millions of Americans do.
What saddens me more in this new societal wrinkle – beyond the ones who need the $15 per hour to help raise their families – are the teens who will now be uber fortunate to get a high school job flipping burgers or making lattes. That too because coffee shops were among the small businesses closing their doors. There has to be solutions for young people to EARN money and BUILD a work ethic. It’s an issue with which we need to grapple.
I could list more examples (so could you), but even with a headache I’m seeing this could go one of two ways:
People will frequent fast food joints much less frequently, which will exacerbate the ability to keep staff. But! People might lose some weight too. See? There are benefits to this dilemma.
As a result, people might get out the grill more often at home and whip up a potato salad in place of the French fries. Add to that some neighbors or family on the fly and relationships might be rekindled or kindled brand new.
Imagine with me for a moment. Could it be that some of the things that look so dire on the horizon might serve to re-educate us on what once made America great? While the haters are hating, I think those who love will ramp up the ways in which they can do just that. We already know the outcome to that one.
DIY opportunities abound.
Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you,
for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; …
But we urge you…to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life
and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you;
so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
I Thessalonians 4:9-12 NAS77
Would you like fries with that?
~ Gracefully Free