Minimum wage students talk money

Snovia Moiz, Voice Editor

Minimum_WageTo gain a student perspective in the growing debate on minimum wage, The County Line sought out working students for their view on the issue. Junior Ariel Alexander works as a barista at Starbucks, making $7.75, 50 cents above minimum wage. Alexander works on weekends and one to two school
days a week, working shifts that range from four to nine hours long.

1.) Q: Do you like your job?

I guess. I feel like it’s a better job than most people my age have. The customers are challenging, but I really like all my coworkers and stuff.

2.) Q: Do you think you deserve what you make?

I definitely think the job is harder than $7.75. The overhype that Starbucks gets is so high, I know they can pay their employees more. I know a lot of people who work there definitely do deserve to get more. A lot of adults that work at my store are working two or three other jobs to get by and I think it’s ridiculous, because everyone in the store does a lot of work and deserves to get a lot more than that.

3.) Q: Why did you start working?

I kind of needed the money, the financial situation we were in at that time. I needed to be able to provide for myself a lot more.

4.) Q: How do you balance working with other aspects of your life?

It was really difficult at first, and I do feel like my grades definitely dropped after first starting the job, because it’s kind of crazy to be able to work and also do homework or study. It’s really easy to get kind of lost and overwhelmed by everything. It’s not like my grades are suffering to the point where I’m failing class, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it or not. But I don’t really have another option.

5.) Q: Do you think you could pay for college with what you make now?

I actually thought about that a lot, I don’t think I would be able to survive at all. There’s a lot of people who are in that situation at my Starbucks, it’s ridiculous. In order to survive on my own I’d need two jobs like this. I couldn’t survive on just $7.75 an hour.

6.) Q: Will you continue to work in college? How do you think you’re going to balance that?

I have to continue to, so definitely. I’ll probably have to work more than I work right now, just because the financial needs that I have will be even greater, so I have no clue how I am going to be able to handle college and working. I just, it’s something I have to do.

7.) Q: Do you think the minimum wage should be increased?

Yes. I think definitely. I think it’s literally impossible for people to have a normal life on just a minimum wage job if you’re trying to support yourself and other people. I think that the minimum wage should be about protecting people from falling into poverty, but it’s really not doing that at all, it’s keeping people stuck in it.

Riley Humphrey is a senior who works at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and as a referee for Katy Youth Basketball (KYB). She makes 10 cents above minimum wage, amounting to $7.35, at Orange Leaf, and 20 dollars per game at KYB. Humphrey’s shifts at Orange Leaf range from five to seven hours.

1.) Q: Do you think you deserve what you make?

At Orange Leaf I definitely feel like I should get more because some of the things I have to do are definitely not minimum wage kind of things. Especially in the summer when there’s a big crowd, but not so much in the winter. There’s so much stuff to be done and I feel like I’m always running back and forth from the front to the back. And a lot of the time I work by myself so I have a lot of stuff to do. So, at Orange Leaf yes, but reffing I make a good

2.) Q: What part of your job is
the hardest?

At Orange Leaf it’s really managing customers and things that you have to get done when you’re by yourself. Working by myself is probably the hardest thing. For reffing, I get yelled at by parents and coaches, it’s a stressful job to say the least.

3.) Q: Do you think your grades have changed since you started working?

A: At the beginning of the year we had a lot of people leave for college, so we lost a lot of staff. There was only three of us working at Orange Leaf so me and one other girl were scheduled every single day after school and I definitely saw that affect my grades a lot. I was struggling to get my homework and
everything else done, because I was so tired from working all day. So that’s when I made the decision to stop working on school nights and just to focus on my grades, because my grades are ultimately the most important thing. Luckily my boss was okay with that so I still get to work.

4.) Q: What do you do with most of your income?

I use some of it for food and other stuff. My parents still like to help me out, so I pay for half of the stuff that I do, and then the other half is money saved up for college, when I have to pay for shampoo and stuff like that.

5.) Q: Do you think that the minimum wage should be increased?

I think it should be because a lot of minimum wage jobs are worked
by students. Students work hard, and they work through their school
work, and they do their jobs right. And I know there are a lot more
strenuous jobs than mine out there that are minimum wage.

6.) Q: Do you sometimes think that it’s not worth it?

Yeah, a lot of times. I mean it’d be great to have it raised, it’s frustrating working so hard and getting a paycheck back that’s only like 40 bucks working for seven hours.