Not Enough Pay and Little Enjoyment: Students Suffering Under Unethical Employers

How some students at Frederick time at work has been less than enjoyable.


Sarah Hayes

Everything has been weighing down students these days. Their jobs shouldn’t be that much of a weight, but sadly for some, it is.

Owen Etter, Staff Writer

In the midst of the craziness of the world, people are still trying to get a sense of normalcy and calmness in their lives. While not always entertaining, student jobs continue to be a way for people to make their own money, provide for their families, and earn their luxuries. But what happens when jobs start to abuse the already stressed and overloaded students of Frederick High. Well, some angry students have come to talk about their experiences as of late.

“I’ve worked in heat, snow, and thunderstorms. I just feel like I should get paid more than twelve dollars an hour.” Says one student. All sources for this article wished to remain anonymous, as they feared speaking out might lose them their job and silence them. They went on to comment, “don’t get me wrong, I complain at work sometimes and if they ask me to go home early, most of the time I’ll take it. But I will stay late if they need me to or if they really need me to come in early I will. I’ll even come in on my days off and I work even if I don’t want to.”

“I just want to be credited where credit is due, I’d also just like some of my managers to care about their employees more. Just stop trying to cut corners,” was their response when asked for what they’d like to see in terms of change. The main problem lies in one common issue however and it’s in terms of scheduling. 

“For me, [my managers] scheduled me for a four hour and forty-five-minute shift because they don’t have to legally give me a thirty-minute break until five hours,” described another anonymous student. This seemed to be the most common problem because between dealing with angry/rude/annoying customers all day, student employees would just like to have a decent break. But some managers just can’t grant that for one reason or the other. 

“It’s not right. I think work should at least be a place where you at least feel good about walking in. But it feels like a gloomy and angry place depending on who I’m working with,” said another student on the topic of what makes work so horrible for them. In these stressful times, you don’t need your coworkers to also make work miserable. 

With all the anguish of purposefully scheduling workers under five hours and dealing with annoying coworkers, it can really be hard for most. “I was once scheduled for ten hours while it was 102 degrees outside. I ended up getting a heat stroke and throwing up because I couldn’t go inside and sit down. I didn’t get the two thirty minute breaks I should’ve gotten,” said another source when asked about their worst experience at work. 

The common theme among those interviewed was that they feel like their companies and managers shouldn’t cut corners because they as employees feel like they mean more than that. It’s worth mentioning that other people interviewed for this topic said that they were fine with the conditions at work, but that shouldn’t let the voices of workers who are getting mistreated be drowned out. With this final source, it seemed to summarize the general feeling the best, “I genuinely don’t understand why people are so rude. I’m just a kid trying to do my job and you’re acting like I am the owner of the entire company. But it’s not like I could actually say that to anyone.”

There is help coming though, as cited in an article by the Denver Post, it says that the minimum wage will raise “to $12.85 on Jan. 1 with a second raise to $14.77 in 2021 and a third to $15.87 in 2022.” There is some help coming, but this isn’t enough as this increase is only city specific. Student employees need their managers and bosses to help them in this dark time.