You know, I really hate when people say that low wage work is “unskilled”, or say that low-wage workers should “go get some skills”, as if all work doesn’t require skills of some sort, or as if sitting on your butt in a classroom is the only legit way to learn skills.
Because I’ve worked as a cashier in too many places, as well as a fitting room attendant and a fast food server, and trying to do your job properly basically involves:
1. The social interaction skills of a diplomat.
2. The money handling skills of a bank teller.
3. The cleaning and maintenance skills of a janitor.
4. The physical endurance and sometimes coordination of an amateur athlete.
5. The marketing skills of a salesman.
6. The knowledge base of someone who deals professionally with every product your store sells.
7. In some cases the strategic skills of, ironically, a manager (in those areas where the cashier is expected to know when to call for extra help and how much extra help to call).
8. The sharp eye of a security guard.
9. The patience of a saint.
And all in one package for the most shitty wage possible.
I eventually moved on to white collar, better-paying work (at least until the financial crisis hit), and I can safely say that I eventually used almost every skill I previously learned in minimum wage work except for pretty much just the cleaning skills (thankfully file clerks and secretaries don’t usually have to scrub toilets) and the physical endurance (since I got to actually SIT DOWN for more than five minutes at a time).
So fuck y’all if you think low-wage workers don’t have marketable or useful skills.