You've Got to Earn That $15 | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

You've Got to Earn That $15 

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You've Got to Earn That $15
I came across an interview on PBS with author and ROC-United co-founder Saru Jayaraman. Her book Behind the Kitchen Door chronicles the nationwide "Fight for 15," where restaurant workers are demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour. She seemed intelligent and well informed.

I have been in food and beverage for over 20 years, and if I were to open a restaurant tomorrow, there is no way in hell I would offer a starting wage of $15 per hour, whether I were required by law to do so or not. I would find some way out of it, up to and including closing my doors. My reasoning is simple: Today's entry-level F&B workers just aren't worth that much. Not even close.

The state of our current labor pool is abysmal. People are entering the workforce completely bereft of even the most fundamental of work ethics. Just getting people to show up is like pulling teeth. Getting them to complete all assigned tasks correctly takes an act of Congress.

There are some very hard-working people in F&B. I have the privilege to know and work with many. But for every "rock star" an employer is lucky to get, he has to blow through 20 dough-heads first. Asking that employer to fork out big bucks right out of the gate is unreasonable at best.

I have come up with what I feel is a fair test that an employee should take before demanding anything: Show up to work 10 minutes early, and get right to work. During your shift, never touch your phone. No Candy Crush, no texts, no Facebook—in fact, why don't you just shut the damned thing off? If there is an emergency, someone can call the front desk. If you get downtime, clean something. Do everything that is asked of you, and be sure the place is cleaner than you found it when you leave.

Do this every day for a year, and I will think you are worth more than minimum wage. Do this every day for three years, and we will talk about this whole $15 an hour thing.
Steve White
Salt Lake City

It's a Tough Job
Most job titles and job descriptions are fairly straightforward. Thus, a baker is expected to bake, and a teacher is expected to teach. Those not living up to their job titles or their job descriptions usually get dismissed.

Does the LDS Church use this commonly used criteria for its president? According to Mormon tradition, the president is a prophet, seer, revelator and translator.

Among the many definitions of the word "prophet" is "a person who predicts or claims to predict what will happen in the future."

"Seer" is defined as "a person of supposed supernatural insight, who sees visions of the future." A revelator is "one who reveals something hitherto unknown." And a translator is "a person who translates from one language to another."

An LDS Church president's job description puts to shame that of a rocket scientist, a brain surgeon, a U.S. president or even the Pope.

Has Thomas Monson demonstrated any of the skills numerated in his job description? How are these unique skills transferred to Monson's successor? Is there a laying-on of hands or a light so blinding that no one has ever been able to see what's happening?

Or could this whole business be like in The Wizard of Oz? Will the curtain ever be pulled aside?
Ted Ottinger

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