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Fast Food Work vs Welfare

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

What would you choose?

Option 1 (the fast food work option)
43
57%
Option 2 (the Collect The Benefits option)
33
43%
 
Total votes : 76

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Infected Mushroom
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Fast Food Work vs Welfare

Postby Infected Mushroom » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:32 pm

Please consider the following hypothetical:

You need money to survive. You only have two options:

1. Work at a fast food restaurant full time for a salary that is just a bit higher than the Canadian minimum wage. You don't have to pay any taxes for this job. You will be contributing to society insofar as you serve customers and bring profits to the boss.

or

2. Stay unemployed. Collect Unemployment Benefit every month equal to 67 percent of the job described in Option 1. Some people may regard you as someone who is taking advantage of the system or as a lazy person.


The idea of the hypothetical is that you're stuck with only Option 1 or Option 2 for the rest of your life (with the one exception mentioned at the very end).




You can think of the fast food job as being almost identical to work at a US McDonald's with a similar management style and with similar assignment of menial tasks. Society regards the prestige level of the job about the same as they do with the real life McDonald's job.

A main difference is that for you, the job is full time, 5 times a week gig with very long hours (there is no part time option). You get 2 days off: Sunday is a fixed Day Off; the other Day Off is something that management can re-assign (last minute) on a complete whim based on what the organisation needs. The job has a 1 week off paid vacation all year and 5 paid sick leave days.

There are little to few other benefits other than the pay (which is just slightly above Minimum Wage).

For whatever reason, you are one of the few full-timers. Aside from the managers, most of your co-workers will be part-timers (there's a lot of teenagers and youngsters who don't care that much); they aren't the most motivated and a large number of them work here because they "have to." Unlike you, they are not constrained and this is just a phase for them and they will likely in the future move on to bigger and better things.

The manager wields absolute, borderline authoritarian power over you when you're on the clock. In terms of the market, you're very easily replaceable and the hiring/firing laws are very lax. If you get fired, you are never getting this job back and you'll be stuck in Option 2 BUT with a reduced benefit package.

Career Prospects:

There is a performance review system but very few promotion options. There are no salary raises in this job UNLESS you get promoted in rank and very rarely is anyone promoted. If you get promoted in rank you become one of the fast food managers. Your pay will be increased by 25%. If promoted, you still have to work the long hours and do front-line work... but in addition you are in charge of scheduling, overseeing the other fast food employees, and being a go-to option for very very obnoxious customer complaints.

If you screw up, you can still be very easily fired (and be stuck with Option 2, incurring a penalty in the benefits received). Your screw ups may include the screw ups of those under you if you're not careful and don't cover your backside carefully.

Okay so this all sounds not so great. There's got to be a Dream right? Okay well here is it.

If you work hard, rarely make a mistake, survive the manager position for a long time, get lucky with who you meet and please, and have EXTRAORDINARY luck on top of it all... there's a chance that you will be picked for regional manager. That's where your pay will quintuple and you get to go an actual air-conditioned office in a large building. A wonderful, beautiful place with photocopiers, filing cabinets, secretaries, coffee machines, chairs, cubicles and desks. If you get there, you are free from the hypothetical and you will be completely free to compete in the capitalist job interview system just like IRL.




So then what do you choose?

Do you take the fast food job? Or do you say... "you know what? I'm just not going to work." Remember, if you choose Option 1 but mess it up, you're stuck with Option 2 forever, with a reduced benefit number. If you choose Option 1, you better do well.

Please assume that regardless of the option, you have enough money to survive. Also, assume that the ordinary day-to-day person doesn't understand your strange situation. If they see you working at the fast food they just think "oh there's a fast food employee...." they aren't aware of the fact that you're acting within the constraints of 2 options. If they see you jobless they just think "oh here's someone without a job" they aren't aware that you're choosing between fast food or no job.

Let's assume that you're not allowed to use the money to invest in anything. You must live off either the paycheck or the benefits. No start ups or side gigs.

This is a very experimental and complicated hypothetical so within the first few days, I might have to make some edits to make the scenario reflect the intended spirit of the hypothetical and its system of intended trade offs.

I would go with Option 1 not because I'm motivated to succeed but because if I went with Option 2, my parents, friends, and family may come to regard me as an even greater failure. I shouldn't care about what they think or may think but I do and that is why I will probably go with Option 1.
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:01 am, edited 4 times in total.

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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:41 pm

Option one, clearly. I wouldn't feel right not working.

It wouldn't be the first time I'd taken a job I don't like and feel overqualified for. Take the fast food job as a stopgap solution, meanwhile I look for another (it's always easier to find another job while employed).

Or, if the employment situation is so drastic that there are no other jobs, save small amounts of money from my paycheques (investment is banned, but saving is not -- there is no reason why I can't make cutbacks on my personal recreation, holidays etc and save) and raise the money to start my own business.

EDIT: And, what do you know, now starting a business is banned. Hey-ho-the-derry-o. Well, that's the plan, anyway.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Thepeopl
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Postby Thepeopl » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:10 am

I would choose welfare. And do voluntary work for the betterment of society. I will care for elderly, animals; will teach youngsters to care for themselves, to cook properly and vegetarian (better health, cheaper when you don't buy Meat replacement) I'll educate myself, will recycle and try to minimize my carbon footprint.

I will not push fast food through the throats of other people. I will not add rubbish floating around because others toss it wherever.

I don't give a fig about what others think of me. I will work for the pleasure of keeping my neighbourhood safe, clean and healthy. I don't need payment for that.
Last edited by Thepeopl on Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Blaatschapen
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:14 am

https://www.lifeinnorway.net/norway-min ... nimum_wage

Contrary to popular belief on discussion forums, there is no national minimum wage written into Norwegian law. Yet despite this fact, almost everyone receives a fair living wage.

So, exactly how much will I be making?
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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:18 am

Thepeopl wrote:I would choose welfare. And do voluntary work for the betterment of society. I will care for elderly, animals; will teach youngsters to care for themselves, to cook properly and vegetarian (better health, cheaper when you don't buy Meat replacement) I'll educate myself, will recycle and try to minimize my carbon footprint.

I will not push fast food through the throats of other people. I will not add rubbish floating around because others toss it wherever.

I don't give a fig about what others think of me. I will work for the pleasure of keeping my neighbourhood safe, clean and healthy. I don't need payment for that.

The rules having been changed so I'd have to do it for the rest of my life and couldn't start a business, volunteering seems like a more worthwhile choice.

You see, I have always worked (even when I damaged my hip, I started my own gig and worked from home), and not working doesn't sit right with me. But reading with schoolchildren as a volunteer, visiting the sick and elderly and cleaning up the local neighbourhood all sounds more fulfilling (I've done some of that before IRL). So, I guess, I'll volunteer and fill my life with more volunteering hours than I'd have done working.

I have no doubt, though, that the rules will be amended in five, four, three so that volunteering is not allowed.
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The Blaatschapen
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:21 am

I'll pick option 2 and do volunteering.

As a vegetarian I'd have a hard time in the fast food business except for a few places which this one clearly isn't.
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New Mordka
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Postby New Mordka » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:43 am

Option 2 is for pusses, Option 1 or death for me.

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Nevertopia
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Postby Nevertopia » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:48 am

youre basically asking me if I want to either be miserable and poor or be miserable and poor. I choose to work in something that pays better than wage slavery.
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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:55 am

Option 2 and do useful things for the collectivity, like contributing to Free Software, volunteering in charities, helping kids do their homework, doing groceries for the elderly, ... Would be more useful to society than serving poisonous food in order to make a very rich exploiter even richer, and more fulfilling to me.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:01 am

The Blaatschapen wrote:https://www.lifeinnorway.net/norway-minimum-wage/#The_Norwegian_minimum_wage

Contrary to popular belief on discussion forums, there is no national minimum wage written into Norwegian law. Yet despite this fact, almost everyone receives a fair living wage.

So, exactly how much will I be making?


Good catch

Let's change it to Canadian

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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:04 am

It's occurred to me that some people may prefer not to work (if fast food is the only job unless you get to corporate through hard work and luck)... but I'm confused by the volunteering.

If you're getting the social benefit funds and it's not conditional on volunteering and volunteering couldn't open more doors for your resume, then... why

I'm just a bit thrown off

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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:10 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:It's occurred to me that some people may prefer not to work (if fast food is the only job unless you get to corporate through hard work and luck)... but I'm confused by the volunteering.

If you're getting the social benefit funds and it's not conditional on volunteering and volunteering couldn't open more doors for your resume, then... why


For several reasons: self-esteem (not feeling being a useless leech, but being able to feel proud of yourself for actually doing something), ethical reason (I've time available, people have needs, it's just fair I contribute) and to avoid boredom.

It's very common here for newly retired people (at least it used to be, when we could retire at 60, before the neoliberal reforms of the last decade) to do volunteering in a way or another, for those three reasons.
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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:10 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:It's occurred to me that some people may prefer not to work (if fast food is the only job unless you get to corporate through hard work and luck)... but I'm confused by the volunteering.

If you're getting the social benefit funds and it's not conditional on volunteering and volunteering couldn't open more doors for your resume, then... why

I'm just a bit thrown off

To help other people, to have something to do all day (it's not good for a person's body or spirit to sit around doing nothing) and because -- in this topsy-turvy world depicted -- volunteering is your best chance to do something productive for society.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thepeopl
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Postby Thepeopl » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:14 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:It's occurred to me that some people may prefer not to work (if fast food is the only job unless you get to corporate through hard work and luck)... but I'm confused by the volunteering.

If you're getting the social benefit funds and it's not conditional on volunteering and volunteering couldn't open more doors for your resume, then... why

I'm just a bit thrown off


Because work isn't about career, it isn't about money. It is about fulfillment. I like to spend my time in a playground, keeping it clean, helping children, keeping it safe. Not because I am being payed. Because if I do this, more children will play outside, in fresh air and be safe. Better for their health. Better for their development and their learn from me how to care for others and the environment.
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The Blaatschapen
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:33 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:It's occurred to me that some people may prefer not to work (if fast food is the only job unless you get to corporate through hard work and luck)... but I'm confused by the volunteering.

If you're getting the social benefit funds and it's not conditional on volunteering and volunteering couldn't open more doors for your resume, then... why

I'm just a bit thrown off
because doing nothing productive for a long period of time makes Blaat a dull boy.

Sure, the first week is fun. But by week four, I'd better have something to do. Some goal to achieve.
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Postby Cetacea » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:42 am

In a former role when I was advising students I learnt about the McDonalds training programmes and realised that their was actually some great opportunities for upskilling in hospitality and resteraunt management being offered by the Burger lords. So as much as I despise the food, I would be happy to take on the option is presented with it and focus on moving up to regional and corporate level.

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Postby Zul-ar » Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:50 am

The former, assuming I start young. If I chose option two, I'd never make enough money to save anything worthwhile. Which means no house, no family, no dog. Just me and Netflix, together forever.

With option one if I work hard enough I might get promoted to an office job. From there I can save up and have hope for a white-picket fence sort of deal.
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Postby The New California Republic » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:07 am

Thepeopl wrote:I would choose welfare. And do voluntary work for the betterment of society. I will care for elderly, animals; will teach youngsters to care for themselves, to cook properly and vegetarian (better health, cheaper when you don't buy Meat replacement) I'll educate myself, will recycle and try to minimize my carbon footprint.

I will not push fast food through the throats of other people. I will not add rubbish floating around because others toss it wherever.

I don't give a fig about what others think of me. I will work for the pleasure of keeping my neighbourhood safe, clean and healthy. I don't need payment for that.

This. As long as the 1/3rd "pay" decrease relative to the fast food job is actually enough to live on, then I'd take the second option and majorly ramp up the amount of voluntary work that I do.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:22 am

Kilobugya wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:It's occurred to me that some people may prefer not to work (if fast food is the only job unless you get to corporate through hard work and luck)... but I'm confused by the volunteering.

If you're getting the social benefit funds and it's not conditional on volunteering and volunteering couldn't open more doors for your resume, then... why


For several reasons: self-esteem (not feeling being a useless leech, but being able to feel proud of yourself for actually doing something), ethical reason (I've time available, people have needs, it's just fair I contribute) and to avoid boredom.

It's very common here for newly retired people (at least it used to be, when we could retire at 60, before the neoliberal reforms of the last decade) to do volunteering in a way or another, for those three reasons.


really? Is that a New Zealand thing?

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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:25 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Kilobugya wrote:It's very common here for newly retired people (at least it used to be, when we could retire at 60, before the neoliberal reforms of the last decade) to do volunteering in a way or another, for those three reasons.


really? Is that a New Zealand thing?


I'm French. But I don't think it's specific to our country, I would suspect that would happen every time there is a generous enough retirement system that allows people to stop working when they are still healthy enough (like we used to have here, retirement at 60 and even below for some professions).
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:32 am

Kilobugya wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
really? Is that a New Zealand thing?


I'm French. But I don't think it's specific to our country, I would suspect that would happen every time there is a generous enough retirement system that allows people to stop working when they are still healthy enough (like we used to have here, retirement at 60 and even below for some professions).


Retirement at 60 sounds wonderful.

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Postby Heloin » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:36 am

It’s nice to remind us that your a rich kid when you present the options of fast food work and needing to go on welfare as two horrible options no one should ever want.
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Postby Picairn » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:40 am

You are telling me to accept either modern serfdom or eternal welfare payments? Fuck this, I'm going to off myself. Maybe I'll get reincarnated into a better hypothetical.
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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:43 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:Retirement at 60 sounds wonderful.


Indeed. That's what we had since 1981. The right-wing tried to undo it in 1995, but after a massive general strike (the country paralyzed for nearly a month in December 1995) they were forced to temporarily give up. But they started again 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, slowly eroding it, despite massive opposition (and counter-proposals) from labor unions. Then Macron tried a massive counter-reform in 2020, which led to another massive general strike, and a kind of stalemate between the gov and the unions. Then arrived the Covid-19 crisis and the subject faded away, the gov not daring to push it for now, but they'll try again as soon as things get back to "normal".

Nowadays you need to be 62 and to have worked for 43 years (so starting at age 19, if you didn't have any time of unemployment) to get a full retirement.
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Postby Ifreann » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:46 am

If I'm going to have enough to survive without working then I'd probably go for that. I'd be free to find my own meaning in life, my own ways to contribute to my community.
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