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No skill jobs are the worst on all fronts, not just in pay

Low-paying, minimum wage jobs which a large percentage of people who work in hate with a passion, are also low-skilled jobs that aren’t required to have an education to perform.

Read: Who really hates their jobs?

As a result, you don’t get paid as much, and you DO have to put up with a crappier work situation, although you always have a choice to leave and do something else, especially if it escalates.

You don’t have to take it, but it’s also your choice to leave such a work environment if you have other means to do so.

I do find in those situations however, you can learn a lot about how to diffuse a tense problem with a customer. There are people who are great at that, and those who aren’t.

By the way, Starbucks gives training lessons on this and they are EXCELLENT.

I was gently mollified the other day when they basically gave me a drink with espresso in it (I throw up when there’s too much caffeine, so it made me spit it out involuntarily), and they said things to me like:

Again, I’m sorry about the mix-up, I really hope you have a better day than this. [Insert humour]. Here’s a free drink coupon on the house.

I wasn’t really that angry, just asking that the drink me re-made into a tea rather than a coffee, but I was certainly Starbucked nicely, and impressed at their skill.

People yelling at you, and otherwise showing the worst sides of themselves.

To change it, you need to acquire skills (read: get another job, go back to school, but not necessarily college) where you are able to either improve your money situation or your working environment.

Having a college degree doesn’t mean you’re skilled.


Otherwise, that is what happens when low-skilled, low-paying jobs are on the market — they can always find someone else to replace you, and they don’t really give a rat’s ass.



That, and people are just not nice sometimes for a myriad of reasons — maybe they were just tired, frustrated or dealing with something that happened to snowball at the cash register and you were just the trigger.

It probably wasn’t personal (something that’s hard to learn….).

I’ve had that happen plenty of times before when I was really young, starting at my first job.

A guy basically yelled at me because he thought I was ignoring him when I really just didn’t see him, and I ended up crying without meaning to (I was 16!) because I couldn’t believe someone could be like that to another person.

Then when he came back again, and I just refused to serve him (my boss did it), but he also apologized, partly because he may have been afraid I’d put something in his food.

(For the record, I’d never do that!!!)

In the same vein, someone who makes a ton of money, can also hate their jobs because the work situation sucks.

Money isn’t everything, even if people think it is.

Investment bankers come to mind here.

They make bank, but it’s not an enviable life if you are not cut out for it.

The key is the balance between pay, work situation, and your available skills to be sold on the job market and finding the right job that will satisfy all three while allowing you to excel.

But then again, you already knew all of this, didn’t you?


  • Savvy Scot

    I love the comparison on proportionate cost. It means so much more than simply stating an hourly rate! 🙂

  • Tania

    Having skills gives you more options. I also believe you feel better about yourself even if a work situation is heinous. Knowing you are good at what you do and can possibly do something that other can’t or can’t do as well does provide some self satisfaction. Agreed not every college degree gives you skills.

    By the way, I’ve gotten yelled at too and I have a skilled professional job. But, I can probably handle it well because I know my worth and I have options.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    I fall in to the skilled labour category. I am a health care worker but I don’t make the big bucks (grossed 49K last year).

    I have to work 12 minutes, calculated using my net hourly pay, to purchase a gallon of milk.

    Unfortunately I have to work 54.5 hours to pay for my house insurance and 161 hours to pay my property taxes and these big items eat entire pay cheques and are what sets me apart from my higher income friends who have money left for fun stuff.

    If anyone knows any elderly single CEO gentlemen please feel free to send me their contact information.

  • J

    Oh heck yes, crap jobs suck. There have been several times where I went home crying, some jobs were so horrible that I just walked away as I couldn’t bare to do a two weeks notice.

    That’s why I’m in college. I can’t fathom doing this for the rest of my life. Blech. I also am getting my degree in CS.

    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met at my menial jobs that have 4 year degrees in business admin, sociology, philosophy, political science, etc. Clearly which kind of degree you get matters dearly and I live in the mid-west!

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