Unconsidered Consequences Of Doubling This City’s Minimum Wage

By:
rjtaylor@gmail.com

An overnight grocery stocker can finally afford decent weed thanks to the pay bump, but the higher pay comes with higher expectations from his bosses. As a result, he can no longer find time to smoke while on the clock, which is kind of the whole point of being an overnight grocery stocker.

For the owner of a cupcake shop, the tipping point between whimsy and catastrophe turns out to be somewhere between the old wage and the new. After rethinking his life, he shuts the business down and goes back to school to finish that computer science degree. His career in software development is long and prosperous, but he spends the rest of his life a bit miffed about the cupcake thing.

A few customers at a haunted hayride note that the assorted ghouls and chainsaw-wielding maniacs seem a little complacent this year, and wonder how convincing a werewolf you can be if not motivated by actual hunger. One guy asks for his money back and doesn’t get it. He goes to bed angry, which his marriage counselor keeps warning him not to do.

Starbucks raises the price of its Pumpkin Spice Latte by 20 cents. An enterprising pair of middle managers quit their jobs and try to capitalize on the change by marketing do-it-yourself pumpkin-latte-making kits. These prove less popular than anticipated, perhaps because they’re just cheaply made espresso machines with a complimentary can of gritty powdered pumpkin. The entrepreneurs end up having to explain the failure at job interviews and on first dates. They tend to get pretty defensive about the whole thing, and are pretty sure that it cost them job opportunities as well as sex opportunities.

A two-income household becomes a one-income household as one of a married pair of minimum wage earners is laid off while the other has his income doubled. Now spending all day looking after her child, the former earner is forced to confront the possibility that the job was less about necessary income and more about avoiding interaction with her annoying kid.

As they’d never negotiated pay higher than the new minimum wage, Meat Cutters Local 161 becomes redundant and shuts down. Its chief, unable to siphon funds from a non-existent union, has to find new ways to pay for his ever-expanding collection of Matryoshka dolls. He starts looking for work that doesn’t involve slicing head cheese, which is a shame really, because he’s awfully good at it.

As a cost-cutting move, the Subway restaurant chain replaces its employees with an elaborate system of pneumatic tubes. This is great news for Subway, as it turns out customers love having their sandwiches shot at them out of air pipes. It is, however, bad news for the gormless former employees, who soon find that few other employers will tolerate their distinctive mix of boredom, hostility and sneezing on things.

Now in less dire financial straits, a security guard at Harry Winston backs out of a planned diamond heist. His would-be partner in crime has to find a new jewelry store to rob, wasting weeks of careful planning. When they run into each other at a holiday party months later, they say hi and it’s cordial and all, but it seems like maybe the chance for a lasting friendship kind of went out the window.

A woman parking her car at the paid lot of a community playhouse thinks, “Really now, that’s too much,” after calculating that the lot attendant who took her money — attentive enough, but nose deep in a paperback when she pulled up, and perhaps a bit too cheerful for a man on the clock — could now easily afford a respectable studio apartment. The thought recurs a few times over the next few hours and mildly affects her enjoyment of the play.

 

 

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