So. The receptionists at the doctor's office in the local hospital systems I use? Yeah...
They're probably going to get shit-canned, sometime soon. No more paycheck, no more awesome health insurance for working in the hospital system, no more retirement program. Nothing.
And they deserve every bit of it.
As does every individual who's a "living wage minimum wage" proponent.
Why am I saying this? Glad y'all asked!
The bunch screeching that the minimum wage doesn't allow enough to live on are...either union shills* or require a tiny voice beneath their ear, reminding them to breathe in, breathe out. And close your mouth, you drooling nitwit.
Minimum wage is not, and never was, intended for people to live on. Minimum wage was intended, from the get-go, as a racist method of preventing minorities from under-cutting what the white workers were charging for the same amount of work. And when that passed, the white workers started demanding more, for doing the same work, and...the minorities accepted the minimum to HAVE a job. So, in reality, the initial intent DIDN'T EVEN WORK.
As it functions now, minimum wage jobs are...trainer-jobs. They're the ones that are part time, dumb work geared toward the lowest skill level.
The jobs paying minimum wage? Most of those are, and have always been, taken by teenagers. Teens who still live at home, where they don't HAVE to worry about their living expenses. And they get a raise if they stick with the job for 90 days.
These workers don't need health insurance--they're still on their parents' plans**--and they're not even starting to consider retirement. I suppose they could be offered a college savings account. That would actually be a semi-useful benefit for part-time minimum wage jobs; however, that's the only thing I can think of that minimum wage starting pay jobs should consider offering.
Adults that take the minimum wage, no-skill jobs? The vast majority of them deserve that. Or less. They're...useless. And they're often a drain on the employers' bottom line. Should probably qualify as a tax break, considering the value they DON'T add, if they're minimum wage and STAY there.
Case in point: I have had friends start minimum wage, fast food jobs as adults. Because their physical health precluded them from taking some of the heavier factory work type jobs that (frankly) pay better. They got a raise in two weeks. Within six weeks, they were promoted to team lead. The store was
making noises about promoting them to SHIFT manager, then STORE manager
within six months. Every promotion came fast, and with a fairly hefty pay bump. They kept getting those because they showed up, on time, ready to work, for every shift they were scheduled. Or called if there was something that was going to prevent that. Like when they got food poisoning.
That is a very low bar to clear. Show up. Sober. On time. Do the job.
Why does it seem so impossible for so many?
I've noted a lot of places like that are...no longer hiring. Instead of paying financial drains on the company by hiring no-skilled workers that won't, they're putting in kiosks. They're putting in robots that do the kitchen work. The only workers they're actually hiring are IT people to maintain and troubleshoot the automation. Maybe one or two people per shift.
So. As we are seeing with this, the real minimum wage is...no wage at all.
Back to the doctor's office.
What does the receptionist do? She answers the phone. She sets appointments. She inputs patient information, if it's not already in the patient file.
Except...now, she doesn't. She doesn't answer the phone: there's an idiot push-button phone tree that reads off a two minute automated shpiel that urges patients to be absolutely sure they want their primary care doctor, rather than the urgent care (number provided) or the emergency department (no, I will NOT abbreviate that, TYVM. I already have issues with the giggles calling it the "emergency department"). And when you FINALLY wait through all that crap, you get "press one to make or reschedule an appointment" or "press two to talk to the nurse" and instructions to have the PHARMACY contact them if you need refills, rather than doing it yourself. Then you'd make your appointment, go check in...
...but now, you're not checking in. You've already done that with the electronic stuff that was the receptionist's job.
I'm not sure if the receptionists whined about the tedium or what's going on, but they're not answering phones anymore. They're not helping you figure out who you need to talk to. They're not doing your check-in work. They're...setting your appointments. And...
...doesn't that sound like what fast food is doing? Adding automation and dumping the useless money drains?
Really, the receptionists should have been balking this automation at every turn, rather than cheering the lightening of their work load. Because like fast food, the office managers are going to look at what they're doing, and ask "Why are we paying you and paying for your health insurance, again?"
Effectively, minimum wage is none at all. And apparently, that "minimum" is climbing the ranks of jobs that get it.
*Union pay scale is tied to minimum wage: it's set a certain dollar amount higher automatically by position.
**Kids are on their parents' insurance well into early adulthood, now...so why offer insurance to minimum wage workers? Who are teenagers?