The minimum wage in America is insultingly low, yet employees working for a pittance are still expected to go above and beyond the call of duty. Some of these stories are pretty frustrating, and only makes it clearer that all work deserves decent pay.

justme112358 asked minimum wage workers of Reddit: What's you re "I don't get paid enough for this shIt" story?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

10. Workers comp ain't enough.

So I broke my shoulder this winter because of an icy sidewalk. I work with elder care and one of our jobs is to wash and shower those who are bedridden. I took this job since I really need the money but the pay is less than the after school job I had when I was 13. Anyway my boss and I decided to see if I could work with one arm, which would be fine if I could do something else than the bed showers. When you shower someone who cant move, you'll have to turn them over and make the bed with them laying there. It's simply impossible to do properly with one arm, without ruining that one too. And what did my boss give me.. 3 different bed showers where one of them is a lady close to 200 kg. I did my round and told my boss that that was my last shift.


9. "Right to work," ain't capitalism great?

Our breaks changed. Instead of 2 ten-minute breaks for working 6 hours, 6 hours started to require a 30 minute lunch. So they started scheduling us for five hours and forty-five minute shifts... with one ten minute break somewhere in there, maybe.


I regularly work 10 hour days with a 30 minute break. I do that about 3 days a week. We don't offer full time positions at my job but you bet your @ss I work 39 hours and 45 minutes every week. If we work less than 7 hours they won't even give us breaks.

There's no laws in Michigan about giving employees breaks based on hours worked. Legally they could work us 6am to 6pm every day with no break


8. This was the right response.

I work at Subway, and there are a ton of great stories chock full of annoying customers that I can regale, so I'll riddle you with this one. This kid and his older sister walk in and there's a line of two people before they show up. The sister sighs, and drags the kid to the back of the line. Once I'm done with the other customers, the girl says "Finally," and starts shoving her list of four sandwiches down my throat. Okay, so I make them quite skillfully but in the middle of one BMT she stops me and gives me this stupid look.

"More lettuce."

"Alrighty then," I reply. I put a handful of lettuce on the bread.

"What are you doing? I said more, not all the damn lettuce you have."

I smile, and decided to start fresh with a new sandwich. Thankfully it's up to her standard this time, and she continues giving me her other orders. Once I'm sure she done, I direct her to the checkout and all that jazz, and I see the kid grab a sub off the counter. This particular sub had hot sauce (as she requested) on it, and that didn't seem right.

"That one's a little hot," I say to the kid. The lady reassures me that he can handle it, so I shrug and let him make off with the sandwich. Well it didn't take long for the boy to start crying over how hot the sub was, like I had thought. The woman yelled at me and said she had requested "mild" sauce to which I replied that it was indeed mild.

"You're an idiot. I want my money back for that."

Well that does it. I retort with the standard no refund policy crap we have to spout and she just stands there with her arm outstretched, waiting for me to give her some kind of handout. I just stare at her until she proposes the idea of a free sub.

"I don't get paid enough for this. If you want another sandwich, make it yourself." Apparently that was the wrong move to make, but I didn't care. I had my buddy try to calm her down since I didn't give two sh*ts about how she felt.


7. Pharmacy techs are supposed to control the weather, apparently.

I work in the Walgreens pharmacy and a couple of days ago we had a really bad storm, there was a tornado watch and everything.

So this lady comes in the drive thru and asks to pick up her medication, and in the middle of the conversation lightning hits something and our phones and computers went out, so we were offline, but the power was still kinda on. I tried to talk to her through the drawer and she swears she couldn't hear me, so I wrote: I'm sorry due to the bad weather my systems just went offline, my register is down, I cannot sell you the prescription (or finish it because nothing was working).

Starts screaming at me saying, "why are you denying me my medication, this is ridiculous" I tried explaining to her it's not me, but the weather shut down my stuff so I can't do anything, legally I cannot just give you a naked bottle of pills. AND SHE WAS LIKE I DONT BELIEVE YOU. JUST GIVE ME MY STUFF AND ILL PAY YOU BACK LATER. "Sorry ma'am that's not how it works"

Then this devil of lady okay, she does, "why did you make the weather this bad, it's so inconvenient for me. How dare you, is this what you do to people?"

LIKE WHAT. WHAAAAAT. so I'm like "ma'am I don't have to power to make it rain or storm."



F*cking people like that make me want to bash my head into the wall.


6. Well-played.

My retail job allowed all pets in the store and whenever a dog would sh*t on the floor, I'd find a manager to clean it up. They get paid way more than I do and I would claim, "I'm not qualified to handle biohazards," which meant "Y'all don't pay me enough for this."


I'm a manager at Home Depot and wont let my associates clean up that stuff. It's disgusting and I almost throw up every time but I still do it myself. I mean who can actually tell someone else to go clean up sh!t? I cant do it and keep a good conscience at the end of it.


You are a good manager and leader. Leading by example and using your brain about what is reasonable to ask of your employees is underrated these days.


5. This militant couponer.

This happened a few years back, had to spend 20 minutes patiently explaining to an older, irate customer why we couldn't accept her coupons that had expired a month ago. She asked for a manager less than half way through the debacle, who then proceeded to tell her everything I had just told her. That was a fun way to spend a Sunday morning.


4. But you DID get to use a sledgehammer.

I worked at a now-defunct Kmart. I was asked to disassemble the electronics desk and put it into the compactor. So, I get this huge desk all the way across the store and to the compactor, and... it's not going down. They asked me to crawl in there with a sledgehammer and beat the hell out of it until it finally went down. I was paid $7.25 an hour for that. It took a good half hour to accomplish said task because I had never used a sledgehammer because, let's be honest, I'm no Peter Gabriel and I kept hitting the hammer against the wall by accident. It was what I imagine living inside a giant bell would be like.


3. People like this shouldn't have kids.

Less than minimum wage actually, it was an internship (~40 hrs a week at ~2.50 and hour, I was 16).

It was at a nature center (located in a park/nature reserve w/ info activities and even some resident animals [unreleasable due to health issues]) and I worked in their kids day camp programs. The kids were supposed to be ages 5-12.

Only these entitled parents decided their just barely 4-year-old should be allowed to go. Normally the director wouldn't have allowed it, but these parents had just bought us a new building so...

Cue the worst week I ever had at that job. 4yo was placed in my group for the week. Yay me. To list just some of the incidents: she wasn't appropriately potty trained for a camp like this (she could manage with reminders and a nearby bathroom; but it wasn't our responsibility to remind and we regularly went on hikes where there were no nearby bathrooms), she hit other campers (no damage, she was tiny but still totally not okay), and would try to open the animals enclosures to take them out. When I tried to tell her she wasnt allowed to do that because it was dangerous to her and the animals she said "but they're mine!!!" (would not believe me that they were not).

The worst was when, after being told several times she needed to wait like all the other kids for her parents to come pick her up at the end of the day, she took advantage of me having to deal with another kid having a sneezing fit with a bloody nose (which was fun even in itself) in order to run away and take herself home.

I noticed only moments after she left but it was enough time for her to have left the building and there are plenty of places in the park/nature reserve for a kid like her to hide (yes she hid from searchers). It was a sh*t show. She was found just fine a few hours later but her parents tried to blame me.

I'd have quit on the spot if the Director hadn't decided to finally stand up to them. She was not welcome back for the rest of the week.


2. Yeah, f*ck that.

Certified Nursing Assistant, hadn't even finished school yet. Did clinicals at a few different places right before doing our certifying exams. Hated most of them, but there was one I really liked. I asked a CNA what they paid him and it was like $8.25 an hour (2009)

And then we had a resident get violently sick. Like vomit on the ceiling and walls, sh*t all over the bed, call in a f*cking hazmat team sick.

It took about 3 hours to clean that room and the guy who did it only earned $25 for his time? F*ck thaaaat.


This is why I work at the hospital. Most incontinent people I ever got was 4 out of 9 patients I usually work with. And if there's ever an episode like that, we have EVS to call.


1. Seems dangerous but okay.

I worked as a grocery store cashier for about six months with my sister and my best friend. A lot of crazy sh*t happened but my favorite was when the managers asked us to be on the lookout for a woman who was stealing groceries.

Apparently she would fill up her entire cart as if she was going to buy it but instead of going to the registers would just sprint out the front door.

Thankfully I never had to deal with her but being asked to chase down criminals was definitely not worth $8 an hour.


A lady did this at our local Walmart and tripped on her run through the parking lot and she and the cart fell over. She abandoned her $650 of stolen stuff and ran away. All caught on their security cam. Very amusing.


Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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