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When the nattering nabobs of negativism keep telling people, "If you don't like the job or the pay, then quit and get a better job!" and people take their advice...it makes a bunch of people in Rochester, Minnesota angry?

Yup. But first, the background thanks to Jessica Williams...

Jessica Williams

Hot Topic Temporarily Closed at the Apache Mall in Rochester, Minnesota

Last night, Facebook was buzzing with the news that Hot Topic in the Apache Mall was closed.  A letter that appeared to be posted at the gate of Hot Topic was shown on various media outlets and social media posts with the following message:

Closed. Almost all of our staff waked out due to the inability of the Hot Topic Company to support and give a living wage.  We cannot support ourselves and our families.  We have worked so hard and cannot do this any longer.  You cannot pay your workers in passion. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Read More: Popular Store at Apache Mall in Rochester is Temporarily Closed

When Jessica said Facebook was buzzing, the biggest buzz seems to have been on a Spotted In Rochester post with over 4,000 comments! A lot of comments were cheers and good luck and go gettem! Sadly, there were plenty just like this...

So many people say it's a job for teenagers, and if you didn't know the mall is open outside the hours of 4 - 10 PM on weekdays, maybe that'd hold water. It doesn't make it right to pay people less than a livable wage, but at least it makes some kind of sense.

But let's suppose it's the commenter's world, and only store management should get paid a living wage. Hot Topic still isn't cutting it. According to Indeed.com, these are the salaries for store managers and assistant store managers.

Store Manager

  • $17.19/hour
  • $35,755.20/year

Assistant Store Manager

  • $11.95/hour
  • $24,856/year

In Olmsted County, the manager of the store would be making a living wage, but the assistant manager is below a living wage. How do I know? The Living Wage Calculator for Olmsted County. I don't take it as gospel, but even if it's just in the ballpark, I hope the store manager isn't a simple parent of one child.

If you're single with no kids, the living wage is $14.79/hour.

If you're single, with one child, the living wage increases to $30.98/hour.

Maybe the Most Frustrating Thing About This Conversation

Two things happening here. Belittling the idea people should get paid a living wage no matter what the job is, and when Hot Topic people follow their advice? They get made fun of. That's just really frustrating to me. And silly.

Could this be the result of envy or a feeling of unfairness? Maybe they're working their butt off with a skilled career and making $20/hour. Then comes along a mall/fast food/etc employee saying, "I should be getting paid more!" Maybe even saying they should be making $20/hour.

Why knock someone down for valuing their time and energy when a national company makes a fortune exploiting them. Maybe you, at $20/hour for skilled labor are being taken advantage of, too. Maybe you're time, education, and experience means you're worth $40/hour.

Finally, The Walking Out Scandal

I didn't find it in the Facebook thread, but in personal conversations, I've heard some mention of "no one has any loyalty today." Of course not. At least not with major corporations. Why be loyal to a company that has little to no interest in being loyal to you?

Times are changing. And it's all part of the great American Experiment. Workers upset they aren't being paid enough, quit for better-paying jobs. I can't think of anything more American than that.Ro

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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