Minimum Wage: Is it Worth It?

Holly Palmer, Staff Writer

In this tough economy finding a job can be hard, especially when you have “less than a high school diploma” and you can only work a few hours a day. Some students score fabulous jobs, while others are stuck in the drudges of the fast food industry.

Senior Lisa Forsyth is one of many Bingham student crew members at McDonald’s. She does the drive- thru, but she doesn’t really enjoy it.

“I used to like it when I had friends but then they all quit. Now it’s really stressful and now I want to quit,” Lisa said. The one thing she does like about her job is that she gets paid. Money is the driving force for many things, and Lisa will put up with her friendless job for the paycheck.

Zach Weber, senior, also works at the Golden Arches. He does many of the same things that Lisa does, and enjoys it about as much as she does, but endures the “shake-making” for the money.

Just across the parking lot from McDonald’s, is another familiar fast food chain with red pigtails. Many Bingham students work at Wendy’s, including senior Jacob Roberts. He cooks the burgers, chicken, fries, takes orders, and washes dishes. He doesn’t enjoy his job, he said.

“I get paid. That’s pretty much the best part. Pretty much the only good part,” he said.

Not all fast food restaurants are horrible places to work. Café Zupas is not a bad place to work, according to senior Parker Mortensen.

“I like how all the people I work with are happy and fun to be around. And I like having the discount on my food,” he said. Parker makes the sandwiches, salads, and soups. He sometimes does the dishes, which he said is not very fun. It can be stressful, he said, and he doesn’t like smelling like soup all the time. That aside, he likes his job.

Some students work at Bingham. Many are sweepers, like Senior Shellie Stephens. She cleans the social studies hall, secret hall, and media center. She empties the garbage, picks up the floors, vacuums, and dusts the rooms.

“It’s right after school so I don’t need go anywhere, and especially not having to deal with the back parking lot madness. The hours are flexible if needed to be and everyone is nice and we have a bunch of fun- like scaring each other when you least expect,” she said.

What she doesn’t like about her job is when there are students in the classrooms after school and she has to wait for them to leave before she can clean. She also detests when classrooms look like “a tornado came through and I’m the one who has to clean it up,” she said.

Senior Jordyn Jensen also works at Bingham as a Child Care Lab Worker, to be politically correct. In other words, daycare. She said she’s not supposed to call it daycare. She takes care of children from ages 6 weeks to 5 years, giving them snacks, changing diapers, and playing with them. She loves spending her day playing with little kids, although some of them can’t be controlled. She said it’s hard to be nice to those kids, but she has to. But overall she loves the children.

“It’s awesome and so much fun and the kids are lovable and kind. They give you the biggest hugs and high fives ever. I love my job,” Jordyn said.

Nate Okelberry has a very different job from most Bingham students. He is an Optical Lab Tech at Redwood Vision Center. In a nutshell, he makes glasses. He likes his job because he has a lot of fun co-workers who keep it interesting. He also said his job is a little different every day, it never gets monotonous.

There are many job opportunities out there for high school students, but some choose to be self-employed. Senior Amber Bangerter’s job is teaching piano lessons to elementary age kids. She loves her job because she gets to share her love of music with others.

She gets frustrated sometimes, though, when her students are struggling. It makes her feel like she isn’t teaching them very well. But she loves teaching piano.

“My favorite part of teaching is when these kids say “oh this is my favorite song” because then they are appreciating music,” Amber said. She has her students perform in recitals to teach them to not be nervous in front of crowds, and she also has them perform at Festival of Trees.

“I love piano and I love teaching it to kids,” Amber said. She has a job she enjoys, and so do some fortunate students at Bingham.