I am at a crossroads on this story. A young woman graduated university, and accepted an entry level job in San Francisco.
As many of us know, entry level means lower wages, but we justify it by saying we are working towards moving up.
This young woman quickly realized the cost of living in San Francisco was very high and she was struggling with her minimum wage to pay rent, bills and food. She got to a point where she couldn’t afford food, and just drank water and ate rice.
She tweeted to the company CEO:
She also wrote an open letter about her struggles on another social media site.
“Will you pay my phone bill for me? I just got a text from T-Mobile telling me my bill is due. I got paid yesterday ($733.24, bi-weekly) but I have to save as much of that as possible to pay my rent ($1245) for my apartment that’s 30 miles away from work because it was the cheapest place I could find that had access to the train, which costs me $5.65 one way to get to work. That’s $11.30 a day, by the way. I make $8.15 an hour after taxes. I also have to pay my gas and electric bill. Last month it was $120. According to the infograph on PG&E’s website, that cost was because I used my heater. I’ve since stopped using my heater. Have you ever slept fully clothed under several blankets just so you don’t get a cold and have to miss work? Have you ever drank a liter of water before going to bed so you could fall asleep without waking up a few hours later with stomach pains because the last time you ate was at work? I woke up today with stomach pains. I made myself a bowl of rice.”
She has since lost her job, and as the company says there are two sides to every HR story.
Personal opinion: Sacrifices are made when choosing your life goals. Personally, my first FULL TIME gig in radio, my salary was under what she is getting paid. That said, I lived at a family property and split groceries with my sisters at the time. It was manageable. I feel bad that she is not eating, and is struggling, but the other part of my brain is saying “Girl, did you not research the cost of living and salary BEFORE accepting the position” I know people have dreams, and the excitement of living in a big city is great, but reality must kick in. Accepting a job, that barely pays your rent is just poor planning. I wish her the best of luck, because losing a job is a horrible feeling. Also, a reminder to everyone…posting your work woes on social media will ALWAYS back fire—whether you are right or wrong in the situation.