Bill Tatro

I took the long Holiday weekend to do a scouting mission for a future column. What I was most interested in were the work habits of the so called minimum wage employee. I was also interested in how many of these employees carried their “smart” phone with them on the job.

Prior to the advent of hand sized cell phones for an employee to spend time talking on a phone vs. doing their job was very apparent. A land line was clearly obvious to all workers, and more importantly, to management and administrators. Who was slacking by an over abuse of the phone could be seen and therefore it rarely happened.

However, whether at Macy’s, Walmart, McDonalds or any number of half a dozen retail restaurants or service establishments there wasn’t an employee whom I observed that didn’t either talk, text or look at their phone while supposedly working.

Yes, I understand the coffee break, the smoke break and even the potty break, but it seems that these are all in addition to the face, text and talk break.

So let’s do the math on the $7.25 minimum wage. Considering the least amount of phone time spent in my observation and in my unofficial interviews was fifteen minutes. This means that on a per hour basis, the minimum wage actually being paid is $9.66. (16.11 cents per minute times 60 minutes equals $9.66. 16.11 cents per minute times 45 minutes equals $7.25).


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What got really interesting is when I queried one young lady who seemed to be the norm and not the exception and apparently was so bored with her job she stated unequivocally that she spent half her day on her cell phone. She was a recent college graduate with an anthropology degree whom I’ll call Janice.

So, Mr. President, it would seem that folks have taken your spirit and arbitrarily raised their minimum wage by being paid for an hour and only work 45 minutes. If the movement grabs Janice’s philosophy then the minimum wage will have doubled to $14.50.

I am certain all, except employers, will be thrilled.


Bill Tatro

Along with his 40-years of dedication in the financial services industry, Bill is the President and CEO of GPSforLife, has recently authored a highly successful book entitled 44th: A Presidential Conspiracy, publishes his dynamic monthly financial newsletter MacroProfit, and faithfully continues his third decade on the radio with It’s All About Money, which can be heard weekdays on Money Radio in Phoenix and in podcast form on his website (and on smartphone apps) published at billtatro.com weekdays at 5pm Eastern. Bill can be reached via email at bill@gpsforlife.com and on Twitter @tatroshow.

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