Magic Kingdom worker makes $13.02 an hour, has worked there for 17 years, lives in hotel

Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2017 1:43 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the profile:

Faced with the economic challenges living off his $13.02 an hour, Beaver is watching closely to see if his wages increase as Disney, the country’s largest single-site employer with a payroll of more than $2 billion, is set to begin renegotiating with the park’s largest union group this summer.

“I do have a hard life,” he says, pausing for a moment on his daily commute. “But I don’t think about it.”

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:57 AM

DS said:

Liberals, love the jobs, hate the employers. Everyone should share their wealth and should be ashamed for making a better life for themselves and their stakeholders. Nonsense. As far as I’m concerned, Disney is over paying this gentleman.

You had me until the end here. You are painting a pretty broad picture of what it means to be a political liberal in the 21st century.

I also don't feel Disney is over paying here. If $ 10 is the starting rate for this position, his current rate is fair given what his starting rate likely was 17 years ago combined with his years of service.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:10 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

So even if he has a learning disability, he was able to advance in another industry to management. At this point hes choosing not to better himself because he likes Disney.

Edit: I'm still not seeing that, where did it say he has a learning disability?

Last edited by Tekwardo, Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:14 AM

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:20 AM

If the minimum wage becomes $15, that would actually hurt this guy a lot. The prices for goods will rise by a considerable margin, and he will be back to making the least he could. The minimum wage now is a decent amount, and should stay about the same, adjusted for inflation. It keeps the value of the dollar more consistent, and helps people that make a few dollars over minimum wage because if it goes up, then these people will suddenly make minimum wage, and the value of the dollar sudenly becomes halved.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:52 AM
Jeff's avatar

DS said:

Liberals, love the jobs, hate the employers. Everyone should share their wealth and should be ashamed for making a better life for themselves and their stakeholders. Nonsense. As far as I’m concerned, Disney is over paying this gentleman.

That's a fairly silly generalization. I consider myself fairly liberal, but see above.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:05 AM

Tekwardo said:

Edit: I'm still not seeing that, where did it say he has a learning disability?

It took me two reads. There is a mention that he had a learning disability in school

"As a boy, it was hard for Beaver to be ambitious about a future career. He struggled to keep up with his classmates in school. A learning disability placed him into special education."

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:09 AM

What are their union dues? Based on hourly wage or a flat fee?


Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:18 AM

I didn't catch the line about his learning disability either. While it would give me some pause about my comments on his ability to find better employment, it doesn't change my opinion that he's probably already making more than enough to live on.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:48 AM

Jeff said:

That's a fairly silly generalization. I consider myself fairly liberal, but see above.

I too am quite liberal. When it comes to wages I become a bit unraveled. I'm constantly seeing where my political peers are fighting for something that isn't earned or even realistic. To me, the way I see this, it goes hand in hand. "Poor bro only makes $13 an hour after seventeen years of service, this is his struggle." No, his struggle is because he doesn't budget and use his wages wisely and has maybe made some bad life choices. The way the article reads, it puts in a place where it makes me feel like I'm supposed to feel bad for this guy because he only makes $13 an hour while the company he works for makes billions. Perhaps that's just how my mind works.


Michael
The Blog

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:12 AM

Tekwardo said:

So even if he has a learning disability, he was able to advance in another industry to management. At this point hes choosing not to better himself because he likes Disney.

Edit: I'm still not seeing that, where did it say he has a learning disability?

Yes, he was able to advance in fast food stores. Like I said, that's usually much different than being able to move up beyond front line at a place like Disney. Unless you're trying for a store manager spot or in the franchise ownership level, you probably just have to deal with your store manager and shift managers to move up. You're dealing with one to a few people that you work directly with to move up, versus having to deal with a monolithic HR department that doesn't know anyone directly. That direct working relationship/structure usually results in better opportunities for someone with minimal formal skills and training. You don't have nearly the same dynamic at Disney, and there's less room for that to work. You pretty much top out at Coordinator in attractions going that route.


Original BlueStreak64

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:21 AM
rollergator's avatar

"I don't feel too bad for him because he makes poor decisions with his money."

Yeah, I get it....kinda. Not everyone is equipped, or taught, how to handle money appropriately. We've had the discussion about Social Security, etc. "Everyone should handle their own retirement planning" is an excellent libertarian talking point, but it isn't really practical for large numbers of people...many of whom vastly prefer that some money be taken out and saved FOR them.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:50 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rollergator said:

"I don't feel too bad for him because he makes poor decisions with his money."

Yeah, I get it....kinda. Not everyone is equipped, or taught, how to handle money appropriately. We've had the discussion about Social Security, etc. "Everyone should handle their own retirement planning" is an excellent libertarian talking point, but it isn't really practical for large numbers of people...many of whom vastly prefer that some money be taken out and saved FOR them.

Funny I'd have written it this way:

"Not everyone can handle their own retirement planning" is an excellent liberal talking point, but it isn't really practical for large numbers of people...many of whom vastly prefer personal responsibility.

Po-tay-to. Po-tah-to.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:07 PM

Concrete Enchilada said:

What are their union dues? Based on hourly wage or a flat fee?

When I was there union dues were $10 per week for hourly CM's. This would wind up at about $520 a year. Here's the kicker, if you opted out of the union they were still required to give you the same representation as non union members. And you made the same hourly rate and were subject to the same contract, raises, etc.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:26 PM
Vater's avatar

rollergator said:

We've had the discussion about Social Security, etc. "Everyone should handle their own retirement planning" is an excellent libertarian talking point, but it isn't really practical for large numbers of people...many of whom vastly prefer that some money be taken out and saved FOR them.

In addition to Gonch's spot-on response, those who vastly prefer that some money be taken out and saved FOR them have the freedom of choice to talk to an accountant or financial planner (in the private sector) and have something like that set up for them...as opposed to Social Security where we're FORCED to pay into the system, supposedly for our own benefit...even though most of us won't see that money again.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:41 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Mike, yeah I get that it's differenrt in fast food as far as going up the chain. My point was maybe he should go back to that. His excuse is he likes Disney.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:42 PM

Everyone knows someone who's lived their whole lives hand-to-mouth and never seemed to make ends meet no matter what. Those are the folks who should be grateful that someone hides their money from them.

I worked my whole life in a closed shop. Joining the union wasn't mandatory, but as BrettV said, the benefits were the same regardless. A steward was always available to assist, even those asses who opted out. Maybe they didn't move quite as fast, but they went.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:04 PM

Tekwardo said:

Mike, yeah I get that it's differenrt in fast food as far as going up the chain. My point was maybe he should go back to that. His excuse is he likes Disney.

I would agree, but maybe $13/hr is more than or equal to what he would make as a shift manager (that's all I remember, shift and store managers, from my time in fast food, but there's probably more). If that's the case, then why move if he's happier in that job? I might be slightly biased, though, since I do vaguely remember Mike from my time in Tomorrowland. There's several variables at play that likely tip the scales towards staying at Disney, some of which are personal. I don't think the article was even a complaining one, just pointing out that hey, here's a profile on a Cast Member that highlights what some (many, even) Cast Members' lives are like and that yeah the company can probably do better. Kind of goes along with a recent story that popped up in Anaheim surrounding their homeless population around Disney and some things that were done recently.

Unfortunately this is the nature of service jobs in today's economic and social environment. There will always be those lower on the scale, and I think having some empathy and understanding would go a long way towards helping instead of coldly saying "They could choose to do better." The reality is that there will always be (has to be?) losers, and I don't think we should begrudge them a little complaining or suggesting their employers could do better.

Last edited by maXairMike, Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:05 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:30 PM
Jeff's avatar

The data that I'd like to learn more about is the distribution of jobs. I get the shift to a service economy, but the shift is largely from one of manufacturing, which in assembly line situations didn't require that much more training. We also now have technical jobs that didn't exist 20 years ago. So my question is... are crappy low-wage service jobs an entry point for the workforce? If you learn new skills, isn't there something better? I'm looking around at the construction boom around me, and these guys building houses and doing plumbing and whatever, they didn't learn that in a day, and there aren't enough of them to go around. Heck, software development is more like a blue collar trade in that sense as well. You don't need a degree, you just need to learn the skills and move to where they're needed.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:57 PM

Jeff said:

The data that I'd like to learn more about is the distribution of jobs. I get the shift to a service economy, but the shift is largely from one of manufacturing, which in assembly line situations didn't require that much more training. We also now have technical jobs that didn't exist 20 years ago. So my question is... are crappy low-wage service jobs an entry point for the workforce? If you learn new skills, isn't there something better? I'm looking around at the construction boom around me, and these guys building houses and doing plumbing and whatever, they didn't learn that in a day, and there aren't enough of them to go around. Heck, software development is more like a blue collar trade in that sense as well. You don't need a degree, you just need to learn the skills and move to where they're needed.

I'm not 100% convinced about the bolded sentence, just from my own experience. I know you were specifically referring to software development, but I hear that about most fields whenever this discussion comes up. I've thrown my hat in the ring amongst a lot of the major players in town for a multitude of job openings at this point, many of which I fit pretty much everything in the description in terms of skills and experience except for the degree portion. I have a gen-ed AA (would love to get a bachelors, but I'm not burying myself in debt for it unless I can actually afford it, I'm not tying that financial decision to hopes and dreams), but most everything I've applied for wants a specific degree field and I never get any bites back from anyone. I've only had success getting interviews for other jobs within my company. It seems to me that even more important than the skills is just getting your foot in the door, which usually means starting at the bottom. That's not a bullet many people can afford to bite without being guaranteed of moving back up to current pay levels pretty quickly. You can also try to network, but I've never had that pay off for me either, yet.

Last edited by maXairMike, Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:57 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 2:55 PM
Jeff's avatar

It depends on the field and the market. I can assure you that degree will not figure into software development jobs most anywhere on the west coast.

Getting a job is a skill onto itself. As someone who has hired a few people this year, most people suck at it. But getting to know people by way of professional groups and such makes a huge difference.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:23 PM

I'm just going to throw out there that the starting wage for paramedics and even those with several years experience in the private sector are equal to or sometimes lower than what this guy is making at Disney. College required, National Registry exam, people's lives in your hands and dangerous working conditions for about what he makes at Disney. This is the situation in Ohio anyway.

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