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 11:52 PM
99er's avatar

I agree to what is said in bold but with the caveat below.

Jeff said:

It depends on the field and the market.

The field I am currently working in typically requires a degree but I spent time learning the skills required and applied for the job with only those skills and no formal education at all. Understandably most people will see "Requires degree" in the job description and immediately dismiss the job but that isn't always a good idea. One of the guys I work with has two degrees, one a masters, and I make more than him simply because of my skill set. So it can actually happen for those who really want it.


-Chris

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Friday, July 21, 2017 2:53 AM

I haven't read the whole thread here, so apologies if I'm stating something that's already come up.

For a lot of people job satisfaction and enjoyment of that job is much more important than what they're actually being paid.

I'm aware of someone who turned down a doubling of their salary because the change would have taken them out of the position that they loved.


I develop Retro Games for macOS, iPhone, and iPad when not riding coasters.

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Friday, July 21, 2017 8:52 AM

I have a friend who quit her good paying job in an accountant firm so she could be a Disney Cast Member. At the Disney Store. At the local mall.

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Friday, July 21, 2017 11:19 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

It's about finding your joy. For some, that's being a cast member at the local Disney store.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Friday, July 21, 2017 11:21 AM

And she is the perfect example of why Disney will never have to worry about raising wages. People are essentially lined up waiting and eager to do these jobs.

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Friday, July 21, 2017 1:35 PM

I understand the thing about finding your joy because I just passed up the opportunity to put a bid in on a higher paying position with my district because every time I've done it as a sub I couldn't wait for the day to end but I also find no joy in the idea of living in a motel and taking the bus everywhere...

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Friday, July 21, 2017 2:19 PM
Vater's avatar

I used to get asked by my sales team to be a sales engineer. It pays very well and is partially commission-based, but for me, the extra salary is not worth the extra stress.

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Friday, July 21, 2017 4:33 PM
Gemini's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

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.

The secret is to work in an industry that doesn't fall under social security. :)

Last edited by Gemini, Friday, July 21, 2017 4:34 PM

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Friday, July 21, 2017 8:13 PM

Many school employees in Ohio don't fall under social security either there's a separate retirement plan although I've heard from coworkers closer to retirement that it causes complications if your spouse is under social security. Some people I know have quit instead of retiring to take their lump sum out of the system to avoid problems that I don't entirely understand other than if your spouse's social security would be higher than your retirement and they die it messes things up.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017 7:59 AM

I'm surprised the employees in these groups haven't unionized.


tall and fast but not much upside down

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 11:48 AM
LostKause's avatar

With my move back to WV, my old employer gave me my old job back. I like it enough to drive 45 minutes to work, when it would be easy to take a job and a pay cut and work in the town ten minutes away.

So I kind of understand the employee side of the topic.

However, when you look at it from the business side, keeping in mind the needs of the employee side, Disney shows that they really don't care about the well-being of their employees. The fact is that they don't pay a living wage. "How are you supposed to live on the small income we provide? You figure it out. This is how much we pay. Take it or leave it. Now I'm going to take my family and friends out on my billion dollar yacht for the weekend. I deserve it."

The problem is, a lot of businesses do not pay a living wage. They pay as little as they can. They do not value their employees. Their employees are seen as numbers, and not people. Their employees can easily be replaced, so they are not worthy of being treated with respect and dignity.

And it sucks.

In the not so distant future, humankind will not work. Our economy will be run by AI. People will be able to live life without worrying where their next meal is coming from. AI will serve us as if we are gods, all of us.

And we can concentrate on giving to humanity instead of taking from humanity. It will be a great transformation.

...As crazy as it sounds, this is what reputable and popular scientists are saying our future holds. I can not wait.


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Sunday, July 23, 2017 12:12 PM

That sounds a lot like communism.


Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 12:16 PM
Jeff's avatar

Companies aren't people. Caring isn't something that they do. That said, why would a company be obligated to "care" about employees? A transaction takes place between employees and employers, and of either side of that transaction believes that it isn't fair, they're free to leave it. We've said this a hundred times... if the employee doesn't feel Disney pays what they're worth, there are plenty of people who do feel it's a fair exchange.

Respect and dignity starts with you. It doesn't come from others.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 12:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

However, when you look at it from the business side, keeping in mind the needs of the employee side, Disney shows that they really don't care about the well-being of their employees. The fact is that they don't pay a living wage. "How are you supposed to live on the small income we provide? You figure it out. This is how much we pay. Take it or leave it.

I always wonder if people get stuck in low wage situations because of this attitude or develop this attitude because they get stuck in low wage situations.

I tend to believe it's the former. If you believe it's someone else's responsibility to take care of you, you're probably not going to do very well at taking care of yourself.


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Sunday, July 23, 2017 12:53 PM

LostKause said:
The problem is, a lot of businesses do not pay a living wage.

No business, not one, bases their wages on whether or not it is a living wage. They base pay on what the market can bear and that's the only thing it should be based on.

Last edited by bigboy, Sunday, July 23, 2017 2:40 PM

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 2:44 PM

bigboy said:
No business, not one, bases their wages on whether or not it is a living wage. They pay based on what the market can bear and that's the only thing it should be based on.

Sure, if the only thing that should be considered is purely money. I don't think that should be the only consideration, and results in long term harm to society. Businesses don't exist in a vacuum, and the well-being of an economies' citizens is important to its function. Is it better for society as a whole to give as little back as you can while keeping as much as possible for you and a select few to be disproportionately enriched? I'd say definitely not. There's nothing wrong with profit, and it is necessary for everyone. Winners and losers are natural, however there's no need for each to be pushed to the extreme ends of the spectrum leaving little to no one in the middle, which is how things seem to be going currently.

Here's a good article on the subject.


Original BlueStreak64

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 2:48 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I always wonder if people get stuck in low wage situations because of this attitude or develop this attitude because they get stuck in low wage situations.

I tend to believe it's the former. If you believe it's someone else's responsibility to take care of you, you're probably not going to do very well at taking care of yourself.

I don't have that attitude because I'm "stuck" -- I just understand my limitations. I'm going to work in low wage positions because that's what I'm qualified for.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 4:04 PM

slithernoggin said:

I don't have that attitude because I'm "stuck" -- I just understand my limitations. I'm going to work in low wage positions because that's what I'm qualified for.

There is a big difference between being qualified for a job and having that coachable attitude. I hire people all the time that are not "qualified" for a position, but they do possess a can-do attitude. Being successful at a job and being looked at for promotion really falls into the "10 Things That Require Zero Talent";

  1. Being On Time
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body Language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Being Coachable
  9. Doing Extra
  10. Being Prepared

When an individual loses sight of any of those items, they become stuck feeling like they're not qualified for anything better.


Michael
The Blog

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 7:22 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I have an excellent work ethic; I show up on time and know how to do my job. I put forth every effort to do my job. I have a good attitude for my job, I haven't been in my job for 20 years because I lack passion, and I respond to what management tells me I need to correct ...

... but I'm also autistic, and there are things that just escape me. It's really hard to overcome that.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Sunday, July 23, 2017 7:23 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Sunday, July 23, 2017 9:13 PM
Jeff's avatar

I probably am too, but that wasn't something that doctors even considered when I was a kid, unless you were like Rainman, the only reference most people had to autism at the time. Depending on where you fall on the spectrum, it could be a gift. There are way too many success stories to write yourself off.

maXairMike said:
Sure, if the only thing that should be considered is purely money. I don't think that should be the only consideration, and results in long term harm to society. Businesses don't exist in a vacuum, and the well-being of an economies' citizens is important to its function.

This is why I don't join a team, because I largely agree with you. My previous statements about wages probably make me sound like a Republican, but I'm all for social programs and even universal healthcare, which sounds like a Democrat. I'll be the first to agree that there is some tipping point where a large enough spread in wealth is destructive to a functioning society. I don't believe that because of some silly ideology, I believe that because history has demonstrated it a hundred times over. If these asshole in Washington would stop being ideologues for a minute and crack a book, they'd see it too.

But that's a different problem from the market dynamics of wages. Pay should be proportional to skill, or there is no incentive to ever learn new skills, and you'd certainly never recover the costs associated with education to become a doctor or a lawyer. It's ironic that the working class gets so bent out of shape about entitlements and welfare (and as a percentage pay comparatively little into those systems) when they themselves complain about being "left behind," as if they have no obligation to catch up, learn new skills and go to where the jobs are.

Front line jobs at WDW are probably best for people willing to live on low wages, can stick to a budget and get high on pixie dust, or they're for college kids looking for experience before they graduate. However, the skills acquired in those jobs are not transferable to much of anything other than another McJob. I had those jobs too, until I got a full-time job at a radio station making $23,000 a year ($36k in today's dollars, ****, I'm old). When that wasn't enough, I spent months looking for a better, related job, and got up to $29k. Three years after that, career change and I got to $40k, and so on, because I was always looking, always understanding what I needed to do for the next level. Doing time doesn't lead to higher income. Interns can take up space and do that. Careers don't happen to people... you have to make them. If you're unsure about how to do that, meet people who do know how and ask them to mentor you.

"The system" is not a mystery or hard to understand. I totally get that there are socioeconomic factors that disadvantage certain classes of people, and I think it's important that we (government, philanthropic organizations, individuals) help to break those cycles and end institutional discrimination. I'm on board with that. I can't accept, however, people that throw their hands up in the air and don't try, because your hands absolutely manifest thought. If you can only think failure, you will only fail.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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