Low Wage, Not Low Skill: Why Devaluing Our Workers Matters

External Article 8 February 2019

forbes.com external

During a recent hotel stay, I had a conversation about how staff divides gratuities with the gentleman who brought my room service. It evolved into a master class — generously given by him—on how to manage hours and earnings in the hospitality industry. He told me the advice he gives less experienced staff on how to time joining a new hotel so they can get the tenure needed to control their schedules. I could see he didn’t just have a Plan B, but a Plan C, D and E for when his children get sick, or he’s needed on an extra shift. Every day, week and month, he manages a complex, ever-shifting matrix that would impress any director of logistics.

There are millions of people like this room service attendant—sharp, talented individuals, working what we often call “low skill” jobs. You know them: the server at your neighborhood grill, the barista working during your morning coffee run or the home health worker who cares for your parent. It might even be you. Every day, these workers pour their intelligence and ingenuity, craft and creativity, and sometimes mind-boggling resourcefulness into jobs where these attributes are sometimes appreciated, but rarely rewarded.

Read the full article at Forbes

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