Question of proper wage has fallen to applicant

There’s a new trend appearing during job interviews; apparently the question of proper wage has fallen onto the applicant and with dire consequences.

For the past month, I’ve been interviewing for jobs and it’s for this reason I find myself sitting in front of my prospective employer, the G.M. of a known hotel. Time’s almost up and I have one more question to ask.

After politely sitting and cataloging the lengthy bullet points of the position, I inquire upon the wage earned and am met with a terrifying response:

“What do you think it should pay?” He steeples his fingers below his nose and waits.

My stomach drops and my heart thuds.

The correct answer is: Minimum wage. But I can’t speak yet, my brain and mouth are currently at war; it’s amazing I’m still breathing.

I mentally review decades of work experience, overtime and sacrifice. I know if entrusted to do so, I could run this office alone and successfully. In over two decades I have done every job you can do in an office; none of my skills are entry level.

But none of this matters. I open my mouth and he poises his pen over his writing pad; I envision he’s readying himself to blot out my name.


It sounds like a question.

His eyes meet mine, for the second time since we met. He jots something down and proceeds to go through a rehearsed speech on business economics (in simple math – so I can follow along), ending with, any raises will be considered after my work ethic has been verified (and in an undetermined amount of time).

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My mind wanders as he continues with an example of why Taco Bell can’t afford to pay their employees above minimum wage, lest their one dollar taco become a six dollar taco. I’ve given 100% to every employer I’ve ever had and I’d give this man the same, if he hired me. But he won’t. He wants my maximum [100%] and I get his minimum [wage].

If I’d said minimum wage, I’d have a job offer but I’m walking out of this office. I can’t work for this man and it’s probably for the best.

Now I know the question of wage is just another way to weed out candidates; people who hope for more and God forbid, pray to get paid a living wage.

Unemployment sucks.

Lysa Jernigan

Coos Bay

Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

The fix is in. JPR reports that Jordan Cove LLC (aka Pembina, those Canadians) hired a Washington DC lobbying firm to boost Jordan Cove. There are plenty of lobbying firms in DC; however a recent employee of this particular oil & gas lobbyist happens to be newly-appointed Secretary of the Interior of the United States, David Bernhardt who last march told local representatives of Colorado”s fracked gas companies that he was “totally behind” the Jordan Cove project. Bernhardt is supposedly recused for two years from involvement with his former firm’s business but the current administration in Washington doesn’t actually obey the law. I reckon the decimated FERC Commission will approve the permit in January. Pembina has discovered it’s cheaper to buy legislation in the country to their south rather than legitimately apply. We must hope that Oregon’s DEQ and the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) continue to insist that Pembina actually prove they can build this project without laying waste to the air and water of Oregon’s Southeast. We must hope that Gov. Kate Brown will finally stand up and refuse to permit our state to be the only one on the entire West Coast to allow this sort of wholesale environmental destruction.

Ainslie Krans wrote a letter last week in which he said, “... we believe the project is safe ...” and later he hedged, “I believe Jordan Cove is as safe as any project can be of this magnitude.” I have no reason to doubt Mr. Krans’ sincerity. Fifty years ago I told a high-school sweetheart that birth control was safe. I was also sincere. Just because you can say something doesn’t make it true. And Mr. Krans, Jordan Cove is hardly “a very ordinary endeavor,” as you claim.

The Google machine says for natural gas alone the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has collected data on more than 3200 SERIOUS or SIGNIFICANT accidents since 1987. These only involve natural gas pipelines. You can add storage, pumping station, and production accidents. And when you consider the number of accidents across the entire fossil-fuel spectrum it becomes intuitively clear to even the most casual observer that fossil-fuel infrastructure is safe until it’s not. A “Fail-Safe” simply does not exist. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Ron Dudas

Coos Bay

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