All jobs come with challenges, some dangers

There has been a lot of talk about raising the minimum wage, and probably even more conversation about not raising the minimum wage.

I’m a little torn on the issue, to be honest. On one hand, I’m not a big fan of the government telling businesses how to pay their employees. On the other hand, if we’re paying $4 for a gallon of milk, we have to keep in mind how much we are paying people if we want them to, well, survive.

At the forefront of the debate seems to be fast-food employees. Many argue that a good number of these workers are high-school students or part-time employees, and if we pay them, say, $15 an hour, it will escalate every other job’s salary accordingly and businesses will have to shutter their doors because payroll expenses will ruin them.

Of course, others argue back that fast-food employees are still human beings — even if some people seem to disagree with that notion — and human beings have basic needs. Like, you know, food and shelter.

As for the “unskilled labor” argument, I’ve never been a fan. Every job comes with some level of skill or aptitude, and certainly accountability, and if you’ve ever been in a line at a fast-food restaurant (if you study my physique closely, you can see I have done my research here), you know that they take just as much abuse as anyone.

They get blamed for the orders taking too long to get to the customer, criticized for not getting the change right and have to dodge live alligators being thrown through drive-through windows. It’s a job that requires...

Wait. What?

Yes, WPTV in Florida reported earlier this month that Joshua James, 23, pulled up to place an order at a Wendy’s restaurant in Loxahatchee, and after the server handed him a drink and turned his attention away, James reportedly threw a three-and-a-half foot alligator through the window.

“He’s a prankster,” explained James’ mother. “He does stuff like this because he thinks it’s funny.”

Indeed, the story said that James had a friend who worked at the restaurant, and that he admitted to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that he captured the reptile on Southern Boulevard and brought it to the restaurant to mess with said friend.

James was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession and transportation of an alligator.

Why do so many of these stories take place in Florida?

Keeping in the Sunshine State, cheesy garlic knots sparked a melee inside a Palm Coast pizzeria, according to the fine people at

A report from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office stated that Jessica Conti, 25, began arguing with employees at Palm Coast Pizza because they put cheese on her order of garlic knots. I mean, yeah, who wants cheese on their garlic knots, right?

When a clerk returned her money by putting it on the counter in what Conti perceived to be a disrespectful manner, the pizzeria became the Colosseum. Conti, Vincent Conti, Hareem Jones and Shaun Cody were all charged with burglary and criminal mischief. They reportedly pushed the cash register and a fax machine off the counter and entered the kitchen area so they could throw food all over the place.

Because, you know, that’s what you do when someone returns your money when you alert that individual that you were dissatisfied with the transaction.

Ah, people.

Of course, Florida isn’t the only state that sees some issues with the way fast-food workers get treated. A story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch tells the tale of Lovely Rayneice Robinson, a 25-year-old woman who simply wanted a bite to eat.

Remember the last part of that sentence.

According to police, Robinson pulled into the drive-through lane at a Wendy’s restaurant, and was instruced to pull her vehicle forward because the order wasn’t finished. A worker walked outside and delivered the order to Robinson, who then became angry because the order wasn’t correct.

Robinson then followed the employee into the restaurant, which was closed at the time, a confrontation ensued and Robinson allegedly bit the employee in the knee, breaking the skin. Robinson was charged with malicious wounding, unlawful entry and resisting arrest.

At least she got that bite to eat?

Look, people far smarter than myself will try to figure out this minimum-wage issue, and I’m not certain they ever will. But maybe a good compromise would be some sort of combat pay for restaurant workers?