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22-year-old refuses a 8-hour-a-day job…
Street vendor can't sell his flowers, but a stranger buys them all : Management don't pay an employee overtime and he takes a day off, leaving the company in the middle of an emergency

22-year-old refuses a 8-hour-a-day job for only €480 euros a month: "I can't live on that"

September 28, 2022 • By Mark Bennett
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The workplace, especially in some countries, seems to be set up to discourage young graduates from entering it. Very low wages and long hours do not allow employees to stop, even for a second. There are those who have a shorter work week; then there are employers "squeeze" their new employees as much as possible, in an attempt to earn more and more profit. The experience of Marco, a 22-year-old young man, is emblematic of this: when he went to a job interview to work in a top restaurant, he hoped that the job would help him gain his independence. It was only during the interview that he realized how disappointing the offer was.


Having received an invitation to attend a job interview, Marco rushed to the restaurant where he would work if he were hired. The interview began with a motivational speech by the managers of the restaurant, who focused a lot on the importance of working in such a special and luxurious environment, but then the interview took a bad turn. Marco described the interview as follows:

"After explaining the history of the place to me, they emphasized that it was a top restaurant. Only later, they clarified what my duties and my working hours would be. I would be working eight hours a day, six days a week. At the end of their motivational speech - about how wonderful their offer was - they told me that my monthly salary would be only €450 euros. I could not help but refuse".

Only after working for a year would Marco's salary be raised to €900 euros. A contract like this shouldn't be accepted by anyone, let alone an experienced worker. Excessive hours and starvation wages make it impossible to accept such offers, even though there is a great need to work. Unfortunately, there are many young people who are forced to accept these exploitative terms, thus fueling a vicious circle triggered by bad-faith employers.

The young Marco decided to withdraw from the restaurant business and went back to being a bricklayer. But this job would not allow him to live independently. What would you have done in his shoes?

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