"You don't know what went on in the rest of my life. At home. Even at school. You don't know what goes on in anyone's life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person's life, you're not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can't be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person's life, you're messing with their entire life."
""The next day, Marcus, I decided something. I decided to find out how people at school might react if one of the students never came back. As the song goes, "You are lost and gone forever, oh my darling, Valentine."
I lean back against a poster locked behind a plastic frame and I close my eyes.
I'm listening to someone give up. Someone I knew. Someone I liked.
I'm listening. But still, I'm too late."
""So what's going on Clay?"
I repeat his words in my head. What's going on? What's going on? Oh, well, since you asked, I got a bunch of tapes in the mail today from a girl who killed herself. Apparently, I had something to do with it. I'm not sure what that is, so I was wondering if I could borrow your Walkman to find out.
"Not much," I say."
"I ventured to ask why so many of the owners seem hostile or contemptuous toward us. "They think we're stupid," was Holly's answer. "They think we have nothing better to do with our time." Marge too looked suddenly sober. "We're just maids." Nor are we much of anything to anyone."
“According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are not required to pay “tipped employees,” such as restaurant servers, more than $2.13 an hour in direct wages. However, if the sum of tips plus $2.13 an hour falls below the minimum wage, or $5.15 an hour, the employer is required to make up the difference. This fact was not mentioned by managers or otherwise publicized at either of the restaurants where I worked.”
“To state the proposition in reverse, low-wage workers are no more homogeneous in personality or ability than people who write for a living, and no less likely to be funny or bright. Anyone in the educated classes who thinks otherwise ought to broaden their circle of friends.”
"No one ever questioned my background, as it turned out, and only one employer out of several dozen bothered to check my references."
When it comes to minimum wage jobs, qualifications mean nothing. Anyone can do the job from a 16-year-old high school kid to a 60-year-old woman with no retirement. The only thing an employer will look for is someone who can do the job. The bodies are needed, not skills.