To the editor: I’m so sick of seeing that every coffee shop in Fairbanks is paying less than $11 an hour.
When I was 16, I worked at one downtown for $7 and minimal tips. That was fine when I was a kid, but unless you’re still living at your parents’ house rent free it doesn’t add up. If every coffee shop in town was only hiring unexperienced teenagers, this would be fine. But $10 plus tips is not enough to sustain any kind of life. Employers always bring up that tips can range from $20 an hour, but if you’re new at the coffeeshop, you’re getting to work the least-tipped hours, often the nighttime closing hours. So that’s absolutely untrue. You’re lucky if you make .50 cents after 2 p.m.
I love the work, it’s hard and messy and stressful, the hours are all over place and there’s a lot of cranky people, yet I still love making coffee for people. The low wages with promise of tips is making all the coffee shops around here seemly eager to take advantage of people, even those who are experienced baristas. They’re really paying people the cheapest wage they can get away with. No wonder every coffee shop in town is hiring and can’t seem to find stable employment.
It’s really disappointing to see from a town that loves coffee so much.