Internet Backs Redditor Who Bombed Job Interview by Requesting Livable Wage

Thousands of Redditors came to the defense of one user after they claimed they were berated for requesting “a livable wage” during a job interview.

In a viral post on Reddit’s r/antiwork, u/scubasteve2242 said they were in the middle of an over-the-phone job interview when the conversation soured. Despite their claims that the position they were interviewing for was listed with a pay range of $12-$19 per hour, the original poster said the interviewer they were speaking with became irate when they requested to be paid $15 per hour.

“I have been in contact with a lady for a few weeks now and have spoken to her over email and a few phone calls and finally had an official phone interview,” u/scubasteve2242 wrote. “I told this lady my expectation was $15 an hour and she did NOT like that.”

While the federal minimum wage in the United States remains at $7.25, many states have moved closer to the highly-debated $15 mark. In July, Washington D.C. increased its minimum wage to $15.20.

According to data compiled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, however, $15 per hour is unlikely to provide a livable wage for individuals, and even less likely for families. In February, CNBC used the data compiled by MIT to reveal that $15 per hour is 41 cents under the “living wage” mark for single adults, and much less than the living wage for those trying to support a family.

“She indeed up going on a long rant about how they are looking for someone who is willing to grow with the company and they are offering long term positions and there are other benefits and they are not interested in people who care so much about the pay,” they added.

u/scubasteve2242 said that, despite the heated exchange about pay expectations, the interviewer requested a second interview, but acknowledged that they have no plans to move forward with any potential employment.

“I am NOT proceeding with this and I’m going to tell her exactly how I feel if she tries to contact me again,” they wrote. “I genuinely didn’t even know what to say because the benefits don’t put food on the table or pay my car payment.”

The original post, titled ‘Bombed a phone interview by requesting a livable wage,’ has received nearly 22,000 votes and more than 2,000 comments in just six hours, and sparked an intense conversation about livable wages in the United States.

Phone job interview
One Reddit user said their job interview went poorly after they requested to be paid a livable wage.
fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus

u/scubasteve24222 blasted the interviewer for suggesting that $15 per hour was unreasonable, and expressed their frustration with employers as a whole.

“How do these people expect us to function as grown adults with $12 an hour?,” they asked.

Other Redditors took notice of u/scubasteve2422’s original post and echoed their sentiments about low wages and employers’ alleged misunderstandings about employees’ motivations.

“I don’t understand the logic. Promises of promotions and raises are great, but how am I supposed to survive on poverty wages in the meantime,” questioned u/idreaminwords in a comment that has received 8.3K votes itself.

“Why is it the prospective employee’s fault?,” u/ACrucialTech chimed in. “‘We want people who don’t care so much about the wage.’ Well then why are they in business? They should be listed as a charity then.”

u/spongeworth90, who said they have only had one company be honest with them about potential pay, said that the situation detailed in the original post is ridiculous, and said that wage transparency should be a part of the job interview process.

“Everybody works to earn money and the fact that it’s one of the most ‘taboo’ things to mention or ask about in an interview is the most bizarre thing to me,” they commented. “I will never understand why interviewers get so offended by interviewees asking about pay/salary/etc., they act as if they’re not working for money or [like] they never negotiated their pay.”

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