Read about everything that pisses me the hell off.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Shut the HELL UP already...

Ah yes,

It's Wednesday.

I do have to credit this rant to Andy though. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be NEARLY this pissed off about this one.

So, for those of you not from the lovely backwater of Pennsylvania, I'll catch you up rather quickly. The Turnpike Toll Booth collectors (members of the teamsters) are on strike.

Why are they on strike? Well because the union feels they aren't making enough money.

Now, let's review. What is it that a Toll Booth worker does.

Well, the sit there. They collect change. Sometimes, if you ask them, they hand out receipts.

Yup. That about covers it. For their fine work, they make, on the average $20 per hour. Not bad money for a glorified cashier. Sure, I guess those booths are pretty cramped, and well, sure it's a might chilly in the winter, so maybe I can see making more than your average cashier, but well, come on.. $20 per hour? Hell, one article I read said that with overtime these guys (and gals) can clear over 50k a year!

If I were you I wouldn't be striking. I'd be KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT. Why? Because any day now someone is going to find out that the state is paying CASHEIRES 50k a year and might catch on! Look, when the waitress at the restaurant forgets to charge you for your drinks, do you let her know? NO. You get up, pay your check, and take off. You don't DRAW ATTENTION to the fact that you are robbing the place. Yet for some reason these idiots can't figure that out.

Now, in a dramatic turn of irony these factored can't understand why nobody feels bad for them. Gee.. Let's do a comparison, Teachers average around 35-40k a year. I know a couple people with master's degrees who are making less than 40k a year. Social workers and secretaries average 25k a year.. And yet these CASHIERES are whining about making DOUBLE that?!

These assholes should be making 6.25 an hour and be happy with that.

What I don't understand is why the taxpayers have let it go on for THIS long. Hey, I hate to break this to you folks, but you are paying these exorbitant wages!! How you might ask? Well, in at least 3 ways:
1) Your own Tolls. Every $11 you spend crossing the state funds these people
2) Your Taxes. Yup, the turnpike is a PA institution. Love the tax dollars wisely spent
3) higher costs in products. Ever taken a look at what commercial traffic pays to ship something along the turnpike? I think it's close to $150 to cross the state... And guess who pays for it. That's right, the consumer.

I realize that the people writing the paychecks think they are spending "free money". Well they aren't. They are spending MY money. Personally I've had enough. It's time these people made what their skill level demands they make. Head over to Giant Eagle, Wal Mart or Best Buy and ask what the cashiers make. Hell, tack on a dollar because these guys work a little booth. I bet it falls far short of the $20 they are making now!

I heard they "settled" on a contract. Look at their website at or for more details. I wouldn't recommend posting on their website from work, though, as you never know with unions if they are going to track you down and try to get you fired.

It is this kind of crap that is keeping new businesses away from Pittsburgh! $20 an hour to take tolls. The booths are heated, they don't have to bag groceries, they don't have to deal with complaining customers, they don't have to sweep floors, they don't have to fetch food, they don't have to do price checks, etc. One needs more skill to work at McDonalds or Wendy's than to work as a PA Turnpike booth collector.

I say fire them all and replace them with those quarter catching baskets, then hire people that make $6.50 an hour to make change for those that need it.

Of course, Governor Cheese-Steak-Eating-Bastard Rendell never will because it would be seen as "union busting" and that is his bread and butter.
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