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So, yeah, I hopped off the plane (well, rather, didn't hop back on to the second plane), and dashed off to Indiana to spend the day with Dad, check out the house, visit briefly with Jessica, and head back home.

On the way to the house, we stopped by one of Dad's businesses. He had asked if I was hungry (I was) and was interested in a sandwich. I mentioned that I had pretty much switched to a vegetarian diet, and that I didn't think that he had anything, as I wasn't really interested in a salad at the moment.

No problem, he said, the vegetarian patties are aMAZing, I should try one. Well, if a born-and-bred meat eater says the veggie patty is good, it's worth trying, so off we went.

We arrived at the store, and went in the back door. Dad went to the front and I stood in the back and waited for him to return. I successfully managed to stand in exactly the wrong spot for my entire duration in the back. When an employee came back to put something in the freezer, I was standing in the way. When I moved out of her way so that she could open the freezer door, I was then in the way for the next person to wash her hands in the sink I was standing in front of. When I moved out her HER way, I was then in the way of the first woman, who had left the freezer and was now on her way to pack up the packages of meat on the counter I was standing in front of.

Eventually, I went to huddle next to the back door, and hope that no one wanted to come through that door before Dad and I went out it.

As I stood there, I looked for words. If there are words around and I'm not busy, I will read them, like it or not, boring or not. Sure enough, there were words. In particular, an employer's required posting of the minimum wage.

I looked at the posting, then turned back around to look at the timesheet posted on the bulletin board behind me. I looked at the names on the timesheet, recalling the name Dad had used for the woman who went into the freezer, and looked up her hours for the week.

Earning $5.15 an hour, working 30 hours a week, that woman was earning just over $150 a week.

$150 a week.

I assumed Dad was paying her minimum wage. If he weren't, fine, $184 a week.

I stood there, more than a little thoughtful, and wondered how the hell someone lives on $184 a week, before taxes. That's $720 a month, give or take. A month.


How can you live on that?

Yes, yes, I know, I know. You do. You do because you have to. And, sure, people who work at Dad's place receive a free meal every day they work, so there's some help. But still.

If I hadn't already pretty much stopped spending money except for when I have to, this would have caused me to stop.