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Woulda Coulda Shoulda

I’m Not Paying You $25 an Hour to Stack Shirts

When a young shop hand asks for a raise after two months on the job, a screen shop owner is tempted to put him in his place.




I’m Not Paying You $25 an Hour to Stack Shirts

Things you wanted to say to frustrating clients, but didn’t.

You Get Paid for What You Do

An employee pulled me aside…
Employee: Um boss, I am going to need a raise. Right now, you are paying me $14 per hour to catch the shirts. I am going to need $25.

Me: You’ve only worked here two months. Why do you think you deserve $25 per hour?

Employee: Well, I saw one of your invoices and how much you sold those shirts for. And I just found a packing slip that shows how much you pay for the shirts. I did the math, and you are making $300 per hour when that press is turning! So, it seems unfair that you are only giving me $14 of that.

Me: Wait? What?

Employee: Okay, I know you have to pay rent and also the press operator, but I asked him, and you only pay him $25. So, I figure after you back out your expenses, you’re profiting at least $200 per hour. So, I want $25. I think that’s fair.

I wanted to school him in the costs of doing business, paying taxes, and overhead. I wanted to point out my 20-year-old car in the parking lot. I wanted to tell him that even if he was right, we aren’t sharing the profits here. Then, I wanted to start a good rant about how he gets paid for what he’s qualified to do, and because he is qualified to do nearly nothing, he gets paid accordingly. But I didn’t waste my breath. Instead…

Me: I’m going to chalk this conversation up to you being young and stupid. Why don’t you get back to stacking shirts.

Needless to say, he didn’t stay long. And to add to the irony, he now plays in a big-time rock band. And no, we don’t print his shirts.

Woulda Coulda Shouldas are collected from the Screen Printing‘s Brain Squad and shared anonymously.

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a screen-printing business, you’re invited to join the Screen Printing Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting screen-printing pros. Sign up here.




Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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