Getting By - A Special VPR Series
Did you ever wonder about how the server at your favorite coffee shop makes ends meet? How single parents on minimum wage feed their kids? This week, VPR talks with Vermonters who are getting by on minimum and low wage jobs. We'll hear how they make ends meet, how they feel about what they do and their hopes for the future.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Donna Olsen, of Fairfax, is a "para professional" at a middle school. Her husband is an auto mechanic. They have two children - both now in college. She drives an old car and wishes she could help her kids more with college costs. But she says they're really just "getting by".
Steve Leonard is a 24-year-old bottle sorter at the Beer King in Rutland, and he says he's satisfied - at least for now - with the work and the compensation.
Amanda Calhoun is a senior in high school, working part time as a waitress to save money for college. She said it's her first job, that it was hard to find a job with no prior experience. But she also said that tips are critical, that she's been working a lot of morning shifts, where tips are low.
Kevin Gallagher is 26 years old and delivers pizza in Burlington. He makes most of his money through tips. However, the pizza boxes say "free delivery", so many people assume they don't need to tip. It makes it impossible to predict the amount of money he will earn.
Harold "Hoss" Jones is a part time driver for the Green Mountain Express, the bus that runs between Bennington and Manchester. He used to have a higher paying job in manufacturing. Now, like many of the workers he transports, he's just "getting by."
Click here to read others' contributions and share your own.