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Tuesday 24 June 2003

Missing blog posts!

I posted a very detalied and interesting (well, detailed) post a few days ago and now it's gone gone gone. It was beautiful. It had headers and sub headers. It was broken up by topic. The writing was less chopy than normal. It may have been the best blog post ever written. I dunno where it went. I suspect that the blue imac is to blame for this.

Um, so Christi's Chapel of the Chimes Concert went well. (In my last post, I lovingly described her intense search for samples, her last minute technical glitches, her extreme mellowness throughout, her heroic restraint in not smashing any computers and more, but alas...).

Tennis Roberts has a gig on July 4th in Santa Cruz, someplace in the mountains. the planners want to set off big fireworks. hopefully, there will not be acoustical curtains up to catch fire. Just drought-dried folliage.

Child Labor Laws Were Passed for Good Reasons

The world's most fucked up little coffee shop just got worse. The coffee has always been terrible. It's home to the hyper-quadruple-pulled latte. (this is a bad thing. Bitter and auful and served near boiling temperature). the service is auful. At least the food has gotten better. And the guy who used to flirt with Christi and touch her hair has gone away. But the last time I went in there (everytime I go in, I swear that I will never return.), the owner had a neighborhood twelve year old working behind the counter. Making smoothies. Delivering food. Pouring ice tea. "Breaking child labor laws?" I asked him. He's always hyper. He jumps up and down. yells a lot. Pulls lattes at least four times. "No no! It's leagl! It's legal!" he insisited, "As long as the parents consent it's totally legal! Her mom consented! She consented! And it's legal to pay them less than minimum wage! I can pay her less than minimum wage! It's legal! Mcdonalds does it! It's legal!"

The issue of using McDonalds corp as your moral compass aside, it is not at all legal to hire a twelve year old for non-farm labor. If parents could consent to send their kids off to work, factories would still be full of children. (but her, give the pResident time, I'm sure factories full of children are in our future. We can call them juvenile detetion centers. Or public schools. anyway...) The labor department website says the minimum fine for hiring a child under 14 is ten thousand dollars. which leads to a dillemma. When I was 12, I had a job watering my neighbor's plants twice a week. It paid $2 per hour. It was not particularly educational, but nor was it strenous or dangerous. The nieghbor was a sweet older woman. Last time I went by my dad's house, I saw that her place was for sale. I hope nothing has happened to her.

Hyper-Cafe-Owning Man is definitely not sweet. It seems like there is a big difference between my job for Mrs. Stevenson and the 12 year old's job for HCOM. I worry that she's being exploited. But maybe she's not. Maybe she really wants or needs the job. and I dunno if she works every day or just on weekends or what.

So, do I do nothing? Do I print out copies of labor laws and slip them under the door? Do I rat him out to the department of labor? the presence of such a young person working behind the counter was making other patrons uneasy too. One smallish child asked his dad, "If we eat here, am I going to have to go to work too?"

So, while HCOM is clearly a bad guy, the folks working for him are not. If he goes out of buisiness from fines (which he may sorely deserve), they're all out of jobs too. Of course, if he replaces them all with little kids, they're out of work anyway. What do you think? Leave comments, please

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