Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fast Food, Hard Money!

So you're getting old. Your skills are outdated or your brain has slowed to a point that does not allow you to practice your profession efficiently. Your boss decides to use one of the recessions to retrench you. Don't worry, our esteemed minister of manpower Dr. Ng tells you that he has created thousands of jobs which are just waiting for you.

I went to the notice board at the bus interchange and saw numerous notices offering jobs to Singaporeans. Minister Ng Eng Hen is right -there are plenty of jobs for Singaporeans and they are just fussy not to take up these jobs.

If you wonder how much the workers at fastfood joints makes these days, its about $4.50 an hour. Working 9am to 5pm working from Monday to Friday standing for hours behind a counter, they get $720 a month. That is what esteemed President get in half an hour and less than one third the minimum wage in UK or Australia. The ad is asking for people 14-40 years of age, I suspect the older folks might be paid less than $4.50 an hour. At $4.50 an hour, the person standing behind the counter has to call you "Sir" or "Madam" with a smile.

I guess that is why the govt had the 4 Million Smiles Campaign and Kindness Week to prepare all of us to smile alot and say Thank You in case we need to work at fast food outlets when we get retrenched or become senior citizens. Singaporeans' ability to smile as not been diminished by rising prices & increased GST, thanks to all the smiling campaigns we had over the years.


lotiman - the loti way said...

I totally agree a service job with a smile commands a higher pay than $4.50/hr. But our market believes if we reach the bottom pitch (in salary) we can then climb upwards.

Jobs like Fast-food crews are laborious, and utterly different from foodcourt's cleaners. They work fast, and are highly coordinated with a captain crew, and with opening and closing utensil cleaning duties.

i ever saw a 70/80s aunty slipping down in a kopitiam foodcourt, and sent to A&E with minor but bloody mouth injury.

So as i grow older, i renegate from working in hotel coffeeshop(18-25), to fast food restaurant (20-40), to kopitiam (40-80).

Wonder how's worklife will be like to work in Casino as service crew ? Will salary be higher than $720/mth and fit my age at 80 above ?

Anonymous said...

thank you, Lucky, for highlighting the measly $4.50 pay. if my memory serves me correctly, that was the around same pay in MacDonalds some 20 years ago.

heehee, you poor are so f**ked. go on, vote for pap and have MORE GOOD YEARS!

Anonymous said...


It's more than $4.50/hr. Most of the package will include free lunch/dinner, uniform, transportation home after 12am, working in a air-conditioned environment, etc.

It adds up to more than $4.50/hr!No wonder "M" fasfood chain no longer sell burger without cheese.

How much a cheese burger now?

Anonymous said...

Cannot pay more to staff lah ..singkees won't want to pay more for fast food. Remember hor, this is a darwinian society.

vesance said...

"Working 9am to 5pm working from Monday to Friday standing for hours behind a counter, they get $720 a month."

It's all about "work ethics". SGD$720 is pretty close to the fortnightly unemployment support here.

Anonymous said...

work for burger king lol

Capt_Canuck said...

wow, $4.50/hour? is that Singaporean minimum wage, or is there such a thing there? Minimum wage here in Alberta, Canada is $7.00 (and we are the lowest paid province in Canada with the highest minimum wage being Nunavut Territory at $8.50) and I saw McDs down from my place is hiring at $7.50 for day shift/$8.50 for night shift.

Perhaps is it the PAPs way of motivating people not to be lazy. If there was a guaranteed old age pension scheme that would allow for a comfortable living automatically when you reach a certain age, you may slack off, not increase education and just be lazy because you really don't need money in your golden years. But with the prospect of a $4.50/hour job when you reach old age, you are motivated to work harder in your youth, save up money for your old age so you can afford the life and the job at McDs is more a subsidy than a lone income.

Old age has it's problem everywhere. We have our lazy elders here living on a fixed income, taking the measly little $473.09/month average given by the gov't. Mind you, this is our version of CPF, where we pay a percentage of our pay every cheque and then apply for it at 65 to live out our golden years.

I guess every country has its way of 'motivating' their people to work hard, save money and not to be totally self reliant on the gov't that controls them.

LuckySingaporean said...


I'm sorry that you come from a country without outstanding government. That is probably why your fast food workers are paid enough for a decent living...where is the motivation for them to upgrade to something better? By having a minimum wage, your govt have condemn your citizens to lifelong employment in the fast food industry. In Singapore probably 30% of the workers make less half of your minimum wage, see the large number of people motivated to better themselves in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Hey lucky,

Can you help elaborate and tell us more about the UNSW saga. Tell us how stupid they are to leave Singapore, so abruptly, and how selfish and evil of them to leave the students in limbo just like that.


GhostMan said...

15 years ago I was drawing $1100 as a technician in a Japanese electronic department.

Running 2 shifts.


NOW? $720 a month.

Where is the fuck progress???

Everything else goes up except our salaries.

And we have Million dollar minister to thank for this.

They should all be fired.

In a company, if a CEO doesn't performs, what happens? That right. Pack up, Jack and Fuck off.

We should have a sort of Key Performance Indicator for this MD (Million Dollar) MPs.

Like for example to increase the minimum wage for workers for Labour MD MP. Since they are so called elected for a term of 5 years, a yearly review should be done. Failure to hit target and if its not election year a cut in their pay. By election time, if their performance is still below target they should not be running for another term.

Anonymous said...


you only have yourself to blame. 15 years ago techician, now still technician? looks like you are contented being a technician. Manufacturing no longer has value here, thanks to China, Vietnam, etc.

Semiconductor wafers used be selling at USD2,500 per piece.

Now, you are lucky if you can sell it for USD1,000

get a life and move on.

lotiman - the loti way said...

old people taking $473.09/mth, or 3 free meals welfare, and be lazy - what is wrong ?

i don't think any millionaires like to see their mother and father applying for a job when at age 60, and would rather want their parents to be lazy everyday (relax, take life easy, or be own boss).

I believe in giving the poor, meaning to live on earth, esp. the poor. To them, life is just a short stinct on earth, and before they are gone, let them have some spiritual+physical welfare, instead of competing in society for a job.

But the problem is welfare here does not come from the gov, and our pockets are eyed constantly to pay for 25/40 welfare.

Anonymous said...

Its just one way of saying

Work your way to the bones and finally to a shallow grave.

This is life in Singapore.

And I hope it changes for the better in the near future.

For the rich : Keep their bellies full and their minds empty

For the poor: Keep them out and eventually they will fade off by natural causes.

Eventually we will have a "rich" society and all the past will be forgotten.

ghostman said...

Not a technician now. Retrenched. Upgraded. Have a degree. Look around. Can't find job. Why? You are too old.

3 years unemployed. Working odd jobs. Flat mortgage cannot service. (luckily HDB Loan) Wife nearly left me. Send to court for arrears in Town council Conservancy Charges.

Electricity got cut off a few times.

Go to CDC. What you got a degree? This place is not for you. You should be able to get a job easy outside.

Job vacancy :
1. Cleaner
2. Call Centre Operator
3. Taxi Driver.

I used to think I fight and die for this country. Right now I'm ready to pack up and go.

Screw this country with their MD MPs

Not quitting, nor staying but a survivor.

Thank the Lord the world is not only Singapore.

Moving out soon.

The next time I see the Singapore flag, I shit on it!!!

Anonymous said...

$720 a month? Even NSF officer cadets are paid better than that.

Filthdoll said...

why compare to canada or aus? their living costs are higher, therefore they are regulated in a way that the min wage is higher.
mac's at perth pays around AU$15/hour, because they have about 4 members crew. the old people dont work, they get pension.
singapore's fastfood outlet have like what, 10? and singapore doesnt have pension for all the old people.
fuckin hell.

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