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$3.85 dollars an hour. I may cry

Nurses   (1,680 Views 17 Comments)
by Nickc58 Nickc58 (Member)

660 Visitors; 31 Posts

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Hey guys, just wanted to share my frustrations with everyone on this wonderful Thursday night. So the title of my post is true. I just made $3.85 an hour for twenty hours worth of work for a whopping 77 dollars! NOW, this is not a nursing job. I am a new graduate and have signed on for a hospital in North Carolina (which I am EXTREMELY excited for). I don’t start until August however. So for the meantime I moved in with my father in a massively redneck town in upstate NY (which I love, I’ll always have redneck blood in me!). He set me up at the local restaurant washing dishes. The owner told me he was going to pay me under the table. I thought I had it made. I’d make a decent amount of money, not pay any rent, and hang out with my dad for the summer before I moved. A week and 20 hours later I received my first pay envelope....with 77 dollars. I wanted to cry. I have no bills to pay, and I’m honestly kind of grateful just to kill time, but $3.85 an hour, especially when I’ve already signed on for a job in the mid 20’s, is one of the worst feelings ever. I’m going to approach the owner in a respectful way and ask if this is correct, and if it is I’m going to ask for something a little more realistic. I am counting down the seconds till I start making a realistic wage again. It’s been far too long. This waiting period before I start my first nursing job may be worse than actual nursing school 

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

64,311 Visitors; 6,165 Posts

The thing about paying an employee "under the table" is that you have to make sure you're making it worthwhile for the employee to not report you for committing a federal felony by basically paying them more than they would make otherwise.  I would not hesitate to report your "employer" for criminal fraud.

Here are the contacts in your area for the Department of Labor Wage and Hour division: https://www.dol.gov/whd/local/#stateDetails

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20,872 Visitors; 1,853 Posts

Umm thats not even close to minimum.is it cause ur leaving in august as to why you took a under the table job ? There must be other seasonal jobs available.what about temp home health aide ?

If not, can the dishwash job.enjoy your time off. It might be the last time off u have for the next year or so...

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Ponymom2 has 1 years experience.

311 Visitors; 21 Posts

You started working not knowing what you were gonna be paid?

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

3,639 Visitors; 504 Posts

Here are some better possible options (well almost anything might be better, but still)

a. Learn bartending. I used to wait tables (and was horrible at it), but still made 150-200 per day "working a double shift" from around 1000 in the morniing until 2100 at night (plus another 2.25 in wages per hour). This was in the mid 1990's in Indianapolis at a Max and Ermas.  The bartender that I knew there would typically DOUBLE my take.  

b. Wait tables (see above). Also builds time management skills useful in healthcare. Even Waffle House or Bob Evans, Denny's can be really good due to high volume and steady business all day long.

c. Uber/Lyft can be good especially if you have access to a minivan.  Even with only a car if you also do "Uber Eats" type services you can make decent money. When I order wings at the hospital I usually tip the driver about $10.00 to $20.00 on top of the service fee (that's on a $75.00 order).  

d.  Consider starting your own "lawn care" business/grass cutting.   

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660 Visitors; 31 Posts

Hey guys, thanks for replying. I reacted too quickly. I spoke with the owner and he made a mistake on pay. Problem solved. Guess I was just having a bad night...

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

28,881 Visitors; 2,885 Posts

8 hours ago, Nickc58 said:

Hey guys, thanks for replying. I reacted too quickly. I spoke with the owner and he made a mistake on pay. Problem solved. Guess I was just having a bad night...

I kind of wonder if he only admitted to "making a mistake" on your pay because you called him out on it?   Any way, as long as you are happy with the arrangement maybe you shouldn't be talking about it any more on a public forum because whether he is paying you fairly or not paying you under the table is still illegal. 

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JBudd has 38 years experience as a MSN and specializes in trauma, teaching.

2 Followers; 1 Article; 35,275 Visitors; 3,718 Posts

yeah, that (above post).

BONs don't like illegalities that can call your trustworthiness into doubt.

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KarenMS has 1 years experience.

2,131 Visitors; 123 Posts

Kind of lol-ing at the idea that anyone from the BON is trolling this site for untrustworthy new grads with anonymous user names 😂

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

28,881 Visitors; 2,885 Posts

7 hours ago, KarenMS said:

Kind of lol-ing at the idea that anyone from the BON is trolling this site for untrustworthy new grads with anonymous user names 😂

You're right. Not very likely. Also not totally impossible. Again not likely but  also not impossible that somebody mentions this thread to their friend/SO in law enforcement that just happens to work in a "massively redneck town in upstate NY" that decides to look into this.  OP wouldn't be a primary target of investigation, the employer would. I'm guessing paying summer help under the table is a pattern there. Sadly if the employer is caught at this  the OP could potentially become collateral damage.

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rearviewmirror is a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

5,995 Visitors; 230 Posts


Hot dang, are the dishes and plates paying you tips?

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311 Visitors; 55 Posts

The way he's paying you as well as the rate that he's paying you is illegal.  Quit that job now and report him.  $3.85 is not a livable or fair wage for anyone, and this guy sounds like a cheapskate.  Dishwashers should at the very least make minimum wage, which in NY is significantly higher than $3.85. 

Edited to add that I just now read your reply- you should still quit and work somewhere that's "on the books"

Whatever you do, do NOT give this guy your SS#.  

Edited by BSNbound21

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