I'm a 17-year-old high school senior with plans of going to the University of New Mexico to study nuclear engineering. College is expensive and I work at the local McDonald's to save up for the growing price of tuition. I've been there for nine months now.
I am working during the holidays because I need the money in an economy which is slow to recover. Not as many customers are coming in lately, people are thinking they need to eat healthier, and we've been faced with declining hours.
I worked on Thanksgiving and we're closed on Christmas -- but I also offered to work on Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. I have more days off from school during winter break, so I'm telling them I can work those days too.
I earn $9.44 an hour, after being promoted to crew trainer back in July. I do not earn time-and-a-half on holidays. We don't even get free pop on our breaks -- they're cutting back on costs there too.
I'd rather be with my family celebrating the holidays, but it's a sacrifice that I hope is worth it in the end. I can only imagine how hard the choice must be for my fellow coworkers who have a much larger financial responsibility than myself.