job application with reference page empty (l) man speaking with hand out (c) job application with 'range or hourly rate of pay' at '17/hr' (r)


‘You wouldn’t pay that if he had experience’: Manager calls out job applicant asking for $17 an hour with no experience. It backfires

'My daughter started her first job at Target making $18.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 26, 2023

A user on TikTok has sparked a debate after sharing a video chastising a job applicant for requesting a starting wage of $17 per hour.

“This is the stuff I love about hiring people,” says restaurant manager and TikTok user Luke (@lukeduke41011c) in a video with over 137,000 views. “This kid has never, has never had a fucking job a day in his life. Look at this shit.”

Luke then pans the camera to reveal a job application.

“No experience? I want $17 an hour,” he continues. “$17 an hour. You’ve never worked. Where the fuck do these people—.” The video cuts off before he finishes his sentence. 


♬ original sound – LukeDuke410

In the comments section, many users took the side of the applicant.

“You wouldn’t pay that if they had experience,” one commenter argued.

“Why does it matter that he’s never worked? You don’t do paid training?” asked another.

“Yeah so $17 an hour probably doesnt even cover gas and food,” stated a third.

Other users noted that many companies are now offering higher wages. 

“My daughter started her first job at Target making $18,” claimed a commenter.

“My daughter made that working fast food first job,” offered a second.

“Good for him. $17 is more than fair to start. Minimum wage in my state is $15 and most places are starting at $17 like WM and MD’s,” wrote a further TikToker.

As of 2021, McDonald’s claimed it would be paying entry-level employees $11 to $17 per hour and shift managers $15 to $20 an hour based on location, per CNBC. That said, many locations are already offering wages on the higher end of that spectrum and beyond, and McDonald’s itself stated that it expected the average wage for company employees to reach $15 by 2024.

For example, one user in Luke’s comment section wrote that “McDonald’s in my hometown offering 19 bucks an hour.” 

Still, some users took Luke’s side, with many discussing the minimum wage in general.

“Minimum wage is not meant to be lived off on. It’s a way for people to start off somewhere with a job. Normally high school or college students,” claimed a user.

“You are absolutely correct,” Luke replied. “This is not a career he’s applying for it is a job.”

While this is a common talking point, the minimum wage was initially intended to be livable, per Cornell Law.

“The purpose of the minimum wage was to stabilize the post-depression economy and protect the workers in the labor force,” Cornell Law writes. “The minimum wage was designed to create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees.”

Luke eventually responded to his detractors in a video.


♬ original sound – LukeDuke410

In this video, he questions whether paying less than $17 (“$15.50 an hour”) would still be unfair if he offered unlimited overtime, which is billed at $23 to $25 per hour.

Commenters were unconvinced.

“If you can pay them overtime [then] just pay overtime rate as regular pay,” said a commenter in part.

“They’re producing way more than what you’re trying to compensate them,” detailed an additional commenter. “[ask] yourself what value you actually produce.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Luke via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jan 26, 2023, 7:51 am CST