Job seeker applies for management position at large retail chain

@dreamtwist/TikTok daniel kingg/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘What am I supposed to do?’: Job seeker applies for management position at large retail chain. They tell him it pays $12.50 mid-interview

'Are these companies crazy?'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 4, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:52 pm CST

A job seeker was shocked after applying for an assistant manager position only to be told in the middle of the interview that the company was paying just $12.50/hr for the retail role.

@Dreamtwist posted about his experience in a viral TikTok, where he elucidated that the interviewee even knew that the amount of money their company was offering for the gig was more than likely a figure that would put off a lot of people.

The TikToker begins his video by stating: “I’m beginning to think everyone’s just doomed. I just finished an interview with a large national retail chain for an assistant manager position, right. And halfway through the interview, the lady’s like so I’m sorry to let you know this, I understand if this makes you not interested anymore, but this position: $12.50 an hour.”

After relaying this amount of money he looks to the camera to intone his disbelief/dissatisfaction with this salary. He countered back to see if there was any hope for more cash per hour in a better position, “OK, what if I was moved up to just store manager position? $12.75. What am I supposed to do? Like, I love retail, like I used to make a lot of money in retail where did that go? Where is the money? What… if you can charge so much for everything, everything is more expensive now, and they just get away with that, because people have to spend money on things they need, how, I don’t, where’s the rest of the money? Where did it go?” 

He went on to say that while there does seem to be other avenues in earning more money, like becoming proficient in a particular trade or becoming a coder/software engineer. He says that these aren’t viable options for him in the area that he lives: “And you know I would love to learn a trade but who has time for that anymore? You don’t get paid to learn from most places. I don’t have any places near me that will pay me to learn to weld, code, anything like that, I just have to, you know, fish for sh*t out of a sewer, and hope one of those little turd nuggets has gold in it. There’s… I have no opportunity… there’s no factories out here hiring, I live in the middle of the f*cking mountains. There’s, there’s nothing.”

Dreamtwist added that he can’t even return to his former position at Walmart due to being injured on the job and that he’s now banned from being employed there for a specific amount of time: “I did work at Walmart for a little bit, I had fun doing it then I got injured and I couldn’t come back and now I’m banned from working at Walmart for the next I don’t know how many months… it’s so stupid. In conclusion, does anybody know of any like OK-ish money work from home jobs I can do? Did everyone go back to the office, like do call centers just not exist anymore? I, I need some help,” the TikToker says at the end of the clip.

Numerous commenters who watched his clip sympathized with his plight, with one person writing: “This is why they should post salary in the job posting. They wasting everyone’s time,” one wrote.

Another TikTok user highlighted the absurdity of some of the pay scales at these positions, highlighting how some businesses aren’t even factoring inflation into the salaries for their employees: “I was offered my old position at a job from 20 years ago… FOR THE SAME PAY AS 20 YEARS AGO.”

Someone else just couldn’t believe a business was offering $12/hr for any job these days: “The way I cackled at “$12 an hour”… in 2024 these companies are crazy”

@dreamtwist I would ask “what is going on” but i know exactly what is going on #fyp #job ♬ original sound – dreamtwist

In regards to Dreamtwist’s reference to learning how to code in order to secure a decent paying position, there was one TikToker who mentioned the slew of tech layoffs that occurred in 2023, leaving some 224,503 Americans without jobs.

As for learning a trade and getting paid to do so, there are apprenticeship opportunities on the website, and there are public figures, like Mike Rowe of the TV show Dirty Jobs, who have urged many Americans to take on trade and skilled labor positions. In fact, LinkedIn has published a piece detailing how the severe lack of skilled laborers in the United States is adversely affecting various industries. And according to the US Census, the government mandates implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have culminated in a loss of 1.4 million manufacturing jobs.

One TikTok viewer who left a comment in response to Dreamtwist’s video stated that they don’t get paid enough for their job managing a team of 10 different people at a bank: “I get paid 65k a year to manage 10 people at a bank and it’s not enough. retail is wild”

Someone else said that despite working two jobs they are still struggling to make ends meet, despite having a degree: “I’m a janitor at two places and I still don’t know how I’m going to pay rent in February. I have a bachelor’s in graphic design.”

Another commenter on the platform speculated the the future of living for Americans is going to look much, much different, and that individuals will be forced to create communal living situations in order to get by: “One day we may all have to form small communes together just to survive.”

Someone else highlighted the inequities of pay/salaries by comparing what they make compared to the retail position Dreamtwist discussed in his video: “I was getting payed 18hr STARTING just for tossing pizza around”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Dreamtwist via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Feb 4, 2024, 5:00 pm CST