Help Wanted – Must be Mentally Disabled

The United States current economic situation has been a popular topic in the media. Corporate America has responded with massive layoffs and nationwide store closures in order to trim expenditures. However, according to a recent article Mentally disabled workers found in squalor it appears that one company Henry’s Turkey Service predicted this economic slump 20 years ago and decided it would be best to minimize labor expenses by hiring the mentally disabled because they can be easily exploited and paid less. I commend the company for thinking outside the box in order to cut labor costs but anyone with morals can understand the dilemma here. To make matters worse the company required the disabled workers to live in a condemned building and even had the nerve to garnish the disabled workers wages in order to pay for the lodging. What is really sad is many of the workers have been with the company over 20 years with nothing to show for it. Any sane person would have quit that bull shit job a long time ago but obviously the mentally challenged didn’t realize they were worth more. This made me wonder, are many of us in similar situations as the mentally challenged hired by Henry’s Turkey Service? Seriously, I realize we have better living conditions but in reality how many people hate their jobs but endure it for 20 even 30 or more years with little or nothing to show for it? In regards to our jobs maybe many of us can be categorized as having a mental disorder. After all what sane person would spend most of their lives doing something they dislike?

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One Response

  1. Wow…..that makes me sick! It is unfathomable for me to think that people would treat other human beings like that, mentally challenged or not! This story really touches close to my heart though. I used to manage two group homes for developmentally disabled adults in Montana, and like kseefeld said, they can be easily exploited and paid less. Have any of you ever looked at the wage scales for developmentally disabled individuals? They don’t even have to be paid minimum wage. Having to see the charts and calculation sheets for the wages my clients earned while working with voc rehab made me sick. Basically they start at a rock bottom and have to work their way up to minimum wage (which quite honestly, very rarely happened with my clients). The non profit org I worked for ran a couple thrift shops so that is where many of the clients were employed. They did laundry for hours, and other tasks that many people wouldn’t want to do. But ya know what? Most of them loved their jobs! They loved making their own money, even if it was only a couple dollars a day. So yes, I can easily see how some sick and twisted people could easily take advantage of that. Hell, I had employees low enough that would steal stuff from my clients bedrooms.
    But wow, after reading that article and seeing how much those poor guys had to pay for housing to live in a dilapidated building with roaches and paying over a grand a month to stay there, that is truly exploitation. And yes, what about those social security checks? Although the checks aren’t always very big (in most cases, my clients would receive around $600 a month), you have to wonder where that money is going. There is a lot of paperwork involved with getting SS checks signed over, but now with direct deposit, I’m not sure what kind of procedures they have to check who the signers on the accounts are. Might be something to look into. I wonder how much more social security scamming there is out there with this population of people.
    I guess I shouldn’t be so shocked by it all; but I am. These people truly are sick and should probably be forced to be jailed in a house similar (or worse than) they made their employees live in.
    But now what happens to these guys? You can bet your ass that even though they say they want to keep all the men together, there is no group home out there that can house that many new people all together. I hope for their sake, they don’t end up in a mental hospital somewhere.

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