Won't pay us? Fine, we'll pay ourselves.
(This is a little long, sorry about that, but I’ve been waiting decades to tell this story.)
I grew up in a small town in the South. Summer jobs were hard to come by, unless you wanted to drive an hour away to the city. We had a few mechanics, some gas stations, a general store, and a church on every block. There were a lot of farms around that would hire high school kids, but summers in the South are hot and humid. The holy grail was an indoor job with air conditioning.
The summer before my senior year, I thought that my buddies and I– let’s call them Fred and Ben– had landed an awesome job at the general store. The owner, who I will call D*ckface, needed three people to unload the trucks and stock shelves in the morning. We had to report for work at 5 am, but it was only three days a week, and we were done by 10, meaning we had the rest of the day to lay around and fish.
Now, there were some red flags that I, being young, did not recognize at the time. The fact that D*ckface wrote IOU slips at the end of every week instead of checks was a huge one. He promised to pay us in full at the end of the month. We were kind of pissed that we wouldn’t have money to spend, but it was an easy job with good hours, so we kept working, looking forward to that sweet paycheck at the end of the month. With it being an under-the-table job, there wasn’t too much I could do.