DEAR DARK LORD: What Is a ‘Living Wage’ and Why Do My Minions Keep Asking for One?
Dear Dark Lord Letter #12
Dear Dark Lord,
I’ve always treated my minions fairly. I give rousing speeches from atop my tower to rile them up before battle, I toss plenty of chum into their barracks pit at mealtime, and I give them one free day per month where they can rape and pillage across the countryside at their leisure.
But now they act as if, after all these years, I’ve given them nothing. My minions keep demanding that I pay them a “living wage,” but what even is that?
I’ve scoured the Evil Employment Regulations and have not seen anything about “living” or “wages.” Is this some new fad in dark armies that I’m not aware of?
From the day they’re first spawned in my incubation trenches I give my minions everything they need to live a nasty, brutish, short, and quasi-sentient existence. Their days are filled with a wholesome program of training, battles, and other menial tasks to further whatever evil schemes I happen to be plotting that week. The work day is a manageable 23 hours, plus one hour for worshipping me. For the minions fated to fight on the front lines against the Forces of Good, weapons and armour are complimentary. I even offer dental insurance (not that any of them can afford teeth!).
If that’s not “living” then I don’t know what is.
It’s not that I don’t have the financial means to pay them wages if I wanted to. I literally have mountains of looted treasure piled up in my catacombs just sitting there. But when I’m depressed I like to wallow in the cold darkness of the catacombs, running my fingers and face through the shadowy mounds of riches for days on end. Personally, I think this is a much better use of my money.
What should I do? Should I pay my minions a so-called “living wage”? Should I refuse? Or should I spawn a few economist minions to do further research into the matter? (I would really like to avoid the last choice. Economist minions are the worst.)
The Wage Sage
Dear The Wage Sage,
For starters, definitely don’t spawn any economist minions. Overlord knows we have too many of them as is.
I haven’t looked too deeply into this whole “living wage” thing, because any time I hear rumours of it amongst my minions I immediately have them all executed. But it’s definitely not good.
What worries me most about your situation is how the idea has somehow infiltrated their puny minion-brains that a decent quality of life is something that is attainable. Have you accidentally let slip the fact that there are extant career fields other than minion and slave soldier? Has there been an infectious outbreak of hope amongst the ranks?
It seems to me that these demands for a living wage are due not so much to the needs of your minions, as to a failure in your propaganda enterprise, and possibly a contagion of hope.
Hope is a virus that must be excised immediately lest it poison your minions’ minds with dreams and optimism.
Then there’s the matter of budgeting. I, too, enjoy wallowing in my catacomb treasure hoards when I’m feeling blue. The thought that even one coin from my coffers would go towards paying for a minion’s wellbeing makes me so mad that I just stabbed my lieutenant and now I have to spawn another one.
All that to say: a living wage is out of the question. Give them a rod and they’ll take a furlong, I always say. If you give them a living wage today, tomorrow they’ll be asking for 22-hour work days, or higher quality chum during the evening chum dump.
Maybe consider a dying wage instead? (A dying wage, of course, is nothing. But your stupid minions don’t know that.)
Until then, I remain, dear vassal, thy Vile Master,
Dark Lord Dörgu Bøgerleshk, Bane of the Nrymbobl, Usurper of Forlorn Souls, Blood Govourner of the Flaming Infernal Swamplands