Dr. Spencer Bagley, a professor at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, complained on Twitter about the fact that Panda Express is willing to pay a manager more than he gets paid as a college educator.
He was immediately roasted for his Feb. 11 post and called an "elitist."
"My salary as an associate professor of mathematics at Westminster College, three blocks away from this sign, is $61,500," tweeted Bagley, posting a picture of a recruitment sign from the massive Asian food chain advertising a general manager position that has a total potential annual compensation of "$69,000/Yr + Bonus."
The Panda Express advertisement also offered career opportunities for assistant manager with possible earnings of "$20/Hr + Bonus" and "Service & Kitchen Team" with potential salaries of $15 to $19 per hour for job-seekers.
Critics on social media were quick to lambast Bagley's calculation. One tweeted, "61.5k - 69k = 7500.00 less annually," asking Bagley: "What formula, exactly, did you use to come to the conclusion that you're making 'way less' than a General Manager at Panda Express (which has great, but somewhat overpriced, food)?"
Another critic wrote, "The sign also says 'Total Potential Annual Compensation or Earnings'. Likely the base pay requires certain performance targets being met, and then bonuses paid if higher targets are met. The $69K is not just having to deal with academia's politics," the Twitter user said to Bagley.
"[N]ext time: I'm an Associate Professor of Mathemetics and make $61,500 a year. I know that might sound like a lot but let me tell you what an average day looks like for me… oh and those breaks/holidays… HA I'm still working. (No need for pic)," a third critic noted on Twitter, quote tweeting Bagley's post.
"College costs way too much. Students leave college with soul crushing debt. We need to lower the cost of college so we are going to have to cut your pay in half. It’s more fair to the students that way. You can work 2 part time jobs like a lot of people do," an observer said to Bagley.
"You underestimate the work that goes into running a 7 day a week/ > 12 hr a day restaurant which relies on entry level workers to show up every day. To have quality, staff, service, cleanliness, etc is tough. Why don't you try it for a year?" yet another critic questioned Bagley in the original tweet's replies.
"[H]erein lies the growing disdain for capitalism among the educated. we've overproduced educated-elites w/ propped up ed lending & now they bemoan their low market values in a relatively crowded field/profession they chose. easier to blame a system than accept responsibility," a Twitter user quipped.
"He's comparing a college professor with many obscure holidays, a two month winter break, spring break and probably 30 hour weeks to a high stress fast paced job that's likely a minimum of 60 hours a week with no holidays off. What a poor guy," a sarcastic comment reads in response to Bagley's tweet.
"I promise that this tweet is not elitist, but anyway, I'm muting because my mentions are now unusable. Go hug a local educator," Bagley later responded in a Twitter thread, appearing to seek damage control. "The point of the tweet is that professors make way less than you think they do. That's all," Bagley added.
Bagley has since made his Twitter account private following the backlash. "The only statement visible to outsides now is his Twitter, which reads: "All labor is skilled labor | All workers are underpaid | Twitter was a mistake lol."