New York City's cheap manicures are big business, but manicurists earn criminally low wages while being charged fees to learn the trade.

If you've ever had your nails done in Manhattan, or even walked by the bright storefront of a nail salon in the New York Metro area, you get the sinking suspicion that something is going on inside. Something vile and unsettling and so frighteningly obvious that it can't be true. Well, The New York Times has confirmed your worst fears, and the details put any of your crappy jobs to shame.

Pay is virtually non-existant. Typically, beginners are forced to pay around $100 a day in cash to the owners of the salon, but they keep their meager tips. The owners say this is for the privilege of learning on the job, but unlike a school, it's up to the salon owner to determine when you are done "learning." It's like a paid internship, but in reverse! And if you complain, you could be sent to another country. So, not like that paid internship at Viacom at all, really.

Sources: The New York Times