Some, hopefully constructive, criticism and concerns:
Yes, getting out of one's comfort zone is essential to life.
Being required to pump gas at 8, though, is a clear public safety concern (illegal in my state) along the lines of careless disregard for other people.
Withholding necessary basic supports like food, even just threatening such, even as a "learning tool" is just straight up abuse.
There's a difference between reasonable discomfort and treating others poorly for what sounds like exclusively (rationalized) personal gain.
Also so going to say that employers expecting greater flexibility/adaptability re:more senior responsibilities need to put some work into best practices for that regarding expectations and direct compensation, I would think.