Opinion Rant – WANTED or LOST: Hardworking Youths
Are they actually out there anymore or have they just become a little lost in finding payable employment? In all honesty, I think many have become too focused on dreams that require steppingstones to reach all that they want. I was lucky when I found my first job, I was humbled and appreciated all I learned working at a house and home store. I learned what sort of worker I was, what I could do, and what I needed to work on. I’m in my 20s now, but when I see some of these 16 to 20 years old, I feel sorry for them. Just because they are young and educated, they are not in fact entitled to whatever they want.
You may recall that I work in retail, at a dollar store, in order to afford the things I need. Though I do enjoy the atmosphere, the people, most of the customers, etc, I do not plan on making it my career. I do, however, see it as a steppingstone and a means to an end in order to fund my true career: writing. I handle my job as I would my career, whether it paid minimum wage or 100k a year. I treat my job in this manner because, just because it is retail and minimum wage, I would still want to receive the same dedication to their work if I were shopping there. That being said, currently I work with 4 18-20 year olds and workers of that age can go two ways: very well or very, very badly. Three of them are doing just excellently! The last however, well she is the reason for this small rant.
I do think most hardworking people and most parents would say that, although they want the best for their kids, which includes a well-paying career, everyone needs to begin somewhere. For many teens that means retail and that means working in a store that you may not particularly enjoy. I know this well, and being someone who was very fortunate in my first and second jobs, I do my best to make sure any new associate is treated very well and taught everything they need to know. Never do I give up on someone; no matter how long it takes for them to fit in I do everything I can to get them to that point. Sometimes though, there are individuals who just will not or are not capable of accepting the help that is handed to them on a silver platter. This young girl for some reason mistreats customers, disrespects her managers (including myself), and even the store manager and assistant store manager. It goes without saying that we have done nothing to provoke this behaviour from her, but she seems to think she’s entitled to be paid for doing the bare minimum while on the clock.
I understand that it is ‘only retail’ and many think extremely little of people working it, but I do believe it is an experience that everyone should have because it gives you empathy. Retail is such a large industry because it needs to support so many people and families in providing just their basic needs. So why, when someone is hired into a decent position with people who are kind and willing to help out wherever needed, they feel the need to act as though they beaten down every shift they have? If they think they are too good for the job or that the job isn’t worth their effort, than why apply and go through an interview to be hired? Why take up a decent job that someone else needs more than and will do better in because they need to?
This particular girl does have aspirations of being a vet but when I offered to help her prepare, she interrupted me, sassed me, and ignored anything I attempted to say to her. I have actually reached the point of giving up on helping her any further than work-related. Honestly, I hope she does end up hired if only to teach her that she is not above anyone else in her position just because she is young or had a rough childhood or for any other reason. We, I, want her to succeed at whatever she puts her mind to, I really do but at the same time she needs a good swift kick to her ego.
Why is it that the younger generation is not interested in working and earning their future? Yes, technology is far more accessible and consuming, but there are many careers that are based solely around those fields, most of which make very good money. Is it simply that we are just becoming lazier, that we do not have someone, like a parent or teacher that pushes us to be all we can be? I have no idea why anymore. I have no idea why, regardless of any aid presented to some of these kids, they are compelled to put up walls and barricades of their own making. I hope this generation and all that come after it find a means to become motivated because if they don’t, we’re all in serious trouble.