Psstt, teens of working age ... can we talk?
Come here. I hate to break this to you but you teenagers and just out of teenhood have a pretty bad reputation as workers. Frankly, as a class of workers, you guys stink.
I'm not sure where this comes from but I have a few ideas.
I'll just go ahead and say it. You were raised to think you deserve a lot of stuff just given to you. Paychecks included. Like it's some kind of human right that someone just give you money. This is America, you are told, and nobody should do without - even if you want to do absolutely nothing to earn it.
Maybe it started with the notion that Santa Claus rewards everyone for just being nice. Never mind that your parents worked for everything Santa gave you. It probably has more to do with the state and federal government leaders -Democrats mostly - who give everything "free" in exchange for a vote (wink wink). But remember, much like your parents buying all of gifts from Santa, hardworking people like me are paying for your free condoms, abortions, healthcare, Obama phones, food stamps, subsidized transportation, and let's not forget "free" money at income tax time in the guise of an "earned income tax credit." Forgive me if I'm just a little tired of having to pay for those freebies the party of Obama gets credit for. We work for the money that the government is taking from our paychecks to give others who find work beneath them.
Your culture is partly to blame. You're a spoiled lot. In junior high school - strike that, I meant elementary school - you expect your parents to hand you a free cell phone and pay for its monthly service. In high school you expect them to go into debt to buy you not a beater car but a new sporty car - one which you might race around the streets - and pay for your insurance. And if you get jailed for doing wrong, Mommy and Daddy are there to bail you out instead of have you face the consequence.
No surprise that a recent headline noted that millennials want to send troops to fight ISIS but don't want to serve. They don't want to do much of anything.
It's a good gig. Heck, who wouldn't want everything given to them? But at age 54 I'd be embarrassed to be milking my parents for money so I'll give you the benefit of a doubt and say maybe it comes with your age and immaturity.
I can tell you're offended by what I have to say. I forget that people today think they have a right to not be offended in America. But, of course, I blame many of your teachers who believe in a different version of American history and have a distorted view of America. You don't even have a clue what the Constitution says. You may even think it's optional to run roughshod over the Constitution and ban guns because you'd feel safer (even though you wouldn't be) and because your Socialist-in-Chief wants it. (He isn't above the law.) If you are in college it will continue with professors selling you their leftist ideology and shut down anyone who disagrees with them.
Perhaps your lack of a work ethic owes to the fact that you just haven't learned life's lessons yet. It won't take long for you to figure out that if you want something of value in life, you have to work your butt off for it, not skate by. You don't get into a $350,000 house or buy a boat or an SUV or take vacations by being a slacker.
And yes, to quote "Back to the Future" Principal Strickland, a lot of you young workers are slackers.
I hear this all the time from the older workers I encounter.
Like the time two weeks ago when I was shopping at a CVS store. Around 7:15 a.m. on the way to work (while you were probably still asleep), I took my purchase to the counter. I believed that the female clerk, probably in her late 40s, made her way behind the counter because she saw me but she had her face buried in a tabloid she plucked off the shelf. She continued reading as I waited. It was apparent she didn't see me. I cleared my throat: "Uh, is there somebody who can ring me up?" Startled, she looked up and apologized profusely that she didn't see me. I had no reason to doubt her as she explained how tired she was at the end of a shift she was covering for a younger employee who called in sick. She told me that the young ones do it all the time.
Last week I was asked by an employee of a Subway where I frequent if I had been to their new store closer to my home. It is a nice store where no expenses had been spared, she said, but they were having problems in training decent people for it. Some trainees didn't work out because they didn't know how to build a sandwich - even with a cheat sheet available. Her words were that "they can't seem to do it."
There's many tough jobs in the world - such as putting oil rig fires, embalming dead bodies, cutting cancer out of brains and practicing law - but building a sandwich isn't one of them. Subway may call their sandwich builders "artists" but it is a pretty basic task. You cut the bread in half. You slap on whatever the customer wants. You close it. You wrap it. You ring it up. It's not rocket science.
I can see how those who made poor choices about getting enough sleep the night before might struggle with slapping meat and cheese on bread but I have to wonder about the future of America if you can't handle sandwich making. I mean, Miss Young Worker likely drove to her job interview in a car with a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker, wearing thick makeup and the tightest top available to tell the boss that she's an exceptionally hard worker. Now that she has the job she can't figure out a sandwich - when she feels like showing up. She probably should have disclosed that she'd call in sick quicker than a jack rabbit on a date if something like a hangover or day at the lake came along. Full disclosure would save everybody a lot of frustration.
One part-time female employee who works just three days a week, I was told, had been on the job for three weeks and has called in sick about 10 times.
The 50-something supervisor informed me - and this is a quote: "They want a job but they don't actually want to be here. They want a paycheck but they don't want to work for it."
I dropped into the new restaurant Friday. It was nice alright but the new sandwich "artist" seemed awkward. And in an example to refute the need to raise the minimum wage, when I asked for ham on my sandwich, the pimply-faced girl said, "You mean real ham or roast beef?" Two different animals, sweetheart.
Then there's the dishonest employee, you know, the one who not only takes free food but gives out free food to friends and family. I had a friend in the 1980s just like that. He called it "hooking up." I called it stealing. He didn't pay for that food. But our socialist government preaches the concept of letting somebody else - corporations or wealthy people who earned what they have - to pay for it.
I could write a book about the fast-food employee who piddle their time away on smart phones when they could be sweeping the floors or cleaning.
I get that some customers can be rough on employees and everyone has a rough day but there's some unnecessarily poor attitudes among young workers. I've been served by some young people with an attitude so bad they made me most unwelcome. About seven years ago I dropped into the Oakdale Jack in the Box and we noticed a visibly disgruntled young lady. My son Jeremy and I mentioned something like "Smile. Things aren't that bad are they?" to which she said, "Life sucks."
Because so many are skating by, the exceptional young workers stand out. I shall never forget the great attitudes I saw on display by young women at the Mitchell Road Burger King and the one on Hatch Road.
Since conservatives are vilified by your teachers, I'll counter with some lessons from some high-profile Republicans. Ben Carson said: "It's not what you do but that kind of job you do that makes the difference." He's a brain surgeon in case you didn't know.
Donald Trump said: "Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan a takeoff. Don't just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won't happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you'll love it up here."
Lest you think Trump is nothing but a rich greedy man, I'll leave you with a quote of Habeeb Akande, author of "Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam": "The difference between greed and ambition is a greedy person desires things he isn't prepared to work for."
My advice: Work for your place of business as if you own it. Cream rises to the top.
Prove Principal Strickland wrong and stop being a slacker.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at email@example.com