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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Get a job, kid

Every teenager should be required to work a grubby job:

I believe internships and travel are enriching and can help young people build their visions of the world and place in it, and my children have experienced both. But they aren’t a substitute for a grubby job with an unreasonable boss and an inflexible schedule. This too is part of the real world. Nobody wants to hire an attorney or brain surgeon and find out their case is his first real job.

A minimum wage job also teaches humility. It can be a good thing for a child who has been told he’s special since birth to learn he’s not too special to clean the fryer. A 2013 New York Times article on a new private school opening in Manhattan said educators’ research had shown that top colleges found New York City applicants lacking in humility. The parents’ answer: teach humility at a private school for upwards of $40,000 per year. I can’t help but picture the Dalai Lama being flown in on a dad’s Netjet for an afternoon seminar. Wouldn’t a shift at the Yogi Berry be simpler and more cost effective?

I realize this is the "these kids today have it so easy" school of fuddy-duddyism, but I think the point is valid. Working a crap job for an idiot boss teaches you the most valuable lesson that sometimes life just ain't fair, so you gotta shake it off and move on. 

The writer notes that between 1990 and 2012 the percentage of high schoolers with part-time jobs dropped from 32 to 16 percent, in part because of adults snapping up the jobs in a lousy economy but also because the affluent think it is beneath them, the spoiled brats. Like I said, fuddy-duddyism.