Teenage Unemployment

The naive 16 year old, who has just passed the driver’s test, has experienced the feeling of independence, and he/she likes it, and he/she wants more of this ‘independence.’  Unfortunately for said teen, independence requires funding for essentials like gas, insurance, food, and every other need that parents realize they don’t need to provide anymore.  It is in that moment that the teen realizes that it’s time to get a job.  At first, this teen is eager to get out there, and start making money, and start providing for his/herself.  Then, he/she realizes that getting a job actually means working.  However, it is pretty cool to get a paycheck.  But then, the newness of the job wears off, and he/she falls into hating his/her job.

No one ever tells you how much it sucks to lose a first job.  Most likely because no one ever expects you to lose an entry level job, but still, a little warning would’ve been nice.  As many employed persons don’t realize, having a job is a gift.  Many employees take for granted the comparably low, $100 paycheck, but I’m here to tell you that that paycheck is a privilege, and it’s definitely not something you should be complaining about.  To someone who hasn’t had income for two months, that $100 would be a godsend.

As teenagers, we have expenses; the 12am Taco Bell runs, gas for driving aimlessly around the westside, the trendy tops that will only be worn once, concert tickets, the gym membership you have just to say you have, countless before school donuts, countless after school donuts, and the list goes on and on.  In the two months that I have been unemployed, I have had to learn the hard way that those expenses are actually luxuries only someone with a job can afford.

So what is the cause of my joblessness, you wonder?  My own irresponsibility and entitled attitude about my previous job, which brings me to reiterating my point; TAKE NOTHING ABOUT A JOB FOR GRANTED.  Once I had been at my job for a decent amount of time, I became a little too comfortable, which was my first mistake.  I thought it was OK to be a few minutes late, I didn’t think that having my phone out was bad, and I had lost my sense of urgency.  So when I did something wrong (a no call, no show), they didn’t really see a reason to not fire me.  I’m not saying I was a bad employee by any means, what I’m saying is that I kind of forgot the reason why I was at work, while I was at work.  It eventually caught up to me, and in turn, I was canned.

After my termination, I immediately began applying for any and every job.  I became a little discouraged after the first few weeks; I had filled out about five applications, and I didn’t get a call from anyone.  My bank account was decreasing as my stress was increasing and I still had no leads.  I asked all around to my friends to see if their workplaces were hiring, and sure enough, one was; Subway.  I quickly went and filled out an application in the store, and luckily for me the manager was in and gave me and on-the-spot interview, which led to my getting hired.  I had never sighed with greater relief.  Financial stability would soon at last be mine again, and there was no greater feeling.

Moral of the story: don’t ever, under any circumstances, take your job for granted.  It is a privilege to be able to make money and work somewhere.  Take it from someone who knows.

Julia Von Allmen ’16

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