Should kids work?

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My latest episode for Momversation focuses on whether or not kids should work for their discretionary funds. CHILD LABOR FTW! I kid. 

I didn't get my first job until I graduated high school and that first job was as a salesgirl in a retail store at the mall. I'm not really a fashionista; I wear black because I have the styling ability of Rainbow Brite, and not in a cute-and-freckles kind of way. I was too buys playing the part of an angst-ridden teen to really do my job well, unless anyone tried to sell more than me, in which case I got really competitive because I took it as a personal offense if anyone sold more than me. Hi, 17, I don't miss you at all. 

My next job was as a waitress at a restaurant in the very same mall. I actually liked that job; I was really good on it and got a perfect rating from the secret shoppers. But OMG: you really don't realize how much you dislike people until you get a job in the service industry. I once had a table of frat boys throw a wadded up napkin to me as they exited upon finishing their meal. They hadn't paid their tab. I ran out to the parking lot after them, at which point they went off on me because HOW DARE I not unwad the dirty napkin to see that they paid the bill and left me a modest whole 8% tip! 

"We're going to want some of that tip back now," said one. 

"Take all of it," I replied, throwing it in their faces and turning to walk back inside.

The church people who came in on Sundays were my favorites. They'd eat their lunch and argue Scripture over coffee and always left me a big tip because they occupied my tables for so long. Jesus saves, Jesus pays. 

Working as a teenager made me realize that the world isn't paved with peppermint and that while jerks are annoying, they provide all the best fodder. If the economy doesn't kill our family business, I'd like for the boys to someday work there if they've earned it. In the meantime, I agree with Giyen in this episode: EVERY KID SHOULD WAIT TABLES.

What do you think? Did you work in school or through the summer? What was the job you hated or loved the most?


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