Monday, April 09, 2007

Who Makes America Go Round?


Here in Dallas, many people are from other places.

Make no mistake, I have no problem with people immigrating -- if I did, I wouldn't be here, I'd be on the slopes of Ireland or Scotland paying the UK's exorbitant 40% taxes, digging potatoes from the soil, and dancing jigs and reels without moving my arms. If there were no immigrants, I'd be out of a job, as many of my students' parents came here from Mexico. Furthermore, I don't believe for a moment that anyone is taking any job that any native-born American wants. But I digress...

Not that long ago, a protest called "Day Without An Immigrant" was staged in which immigrants stayed home one day from work to show people the value of immigrants working in our society, and that they provide vital services that the country can't run well without.

Well, I don't dispute that, but I think that the day-to-day life of upwardly mobile 30 somethings like me is run from hidden centers of power not by immigrants, but by teenagers.

Such a thought is sobering, but stop and consider:

Did you buy fast food today?
Starbucks?
Go to Wal-Mart or Target and purchase something?
Get the car washed?
Go to Chili's for a burger?
Buy movie tickets?
Shop at any store in the mall?
Go out for ice cream?

How many people below the age of 21 (sorry kids, you're a teenager until at LEAST that long -- 40 is the new 30) did you encounter?

Sometimes, and it gives me a funny feeling when I realize this, you go to a place and find that the ENTIRE PLACE, from the manager down to the lowest employee are ALL people who are 15-20 years younger than you. Oddly, these places usually do a great job or a horrible job, seldom in between.

The scary thought is this:
What if all these employees slacked from their jobs at the same time?????

The impact could be astounding. The nation could, nay, WOULD! grind to a halt.

Forget "Day Without An Immigrant."

I fear "Teenager Skip Day" far more.

6 comments:

Dave Morris said...

Regarding illegal immigration - I saw a quote on the news last night, and the woman said "once we're here, we deserve to have the same rights as everyone else."

Bull-crap. That's like saying once you've snuck into a movie theater you've earned the right to stay and watch the movie.

Regarding kids running the place, I know what you're saying. It's scary... I find that a sedative helps me through thoughts like that! haha...

Violet said...

I understand both what you and Dave are saying on the immigration issue. But, that's beside the point.

Over the summers, I manage a pool where almost all of my employees are high school students; the rest are in college. It is amazing to see how hard some of them work and how much the rest of them don't understand what work ethic is, since mommy and daddy pay for everything they need. You are totally right about the all or nothing mentality of that age group of worker.

Ari said...

Well, Dave, I wasn't talking about iLLEgal immigration as such... I think if you wanna live here, you've gotta pay taxes just like I do. Your theater point is apt and accurate (which are probably the same thing).

Case in point, Violet: today I visited a Sonic where exactly no one was a high school kid. It sucked mightily. Had it been run by the work-ethic style of kid, it would likely have been accurate. Or apt. Or something besides a lack of cheese when I said CHEESEBURGER and a refusal to fix that.

The Unseen One said...

Ah yes, I remember my days of slinging burgers at Wendy's. It is an experience I would recommend to everyone. It is tedious work, and it builds character.

The sad thing, though, is going back to where you worked as a teenager and seeing several of the people you worked with still there.

Trevor Record said...

I'm glad for these teenagers simply because it is far more depressing to see people in their 30s serve you fries or bag your groceries. But if there were no teenagers, maybe those wouldn't be such pathetic jobs!

Hmm...

Ari said...

Yeah, I've had that experience at Target, where I worked for 8 years, ten years ago. I never quite know what to say or what to do there -- if I say hi, then I'm openly acknowledging that damn, you're STILL HERE??? and if I don't, then I'm a snob who thinks I'm better than a retail employee.

Yeah, Trevor, a working teenager is definitely better than a slacking one. All in all, any honest work is ok when you get down to it.

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