When Do You As A Parent Defend Your Student Worker From A Jackass?
My eldest daughter, 16, took the initiative this January and went out and got herself a job. She wanted more freedom to have her own money to spend. She had plans for buying a car. She had high expectations and soon realized that being a student worker isn’t easy. Yet she endured through the spring work of her sophomore year and into the summer when she took some dual credit courses here in town. They were harder than high school and that was an important lesson for her as well.
But as the 2012-13 school year wound down and the summer courses in college kicked in, management at her job changed and it soon became apparent, more than the normal complaints anyone would have about working in fast food, that the new manager had it out for her.
Trying to let her be 16 and maturing into a young adult, I bit my tongue and let things to continue to ride.
I heard complaints about how the manager was doing this, how he was contradicting himself, how he was picking on her, how he was saying she wasn’t greeting people as they came through the lines, etc. I’d been in the restaurant a couple of times and observed her working. She was never holding the walls up but was always active stocking and restocking the food bar and when there were people in line, she’d help get them the extra fish, or shrimp or whatever they were requesting/complaining about, and usually with something of a smile.
So this progressed. Then she wanted to take a week off for her finals because the college work was hard. Another weekend she wanted to take a Friday off because of the Warped Tour concert that she’s gone to each year for the past three. Another weekend, she wrote a note to the manager and let him know that she wasn’t going to be able to work the following weekend because I was to be out of town on business and she wouldn’t have a way to get to and from.
After that, and with ridicule then, he stopped putting her on the schedule. Two weeks ago now, after being left off the schedule twice again, and having decided that she wanted to concentrate on the new school year, my daughter took in a resignation letter. The same manager who had been showing his ass to her all summer long decided he needed one last hurrah and ridiculed her once again saying that he had been in honors this and that when he was in school, had worked nearly a full-time part-time position and still made high grades. It wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t good management on his part, and if he was all that great, he wouldn’t be working at that restaurant, he’d be running Apple or something.
Today, I finally went looking on the corporate site and wrote them a letter about how disappointed I was in their manager’s poor decisions. No, it’s not his job to be teaching high school students the ropes of life by holding their hands through their first jobs, but he didn’t have to be a jackass about it either.
When it is your child being picked on by an adult, when is the right time to finally step in and put a stop to the bullshit? Texas is a right to work state so technically, management can fire anyone for any reason at any time. But when a 16-year-old employee brings you a letter letting you know they’re quitting to focus on school, you don’t tell them you fired them two weeks ago, without calling them or giving them anything in writing, because “it was their job” to let you know that even though they had only asked for one week off, you decided it was their responsibility to tell them you could work once again the next week.
Depending on how the human resources department replies to my letter, this hopefully will be the last post about this. But as much of a jackass as this ass has been to my daughter, something tells me they’re going to need a negative PR campaign waged against them before it’s all over. Not what I want to do, but when you’re messing with my daughter and her future, well, we’re going to have issues.