Teens Speak Up on Working Conditions


Working teenagers can have a hard time managing homework, sports, work and a social life during the school year, but having a job can make work a little bit easier. 

“Target became my social life,” junior Noah Herrera said. Herrera works at Target and has many crazy stories that can make work a little bit harder. One day, Herrera was working behind the counter and a lady with many items had to use the bathroom. She asked Herrera and one of his coworkers to store her stuff behind their counter. When she finally came out of the bathroom after about thirty minutes, the women started to get anxious when she could not find her items. She then called Herrera names and cursed him out.

“My first reaction was ‘this woman is crazy,’ but once she started to curse me out, I was a little offended,” Herrera said.

This is an example of the complications of working at a place like Target. Many students like Herrera work at places that, even if not permanent, teach skills for the future. There are many places for teenagers can find employment. There are big stores like Target, ice cream shops and restaurants. Herrera said he has also worked at a smaller shop.    

“I’ve been a bag boy at a golf pro shop at the Country Club of Fairfax,” Herrera said. “[But] I definitely recommend [working at] Target. It may seem like an easy job, but any job has its ups and downs.

Herrera said some lowlights for anybody who works is its cut into social and family time. He also said it helps to be a nice person for a job at a place like Target, because both customers and coworkers enjoy working with considerable people.

“If you are trying to find a job at Target, make your availability open, work hard and be open with your boss,” Herrera said.

Another place to work at is Cold Stone Creamery, which is an ice cream franchise.

“I have been working at Cold Stone for five months,” junior James Lynch said. “It’s a very demanding job because there are only three or four people working at a time, but I get ice cream and get to put a smile on people’s faces.”

At Cold Stone, whenever a customer puts in a tip, all the workers sing.

“The worst thing about Cold Stone has to have to remember each little detail for everything,” Lynch said.

Jobs can help with someone’s future. “I feel it helps me with my people skills and responsibilities with things like cleaning,” Lynch said.

Gabby Rojtman has a different job than most high school students in that her job requires a special skill. She is a dancer for Ultrasound Deejays. She dances and pumps the crowd up at parties. Her job uses social skills that can help later in life.

“You can’t be socially awkward and do this job,” Rojtman said.

She only works on Friday and Saturday nights, so it doesn’t affect her school work.

“I really, really like my job,” Rojtman said.

The parties that Rojtman attends to is normally bar and bat mitzvahs. She said she is there to get the crowd dancing and she makes sure everyone is having fun. When Rojtman was younger, the people of Ultrasound saw her and wanted her to be a dancer, so, when she turned 16 years old, Rojtman started to work.

“[I work at] Kingstowne 16 Movie Theater and [what I like about working there] is meeting new people and getting to see free movies when I am off,” senior Ricardo De Asis said. “I don’t like rude customers. Customers complaining about the lines and the lines going too slow is the worst.”

De Asis said he likes how he has gotten many new friends from working at that movie theater, but he is not so thrilled about the pay.

Working can provide skills that are needed for the future. But they also take time away from family and friends.

“It’s not worth [working] because as a teen you are supposed to focus on schoolwork and friendships,” Herrera said. “Also, to enjoy life right now because you are going to work after high school.”

Working can influence someone to make an invention or to help their community. Even though work is boring or difficult, it can impact the worker and everyone around him or her. Learning to work as a teenager can take a lot of energy out of someone, but prove they have the essence to work a job.