It’s June, ya’ll, which means 1) Its officially summer vacation for metro kids and 2) There’s about to be a lot of idle hands with nothing to do but the devil’s work, in my opinion. Having started my first job at the age of 14, I can speak from experience when I say child labor is the backbone of Oklahoma society; not only because of how cheap it is, but also because of the invaluable knowledge it bestows upon our youth. In fact, here are 7 skills Oklahoma kids learn in the first jobs!
1. Working Well with Others
Thanks to our glorious economy, there’s no such thing as a low-wage “job for teens” anymore. Kids working minimum wage jobs this summer have to be prepared to work with their peers, work release participants, a World War II veteran, and probably their school teachers.
2. Verbal De-Escalation Tactics
Whether its middle-aged men with an inverse relationship between their patience and the size of their beer bellies, Edmond Karens, or the occasional meth head, Oklahoma teens will have plenty of opportunities to develop and practice the verbal de-escalation techniques necessary to work in customer service.
Because if the teenagers employed by the fine establishments of Oklahoma City aren’t making sure the amusement park rides are running safely, the register is secure, and the chicken strips are cooked to a safe internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, nobody is.
4. To Say No to Drugs
Those “DARE” presentations and before-and-after posters of opiate users hanging up at the school nurse’s station ain’t got nothing on what you see working customer service after 9:00 PM at any given metro business.
In working their first job, it won’t take long before they learn that the entire restaurant will shut down if they ask to take a night off from bussing tables to go watch a Marvel movie. Despite working for minimum wage, their manager is helpless without them.
6. Burn Wound Care
Whether they’re a fry cook, a life guard in the Oklahoma summer sun, or a seasonal farmhand, burn wound care will be an integral skill to develop.
7. The Value of a Hard-Earned Dollar
The kids will learn to appreciate the hard work they put in to earn that $7.25 minimum wage. Which is important, because as they get older the pay hardly goes up from there.