Student Employment; the battle

Student Employment: The Battle Danny Murphy ‘12 As we jumped into the election year, all kinds of debates are taking over the nation. There is one in particular that seems to be reoccurring: Unemployment. The unemployment rate in America is about 10% and the truth is it’s hitting hard, even for students here at Elder High. As I sit at the lunch table I hear seniors talking about applying for jobs, and that opportunities are scarce. Many kids are looking for jobs to fund everything from senior trips to college endeavors. I, myself, have been pressured heavily by Dan Sr. to find something to do besides playing pick-up basketball games at various venues. In my search I found students around our own school who ARE and ARE NOT employed. I decided to make it my initiative to talk to them about their struggles, and successes. As I walked down the hall the other day I spotted David Huser with tears moist on his cheeks. I asked him what the matter was and sure enough, Dave had run his course with yet another job. David has been employed, and unemployed, on and off during his high school career. I took a few moments to sit down with the poor guy and discuss his bouts with high school employment. David explained, “Over these four years at Elder I have had 3 jobs”. He went on, “As you know Dan, I worked at Home City Ice for the past two summers with you and few guys. The job was hard work, but the hours were okay. The problem is, it’s only summer employment and bagging 22 pound bags of ice takes its toll on you.” I kept questioning as I stared into his beautiful eyes. “What else did you try your hand at Dave?” He got a little upset, but told me, “ Well, last summer I bought a power washer. Ya know? One of those heavy duty hoses? Well, I put out a flyer on Timberhill (his street) that offered to power wash their driveway for $20, but the feedback was nonexistent. I only reeled in one client: my grandparents. That’s when I hung up the power washer and moved on.” I looked at Dave, knowing I was starting to dust off the cobwebs of his not-so-fond memories of the power-washing days, and he continued. “The latest job I had was Subway. I made a mean sub Dano, but the place was owned by a family who spoke little-to-no English. After two days I turned in my apron and visor and headed back into unemployment.” David Huser has since been employed with his brother , in Saylor Park, at Jeff’s Drive-Thru. He has made a vow that he will not sell alcohol or tobacco to any underage customers, especially anyone from Tennessee (just ask Swilly). He’s fairly happy and continues to rake in bills. I wish him the best of luck! This conversation lit a fire in my belly to delve deeper into students employed at Elder High. I ran into an aggravated Andrew Welch. He was ranting and raving about his place of employment: the Larosa’s Call Center. I approached Andrew and without any questioning he told me, “I hate the place Danny. All day I answer phones and put in orders, and listen to people whine about their hoagies. It’s awful.” Andrew has been sticking it out for awhile now, but the truth is, he isn’t happy at all. He plans to continue to work there as long as it puts bread on the table. I interviewed Zack Coon just the other day. He is a senior at Elder and just hasn’t had any luck with employment. He told me, “Ya know, Murph, I have been everywhere looking for work. I went to PetsMart, Jungle Jim’s, Emily’s Baked Goods, and tons of other places and no one will hire!” I know Coon well and he has a very impressive resume. It is shocking to me that he has been unemployed so long. He said, “The truth is; this is just how it is in America these days. People just can’t find no work.” Coon has given up searching, for the time being. He was recently burdened with a suspicious ankle injury and is taking time to recover. The Quill staff wishes him luck. What I learned researching and writing this article is that jobs are far and few between. The job market..well, it’s in worse shape than this year’s football and basketball records combined. Kids simply can’t find jobs and when they do, they hate them. However, the economy is recovering. Things might start looking up. Keep your ear open and let me know if you hear of any jobs. As of now I may be pulling Dave’s power washer out of retirement to pay the bills. Good luck Elder. You’re going to need it. Oh, and call me if you need your driveway washed.