The Truth Behind the Chicken

Debate student’s essay from Ms. Habig’s Debate class.


Mia Stacey, Student

I get home around 3:30pm, pushing back more time trying to rush to your car to beat the traffic or waiting to get dropped off the bus. I have 15 minutes from the time I get home to change, freshen up, and get out the door for work. I go to start my shift at Chick-fil-A. My shift starts at 4pm. I get a 30-minute break and then I am consistently working till we close at 9pm. My shift can vary from when I get out anywhere from 10:15pm to 11:30pm. My coworkers called off, now we are understaffed but it’s my pleasure to go above and beyond just to get your food out to you and you still complain its cold. I didn’t bag your food so why is it my fault that you were missing something, but it would be my pleasure to go and grab that for you. I didn’t take your order so why is it my fault the cashier rung up an 8-count nugget instead of a 12-count nugget, but it would be my pleasure to go get that 12-count nugget for you. I didn’t make your sandwich so why is it my fault the kitchen put pickles on your sandwich, but it would be my pleasure to grab a new sandwich for you.

Work, 4 letters but each letter has a meaning behind it.

W for worrisome, of if I’m going to get yelled at today, if I have enough time to get my homework done or if I’m going to have to stay up late again.

O for overwhelming, worrying about taking out all the customers’ orders while refilling drinks, while training a new hire how to multitask and learn this position, while getting you a new sandwich because you order nuggets, but I clearly should’ve known that you meant you wanted a sandwich.

R for ready to leave. Not much to touch base on that besides the fact that I am tired and want to just go to bed or that I don’t feel well but I didn’t find coverage, so I had to suck it up. Also, to say that I am a teen in high school, and I have a life outside of work, going to school for 8 hours and then try to fit in extracurricular activates.

K for keeping myself sane. You know they always say just smile and the customer is always right but being the 16-year-old young teen, I am being talked down upon and disrespected by adult I tend to about lose it. No matter how you write it still spells unhappiness, I want to retreat, it still sounds repetition my tongue is going numb from all the “how may I serve you today”, “can I help you with anything else today?” “My pleasure!”

Like a broken record the day repeats. My body is getting weaker, my brain stops working, my tears are burning on my pale skin, my eyes are red from crying, I’m sick. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I feel useless, I feel stupid, I forget who I am. For what? The only goal is to be successful and make business stronger, satisfy the customers, nothing else matters. Turn on your friends because you’re in a competition with them for that raise. Don’t get too close with anyone or they might throw you under the bus when the hard work comes. Be friends with everyone, you don’t want to get the worst position. They say that even though we are kids we should be grateful we are “just children” we are so much more than that. You yell at me because the lines too long and you have somewhere to be but let’s mention that its -5 degrees outside and I’m standing there waiting for the line to move so I can take more orders, but it’s my pleasure to take your order while I can feel the frost bite starting. It would be my pleasure to get you the food you didn’t order but I’m too afraid to say anything to you.

We get carried away by the stereotypes in our lives and more of those things which can cause a great number of things like maybe depression or anxiety and lots more from being mistreated at work. It causes us to feel these things even as teenagers we are just as much as the adult to but sometimes, they don’t understand that yet. Most people remember their first summer or after-school job, which provided cash to help pay for college or a car. Today, vehicles and higher education — among other expenses — cost significantly more. Yet fewer teenagers are working. The share of teens participating in the labor force peaked 40 years ago and has declined ever since. In 1979, nearly 60% of American teenagers were employed, an all-time high. Today, just over one-third, or 35%, of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are part of the workforce. Teens are less likely to work part-time while in school and also less likely to work over the summer, according to a study by the Hamilton Project and Brookings Institution. “High school has become more intense,” said Lauren Bauer, a co-author of the study. “We have increasing demands on what it is that high schoolers need to be doing and how much time that takes,” she said, including “not only homework and course requirements but other graduation requirements like public service.” Is it really because they have too much going on with school or is it because when you go to work you are getting yelled at and belittled by your customers, but it’s my pleasure.

While there are some potential perks to working while in high school, research shows there are some drawbacks as well. Going into your daily shift and getting shut down and yelled at immediately by someone you have to serve is draining. Having a job while being in school is hard. Give us a break. Think about what you are about to say before saying it. You are older, you need to act mature, you are not superior. Be nice, say thank you, and treat working teens better.