The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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February 20, 2024

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Workforce aids to growth

The service industry is full of chaos and everlasting relationships. I have been a hostess at a highly popular restaurant in LaGrange for over a year now. It’s never been easy, and probably never will be, but working in the service industry has been truly life changing.

When you work in a customer service job, you are quickly exposed to so many different kinds of people and situations. Every shift seemed to bring something new during the first few months. Whether that’s dealing with angry customers, experiencing awkward phone calls, or learning to manage a shift with adults two or three times your age, it’s never been an easy job.

On one of the first few days of work, I encountered two adults using profanity towards me because they were not happy with their experience. I am aware that this is off putting, but it was exactly what I needed on those first days. To be put in a situation where I needed to remain calm and continue on with grace was extremely helpful to my continuing development at the restaurant. 

Dealing with customers was only a fraction of my personal growth at the restaurant, as it was actually the staff that I work alongside that was the biggest game changer for me. When you’re a teenager the only adults you really ever know or spend much time around are your teachers, coaches, and family.

To get to know these adults was a privilege, but it wasn’t easy. I found myself sometimes budding heads with them and getting frustrated with their expectations of me. I had to learn how and when to defend myself and when to take accountability. 

I also created wonderful friendships with these adult coworkers. Some were mother figures while others were like big sisters. However, I learned to create boundaries with them. There were times when we overstepped with each other, and by having those awkward moments, I learned how and when to stop a conversation. 

Some get let go along the way, and to see that at such a young age is profound. Growing close to them and starting to idolize them made it much harder for me to see why they might not have been a good asset to the restaurant anymore, but I also saw how devastating and unfair it could be to those that may not have deserved it.

In any industry, there are times when employees have to work through issues with management. There can be scheduling issues, unfair treatment, and disagreement. By being employed, I learned how to be professional, independent, and have a strong sense of work ethic. 

I was in a serious environment, and I needed to treat it as such. My conversational skills are now heightened as I have had to effectively communicate with my managers in order to get my needs met. 

Lots of teenagers have jobs, but for the ones that don’t, it’s time to get out there and learn vital life skills that will lead you to success in your adult life.

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About the Contributor
Naimah Arteaga, Reporter
You either have it or you don’t and if you don’t you never will.

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