Did you hear the big news this week? Every kid in Oshkosh has enough money to go to college! Well, we didn't exactly write it up that way, but that is the only assumption you can make when you hear that Ardy & Ed's Drive In can't find enough people to hire in order to stay open 7-days a week this summer. Obviously, every teen and college kid in town has enough money and doesn't need to work.
Ok, I may be engaging in some hyperbole here. Every kid in town doesn't have all they money they need to go to college. But when they hear from presidential candidates, and a Wisconsin Senator and their teachers and celebrities that they have a "right to a free college education"--or that the Federal Government should just forgive student loans after they are borrowed--going out there and earning the money for school doesn't seem so appealing. And when many of those same media darlings tell kids that they have a "right" to a $15 an hour "living wage" (even though they still live with Mom and Dad), they believe that slinging burgers and donning roller skates for anything less than that rate is "beneath them".
Of course, who has time to work during the summer when your life is already over-scheduled? Kids in sports have summer leagues, traveling teams and weekend tournaments all over the state and the Midwest. You have to take part in the "Million Shot Club" or attend "speed camp" or go to goalie school, or show up for off-season weight training--because if you don't, you won't get to play in the one sport you have decided to specialize in for your entire high school career. For the creative kids, there is band camp, or a summer production, or piano and vocal lessons. And let's not forget about the family vacation to Disney World or Hawaii--with money that could have gone into the college fund. Or for those in college trying to "find themselves", there is that summer backpacking across Europe.
And working for the summer always puts a crimp in your social life. There are dozens of graduation parties to attend, concerts all over the region, really cool beer gardens to check out every night, sunny days at the beach or the water park--not to mention festivals with midways and cute members of the opposite sex (or the same sex) just hanging out looking to meet people. You wouldn't want to miss any of that would you just for some "boring old job".
When I went back to school in the Twin Cities, here was my schedule:
Classes Monday thru Friday 8-Noon
Packing orders and loading trucks at a dental supply company Monday thru Thursday 1-11 pm
Sports Production Assistant at KSTP TV Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons
Attendant at the Arlington and Rice Sports Dome Saturday mornings and Sunday nights
And that was every week for more than a year. So if I see any Oshkosh kids posting on any social media about how "boring" their summer has been, I'm driving over there and taking them to Ardy & Ed's myself so they can find "something to do".