EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 25, 2012


To the editor:

Who is more deserving of a job in today’s poor economy? My 15-year-old son was applying to Canobie Lake for a summer job this past spring, when he posed a question to my husband and me which just astounded me. He asked if he would be taking a job away from somebody who needed it. What if there was a family man who needed this job (at Canobie Lake) to provide for his family?

Wow. I never expected my child, a freshman in high school, to ask such a sobering question.

Why at his young age of 15, would he be worrying about another man’s family welfare? I realized all too quickly, he has seen his own family unfortunately live paycheck to paycheck and the struggles and anxiety it has brought.

Although sad but true, would he now sacrifice his own job potential for someone else who might have no other options in this job market?

It wasn’t as easy to explain to him in this light that he, too, needed to try to get this summer job. He required a job to earn money to help pay for driver’s ed, back to school supplies, clothing, shoes and, of course, dating cash. It was essential for him to gain work experience as he began to plan his future career, pay for college and the possibility of a family, too. We all need good paying jobs. We all deserve an opportunity to work, to earn our own self-worth, to provide for ourselves and those who count on us to take care of them.

I found myself resenting the fact my son felt guilty for trying to get a summer job. Why should he feel pitted against someone else for the right to work?

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