'I realized the reason I was so surprised wasn't just because my daughter is generally a bit shy and always non-confrontational, but because this goes against the societal norms I grew up with.'
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 16, 2021.
A few days ago, Reddit user u/soil_witch shared an inspiring lesson she'd learned from her teenage daughter with the r/antiwork community. The proud mother explained how the teen turned down a job offer to work at her favorite store, despite really wanting to work there, because they wouldn't pay her a decent wage. The Reddit user admitted that she herself wouldn't have had the confidence to stand up for herself in such a manner as it goes against the societal norms most of us have grown up with. "I'm really proud of my 19-year-old daughter. She was offered $9/hr at a second interview today and declined, telling them she couldn't feed herself with that," she wrote.
"She told me she was polite about it, which she always is, but I was still a bit taken back initially that she would say this directly to the shop owner," u/soil_witch admitted. "It was somewhere she really wanted to work and has been going to since she was a kid. The shop owner who interviewed her acknowledged that it wasn't a living wage and apologized that they couldn't offer more. I realized the reason I was so surprised wasn't just because my daughter is generally a bit shy and always non-confrontational, but because this goes against the societal norms I grew up with."
She added that seeing her daughter knowing her worth and fighting for it has inspired her to do the same in her career. "I'm 41 and when I was her age I would've taken any sh*t pay they offered me just for the experience and so I could work at my favorite shop. And I would've been grateful for the opportunity for them to take full advantage of me. I would've never had the confidence to stand up to an older adult in a position of power like that. I told her I was so proud of her for knowing her worth and not accepting anything less," u/soil_witch wrote.
"This sub has made me realize that we ALL have to do this. At every interview, every job. I just accepted a new position recently and now I wish I would've negotiated for more," she continued. "I will now the first chance I get. We can no longer accept the status quo of working for less than a living wage. And not just for ourselves, but for all of us. Employers CAN pay us more and they WILL despite all their bullsh*t excuses that claim otherwise. But we have to force their hand, they won't do it willingly." u/soil_witch concluded her post by reflecting on how parenthood is a constant learning experience.
"Most people think that you teach your kids, but really the learning goes both ways. And it never stops. I'm so thankful for the new perspective. Just wanted to share. Solidarity forever," she wrote. Hundreds of Reddit users weighed in on the post with comments praising the teen and admitting that they too wouldn't have had the courage to do what she did. "You should be proud! She's going places. Tell her strangers on Reddit are grateful for her tactful yet honest response. And what job that intends to pay NINE dollars per hour have SECOND interviews!?!" commented u/itsjustinternets6102.
Responding to the comment, u/soil_witch wrote: "I will, thank you! It's a very reputable local shop that I know does well and has been around for decades in our community. I've been shopping there since I was in high school, but this owner is relatively new. And my daughter is very familiar with the products they sell, so their loss. I'm pretty disappointed in them to say the least, but like I said super proud of her. This is the only way we break the cycle, I see that now."