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Dragon's Tale

The Student News Site of Sonoma Valley High School


Rude Customers Affects On Teens

Emma Griffiths

Many SVHS students work in Sonoma Valley. Young adults are a minority in the Sonoma workforce—making them susceptible to negative comments and attitudes from customers. 

Numerous students have gone through difficult customer service experiences, with some customers targeting them based on appearance, race, and other sexual comments. Teens have often found they are a target of the older generations for their young age.

While some customers are welcoming, others go as far as harassing workers. Georgina Van Heerden, senior, recalls being stalked by a customer when she “got a job at a juice bar” and “a regular” looked “at [her] mom’s Facebook and” looked at her “baby pictures.” 

Younger women are more commonly harassed and sexualized by older men,  with female employees often encountering meant who comment on their bodies, or other physical features. These comments are usually said to minors while they are on the clock.

Thinley Sherpa, junior, feels that she is “sexualized by older men who are drunk.”  

Teens do not only deal with harassment but comments about their race based on stereotypes. Some comments that students experience are “You’re so exotic!”, “Can I speak to someone who can speak English?”, or “Are you an American citizen?” 

Esther Chun, senior, has experienced multiple comments based on her race. “Someone said Kung Hei fat choi to me and I’m Korean and that’s Happy New Year in Cantonese”, said Chun.

Chun also said “A customer asked my coworker if I was from this country and that it was “good to know” that she was. These experiences have become a norm for students when helping customers. 

Problematic customers affect youth workers; when customers are insolent, it hurts the atmosphere of the local community, lowers perceived safety while at work, and often ruins their day. Young adults in the workforce should be treated with the same respect as the elderly. A positive work experience for young workers will contribute to a safer, stronger sense of community, bridging the existing generational gaps in Sonoma.

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About the Contributors
Emma Griffiths
Emma Griffiths, Photo Editor
Good day Dragons! My name is Emma Griffith, this is my second year in the newspaper, and I will be the new editor for photography and art!! It still never gets old for me. Seeing the new information emerging with our school has always been interesting for me to report on and try my best to understand. I am on the girls' lacrosse team for the third year. Art is also my passion, taking AP 3d Design. Last year I made the Dragon's Tale logo, while this year's goal is to update the artwork to show my improvement. 
Destiny Tapia Stevens
Destiny Tapia Stevens, Op/Ed Editor
Hey there Dragons! This is my second year in newspaper, and I am so excited and driven to listen to all your awesome stories! I am this year's Op/Ed editor. I enjoy playing sports along with watching them. My role in the Leadership class will help improve our newspaper by keeping everyone up to date about the new and upcoming activities we have planned for this year. I joined the Dragon's Tale to get more involved in the school by listening to everyone's voices and letting them be heard.

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