It’s that time of the year again when we say goodbye to our faithful teen employees. They are a huge help to us during the week but alas, school comes first! This is a family diner and we are all aware of how important a good education is….and yet, we miss them when they aren’t here. We hear their stories of how much studying they have to do or how long a certain history report is and then we have to sit and wait till their next weekend shift to find out how it all went down.

If you read the papers or listen to the news, its easy to get discouraged about the youth of today. So many times, the only things you hear are the negative ones. Now, I don’t know if we’ve just been incredibly blessed or maybe just lucky, but our teenagers are da’bomb!!! They show up, clean up and for the most part; shut up. They put their heads down, crack jokes, and keep working. I like to think of our family business as the best first job you could ever have. There’s no late hours, the customers are friendly, and there is always a mom and dad on hand to fix whatever gets broken. We share out the tips so each walks away with a little cash in their pocket plus a paycheck when the month ends. They get to learn how to interact with the public and how to graciously serve them. When I was a teen, I had a job in our local pizza place as well as a certain country music fun park (Opryland). It was there that I learned how to make change, make pizza, and make nice when customers are having a rough time.

Our little diner just isn’t the same without these amazing young adults. One of long-time teen helpers, KC for short wrote a wonderful goodbye letter to us in our local newspaper, titled Good bye from the dishwasher. It was a creative writing piece that frankly….we could all use more of in our local papers. It was a thoughtful thing to do and cemented my statement that the youth today cannot be painted with the same brush…..they are unique, talented, funny and bring a little sunshine to our diner every time they walk in!!!!