“Jaw With John” – Daughter Received Turn Down Service

This summer my 21-year-old daughter has been working as a hotel maid. While working one morning she overheard a father say to his teenage son, “You had better stay in school or you will end up like her” — indicating my daughter. My daughter was hurt. She assumed the father did not intend for her to hear the remark and felt the hotel management would not want her to comment to the guest, and so she said nothing.

I appreciate the father’s desire to encourage his son to continue his education, but I am appalled by the lack of respect for a working person. Ironically, my daughter is beginning her junior year at college and working this summer to earn money for a semester abroad. In my opinion, he would be lucky to have his son “end up like her.” Should my daughter have said anything — and if so, what would have been the appropriate response? — Proud Mom

Dear Mom:

Your daughter did the right thing in biting her tongue.

I’ve witnessed similar behavior where someone is dismissive toward a server, laborer, or a cashier and it really gets me upset. The person they’re talking about is rarely around but I hear what they say and think “They don’t know that person’s story. They’re at this job because they need to be most of the time not because they want to be.” Whenever it’s said within my circle I make it a point to call that person out on it because they’re not going to stand up for themselves and if they did they’d probably lose their job or they’re not around to defend themselves. They’re still a person.

Interjecting herself would’ve been bad news and she was smart enough to stay away. But she should take solace in the fact that she knows what she is doing and working toward. She doesn’t owe anyone anything, least of all this man.

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