7 Reasons Why We Should Teach Our Kids To Respect Service Workers

We all need to learn and remember why we should respect service workers—and it starts with modeling it to our kids.

Service workers’ lives are not easy. They’re usually the ones who clean up after us or do things — such as laundry, cooking, gardening, cleaning, etc. — we don’t like doing. Many service workers also don’t come from an easy life. Some had to quit school in order to support their families. And since many corporate jobs don’t take undergraduates, they apply for service jobs instead which are less stringent with requirements. But here are more reasons why kids should respect service workers.

A service worker
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

1. They make life easier.

If we let our kids do the chores 24/7, they wouldn’t have time to think about school or play. Kids may grumble every time we ask them to do chores but, it’s an appropriate disciplinary sanction if they are mean to service workers. A lot of times, their disrespect is born from their ignorance. Have them do the chore and then ask them how they feel. They’ll never disrespect them again.

2. Service workers are human just like us.

They are people. They eat, drink, sleep, bleed, and feel like us. That’s quite self-explanatory and even if they were disabled, it doesn’t make them any less human.

3. A lot of them didn’t choose this life.

Not many of them had the luxury of choice. Some needed to quit school to support medical expenses or their family. Meanwhile, some are still trying to make their way up the ladder. Many culinary students often start out as a dishwasher. Others start out as waiters or cashiers. Everyone starts at the bottom of the barrel.

4. Just because they didn’t graduate from a fancy college doesn’t make them less intelligent.

A service worker cleaning the window
Photo by Tim Douglas

There are different kinds of intelligence and service workers happen to have the one that people want: applied and critical thinking. Because they didn’t have time to sit with a book, most of their lessons are learned via observation or on the go. They had the best teacher: experience.

5. The only reason why they haven’t yelled at you yet for disrespect is that they’re thinking about their families.

Unfortunately, in the service industry, there’s an unspoken law that the customer is always right even when not. Thus, they will not scream or retaliate at you for your disrespect. Service workers know that if they do, their families are going to suffer for their retaliation. Their lives are already hard; we shouldn’t make it harder for them.

6. Our ability to buy branded items doesn’t make us any better than them.

A lot of kids and even we sometimes feel entitled because of our ability to earn more money. But no Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or whatever branded fashion gives us the right to look down on the service workers who may have been the ones to sew it, too. Luxury may give additional aesthetic value but that’s about it.

7. They are what make companies work.

Many companies would have fallen apart without these service workers. Some may be good at just giving orders. But as the adage goes, “What good is a general without his soldiers?” If we’re raising our children to be good CEOs, they need to know the needs of those who follow and are trying to understand their vision.

A service worker with a cup of coffee
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Service workers deserve our respect!

Just like how we treat our family and friends with respect, we should be treating service workers with the same respect. The knowledge, patience, and even the mental fortitude to not flip out over the most menial things is something that money cannot measure. Service workers are what allow us to pursue our self-care and if we respect ourselves, we should respect them, too.

More about respect:

‘Respect Begets Respect’: The New Way Of Teaching Kids
Dr. Lia Bernardo: Raising a Child in Self-Love
How Can I Avoid Raising Entitled Kids?

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