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Minors Too Often Mistreated

Discrimination affects more people than you think.

Being a typical angst ridden teenager, something is always bothering me.

Usually, what gets to me most is the constant stress of school, and balancing study time, social time, and personal time. But right now, with about five consecutive incidents recently happening, what's bothering me most is people disrespecting me or not taking me seriously because of my age. 

What first fired me up on this subject was when I went to Guess with my mom. She wanted to get a new purse, so we went in the store to pick one out. While in the store, I ventured off from my mom to look at the overpriced clothes while she scrutinized every satchel. I walked past a worker to see what was on a particular table, yet the worker said nothing to me. Moments later when my mom came to get me, the same worker stopped to ask my mom if she needed any help. I was immediately offended by the worker who rudely assumed my mom had money to spend but I didn't. I found it not only rude, but also strange since the store really is geared more toward people my age than my mother's age (I now refuse to shop there, by the way). 

The Guess incident was hardly the worst though. What frosted me even more happened while I was working at a jewelry store over the holiday break. I stood by the front desk when a woman came in bearing one of the store's bags.

"Hi, how can I help you?" I asked the woman pleasantly. She responded by saying her husband bought a necklace at the store, but she didn't like it. I then asked her if she wanted to return or exchange the gift, to which she replied, "Well I'd like to exchange it, but I want to actually talk to someone."

At that point I didn't even know how to reply! Could she be more insulting?! This woman has no idea of how familiar I am with what the store offers and certainly does not know my knowledge of the business. Yet, because I look young, she assumes I don't know what I'm doing. 

Now, I know not all adults treat me this way, and I am not saying every adult is rude or discriminatory. Sometimes I actually prefer adults over kids my age! While I know many adults who do take me seriously and treat me with respect, I've ran into a few too many who left me feeling like I am less of a person than them.

Regardless of age, everybody is someone and deserves a chance. You never know what people have been through or learned until you stop judging them and listen. The worker at Guess had no idea that I actually have money I earn, and the lady at work had no idea that I could have helped her.

Nobody wants to be placed into a stereotype. While in many ways I am a stereotypical sixteen year old with a messy room and a smart phone in my hand, that doesn't make me stupid, immature, or undeserving of respect. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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