Grind Don’t Stop: A Look At How Working Conditions Have Affected PFHS Students With Jobs


While the Coronavirus may have put most things on halt, some jobs are forced to prevail through it all. In this article, we take a look at PFHS students’ views on working during the pandemic.

With the unprecedented times all of us are currently living through, the chances for a teenage student to get a decent paying job have actually increased due to the need for more workers to combat the decline in business sales.

According to a survey conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 43% of businesses were forced to close due to COVID-19, 54% of firms, and employment of business was down by 47%. It is clear that most businesses are looking for people to save them, and that’s where young workers come into play.

For students here at Potomac Falls, lots of them have maintained their job, alongside their adjustments to distance learning, in a manageable manner. I had the opportunity to talk to three students in the junior class, who gave their insight on working during these times: Samantha Clemm, Meadow Swanson, and Burteujin “Cindy” Lkhagvasuren.

Out of all of the challenges in the workplace, Clemm believes that “the hardest part is working with a mask”. Clemm also stated that “it’s very difficult to understand customers when they have [masks] on”.

If working in masks for hours at a time wasn’t already challenging enough, issues also arise in the workplace when it comes to managing customers who don’t always follow the necessary guidelines.

“Sometimes people will come in without a mask on and we’re not allowed to turn them away, so that can be very frustrating. Also, because of the pandemic, there has been a very large increase in online orders, so it can be a lot to handle at times,” said Swanson.

Getting a job in high school at such a young age is known to reap many benefits when it comes to money management, social skills, and learning to strike a balance between a work life and a social life. Due to the conditions right now, however, a lot of these benefits have slowly withered away.

As per, a “high school job will help you gain valuable work experience”, and help develop skills such as “[managing] their time wisely, how to interact with coworkers, and how to make sure they get to work on time”.

Clemm stated that it is harder to “form bonds” between herself and her fellow customers due to the fact that she is unable to “see their entire face”. This has caused her to lose some of the social aspects of having a job, and proves that being precautious still comes with some downfalls. 

Despite the pitfalls these girls may be undergoing, there are also plenty of advantages of working during these times. 

“The benefit of working during a pandemic is [that there are] less people, [which equates to] less work. I [also] work alongside some school friends and some new friends, [which] makes working easier,” said Lkhagvasuren. 

Even with the ever changing regulations that are being placed in workplaces, these three students still wouldn’t give up their job opportunities, and even believe that other high schoolers should work right now despite what may be happening around the world. 

“Totally go for [getting a job] because even though it can be challenging at times, a ton of places are hiring at the moment, and it is always great to be making your own money,” said Swanson.

“[Getting a job right now] may seem scary and dangerous. For some people it [is], but just make sure you are taking extra precautions like wearing a mask and washing your hands constantly, then it can be fun and safe,” said Lkhagvasuren.