This teen restaurant worker has had enough of rude adult customers—and despairs of earning enough college money

It’s not every day we see a high school senior writing for The Washington Post, much less delivering a rebuke to spoiled restaurant customers who torment hospitality workers. But that’s what 17-year-old Daphne Crawford of Bogart, Georgia, did this week, detailing the patrons who berate “me and my co-workers because we’re out of ranch dressing for their takeout order (we all know you have some at home).” It’s the document of a fed-up laborer who happens to be taking four Advancement Placement classes, trying to be well-rounded “college material,” and working 40 hours a week afterschool in a chain restaurant. She logs those hours to supplement her working-class parents’ incomes and pay for upcoming college bills. But interactions with rude customers make her cry in the freezer and push her to “wonder whether my dream of going to a good college, even if expensive, is worth it.” Kindness matters, Crawford argues, and we hope her managers take kindly to her writing. It’s a hard thing to be young and realize that hard work oftentimes doesn’t matter. Elsewhere in the Post, another example of what education and youthful moxie can do: 24-year-old Katherine Sizov created a device that detects a gas that’s key to the ripening of apples; that innovation can help determine when to get the fruit to market before the produce turns to unappetizing mush. —Cynthia R. Greenlee