Where do I begin? This morning, while having coffee and reading the news online, I came across an article that really rattled me.

It was a story of a university, here in America, where a large group of students felt “scared and intimidated” by some words written in chalk at several areas of their campus. These students felt that their “safe space” had been violated and that the university wasn’t doing enough to foster an environment of tolerance.

As I read further, I was intrigued to know what kind of words could instill such fear and intimidation into red blooded American “adults” aged 18-23. Were these death threats made by a major terrorist group, perhaps? Threats to harm the families of these students? Perhaps the words threatened the university itself if certain conditions weren’t being met.

As it turned out, none of these were the case. What then, could be so heinous, so insidious, as to strike such fear into the hearts of our future leaders? Are you ready for this? Really ready? Ok, here it comes. It was the name of a presidential hopeful with the word, “vote” in front of the name. Let that sink in a minute. These students were “scared and intimidated” by the name of a presidential candidate, handwritten, in chalk, on sidewalks, stairwells and walls. So scared and intimidated, they said, that they insisted that counselors be brought in to help them cope with their anxiety. To make matters worse, the school agreed with them!

Every time I read an article like this, I fear our country is going to hell in a hand cart. Do not mistake my concern as being political. I’m not supporting any particular candidate, but rather, the right to support a particular candidate.

To combat the frustration of reading articles like this, I like to walk the factory floor here at Sonny’s. On my walks, I pass several young employees. I know these folks aren’t scared or intimidated easily. Some, the same ages as the students I referred to earlier. These are bright, young folks with drive, ambition, and street smarts as well as book smarts. Instead of textbooks, they’re holding welding torches. Instead of pens or pencils, they’re wielding wrenches.

These are the kind of folks that will drive our industry forward and are also the same kind of folks you want running your washes. Folks that cannot only understand a P&L and find ways to improve it, but can also go in the tunnel after closing and swap out the chain and rollers and change out a hydraulic motor too.

The media will always hype the malcontents. That’s how they draw viewers. Who wants to read a story about someone waking up early every day, and going to work? They won’t tell us about the young folks who don’t complain about the hand they’ve been dealt. They don’t talk about the youths that roll up their sleeves and earn an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.

Is it tough to find good help these days? Of course. It always has been and always will be but don’t give up on the youth of America. How can you tell the intimidated from the real deal? Maybe install a chalk board in your interview room.

Bob Fox has over 30 years industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at BFox@sonnysdirect.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.