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Should I Scream?

So, within a short bicycle ride or car ride from where I live there are five (probably more) ice cream shops that I like to visit. I was going to say that my kids like to visit, but I am driving the proverbial bus on this one.

I won’t name their names, but if you live in and near Bushnell’s Basin you will know at least a few of the places I am referring to.

In the last 5 places I visited, I counted 19 total employees behind the counter. And all 19 of the workers were high school to college-aged girls. Does someone have a good theory for this? It surely can’t be random. Are the shops themselves favoring the hiring of women? If so, why? It’s not like we are talking about bartending here – the customers of ice cream shops seem to come from a pretty wide swath of the population. Similarly, are young boys avoiding working there? If so, why? My wife has a theory, but I’d love to hear yours. It’s a bit of a puzzle methinks.

2 Responses to “Should I Scream?”

  1. Jamie Dean says:

    Perhaps at that young age women’s labor comes cheaper (or more readily) than young men? Whether it be alternative employment choices for men, young men tending to qualify for more manual labor [often higher paying], or the well-documented reluctance of young women to demand higher salaries in negotiations.
    Another idea is that young women are more mature than the young men learning beside them which is a boon for employers, especially in service jobs.

  2. blink says:

    Well, a tantalizing observation certainly deserves a good theory. First, though, it would help to clarify the puzzle. Is this specific to ice cream shops, or general to the service industry? Do we believe it to be a demand or supply effect? (Your musings seem to privilege the demand side.) Is this a new fact, different from observations years ago, or something that has persisted?

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