Okay…not sure about you but as a teenager I longed for a job. You know one of those things that get you legitimately out of your house (and away from some of the hourly expectations your parents had for you) with real, hard, cold cash in your pocket. Finally, I was old enough to have one. My boss was almost on the same level as God. What the manager lady said was law. I did not argue… I complied. Either I was raised to be more respectful than the current teenage crowd or perhaps it was that I was so anxious to be able to have money of my own to spend…I hassled no one. Either way, what the boss says goes.
After I moved out of home I was very determined to be on my own and totally independent. To this end I worked three jobs. One fulltime job and two-part time jobs simultaneously. Life was great. I was my own boss living on my own. Happy to be gainfully employed paying my own way in life. Thrilled to afford some of the finer things life had to offer like …new underwear, my own phone (this was before cell phones) and the odd cup of coffee. Truly by these standards one might wonder what my life was before now. I lived as one of four girls being raised by a single mom and yes, new underwear (especially if yours was still deemed wearable…only a little threadbare) was the ultimate. Since then my idea of the finer things has since been revised significantly.
Fast forward my life to today (an average goat with 9 kids and a “Nanny-Goat” to a grand-kid). I am now inundated with teenagers everywhere. Albeit some of them are my own, others are the friends of this age demographic. With many of these kids the notion of a “job” is akin to being told that incarceration or incineration (same difference) awaits them. Sort of a struggle cause they all “want” and “like” money. Just “work” seems to be a dirty word.
The excuses for those teenagers who do not want to find gainful employment include:
- They won’t hire me… no one will. (No…really? Not if you do not apply they won’t!)
- I know people that work there so I can’t. (Why? You will know everyone once you are hired.)
- That job looks boring. (How would you know… really?)
- Can’t work “there” no one has heard of that place. (I thought you wanted anonymity!)
- I need a job that lets me text all day. (Is there such an environment out there?)
- They only hire beautiful people. (Does that mean by definition…you are “not”?)
Finally in spite of it all…some company out there actually decides to hire the teenager in question. YIPPEE! Before everyone gets excited…it is only now the fun starts.
Because although someone separate to your personal being is the one employed it may as well be you. The worry that the teenager still buried in bed will and be late for their work shift within the hour somehow becomes your concern. (Note it is your forehead getting wrinkled not theirs.) The kid in question is literally oblivious as they languish around the house even though their appearance at this “job” is required within the next 30 minutes. You (not them) start freaking out (no amount of age defying night cream is gonna help you now).
Now there is a race to look for their uniform. “Mom did you wash my work stuff?” I yell back “what does that look like?” the answer from the basement is deafening “black pants, top and apron!” Well… let me stop and think…in the 60 loads I already wash every week…would I notice another item of black clothing? (Short answer NO) Ah… yes better watch the clean laundry for the defining “apron”…NOT. Even though you do not work at their job you are somehow responsible for locating the uniform and getting them to their place of employment ON TIME. That would almost be okay if they complied but instead you are literally doing all you can short of strangling the kid and taking the now-quieted comatose teenager to their place of employment. This scenario is exhausting (not to mention further wrinkle inducing).
When the delight of vicariously enjoying the responsibility of your teenager’s jobs involves more than one teenager…it will literally kill you. Why should I care that this kid shows up in the right dress code, at the right time with the right attitude? Too late for therapy… this responsibility is one of those things that got tucked into the blanket at the hospital when I was handed the child at birth! I am doing everything I can to get the “layabout” out of the house on time his work… so, yah I am freaking out …mid-yell I get told to “JUST CHILL”-(??)
Beyond the “getting-the-kid-to-work-dressed-and-on-time” (not to mention the “hag-like” look you have developed from all the stress)…then there is the “other problem.” Work is scheduled and this creature you gave birth to informs you that he is taking a “sick” day. First of all, the types of employment open to kids of these ages are usually fast food, specialty stores, or part time hours in retail. Traditionally NONE of these employers offer a “sick day”-the part that kills me is I know people who have worked a solid 20 years fulltime and have yet to take a sick day. Why are today’s kids SO different? (Have they all watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as infants?)
In the interests of good parenting the conversation goes something like this. YOU are sick? What is wrong…the sick one answers “Oh nothing.” What do you mean “nothing” you said you are calling in “SICK”? Response from the highschooler… “Yeah…I just don’t wanna work today”…Why not? “Well my friends are all hanging out later so I do not have time for work.” ARGHHH here we go again (visions of this child in his forties still living in my basement)!
The solution…I need headphones with great music and hourly applications of beautifying night cream to combat the facial ravages of my “FREAK OUT” …oh…and perhaps something more than “just” coffee in my cup. Could the teenager be right? Perhaps I should just somehow learn to “CHILL”…
Garden Goat just chilling over here….