Last school holidays the boys were lucky enough to get a couple of days work at my employer. It was not at all planned, just fortuitous that someone asked if the men-children would be interested in a few days casual work over the holidays. And subject to an acceptable hourly rate (like they were in a position to negotiate) and suitable days that worked in with their busy social lives (again, let’s not be difficult), they gladly accepted the offer.
Yes a reminder to all they are both still UNEMPLOYED!!! Not by choice on anyone’s part although I suspect one has stopped really looking for a job….and the other has found one which we won’t allow so he has us over a barrel. Nevertheless, I remind them every time we provide a handout that they DO need to find a job. And I remind them again every time they whinge when I ask for a chore to be completed in exchange for said handout. It’s relentless really.
As an aside, have you ever seen the way a teenage boy hangs out a load of washing? There is no method. Whichever order they pull it out of the washing machine is the same order they throw it over the clothes-horse. And I mean throw! Clearly they have no idea what a coat-hanger was invented for, as I invariably find all the shirts thrown on the line, not hanging……seriously, are they really that stupid, or are they employing the age-old trick of burning the first thing you ever cook so you’ll never be asked to do it again? Probably. 🙂 And it kind of works, because I practically re-hang all the washing after they’ve attempted to do it. I mean if their school shirts don’t drip dry on a coat-hanger then they end up extra, extra wrinkled, which is no good if the ironing lady hasn’t been, because they don’t get ironed otherwise. And then they go off to school looking like they’ve slept in their school uniforms for a week. (Actually one manages this look every day even if his clothes are all pressed).
Anyway, back to their short-term employment. We organised which days they would attend, which meant coming with me in the car to the office and home again. And getting up before midday! Luckily there was an immediate upside for both – extra hours on the L-plates, so no complaints there. As I take my lunch to work every day (I am so glad this culture now exists universally), I explained to them that they too could take their lunch, or pay for it with their “wages”. I told them I refused to fund their meals, when they were earning money, and that what was good enough for me and all my colleagues was also good enough for them. We did make a supermarket stop to load up on snacks, treats, drinks etc to keep them going throughout the day, but that’s just pantry filling in another guise.
Naturally they were quick to embrace the “freebies” provided at the office, the usual tea, coffee, biscuits etc. Before they had even started their working day they were wolfing down a glass of Milo each and a couple of biscuits. It reminded me of the time they first came into Qantas Club with me. You would have thought they’d never had Coca Cola before they way they drank out of the pre-mix machine. If they could have tapped it straight into their mouths they would have. It was hysterical and embarrassing at the same time (although I did just pretend I had no idea whose children they were).
To the men-children’s credit they put in a couple of good days work. They didn’t complain about the drudgery of the tasks they were asked to do (electronic filing, photocopying, tear sheets etc), they worked diligently, knocking off the set tasks in good time, and they remembered their manners. As an employer you couldn’t ask for more than that. Occasionally whilst working they did found time to argue with each other, as they tend to do….to be honest they sounded just like a couple of old men who have nothing better to do than throw barbs at each other all day as they sit and watch the world go by. I swear if they both live to 90 this scene may well repeat itself.
As a mother, I couldn’t ask for more than the compliments they both received from my colleagues in the days that followed. All parents know, regardless of what little shits they can be at home, if they know how to behave in “company”, that’s all that matters.
So would they do it again? Yep. Would the company have them back? Yep. That’s a good start isn’t it? Filling their days AND making money over the holidays has benefits for everyone. 🙂