Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

More Life Lessons (or How to get what you deserve!) February 28, 2014

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Seek job huntingFor those who read my last post about the lessons for one of the men-children at the hands of a nasty builder, I am pleased to report several good outcomes from the experience.

Firstly, we managed to get my son paid for the 3 days work he had done during his “trial”, which we brought to an abrupt end rather than have our son work for what could only be described as an “arsehole”.  Not surprisingly, it did take more than a little encouragement, starting with some tactful and carefully drafted text messages from my son, followed by some very pleasant phone calls by me to the builder a week later, enquiring politely as to when he could expect the payment.  By the 3rd week, and on the fourth round of broken promises and following a quite rude text back to me, I decided that the first of several threats was in order (I had several up my sleeve don’t worry).

So when yet again the promised funds didn’t make it into my son’s account on time (or even with another 24 hours grace), one simple text message confirming that we would be filing an application with VCAT the following day was all it took to secure payment.  Mother: 1, Builder: 0.

I suggested to my man-child that he could thank me for ensuring his bank account was back in the black.  He told me that with patience he would have been paid eventually.  I told him he was naive, and that the only way he was going to get paid was with standover tactics, and that’s what mother’s are for!!! 🙂

The other silver lining of our earlier dark cloud, was man-child actually submitting several job applications on Seek on his own (the horse actually drank the water!!!), and getting a call and an interview from a local builder about an apprenticeship.  We were so pleased that he finally got motivated and even more thrilled when he got an interview and an invitation to a trial period with said builder.  Now I don’t want to moz anything, but already, he can see that this builder is completely different in attitude to his predecessor, and actually wants to teach someone, not just hire slave labour.  I am sure it has renewed his faith in builders as employers, and also confirmed that not all builders treat their apprentices badly.

So, I am holding my breath until the end of this trial, and crossing my fingers that all goes well and that our son secures his official apprenticeship next week.  We are already proud of him and would be even more so if he gets this job.

If you missed my last post, you can read it here:

And please tell me, and I the only one who behaves like this?  Have you done similar things to get the outcome your want and think is fair?



Not THAT sort of job…… June 29, 2012

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burgerAs you know both the boys have been “job-hunting”, in a roundabout way.  One Man-Child recently got himself into a pyramid selling scheme with promises of making millions if he recruited friends of friends to also sell said product.  He’s yet to see one cent!

The other Man-Child seemed to have more promising prospects, when he advised me that he was being offered a job by his girlfriend’s sister, in a cafe.  Excellent, it sounded great, complete with training and it was to be local when she opened a second shop.

It’s funny, and perhaps not intentional, that men-children don’t share all the information with you all the time.  Either they just don’t think it’s relevant, or they know that certain information will in fact lead you down a different path of questioning or to a different decision.

As it transpired, there were a few issues in relation to the “cafe” job.  It started with a requirement for him to sign a contract for a four year “Traineeship” as part of a Certificate 3 in Retail.  Yes he needs training, but he doesn’t need a Cert 3 in Retail over four years!  It’s a casual job!  Hmmm, just like the well-publicised case last year about Brumby’s signing up school kids to benefit from a $4,000 government grant.  I was concerned about the contract “we” were being asked to sign as guardian, moreover, I was worried as our son wants an apprenticeship eventually, and some friends in the know had warned me it could jeopardise future funding for him.

A chat to both the cafe owner and an apprenticeship officer didn’t allay my fears 100%.  The urgency to sign said contract by June 30, even though the new venue hadn’t yet opened, left me feeling a little uneasy.  A few days later, whilst I was still mulling over the contract, my son called late one night and asked if he could start his “training” early, like that evening, with his girlfriend, doing the 11pm to 5am shift on a Saturday night.  What????  As he’d been sick earlier that week, and he had rugby training the following day, the answer was a flat no!  An easy decision to make.  However I then spent a sleepless night tossing and turning, surfing the net and uncovering more detail about the cafe and putting two and two together.

I knew it was a burger joint – no issue there – I love a good burger too.  I then discovered it’s open 24/7 over weekends and from the online reviews I found, you can imagine the clientele it attracts?  Yep, the inebriated late night dwellers in need of a feed.  A sudden realisation then dawned on me which was confirmed the next day by Man-Child – yes they actually work alone in the shop on the night shift, even if they’re 15 or 16 year old boys or girls.  Gulp.  Nope.  Not on my watch.  Sorry, my Man-Child is NOT working there.  That sealed the deal for us.  The answer was simple – no we would not sign the contract, no he would not work there.

Someone said to me the other day, I’m sure Man-Child could look after himself.  And yes, I suppose he probably could.  But as a mother, do I want to put my son at risk unnecessarily?  No I do not.  Am I being paranoid?  Probably. 🙂

When we told Man-Child about our decision, he was understandably furious.  And not surprisingly, he said, well I found a job, and so if you don’t want me to work there, then you’ll have to keep funding me.  Man-Child 1: Parent 0.

Here’s how the conversation went with the pyramid selling job: Man-Child has a job – sort of!