One of the men-children learned a valuable lesson the other day about the working world and the importance of commitment. I hope it is a lesson he will remember for a lifetime. As luck (along with his Mother’s persistence) would have it, he was able to spend a couple of days in my office over the school holidays helping out with filing and various other tasks, and earning some longed for income to support his entertainment needs and shopping habits. Less lucky for him was the fact that the two days were right at the tail end of his holidays, which is when he least preferred the work – but hey, beggars can’t be choosers can they?
So it transpired that on day two, as I was on my way to an early appointment before work, I received a text message from said man-child informing me that he was suffering a head cold, sore throat, and general tiredness and did he really need to work that day? I am serious!!! Oh and he had been out the night before too. I yelled upstairs on my way out the door that he should be ready in 30 mins to go to work. The text messages continued unabated during my appointment, and I arrived home to find him still in bed, and openly admitting that he didn’t want to go to work because it was the last day of the holidays. One word people – TOUGH!!
The next 15 mins were a battle of wills and wits. Him insisting he wasn’t going anywhere, and me arguing the opposite. Quite apart from the fact that it was MY employee that he was going to stand up, it was the underlying principle associated with believing you could just decide not to turn up if you didn’t want to that had Father of a Man-Child and me up in arms and fuming. In the end an outright threat was what got him over the line. And I quote: “If you don’t come to my office today, not only will you not get paid for yesterday’s work, but you will never work for my company again, and we will not give you another cent of pocket-money between now and Christmas!” From the expletives that followed and the sounds of stuff being thrown around his room I was pretty sure I had him cornered. So down he stomped and off to work we went!!!
Naturally I delivered him a lecture during the trip (nothing like a captive audience in the car) about the importance of commitment in life, in sport, in jobs, etc. I asked him if he would leave seven of his rowing crew in the boat waiting for him – of course not. I said if it was a permanent job at Coles or Woolies, you wouldn’t ring up at the last-minute and say you had a party to attend so sorry, can’t come in on Friday night, unless of course you wanted the sack. And I said it was doubly worse that I had gone out on a limb to get him work, and this was the thanks he gave to me, my boss, and my employer!!! Thankfully by the time we arrived at the office my anger had subsided and I was able to breathe.
On the way home that night, I asked if he had learned anything that day (actually referring to some newly acquired Photoshop skills) and he mentioned the importance of commitment and going to work when you say you will. Silent fist pump! Therein ending another life lesson for one man-child, and another chapter of stress and torment for Mother of a Man-Child.
Anyone else got any good stories of not giving in to the demands of their children or insisting they do the right thing? Whether it’s a toddler or a teenager, it’s damn hard work I tell you.
Read about their first taste of work experience, and the lessons they learned earlier this year: Gaining life experience from work experience