Monday is always a grind at work. I have to get things in place for the week ahead. No matter how hard I try, I can't organise myself to get things ready on Friday. It would make more sense to get the following week sorted on a Friday afternoon. But a lot of things that make sense are not the things that we choose to do.
The other day my son told me that he needed a new lap top. He is using my old one and it is pretty tragic these days. I said that he really needs to get a part time job and save for a lap top. Then I suggested that whatever he saves we will match it.
I could buy him one outright but I believe he is getting to the age where he needs to work and earn a bit of money. Now he is starting to go out more he is asking for money. Yesterday when he went out he asked for $50. This was after I had paid for the movie tickets. I asked him what on earth he needs $50 for? He wanted food and to buy a game and stuff. We had a discussion about it all and he got less than he wanted.
On Friday K took him down to the bank and they opened a savings account for him. Then put a bit of money in it. S had asked for it because he wanted to have access to his own money. I give him pocket money each week. I don't physically give it to him. It gets transferred into a little interest bearing account. He gets an age amount each week. He is fourteen years old so he gets $14 per week. When he turns fifteen he will get $15 per week. This has been going on for a few years and has allowed him to spend money on things.
I personally do not insist that he does chores in return for money. He does what I ask him to do anyway. Helping around the house is not something one should get paid to do. Helping around the house is something that we should learn to do because that is what has to be done. He gets the money and it teaches him the value of money. When he wants to buy a book, I pay for the first one and he uses money from his savings to pay for any more.
Sometimes for a more expensive item I will offer to pay half. Other times he will rethink about spending his money when he realises that once it is gone it is going to be a while before the amount builds up again.
He asked if I could put all the money from this interest bearing account over to his new savings account. I refused saying that he needed to show us that he can manage his money properly before I put more than $100 over to him. But I did agree to pay the weekly amount in.
So, back to this lap top he wants. I said that it was about time he gets a part time job.
Conversation follows like this:
Me: S, you need to get a part time job because I am not paying for a new lap top. I will go halves but that is it.
Son: I am not working for $6 an hour at McDonald's.
Me: Oh, really. And what are you worth then?
Son: I don't know but I am not working in some greasy, stinky place like that for $6 an hour.
Me: So, where else have you considered working?
Son: I don't know. Just not there. Or KFC. And it is too hard to get in at Coles.
(Coles being a local supermarket).
Me: You know there is a part time job for you at my work. Digging trenches and cleaning the site toilets And you will get more money. You have to work somewhere because I am not going to hand over money to you every weekend. Besides, it is not just about money, it is about learning the process of working. It is part of life.
Son: I know. I just don't want to work somewhere that I don't like.
Oh, dear child of mine. You will have to work a lot of places you don't really like before you find yourself somewhere you do like. Sometimes that very places you thought would be crap to work in turn out to be great places. It is all about the people and not just the job. If you work with nice people you will enjoy any place, even a greasy, stinky place like Maccas.
From the shelf stacking boredom at a supermarket to the overworked and underpaid glamour of the corporate world. I've done them and my son will have to do the same.
I did not explain that to him. I just said that he needs to take the first step and start looking.
He must have thought about it overnight because the next day he said to me that he will be happy to get a job anywhere. Even Maccas.
One of the up sides of getting older is seeing the down sides of being young. Looking for work is a very big thing for a teenager.
What I didn't tell him was that the best job I ever did was when I spent a few years home with him. Before he went to kindergarten. Before he went to school. Just the two of us enjoying life. That mother and child thing was so very precious. It still is, just different. My mother used to say that before a child goes to school they are still all yours.
Those lovely days.
Now that is something I would go back to any day.