"That's Sarah, who works with me, over there Mum and guess what? She's going in to work tonight and she's going to QUIT!!!" announced the Baby Angel with some fervour on Friday night. "And Zac? He's quitting too. And Mum, you KNOW how much I hate my job! You know how STRESSED I get about it!!"
"What's your point BA?"
"Well I think maybe I should quit too."
(Mother pauses to take a deep breath, don't blow this now mother, just the right amount of indignation mixed with a soupcon of sympathy and a firm line.......)
"I see, well, I suspect you should make sure you've got another job before you quit this one," I reflected in measured tones.
"But I'll never get another job! Do you know how many people are out there looking for jobs???" she wailed in response.
"Exactly. Be very grateful you have a job (and 'suck it up Princess' I refrained from adding)."
Lately we have been having discussions about money. Her latest bank statement showed that she had spent rather more than she'd realised in the last 3 months. She is trying to save for this trip to Vanuatu with the Church Youth Group and, thus far, her weekly stint at the Golden Arches is not providing her with the saving and the spending she desires. At least, it provides her with the spending, but at the expense of the saving. When trying to determine where all this money had gone, she had to admit that she was frittering it away on junk food and so forth on trips to the mall with friends.
"But," she exclaimed in outrage,"the others all have money from their parents! It's not fair!!!!"
Now this is true. Ever since an unfortunate incident with her bedroom door a couple of years ago, I have stopped giving the BA pocket money. In the first instance it was to pay for repair of the door, but somehow it never really got going again and now that she works, I don't see the need to supplement her income with 'spending money' every time she wants to go into town with her friends. So, the question is, am I being too harsh?
I don't think I am. She has many things provided for her: I buy all her toiletries and basic clothing necessities (socks and the like) whilst her dad and step mum buy her bags of clothes every time she visits; I pay for her music tuition, her netball fees and transport to school each week; I somehow manage to make most concerts or gigs into birthday or Christmas presents. If we go to the movies I pay.
I do not pay for phone credit or socialising. Nowadays she buys presents for her friends on their birthdays as well, an item which used to be my domain.
I think this is fair.
If I start forking over 'spare change' every time she feels the need to meet friends at the food court or buy a teen magazine, the message goes out that everything comes easily and there is no need to monitor or regulate the amount you are spending on these 'extras'. I think this would be doing her a disservice. The difficulty, of course, is when other parents do not share these values.
Of course, it is completely up to each family to decide which expenses they will bear for their emergent adults and which they will leave to the teen; but please folks, leave something to them! Aside from the financial learning they will experience and the money you will save, you reward them with a sense of responsibility and control, essential for their healthy development. If parents are continually providing cash, young people begin to believe that they are not capable of doing it themselves.
And so BA, no, you may not 'quit' your job simply because you 'don't really like it that much'. Welcome to the real world! And anyway, part of the reason you work at Maccas when you are 15 is to remind you what you are studying for!!!
Here endeth the lesson.
Edited to add:
Jill made a comment which prompted me to clarify something. Part time jobs are definitely NOT meant to interfere with school work! If this is the case then it is time to quit the job until something more suitable comes along. My part time job as a teen was Thursday nights til 9pm and Saturday mornings at the local supermarket. This left plenty of time to keep up with study and assignments. The Baby Angel works one LOOOOOOOng shift at Maccas on a Sunday, usually 8am until 3pm which still leaves time for homework in the evening (should it not have been completed before this....which it should have!).
My main point with the BA's recent desire to quit was that it was based on her general disinterest in the job and more particularly, dislike of one of the supervisors. Whilst these things are certainly reasons to look elsewhere for employment, the danger with youth today is that Mum and Dad will 'bail them out' and they never have to learn to deal with the unpleasantness of life, like long hours and bad tempered bosses.