Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

It's Managing Director or Nothing!

"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.

image credit


Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

This is such a tough one! My sweet pea's not working right now, but she also almost never asks for spending money. It helps that she's too busy with schoolwork and school activities to have time to do anything else! Which actually is why I let her quit. *sigh*

It's weird, because when I was a teen, it never seemed like much of an issue. I wanted to work and to be independent and make my own money and do my own thing. But this generation (and a guest & The-Guy were actually just talking about this last night), this new generation just seems so different.

Maggie said...

Good for you! I don't ever remember my parents giving me money. I've worked since I was 15...and I think I'm probably better for it. There is nothing that teaches management skills -- time, money, etc - quite like working!

Arizaphale said...

Jill: if I thought for a moment that the job was interfering with schoolwork I would SUGGEST she quit! My point is that I don't think she should quit just because she 'doesn't like it'.At least not until she has something else lined up :-)

Maggie:My thoughts exactly. It brings you down a peg or too as well which is no bad thing for an adolescent!!

Stacy said...

Your approach is the approach I plan to take with our kids, too. We don't give them an allowance, like some of our friends do at this age. Why do they need it?? To buy more crap...errr, toys...for me to trip over. They already have tons more than I ever had as a kid. I make their clothes, so they don't need that. Urg. I know so many people that just give the kids whatever they want whenever they want that it just bothers me.

As soon as I got a part-time job in high school, my parents stopped giving me an "allowance" which was basically lunch money. Believe me, I learned the value of money early.

kcjoz said...

My parents gave me a dime for every "A" I got to the point that I only had to study to make my bucks. My brothers had to do the yard work and chores but were allowed to play at stick-ball and touch gridiron.

We both missed out.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

You just reminded me this - when I was maybe 22 or 23 I had started as a cashier at one of those giant drug stores, sort of a warehouse-pharmacy type place. The manager had assured me that it was very flexible & wouldn't interfere with my college classes. I had been working two weeks when I found out that they had scheduled me to work during one of my finals, which of course I had told him about in advance.

He didn't take me off the schedule, and I went to a pay phone to call my mom. I felt all this responsibility to work, because having been there two weeks, I had just completed training. I didn't expect it at all, but the only words out of my mom's mouth were, "I think you should quit". It felt GREAT to hear her say that! And of course I did quit.

Anyway, totally understand what you're saying about not quitting because you want to. I haven't had the worst jobs, that's for certain but sometimes you really do have to learn how to make the best of it.