Jack, who will be 15 in May, wants a summer job.
He tells me that if he can get something full time at an $8 hourly rate, he’ll save up enough for a new computer and a PS4. I don’t know where all this stuff will go, since the family room (man cave) is pretty much already full of electronics.
I guess we could get rid of the foosball table. And the couch. Maybe knock out a wall or two (note to Jack: I mean that satirically. We are not knocking down a wall to accommodate more electronics).
I remember wandering around downtown when I was his age, stepping into little mom and pop stores, in which I’d never shopped, asking if they needed summer help. After about three or four rejections, I stopped asking and just window shopped.
I filled out an application to work at my parents’ favorite restaurant. My dad had talked me up to the manager, and then encouraged me to apply.
I returned the completed application to the manager. She took it, wordlessly, and bent over it at her desk.
I guess that’s it, I thought, and backed out of the room without waiting for her to finish looking, or respond in any way.
It would pretty much be babysitting again that summer, with the occasional a pool to clean when the neighbors went out of town.
I’ve since realized that interviews are rather my strong suit. I could have made up for my skimpy job application in that little broom closet/office hybrid of hers by showing a little energy, making eye contact and smiling. What I lack on paper I can usually make up for by sheer force of will. It’s kind of my superpower.
At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself until I develop the ability to fly, or move stuff with my mind, or read in a moving vehicle without getting nauseated.
If I have any shred of ability to make friends and influence people, Jack has it in spades. So, regardless of the snowball’s chance in Hell he stands at getting something with those hours at that rate that doesn’t involve selling his soul or something worse, the fact he’s motivated to earn the big bucks presents a good opportunity to talk about things like resumes and interviews.
At the very least, I’d love for his recounting of his job search experience at this age to not involve the a hashtag awkward.
“So, I’m a potential employer,” I say. And then, in my bossiest voice (it isn’t a stretch): “Tell me, Mr. …. Markley, is it? What kinds of skills do you have to offer my firm?”
“No, honey, not um,” I say. “Never um. Employers want to hear about your problem-solving skills. They want to know you can think on your feet, that you’ll make the most of the resources you have at your disposal, and to do what you can right now to make a customer happy.”
We’re in the car and the day is sunny and I know he’d rather be napping.
“So, what about if someone comes up to you at the gym and says ‘help, I’ve lost my kid.'”
“That’s my job? To find someone’s kid?”
“Nobody cares if it’s your job. You’re wearing the gym’s shirt. You work for the gym. It’s someone’s kid. This is all hypothetical,” I say. “No one wants to hear how its not your job. I just told you I lost my kid, what do you think I want from you?”
“What if I got on the PA system and said ‘wah wah, LOST KID, wah wah?‘”
“That’s a start. What else?”
“I find some people to go out and look for the kid?”
“I tell you to keep an eye on your kid next time.”
“Okay, buddy, different scenario. What would you do if a customer came up to you to complain that the hamburger you served him was burned?”
“What if the customer was the president of Slobekistan and he ate a hundred burgers and then ran out to watch the numbers change on the sign and assassins drove up to shoot him in the parking lot?”
“I don’t think you’re going to have to deal with that.”
“It’s hypothetical, mom.”
All I know is I’m not getting paid. Not for this whole blogging thing anyway. I write for votes. And I appreciate yours.