Dear Parents of Employed Teenagers,
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As you undoubtedly know by now, your son Johnny or your daughter, Jane, has a job. You know this all too well because you are the one stuck behind the wheel of the car at ungodly hours of the morning like 5 AM or 6 AM, dropping off said kid. I apologize, but operational needs being what they are, someone's gotta stock shelves, flip hash browns and make coffee for me to drink.
Now as a parent, you believe you have all sorts of rights that you can enforce upon me, the manager. Let me clear this issue up right now: You don't.
Here is my short list of things that bug me (and probably 99% of all managers everywhere):
- Calling in sick for your kid. If at 14 one is old enough to work in this province, then one is old enough to call in sick. Unless your kid is in a coma, you are not doing your kid any favours. It actually is insulting to us, the management, and to the kid. Now I realize that you have heard all sorts of stories about how big of a prick I am to those calling in sick. Let me assure you those are gross exaggerations. I'm very understanding - unless you're calling in for your kid. Then not so much.
- Getting mad when I call your house early in the morning to find out where Johnny/Jane is. Tell your kid to invest in an alarm clock, cell phone and act more responsible. I have a job to do too, and calling early in the morning isn't my favourite part of it. So a little understanding here okay?
- When your kid forgets to book off the family holiday, don't get mad at me. I am not a psychic or God. If the family holiday is "last minute", then there is not a very good chance that it can be accommodated. If you see the look on your kid's face as he/she tells me that you sprung this last minute, you would never be so inconsiderate again in your life.
- Don't threaten me by claiming that you know the owner of the company. If you want to threaten me, pull a knife, a gun or a heck, even a pen. I haven't actually met the owner of the company more than a couple times (and I've been employed there a lot longer than your kid). The chances of you knowing the owner are not that good anyhow. So that threat frightens me as much as a litter of newly born kittens.
- Asking your kid to ask for better shifts - eg not early morning or late night shifts on the weekends - because you only have two days off and you want to sleep in. Sorry, I forget what weekends are like - I hear they are great though. I also hear that misery loves company. We try to have fair rotation. Sometimes that means some weekends your kid gets the short end of the stick. It can't be helped.
- Lastly, don't come in and try to fight your child's battles. It's embarrassing for your kid and you. I know the fruit of your loins are completely great and awesome, but having a job is about being responsible. If I am standing my ground, it's not because I dislike your kid or you or life or eggplant - it's because if I don't, then I'll have 39 other people trying to run the show their own way. And that gets old pretty fast.
So in summation: Parents, I am not a glorified babysitter - don't treat me that way. Your kid has this job to make up for that allowance that you unceremoniously yanked from under them when they turned 13. You said, "Go get a job." You too have to live with the consequences. None of which are really my problem.
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