Just had a bit of a rant with the progeny. It doesn't happen much these days except when I complain about mess and spreadage. Adam's thinking about leaving yet another job. I must admit he's being paid no more than a burger flipper at Macdonalds to create decks, driveways, gardens and plantings. In fact my sister is being paid more per hour to 'sort' peaches!
He doesn't like the men he works with, they're jaded, they white-ant the 'boss' and resent the new kids (he's one of two that cop the left handed spanner treatment and the brunt of the jokes). They lay blame on the younger two and make spending time in their company unpleasant. Well that's his take on it. I prefer to think he's a bit naive when it comes to handling older tradies. His boss is fine but refusing to budge on the pittance he earns and Ads makes more money on one Saturday working for himself (and enjoys it immensely) than he does in two days working in his present job. He wants his own business, he wants more experience, he wants to design and organise, he wants to get rich. He's happy to labour long and hard and has never shied from hard work but he wants to be paid for it. He earned more crawling through rooves laying cables, or knocking out old bathrooms before a renovation or lugging 25kilo bags of salt than he does on this job. That doesn't seem so unreasonable to me. Three years of Uni and six months later and he's being paid the same as an 18 year old shop girl! We're even paying our Receptionist more than he earns!
My problem? I'm in that betwixt and between generation that doesn't quite want total security and a gold watch when they retire but feels that you should give a job a go and stick at it for at least 12 months. I've never been permanently employed anywhere for less than five years, apart from between job freelance assignments, so it seems so impatient of him to have had two positions since February. Gen Y are of the 'me' and 'I want it now' instant gratification generation so if something doesn't suit them they flit from one thing to another. Buy the latest gadget as soon as it comes out despite his mother's protestations that he should wait until his birthday which is only a month away today.
We didn't fight. I just told him to make sure that the 'business' he thinks he has is still there given the current belt-tightening situation and not just people talking it up. I've asked him to plan a little, work out who his competition is and what they're charging. Get his business cards done up, create a little website. Insure his income in the event he's injured. Make sure he's covered with Public Liability in case he fractures someone's gas pipes - am I being to safe and stuffy? He is talking about going to TAFE (Tertiary and Further Education) to learn a little more about his craft and running a business and thinks he's got enough work to take him through to Christmas at least. I keep thinking it's time he got serious and realised that the cost of living is exhorbitant not just covered by his tiny 10% of salary that he pays to me each week. He thinks he's got it in the can and is ready to launch. Maybe he has.
In many respects my children aren't like me at all. They're adventurous, freer than I was at that age, less influenced by economics and certainly work fits in with lifestyle. They work to live, not live to work. (Then they haven't got a father banging his fist on the table yelling "You've got to get your Matric!" as mine did. I wasted four years at university only to get the degree and do a flash course in secretarial studies before beginning my far from illustrious Copywriting and administrative career)
Clare's talking about travel as a lifestyle with a few stints of money-saving work in between. Adam's dreaming of building a business and being a gazillionaire by the time he's 40. Then I think, 'well, if he's going to chop and change and find the ideal, best he does it while he's debt free and young' . . .then I think 'but his CV's going to show his inability to stick to the program if the business doesn't work out and he needs to seek employment.' I don't really care what he does I just want him to give it his best.
I also think that I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't 'settled' for second best as a trade off for security or if I'd got back on the dating game when I had the body and the energy (even though I did have two small children that might have been regarded as 'baggage'). I'd have got my act together, bought that little country pub or inner city B & B with a few neat rooms, new people to meet every week and a good disposable income and lived the dream . . my problem . . .I didn't have a dream at 20. I should be grateful that I have a son with some sense of 'direction'. I'm still sitting here wondering what I'm going to do when I grow up!