Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dennis! Come back wi' me apple pie!

Kids of today, eh?

As I was entering the building yesterday I passed a mother dropping her son off for work experience. As she straightened his hoodie and pushed his hair to one side, she was a mixture of nerves, pride and "look at my little boy going off for work experience, it seems like only five minutes ago, etc".

Totally unembarrassed was he by this, and kissed and hugged mum and made himself known at reception. It was a nice scene. I was thinking that, if that had been me at that age, I'd have been crushingly humiliated in an instant.

I would have been made to wear and suit and tie for a start, and mum would have done all the talking while using my name over and over. She was like the mother from Please, Sir!

I vividly remember the girl from my geography class who worked Saturdays in Jill's Wools smirking quietly as I died of shame as mother bellowed: "F-C likes this one, don't you F-C. And what about this one F-C? Auntie Maggie's knitting F-C a jumper, everyone. What about royal blue, F-C?", while holding up skein after skein of deeply unfashionable Norwegian knits. Still, it's because she cared and I do love her dearly. I still tell her off for superfluous use of my name.

On a related note, my aunt once arrived at my cousin's workplace in London and asked to see his boss to have a talk about how he was getting on. He was mortified. Wouldn't you be? That's overstepping the parental mark.

Anyhoo, when I passed this work experience boy at lunchtime he was hood up, phone glued to ear, daft patois emanating from sneery mouth, smoking what I'm sure was a spliff. I haven't seen him since, so perhaps he went back to the office stoned and they showed him the door. Mother will be heartbroken. She clearly sees a very different boy. But don't they all?

11 comments:

Bright Ambassador said...

My mother bought me special clothes to go on my work experience at Marks and Spencer: grey Farah Action Slacks and a blue, policeman's style, shirt. I was like a fish out of water, but started holding my own towards the end of the week.
Let me tell you, the staff canteen in M&S is terrific.

By the way, please don't post any more Musical Youth videos. I realise it's your blog to do what you like with, but there is a limit.

Chris Hughes said...

Even as a 10-year-old, I felt it was a bit rubbish that Musical Youth were doing a song called Youth Of Today. I thought they were laying on the whole 'youth' angle with a trowel.

Five-Centres said...

It's the only song of theirs I like, so don't worry about anymore posts with them in them.

Mondo said...

My first extra pocket money job was cold canvassing selling double glazing door-to-door. I borrowed my dad's sheepskin coat for a more mature edge, but must have looked properly shifty - it being mid-summer. The money was great (£10 for a lead £20 for a sale - in 1981) so made a few quid, all fiddled of course, from arranging made up leads and sales.

Five-Centres said...

I hope your employer isn't reading this Mondo! It's like when I had a job delivering free newspapers. I used to throw them in the lake. No one ever complained.

Mondo said...

I doubt it - they were some shady firm operating from a beaten up Bedford van, who disappeared when pay day was due, came back two weeks later and only settled up when a friend's dad had a 'straightener' with them.

I pulled a similar stunt on my 3 day paper round. Any house with a Beware of the Dog sign had the papers thrown up the drive or in the bushes.

Cocktails said...

F-C, how can you not like the 'classic' Pass the Dutchie?!

Five-Centres said...

Played to death, Cocktails, that's all.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I've got it in mind now that your real name must be "Malcolm", F-C. Though other sources assure me it isn't.

Five-Centres said...

Thankfully not ISBW, but you are barking up the right tree where the mum is concerned.

Matthew Rudd said...

My mother was and is a caring, devoted woman, but for all my periods of work experience all she did was make sure I had some breakfast and gave me my bus fare. The rest was up to me.

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