The first was my mother, Jocelyn (died in 1997).
When I was entering the teen years, she responded to me belly-aching about having to babysit for a couple who gave me the creeps. I had babysat for them once before (and I don’t believe I was paid – my mother was doing them a favour) and I was to sleep overnight on their couch. The four boys all went to bed readlily enough. I only had to remind them to keep their noise down else they wakened the baby, once.
When all was quiet, and the Untouchables episode had finished (now that dates me, yes?), I wrapped myself in the blanket and fell asleep, the couch being comfortable and I being rather naïve. I awoke twice that night to find the father of the house standing watching me sleep; the first time from the hallway door, the second from the end of the sofa.
But when I told mum I didn’t want to go back there, she said…
“When you have a job to do, get on with it”. I did the babysitting job, but asked the father to drive me home, which he did in spite of being tipsy.
But I have applied that to every job I’ve done.
The second to give me advice – and a better piece of advice I’ve never had – was my father Willy (died c. 1987). We ran a family Dairy (corner store, similar to Abu’s Kwik-E-Mart in The Simpsons). I loved working there after high school. And i enjoyed working with him and with the other employees – including Marge (no, not Simpson).
One day I was so tired, I just wanted to sit out the back and read. I know I may have grumbled a bit.
“If you have a job to do, find the fun in it, and do it well”.
Which led to, when stacking tinned goods on the shelves, Marge writing the price on each can, and rolling them one by one across the shop floor to me to stack. (Yes, writing prices with a felt pen dates me, too.) Customers had to get used to checking the floor for rolling cans every afternoon. We had some hilarious times in the shop.
And both pieces of advice have stuck with me all through my working life as an accountant’s clerk, teacher, parent, and all the other twenty or so jobs I’ve done.
Others have given me advice, but both my parents’ advice have stuck with me.
This prompted by the Weekly Challenge at…