My Baby’s First Job

August 18, 2011

Last night, I went out with a friend after work.  I came out of the restaurant to a slew of text messages from both Lemon and WD (I’m sure if Mouse had her phone with her at camp, she’d be on that list).  WD was confused as to my whereabouts, because while he knew I was out, and he knew we’d agreed that we could eat late and that I didn’t need to rush, he didn’t quite expect me to be out until 8:30 or so.  We ended up with a 9 p.m. dinner.

Lemon’s texts were a barrage of questions.

Earlier in the day, I had received an email from a friend asking about Lemon’s availability to help out with a summer camp next week.  I told Lemon about it and said, “you should email her.” Lemon’s response consisted of the following texts:

1.  What does she need me to do??!

2.  What are the hours??

3.  How much will I get paid?

4.  Hello?  Mom??!  Where are you?

5.  MOM???!!!!

My hackles were raised, and I was feeling irritable that god forbid I am not on top of the texts the moment I get them. And I snippily responded, “I told you that YOU should email her, and YOU should ask these questions.  I’m not your agent.”

Then I thought about it (as my selfish irritation faded), and I realized – she’s never done this before.  She doesn’t know how.  While there is probably some unit in some class somewhere in high school that will talk about the basics of employment and functioning in the business world, it doesn’t come until later.

So I retraced my steps, apologized for snapping, and offered to walk through the process with her.  She said, “oh, would you, please?”  I told her that some questions are appropriate at the outset, but that she should wait for the employer to raise money first.  I drafted an email for her that essentially read like a cover letter.  “I heard you’re hiring … What an exciting opportunity … here’s my experience and my skill set … I’m available to discuss at your convenience.”

I think it was a pretty good email.  I sent it to her and she tweaked it so it was more like her (and less like me), and sent it off.  They are meeting on Sunday.

In the end, I think she did learn something through the experience (something in addition to “my mother can be such a bitch!”).

And, also, she may make some serious $$.  She’s saving for her very own digital slr camera, and this could give her a decent start.



  1. That’s a good point, I wouldn’t think about how she just *wouldn’t* know how to do that and would need guidance. I see that a lot with my clients, who are adults: they just don’t have the skills necessary to do stuff like that, they don’t even know where to begin. A good reminder that life skills don’t just come automatically!

  2. My older girl had her first mothers-helpering gig this summer and I helped her negotiate her hourly rate and then talked her through the emails she sent to her new employer. I think her somewhat professional emails surprised and pleased the woman she was working for (a friend of mine).

  3. […] and downs this year – and she’s been amazing.  She has absorbed sadness and moved on. She had her first job.  She learned and excelled at a new sport.  She traveled alone. She’s been doing amazing […]

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