Monday, 8 June 2009

First day at 'Work Experience'

My teen was a nervous wreck this weekend. She wanted to 'practice' the journey to the record shop where she will work this week. I'm quite proud of her actually. She got this work experience all by herself. Just went into the shop and asked. Her best mate is doing her work experience with Sir Paul McCartney but then the best mate's mum works for Stella.

Before going, my daughter was worried...
"They are going to expect me to know everything about music. Mum. Tell me everything you know about music."
"Of course they aren't going to expect that. They know you are only 15".
This morning though I gave her a lift.
"You are NOT coming in" she commanded.
"Of course not".
I know the score. She's got to look grown up in front of them.
At the end of the day...
"How was it?"
She looks tired.
"It took me until 3pm to get up the courage to ask if I could go for lunch. I was told I could have an hour. Of course I was back in five minutes. I got a sandwich but my hands were so dirty I couldn't eat it. So I'm starving."
"Why were your hands so dirty?"
"The job they gave me, in the back room, was to sort out a huge pile of Cd's, match the case to the Cd. They'd been laying around for a year. And I really wanted to go to the toilet but I was too nervous to ask if they had one. When I found it, the sink had no soap".
"How were the people?"
"Well I was expecting 'Hi-fidelity'. I got 'Hi-fidelity'.(1) They are all men and they are quite fat. One of them asked me who Ernest Hemingway was. I thought he was joking but said 'he's a writer isn't he?". Turned out he really didn't know. They only know about music."
"Today a customer came in and asked for a record by the Rolling Stones before they were the Rolling Stones. The assistant didn't know what they were called. The manager said he should be sacked. But I think it was a joke." She pauses "He was surprised I like Morrissey."
"What did they expect you to like? S Club 7?" I ask.
Then she sighed "I'm sick of listening to music. Had to listen to it for ten hours".
She continued:"Groups send in their Cd's hoping to get stocked. The manager spends every day listening to these Cd's. He is always screaming. All day. Saying stuff like 'These groups are shit. Why don't they give up?'. He chucks their Cd's in the bin after half a song. Then I hear him phone the group and say "I'm afraid your work isn't right for us'."
More..."but one group I liked, so he gave me the Cd and said he would stock them. That was the best bit of the day."

She thinks again "I bet my friend doesn't have to do this for Sir Paul McCartney".

(1) The book by Nick Hornby revolving around men working in a record shop.


  1. Looks like she's come across the fact that all men are anoraks at heart - music men are more overt anoraks than most, granted, but all are to some extent. My OH is an anorak about kitchen equipment, records + cookery books. My father is an anorak about records, hi-fi equipment, clothes and photography. My brothers are both music and clothes anoraks. My step-sons are video games anoraks and incredibly are ultra anoraky about illicit smokeables. Who knew? I call them anoraks - they all call
    themselves 'collectors', 'connisseurs' 'fans' and any other such adjective you can think of. Anorak by any other name.

    Good on her for finding her own work experience though - shows initiative - good girl. Suspect with a mother like you though, the balls are coming through well.... You're obviously doing something right, so don't sweat so much about the other stuff.

    green drawers x

  2. I'm afraid Green Drawers is correct. I've not met any other men who are not anoraks about something, usually it's football or TV. I'm not anoracky about them, but I am about that other great male cliche, beer! I'm an anorak about hospital beds and I infuriate everybody by discussing the advanages of the Huntleigh 460 over the Egerton Blue or the Hil-Rom Standard.... Shall I go on or will you throw wet tea bags at me if I do? :-)

    I was excrementally scared during my work experience week at AA Travel in 1987. A chinese man came in who could hardly speak English and I felt so embarrassed not being able to explain to him where "Hetra" was. One of the regular staff appeared and helped him. It turns out he wanted to go to Heathrow Airport; travel agents seem to have a knack for interpreting broken English.

  3. I did work experience at an animal shelter. On the first day I was given some black bin bigs to dispose of- they were rather heavy and I think contained the bodies of deceased cats. I also developed quite a bad animal hair allergy. Not a good week.

  4. this is gorgeous.
    thank you for it.
    i can hear both your voices.

  5. Work experience? My school prepared us for a life time of unemployment by not giving us any. The careers talks before we left consisted of an army recruiter and another which was a run down of local factories that were hiring school leavers. Work experience just sounds too weird to me. Do all schools do this these days. It was different in the 1970s.... Did you have work experience?

  6. No I didn't either. They all do it now.
    Teen is enjoying it I think. She is now insisting on watching Big brother so that she can talk about it to her boss...while she's in the backroom sorting Cds.

    I actually wanted to join the army at the careers day at my school but was told I was too short.

  7. What a lovely post!

    And good on you and your daughter for her organising it herself. IMHO, too many parents arrange it for their kids, not a good lesson :-)

    I'm sorry she experienced bad management, ie not being shown round the building, not being told where to go for lunch, etc - poor her.

    Great news re the CD, maybe she could go into A&R?

    Good luck with the rest of it.

  8. Fascinating post, I like your blog.

    Green drawers, you're right, men tend to be obsessed about things. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Is the alternative to be indifferent to everything and proceed through life as a kind of disinterested automaton? I would have thought passion and fascination and excitement were qualities to be encouraged (although we all know it can be taken too far).

  9. Actually Matt, both my teen and I are total obsessives about anything we are interested in, from music to men!
    It's not a criticism, more an observation really...

  10. Hey it sounds like your teen is having a bad day there. Why doesn't she come over to ours and sit skinning up in the corner. I can teach her 17 ways to roll a doobie

  11. Thank you for visiting my blog Sir Paul, it is an honour. However I have a horrible feeling that my teen knows how to do that already.


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