The other night at dinner, Jon and I met a delightful couple whose daughter is a Freshman in college finishing her Fall semester. Her folks are happy to help her with a portion of tuition and a small monthly allowance. The operative word, “small” – especially when compared to her roommate whose allowance is five times the amount she has. Welcome to holiday employment.

In order to add to her measly amount, the young lady started hoofing it. First stop the mall where she visited over a dozen businesses, filled out applications and hoped for a call back.

The next day she started out for mall number two. This time, she got a little advice from her dad.

“When you go into the store tell them what you’re up to, fill out the application, then ask to see the manager.”


“Well, when you meet the manager, you can tell him/her face to face the things you appreciate about the store and how you would make a terrific addition to their team.”

Great advice! I loved that he wasn’t stepping in to save her. I’m sure his heart went out to the kid. She attends a rather affluent university and is most certainly at the low end of the bankroll. But he felt that the provided financial support was sufficient. If she wanted to do more, she would have to earn it. So he let her go it alone. After grueling Day #1 that produced little results, he gave her what one might think to be obvious advice. But it wasn’t obvious to her. She welcomed the helpful hints. He was being her trainer, not her task handler.

At the end of his story, I couldn’t help but share with him the obvious. Babysitting is the way to go. She would make a lot more than minimum wage going that route. Plus with school out, moms are eager to entertain their kids… but that’s another story.

Anyway – very cool that she was literally hitting the pavement. Admirable that her folks adhered to their principals and in turn are helping their child toward independence.

Is your kid too young or the holiday too short to find gainful employment? Oh well, it is a holiday break. Ahhh… forget about it all being a break – Let’s talk volunteer next week! My kids can’t wait (not!!).

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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