Dependent On Some Better Advice

, , , , | Related | January 21, 2019

(I’m nineteen and visiting my dad. I’m having trouble getting a part-time job to pay for college with, in part because nothing pays high enough and in part because any callbacks I’ve had make it clear they’ll refuse to let me take hours that accommodate my classes. I’m venting to him about it. My dad has worked for the same company for thirty years at this point.)

Me: “I just don’t know what else I can do to make myself clear and respected enough. I’m happy to work any hours excluding five per day when shops are usually slow anyway. I’m happy to work weekends or nights. But it’s like as soon as the manager hears I’m in college, they’ll suddenly only want me during the morning-to-afternoon of weekdays.”

Dad: *while reading over my resume and cover letter* “It looks good to me, but I don’t know squat.”

Me: “Huh?”

Dad: “Times have changed. The way everybody wants things done has changed, too. I haven’t applied for a job since I was your age. I know the Internet changed basically everything. Heck, I can’t even pay the bills without signing up for the utility company’s website.”

Me: “Oh, well, I guess that’s true. It’s just that mom’s advice was awful. She kept driving me around to make me ‘pound the pavement’ and apply in-person, but nobody takes walk-ins anyway. It’s embarrassing and frustrating. The people who work at the places I apply to give me weird looks. I thought because you’re smarter than mom…”

Dad: *laughs* “Hey, not really. But it’s funny she’s acting so ignorant about this, since she’s changed her career five times since you were born. Just do the opposite of whatever she says. Because she probably did the opposite of what she’s telling you. My guess is she wants you to fail to get a job, so you’re forced to stay with her, so she can get the tax benefits for a dependent.”

(How right he was! It’s a shame his house was full to the brim of my step-siblings or else I’d have moved in with him. Even after I moved to another state, my mother kept calling me around tax season to try to threaten and wear me down so she could claim me on her taxes. But that’s a story for another time!)

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