Oh, to learn those teenage lessons all over again

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Daughter #1 is learning fast that work is called work for a reason.

With her GCSE exams out of the way, she’s got the whole summer ahead of her with no plans except music festivals and her shifts at her part-time job.

This is a very “dad” thing to say but work has been the making of her.

When you’re grafting for less than £4 an hour, you get to learn the value of money pretty quickly.

And once earned, daughter #1 does not like to spend unless there’s something she really wants.

Last week there was a pre-sale through her mobile phone network to buy Bastille tickets two days before they went on general sale.

And thanks to her new found wealth she got the tickets herself.

For the first time it wasn’t left to yours truly to trawl the internet and call ticket agencies.

That’s a result in my book.

The other thing about work is you have to deal with a lot of idiots.

But the trouble is these idiots are more often than not the customers who pay your wages and they are ALWAYS right.

Placating difficult customers isn’t something they teach you in school and daughter #1 has learned quickly that some people would find something to moan about if you’d discovered a cure for cancer.

She has the knack of smiling sweetly and getting them out the door as quickly as possible.

Of course, the best thing about work is payday.

And daughter #1 loves payday.

I once made the mistake of asking what she planned to do with her wages and she looked me in the eye and said: “It’s my money, I’ve earned it and I’ll do what I want with it.”

Fair comment, young lady.

And unlike school, if you don’t like work you can leave (providing you’ve got something else lined up or are an eccentric millionaire who mops floors for fun).

She has quickly learned the goal of the working man and woman that at the end of a long shift is your dinner, some peace and quiet and an hour in front of the telly, in her case watching something called Grey’s Anatomy which looks and sounds like Casualty but all the actors are Calvin Klein models.

Money in the bank, endless youth and her whole life ahead of her.


I know I am.