“It’s a big job gettin’ by with nine kids and a wife
But I’ve been workin’ man, dang near all my life, but I’ll keep workin’
Long as my two hands are fit to use
I’ll drink my beer in a tavern
Sing a little bit of these working man blues….”
-Merle Haggard, 1969
We have a workin’ man!!
Yes, Ethan has now officially completed 8 hours of paid work, with a W-4 on file and everything.
I received a couple texts from him throughout the day yesterday, checking in. The first one said it was “good”. Hm, okay. Good sounds…good, I guess!
Later in the afternoon, they were being transported from one field to another (in a van), and he sent me a funny selfie with his buddy who is also working there. The follow-up text said, “This is torture.”
I wrote back, “????”
And he basically replied,” Nah, just kidding. It’s just hot and boring.”
Apparently his main task involves walking through the corn field (the “recruiter” told me on the phone they often walk over 10 miles a day!), identifying rogue corn that won’t grow correctly and then using some metal stick to snag it and remove it.
(That does sound really boring. 😬)
HOWEVER….at 13 years old, his employment options are slim to nonexistent, besides this one.
He has 2 best friends working at the farm too, which I am quite certain factored into him wanting to do this. That and the idea of actually earning money!! He came home saying, “I can’t believe I earned like, $90 today.” (*base pay, before any taxes etc. I think they are paying them $11/hour!! This seems like so much, for kids! I made $5.15/hr at McDonald’s back in the day…)
I was also happy to hear him say last night, “I think I’ll put just like 20% of my earnings into my debit card account (the one he spends from) and the rest in my big savings in the bank.” LOVE this idea, Ethan. Yes.
The schedule is Monday- Friday 8-4:30, but it won’t last the whole summer. In fact, it sounds like it could be as short as just a few weeks, or, if he is selected to stay on, some employees will continue on in the Nursery until early August. (Not guaranteed though- they need less people for that part.)
I figure even if he only works 2-3 weeks, he will still make some good money and gain some valuable “life experience”.
He’ll be off for camp next week, anyway. (We had marked him as unavailable.) So it actually worked out nicely to just work Thursday- Friday, and then have a week off!! That’s my kind of schedule. ha. Ease into it.
After work, I picked him and his friend up and bought them ice cream.
Ethan did a moderate amount of light-hearted complaining about the job, saying again that it was hot, boring and that he will definitely be working in air-conditioning at a “real job” someday as an adult. I pointed out that this is great to keep in mind, when he complains about school. 😉 I also pointed out that for many adults around the world, this type of farm job IS THEIR REAL JOB. So, how about we pause and just think about and appreciate that for a second.
He kind of shuddered at the thought of doing this for a lifetime, and basically said no way. (Like I said, it’s a good life experience!)
Anyway, so far, so good. His lunch is packed again for day #2!
Thought of the Day:
Stay close to people who feel like sunshine. 😊
I am grateful that Ethan is planning to go back for day 2. (Honestly, it did cross my mind that he might come home and say, Nope. Not doing that.)