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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Mashenka’s Summer Job Search

summerOur third oldest, Mashenka, has just turned 17. Last summer she had a part-time job on Thursdays and Fridays scooping ice cream and assisting at a mini-golf place. Both operated together and her oldest brother, Petya, was working not far away at the main golf course of the same establishment.

This summer, 18.5-year-old Petya worked near our home in DC for his third full-year, part-time job that started as a volunteer when he was 15.   Currently it filled Mondays and Tuesdays while he did his college studies part-time on Wednesdays and Thursdays and TV editing on Fridays. Combined with his parents’ many involvements, we have some busy family with a master schedule to keep it all straight.

So now Mashenka was looking again. The ice cream place, where she worked with older ladies was a summer-jobnice, albeit slow, job where they were asking if she could come back this summer. About a 45-minute drive in heavy, summer traffic, the location proved too far without her older brother to drive her. Plus, there was a creepy manager who might have been a little too friendly. Again, the older brother had kept an eye on things during his breaks, zipping by on a golf cart to give a friendly wave.

We encouraged her to look nearby. What she didn’t totally understand was that we had found her the ice cream job which came through a friend. She was basically hired without any interview. She was in… on our merits. This year would be different.

jobOr would it?

A friend who worked in an upscale health-food store with café asked if she might be looking for work this summer? Then have her stop by and fill out an application….

She wore her after-school clothes which would not be my first choice to mop the kitchen floor. I asked her to change her top, which she did with some protest. She put on a wrinkled top. I explained that we didn’t let her dress this way normally, much less for a job interview.

Mashenka had no clue. To her, a job meant independence, doing what she wanted, and being away from summeremploy_LargeUS. You know, being a big guy.


Again she changed. I reviewed with her how to ask for an application, when she might be available to work, her Social Security number, which family friends might be good references. I said to speak very clearly and said nothing about her crazy-looking hair that was not normally groomed that day. Her appearance was not her own personal, casual-best, in my opinion, but hey, I’m not hiring her.

Mashenka never got a call back on that one.

thThis week, she was out with her father and entered a grocery store. We were on our way to another event later in the day, so she was dressed nicely. They had spotted a “Help Wanted” sign earlier. The two of them kept it secret from me, no doubt because I probably would have coached her in some way to make sure she would be ready….

She liked the idea of being a cashier, you know, handling MONEY, lol. I wondered if she could make accurate change even with the register informing her of the exact amount, but if she never tried….

The manager asked her to fill out an online application in the store. Following that, Mashenka was to summer-jobtelephone in about an hour and the manager would look over her application at that time.

Our daughter sequestered herself away to make The Call. She had not called many strangers before in her short life. This she considered the second time, lol. Her father gave her his phone.

“What happened?” I asked, giving her a high-five when she told me of her job application.

“The manager told me that the connection was not good and that she would call me later.”

Immediately, I knew. Or thought I knew. And hoped it wasn’t true. But kinda believed it might be: the manager most likely could not understand Mashenka’s English with her heavy Russian accent. She does not speak clearly, she does not enunciate, and she refuses to do her enunciation exercises with the DVD we bought her for exactly those purposes. But she’s a nice person and would be enthusiastic and a hard-worker at any job.


So far, no call-back. But she’s hoping and waiting….


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