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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…!

New Jobs for our Immigrant Kids

thOur four teens don’t exactly fit the profile of other adopted teens. In some ways they do, in other ways, they don’t. It can lead to some hysterical outcomes, at times.

So Mashenka, age 17, wanted a summer job. She scooped ice cream and helped at a mini-golf establishment for a month or two at the end of summer last year. They hoped for her return, but since her older brother had no time to work on the larger golf course, and more importantly, to drive her quite some distance, she needed to find something closer to home.

Pasha, age 18.5, had never held a job in his life. Skilled in art, but too lazy/forgetful to practice summerjobs5without large-scale pressure from us, he basically had no goals in life and no desire to ever be gainfully employed. Which would be funny if it weren’t my basement or attic where he was considering camping out for the rest of his life….

With all of these elements converging, when a friend in the hotel industry said that there were always resort condo-hotel cleaning jobs to be had by speakers of any language, we thought this might be best to pair the two together and have them journey forth into their future together.

In other words, each could keep an eye on the other.

Not that they had any eyes to spare….

employment_appFilling out the applications at home was an eye-opener. I had repeatedly role-played with them everything they might need to know, but still a lot fell through the cracks as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog. So we worked together and got it straight.

Turning in the application, the head of housekeeping informed them that they needed to actually see their Social Security cards.

Mashenka tried to describe to us what she needed, “Our security papers.”SOCIAL-SECURITY-CARD

Moi: “What?”

Mashenka, growing exasperated: “The paper with security!”

Moi, with the gift of interpretation: “Your Social Security card?”

Her: “That’s it.”

Pasha actually knew the name of the card. Two points for him.

FreshI decide to review all sorts of everyday words that may be of interest to them: bedspread, sink, balcony, turn-down service…. At home, they often resorted to Russian words or “thingy” descriptions, no matter how hard we tried to get them to use English. (One drawback of homeschooling: no peers flushing your head down the toilet or making fun of you if you don’t know a word.)

“And what’s the dirtiest item in any hotel room?” I quiz, since this shouldn’t be difficult for a family that travels a lot.

“The floor,” Pasha deadpans, his usual state of being.

“The toilet,” Mashenka wonders… and then changes with a flash from an earlier lecture I had given them, “the Controller!”

“The remote control,” I nod.

This should be interesting.

When they return with their Social Security cards, they are given no interview, but simply told to laundryashow up the next day at 10:00 a.m.

“For an interview, or to work?” I question.

“I don’t know,” Mashenka shrugs.

“I have no idea,” Pasha echoes.

I look to their father.

“They’re going to work,” he announces. “The head of housekeeping said there were too many crises to talk and just to come tomorrow in black pants and a white polo.”

SC439B2We determine that it sounds as though they have the job, so we all congratulate them.

The next day, they still know nothing. Not how long they will be working, what days, if they need to bring a lunch, nothing. We pack them sandwiches and I tell Mashenka that they may have lockers for her purse. Pasha has brought his wallet with all the money he has in the world—I confiscate it on the way and tell him to keep a few dollars in his pocket, instead.

These kids, lol.

We tell them to call immediately upon arrival and report when their day will end. Benedetto and I thhave to work out how and when we will pick them up. Neither has a cell phone, which we feel is best with their forgetfulness and possible slight brain slowness from Russia (Pasha).

We never hear from them again.

At 3:30 p.m., the phone rings and they are done, lol. They have had no lunch break, no bathroom break and are exhausted. Welcome to the life of an immigrant worker….

Summer-CalendarTheir hours? When they’re done with their work for the day, they’re done. Mashenka worked with a Turkish guy who didn’t speak English, cleaning guest condos. Pasha worked with another guy cleaning public areas and hallways. Tomorrow, they switch to be trained by different employees.

Among the cleaning crew, there were African-Americans, Hispanics, Russians, Filippinas and Turkish workers.

“Did you say hello to the Russians?” I inquired.

“Mama—we were WORKING-!”

Well, I guess there’s plenty of time for them to learn that they can take a 2-minute bathroom break and say hello to a comrade while they keep working, lol. We’ve never seen them so happy for dinner and bed! Rinse and repeat for tomorrow.


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