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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…!

Petya’s Promotion

I have not seen my 16.5-year-old this excited since he joined the tennis team.  Bursting in the house, I heard his voice, “I have big news—really big news—good news—where’s Mama?”

cute_baby_in_briefcaseHe and his father headed upstairs.  Petya had just gone back to work at his volunteer job after a hiatus of almost three months during his tennis season.  The glossy archaeology magazine was gracious and assured him that they were pleased with his office help enough to welcome his return when he was able.  That day had arrived.

“Mama, Mama, good news!” His smile was ear-to-ear, followed by his father’s.

“What?  What?  Tell me all!”

“Well, I wanted to tell you and Papa together,” he explained.  “When I got to work, I said hello to everyone, and they were all happy to see me.  We talked a couple of minutes about tennis, and then, the two ladies I work for saidbaby in office that they wanted to speak with me, along with the head of all the employees in the conference room.”

“At first I was nervous,” Petya said.  “Maybe they didn’t really want me back, after all.  But they said they were very pleased with my work, and how I’ve been with them over a year, almost two years, and that if it was okay with me and with my parents, they would be willing to start paying me for my time!  Paying me!!!”

You would think he had just been admitted to a Ph.D. program with the whoops and laughter emanating from his parents.  This had been a matter of prayer that he and I had discussed since he was now 16 and felt he should start earning some money.  I agreed with him, but explained our schedule of travel, and his full summer of tennis, interspersed with archaeology.  Not a whole lot of time remained.  So we became creative and he and his brother were thinking of possibly organizing spaces in their spare moments—pantries, garages, basements—whatever people wanted and needed.

And now this.

MoneyBabyGranted, it was not millions.  He worked one afternoon a week, and it would be minimum wage.  He didn’t even work every week in a month, lol.  But, the flexibility and warm office atmosphere were a perfect match in so many ways.

“Look at it this way,” I commented when we all calmed down and stopped with the high-fives.  “You’ll have enough money to help you walk back and forth to the office!”

“Just call me Mr. Money-man!  I’m rich!” he enthused.  “Plus, this is real work experience, right?  They said I would be an intern!”

“Absolutely, it’s work experience.  Minimum wage is more than your allowance, that’s for sure…” I observed.  Turning to his father, I wondered aloud, “Should I stop with the allowance?”

“No, no, keep it coming, Mama,” Petya interjected.

He was the only child receiving a small allowance secretly, because he was actually… helpful.  It was enough to possibly buy a burger after a tennis match, just a token.  I didn’t believe in allowances just because the children breathed.  Plus, we met all of their needs, and they had enough hoarded birthday money from friends and relatives to allow them to give their parents loans, if need be.

At dinner, he shared with his siblings, and they were rather happy and surprised.  Only at lunchtime, one had been The small businessmancomplaining that he was so “lucky” to have started his working career at age 15.

“He’s not getting paid,” Benedetto reminded them.  “He’s volunteering.”

“And you can volunteer, too.  Think of what you might enjoy doing, think of the skills that Petya put together on his resume’, whether it was typing 50 wpm, or speaking various languages, or a positive attitude…” I suggested.  “We can help you think of places that might be interesting.  You don’t have to come up with this all on your own.  We can work together.”

And now this.  He was getting paid!

That’s our big guy, embarking on a new phase of his life.


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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar hoonew says:

    This is great news, and so fun to participate vicariously in everyone’s excitement! He’s really an amazing kid to have people volunteer to pay him- how often does that happen?

    • avatar admin says:

      Hah, hah, I know, hoonew! Kids just don’t have that perspective to know what are normal operating procedures. I shared with everyone today how you generally have to ask for a position, or ask for a raise. He did pursue the volunteering rather vigorously to get in the door. The other kids think he should be taking everyone out to eat, but I said we didn’t want to blow his whole first year’s wages in one fell swoop!

  2. avatar Sybil says:

    Another great milestone. Sincere congratulations to Petya.

  3. avatar Shelley says:

    If this is how you’re raising your children to be super-achievers, you can probably take this info on the road and help many other parents who hope to guide their kids, too. Congrats to Petya– and his amazing parents!

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