7 Steps to Becoming an Adult at Work

by Evil HR Lady on March 25, 2011

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I am 18 years old and just started a full time job. I work 10:30-6:30 at a daycare center and I already hate it. I started working as a sub there and wasn’t getting many hours, so when they offered me this job I was really excited about the hours I would be getting. But, I now have no life. Summer is coming and I’m not going to be able to do anything. I feel depressed and sad all the time. I never smile. I would like this position if I didn’t have to stay so late and maybe had a day off now and then, but that is just not possible here. What should I do?

7 Steps to Becoming an Adult at Work

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

The Plaid Cow March 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm

For the viability of the next generation, I can only hope that this letter is not real, or if it is real, that it does not reflect a shared belief in what life should be like.

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Suzanne Lucas March 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Ah, Plaid Cow, if only it was fake. (Or maybe it is, but the grammar I cleaned up suggests to me that it is real.)

Growing up is such fun.

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newresource March 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm

What advice did you give them?

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newresource March 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Oops, sorry, I see it now…too early in the morning I guess.

Nice work.

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Lindy Stamper March 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Good advice. For those priviledged kids that never worked before graduating, they don't know how to fax and how to make copies, common sense tell them to just count down. Those are good advice to any kid entering work force. Sometimes, for grown ups too.

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Interviewer March 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

That first year of full-time adult work, with no spring break or summer vacation – oh, how I remember the pain.

Look on the bright side. Many of your friends are not out there making money. And you can really appreciate your weekends when you've worked hard all week.

You do important work that matters. I have children in daycare, but I work full-time because I need a paycheck to house and feed my kids. My employer needs me to be at work. The government needs me to be a taxpayer. My mortgage company needs me to pay them. The whole house of cards collapses without reliable childcare.

By the way, parents notice when their teachers care about their kids, and it makes them feel better about choosing you to watch them. So hug a kid for me today.

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Mike C. March 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

Attributed to Socrates by Plato.

I think it's important to remember that we all grow up at some point, some sooner than others. We all need guidance from those who have come before, and we all have a responsibility to pass that on to those who come after. EHRL's advice about finding a mentor was the best part for the long term.

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The HR Wannabe March 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Man, this letter made me sad for my generation! I started working at 15 in the local grocery store (evenings and weekends) and held onto that job well into university, so I don't recall ever really feeling this way. Not to say I didn't, just I definitely wasn't feeling it by the time I hit 18.

This kind of letter just makes me wonder what the writer was expecting! Full-time employment has been at least 40 hours per week for a long time- how could that have come as such a shock? I don't quite get it.

Everyone starts out at the bottom! Nothing makes higher education more appealing than starting out at the bottom and realizing you'd better get yourself into school to have a sniff at the better jobs.

In this case, maybe Mom and Dad could have done a better job of preparing their little darling for the realities of the world?

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Class factotum March 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Oh come on you guys. Don't be so tough on the LW. Don't you remember how much your first job stank? It was hard! So many people weren't nice to you! And then so much of your money disappeared in taxes!

I had a series of crummy jobs as a teenager, including one where I had to clean poop off the bathroom floor for a mere $3.25 an hour.

The beauty of the crappy (ha!) jobs is they motivate us to become qualified for the better ones.

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