Would you let teen quit this job before she even starts

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
Would you let teen quit this job before she even starts
10
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 6:54pm

Hello,

My 15 year old has been trying to find a job for about 6 months now.  My neighbor told me of a job at a local catering company.  My daughter called the company and left a message, asking for more info.  They called back and said that they would put her on the list, and give her a call the next week they needed help.  Well, they called about 2 days later and told her to come in today and they would show her around, so she could come in tomorrow and work!  They never told her any details, and she was so happy to get a job she didn't ask...she just assumed she'd be filling waters and food trays and be there around 3-4 hours.  She went in today to look around, and they told her what she would be doing.  They also told her she'd be there for around 6.5-7hours and that it can get VERY busy, so they won't have time to get much of a break until the end.  She left VERY unexcited and said she didn't want to do it...that she didn't know anything about it, and now that she does, it's not what she wants to do.  I've NEVER told her she has to get a job now...she did this on her own, and she really never did an interview, filled out an application, or even said she wanted the job...she really only wanted info.  She is very nervous because she has a VERY fast metabolism, and she tends to get very shaky if she doesn't eat every 2-3 hours.  The lady was adament when she told her that they would not have time to eat until the last hour or so of the job, so I know that's weighing heavily on her mind.  I'm not sure if I should force her to do this.  I don't want her to think she can quit something without giving it a good try.  However, she did this on her own, and it all happened so fast, that I think she just didn't have enough info to make up her mind.  What would you do?

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

Do they know she's underage? Has she done on the work permit stuff? How can she start tomorrow without filling out all the paperwork. Do they know the requirements for breaks and minors for their state? Do they know the rules on minors working in food service where alcohol is served? You should at least google the info for your state. I know our state requires a 10 minute break every 3 hours and 30 minutes meal break no longer than 5 hours of start time. My eldest has been working since she was 14 and they are sticklers for the rules.

I understand your delimna. You don't want her to quit based on being momentarily overwhelmed. However, I'd be hesitant with a private catering company and a 15-year-old unless you know the owner personally. I guess she could try it and just be ready to have a serious talk about it after.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

I can tell you what happened. The caterer took on more than she could handle, and somebody quit on her, so she was desperate for bodies to handle a big job. Your D just happened to come along at the right time, seemed presentable and responsible, and so she hired her without a second thought.

I'd have no problem with her turning this down, esp. since it is probably illegal. This will be a good lesson for her to learn, that even in a tough job market, you don't have to do anything even slightly shady. Oh, and I totally get the metabolism thing. Both my son and I have to eat frequent meals throughout the day or we get sick, so this would be a deal breaker for me, too!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000

She starts at 2:30, and they told her that when the buffet (she is starting out on the buffet before moving to the funerals, weddings, etc) is over at 7:30, they will have 5 or 10 minutes to eat what they want from what is left.   I'm just not sure if my daughter is misunderstanding or if it will actually be like this.  All she had to do today was take in her working papers.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

Boy, this is a tough one. 

What you are describing doesn't sound quite right to me.  At 15, I think the laws are pretty strict about breaks, etc.  I realize different sectors have different unwritten ways of doing things, so I don't know.  Maybe this is normal for the catering business. 

I would hate to see her not give a try, at least once.  Maybe throw some granola bars in her bag or pocket?  I don't know.  I would think that the employees would at least have to have a break after 4 hours.  I believe that is the law here.  It may only be 15 minute break, but a break never-the-less. 

I am very curious what she ends up doing! 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

How exciting for you and your DD. She has initiative. I think it’s good for teens to learn the linkage between money and work as teens—the value of money and the need to spend it wisely. Besides learning that work sucks (LOL), they also learn to be responsible and reliable; something that will benefit them throughout life. They learn to schedule their time and do homework and other activities around work and school. It also occupies time that could be used in “not so good for them” activities.

Having worked in food service in HS and college, as you probably did, I can tell you that it can be demanding during rush hours. Your breaks have to be outside rush hour, etcetera. As with all businesses they don’t exist for the benefit and convenience of the workers. However, most make reasonable accommodations for the worker’s needs, like “quick” restroom brakes to empty the bladder, etcetera. Part of this is doing the break before or after that peak rush hour or hours. As suggested above by one of the other posters, she can down a granola bar as she comes and goes to the quick restroom break. For a good worker, employer’s well do their best to keep them as good workers with good work habits are not easy to find.

I assume that you have done a quick review of the company, looked to make sure that it is a reputable group, with good people running it. Having done that, I would let my daughter show for work and explain to her that she needs to be diligent in following instructions, etcetera. If it doesn’t work out, she should give them notice and then look elsewhere.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000

Well, I am slightly furious now to say the least.  My dd was up crying half the night, saying how unapporoachable and somewhat mean the lady was who showed her around and told her about no breaks.  She was scared that she didn't know what to do tomorrow and that she feared the lady was too mean to be asking questions too.  Then, unbenownst to me, she called and left a message at 2am this morning and told them she didn't realize how many hours she had to work, and she wouldn't be able to do it!  2am!  I've now laid the guilt on her pretty heavy, which may or may be wrong of me, but that was very irresponsible in my mind!  She automatically conjured up the worst case scenerio in her head (which she does often) and got herself into such a tizzy that she didn't even give it a chance!  If the work conditions were truly as bad as she imagined, I would never expect her to go back, but this wasn't the way to have dealt with it!

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997

She sounds like me - I would've stewed too and then just decided what I wanted to do and finish it, regardless of time, to get it off my plate.  As she doesn't need a job, hasn't filled out paperwork for the job, etc., I don't think she owes anything to this woman, and the business sounds a bit fly by night, so I think it's fine.  I'm sure she was also kinda hoping not to catch her via the phone call; just leave the message and be done with it.  My ds had some sketchy employers before (3 different local valet companies; good money on rare occasion; used the kids most of the time) and I was thrilled when he took the initiative to get the heck out.

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I am thinking that this is not the best kind of job for a 15 yr old who has never worked before and I also doubt that it's legal to hire her.  The only food service jobs in our area that will hire kids younger than 18 are fast food, ice cream & stuff like that.  Most restaurants and waitress jobs you have to be 18.  My son is almost 18 and has been working in a clothing store since he was 16 and he's never worked more than 4 hours at a stretch (because they dont' want to have to give him a break)--occasionally when they were short handed and asked him to stay late, he might work 6 hrs.  I think that having never worked before, this kind of job probably scared her.  I'm sure the woman wasn't being "mean," but your DD took it as that maybe because the woman assumed that she was just being straighforward.  I agree that if she told the woman she would work that it wasn't responsible to call her in the middle of the night and cancel out and leave her short handed.  I think I would talk to her about that--and then tell her that maybe it's a sign that she's not old enough to get a job (since you say you didn't tell her she had to get a job anyway).  Maybe she could start with babysitting (not that that's a breeze either) or the 2 of you could go over places and talk about what kind of job she thinks she could do and the responsibilities.  Anyway, these are all lessons for later in life.  I think my kids both learned by doing low wage jobs that these were jobs they didnt' want to have for the rest of their lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000

We've talked it out thoroughly today, and all is fine now.  She said she just wanted the lady to get the message first thing this morning so she could find someone else to cover.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Glad that for now its all done and over with. You may need to sit her down and go over future job options and scenarios now so that she has a good understanding on things going forward. There is one place around here that hires 15 year olds, but other than that, if you want a job, it has to be for family or its babysitting, lawn work, etc. Sit down with her and go over questions she should ask when meeting with a potential employer, etc. so she has a handle on things for next time.
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