My first job

My first foray in employment came about as an attempt to contain the energy and exuberance of a 16-year-old who has close to three months of gallivanting and possibly getting pregnant after writing their JC exams.

It was also an attempt to prove that local companies can actually help government’s effort to keep kids off the streets and I was the guinea pig. My dad was pro-establishment and he would have heard and heeded the call more than most citizens. One evening after a tough game of soccer in the neighbourhood that included a boxing match, a wrestling bout and an angry maid who came to break up a fight, I was summoned by the head of the family. When the head of family calls you and sits on a special chair a bit far from the rest of the family, you know something is about to go down.

With my mind whirring like a faulty laundry machine and wondering whether I was implicated in the earlier street brawl at a soccer match, I was literally sitting on pins. When you are on a long school vacation trouble is never far away and misdemeanour always hugs you close. Clashes with house helps, chasing mongrels and harassing stray cats is the constitutional vocations for most out-of-JC youths. My sins had finally caught up with me. But this time though dad was suspiciously and uncharacteristically nice, like a Nazi in Brazil. I was offered a job in his establishment! Now for one to get a job, there has to be an advertisement in the papers. You then write an application letter with very stiff words like ‘hereby’, ‘favorable consideration’ and ‘abovementioned’ - words that you will never use anywhere else.

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