I just set aside a small treatise about purpose, finding it, losing it, having it, the usual stuff. Too stuffy. Instead, here’s a story about confidence.
Emily worked a year ago at Heritage Farm, riding herd on little children during pumpkin season, selling trees through the holidays, hoisting them atop cars, tying them closely and firmly with the knots she was taught. Emily would have started up again in the spring, except for that bit of hazing, when she was put bodily through the tree bailer as a mark of being an awesome employee, and she lost her job when the owner did not agree with grandma that no child should be handled by adults and other children.
The summer yielded sporadic part time jobs; her big hope of a job at the nursery across the street did not happen for the simple reason she had too many other commitments that cut into prime selling hours at a nursery. Then school began and we were back in the cycle of band and football two or three times a week; I forgot about jobs.
The fire district report at the last township meeting included mention the district was negotiating the annual contract with the ski resort, and I wrote a note on my hand—ski resort. Back at home I told Emily she might want to check Boston Mills/Brandywine on the internet and see about jobs.
Last Saturday saw us at the job fair. Well, I dropped Emily and went on errands. I picked a choice parking place on returning, and watched a lot of people trail into the resort, empty handed, or with their downloadable application fluttering. Almost everyone who came out had a sheaf of papers that included a pink slip.
Emily’s pink slip was for an appointment for a second interview. Once again I sat in the parking lot, watching pink slips fluttering in. Only one pink slip returned, and it wasn't Emily’s. Her big smile announced she has a job when the season opens. She asked for and got Boston Mills, the closer of the two ski runs, and first shift Saturdays and Sundays. She is assigned to ski lifts because “I like people, I like winter, I like being outdoors.” The sixty percent pay raise, from what farms can get away with to minimum wage went down well, too.
She’s only fifteen, so she had a work permit authorized at school today. Uncle Tom outfitted her in a capacious Carhartt from his extensive collection; she still has sturdy work boots I got her for the farm, the silk and wool emergency hat I knitted in the midst of tree season last winter, and the insulated gloves. I need to get a couple pair of wool socks made, though.
The chauffeur is grateful for a good car heater.