I decided that I might actually not be well, what with the sore throat, headache, and so on, and really really took the day off, with lots of tea and novels for medicinal purposes.

I reread Lonelyhearts 4221 by Colin Watson and Flossed and Found by India Ink and The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12 by Robin Gold, all of which arrived in the mail yesterday — a total orgy of novels.3 Today is of course Read Across America Day (though schools will mostly celebrate tomorrow), so I expect I’ll read most of this afternoon as well. I have two church services (musical reasons for that) and a potluck dinner, but there is room for novels. Then tomorrow, back to the Lenten reading.

I did go grocery shopping, and cleaned the kitchen, and I made a meal: quiche, fruit salad, and these cute little truffle cups with chocolate-streaked whipped cream. I knitted a few more rows of Erin.

But otherwise I spent the day lying around reading.

I’m feeling better today.

#1 son came back from his first day at work and said that they wanted to make him shift manager.

#1 son has been looking for work in a very desultory fashion since January. He has put in applications at places he thought he might really want to work for, at the rate of just under one a week. This is fine if you are employed and looking for a better job, but it is not the way to become employed. Finally, this week, his dad told him that he had had enough of this slacker behavior, and he simply had to go get a job. #1 son spent one day actually putting in applications all over, and got a call last night offering him a job in a sandwich shop.

Working in food service is not necessarily a satisfying career for an adult, but for hungry youths it is about perfect. These places usually feed their workers, they are reasonably low key and fun places to work, and yet they are not so appealing that the kids will be tempted not to go back to school.

The shop in question had a worker who had taken 6.5 hours to do inventory (in a sandwich shop, remember, not a retail store) and gotten it all wrong. They let him go and took on #1 son, and on his first day, they talked with him about being shift manager. This shows how desperate they are, that’s all I can say.

I haven’t had to do inventory this year, since I am managing the online store and the inventory is strictly notional, or cyber-inventory or something, but I know that I used to think about looking for other work every single year that I was involved in it at the physical store, so I have some sympathy for the kid who was fired. I used to be mentally comparing different modes of suicide by the end of the week.

It was counting the charts that did it. I tried to shunt it off to The Poster Queen, of course, but there were always some that I had to do myself: 24 handwashing posters in English and 17 in Spanish, was it? Hmm… the sheet says there are only 16 in Spanish, better count them again … oh, blast, I was only up to 14 and a customer needs me… and I now have seven paper cuts… Yes, I think that kid should probably just have quit when he got to the fourth hour of hopeless attempts to count the mayonnaise packets.

But making a kid shift manager on his first day in food service suggests a) that there are no grownups who are willing to work that shift and b) that the other kids on that shift are even more clueless than my boy. So I really have more sympathy for the franchise owner. Unless it’s part of the self-esteem movement, which The Wall Street Journal reports has crept out of schools and into the workforce, and they call everyone “manager.”

#1 son should accept the offer, I think, but he should hold out for more money.