Like cheap vodka and house parties, failing at a saturday job is a teenage rite of passage london evening standard chicken with bloody stool

One of my most formative memories of employment is leaning through the mcdonald’s drive-through hatch, trying to gaslight a middle-aged man. He’d ordered a mayo chicken; I insisted, hopefully, that he’d actually ordered the big mac I’d given him because I knew I’d entered the wrong thing into the till, which in turn had summoned the wrong burger from the kitchen — the burger I now presented him with.

Unsurprisingly, I failed, and the sorry episode ended when he asked to see my manager, who apologised profusely, provided the correct burger, and dealt me the sort of bollocking you don’t forget. I was 15, it was my first part-time job, and while I’ve probably done more edifying work since, the four months or so I spent working part-time at mcdonald’s was one of the periods of my teen years that I actually remember amid the many, many months I must, I presume, have attended school.


So I was surprised to learn that a generation of ascendant parents would rather I’d skipped this lesson.Vodka house according to a report published yesterday by oxford home schooling, while 60 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 support weekend jobs for teens, only 30 per cent of those between 25 and 34 were in favour, and mostly agreed that saturday jobs are distracting from schoolwork.

Which, I’d argue, is the whole point. Homework teaches you plenty; I wouldn’t have passed all those exams without it. But a myopic focus on schoolwork at the expense of other prescribed rites of passage is nonsense. In the same way, at around the same age, it was important for me to drink half a bottle of glen’s vodka at a house party and throw up bile on my doorstep, it was also important for me to do menial labour on and off for a couple of years. While my parents might quibble with the former, they were encouraged by the latter.

For a start, while mcdonald’s was hardly 12 hours down the coalmine, botching my job to the acid feedback of a jumped-up supervisor barely older than I was taught me that I wasn’t the centre of everyone’s world — which I’m sure my parents were desperate for me to learn.Vodka house no one really liked me at mcdonald’s. Entirely fairly — as I did latin homework during my breaks, I only worked about 16 hours a week, and told the few colleagues who attempted to talk to me that this was “just a temporary thing for me”. My mother was furious when I inevitably handed in my notice: I had been chastened by how difficult the job was, I couldn’t hack it, and was, undeniably, far less of a prat afterwards.

After working 12-hour days in a sandwich shop during my gap year, teeth clamped in a rictus grin as customers barked instructions, I swore always to be polite to waiting staff. Working in a branch of H samuel over one christmas taught me to do my festive shopping online. And the summer I spent working in a pub where the chef rated the female staff out of 10 when they walked into the kitchen to collect plates confronted me with the sort of overt sexism that I’d been cloistered from.

The lessons were emotional, not practical.Spent working I didn’t learn about the value of money — I spent everything I earned almost immediately — but I did learn that I had to turn up on time, and had to turn up at all, even when I didn’t want to. And that — rather than the latin — is the part I’ve remembered.

The #metoo oscars was, in the end, rather uncontroversial. Despite turns from frances mcdormand, salma hayek, ashley judd and annabella sciorra, the scripted empowerment didn’t quite rise to an agenda.

In fact, my feminist highlight from the evening was that nike advert, starring serena williams, pictured, and screened for the first time on the night.

It’s clip after clip of the tennis star, lobbing those rocket-fuelled shots from the baseline; throwing her arms heavenwards in celebration; face fixed with focus as she paces the court. She provides the voiceover. “I’ve never been the right kind of woman. Oversized and overconfident. Too mean if I don’t smile. Too black for my tennis whites.Spent working too motivated for motherhood. But I am proving, time and time again, that there’s no wrong way to be a woman.”

Granted, this one was definitely scripted — but while hollywood is still casting the right leading ladies for its movement, williams is a woman who’s been (just) doing it against plenty of odds for 36 years.

WhatsApp is reportedly testing a feature that will permit users to delete messages up to an hour after sending them — currently, the limit is a fleeting seven minutes.

Nonetheless, it might have saved me from at least a few past humiliations. At university, I regularly spent mornings screaming into a pillow after remembering some digital misdemeanour from the night before.

Unlike saying something you regret, the shame is cruelly compounded by the fact that you can re-read what you’ve written, and see — unsurprisingly — that it hasn’t received a response. More about: | employment