Thursday, January 17, 2008

Older Daughter schedules a snit

Older Daughter is back in Champaign now.

You remember her: Older Daughter, the one with the B.A. in English, now putting those expensive skills to work as a BArista at a Champaign Starbucks.

She has taken this job because she has decided to use her English degree as a springboard into............... (it's hard to write a drum roll, isn't it? well, imagine one anyway).................nursing.

Yes, Older Daughter successfully got through last semester's pre-reqs and has been accepted into a nursing program. And she's happy and she's excited about it -- but where's the comedy in that, eh?

Therefore, let us focus in on a recent call home: Older Daughter called Long Suffering Spouse to complain about her work schedule.

She'd only been scheduled for five hours this week.

She needs 20 to keep her insurance. (Yes, she's on her own now. The Curmudgeon family purse has never been long... and it's shorter than ever these days....)

After long discussion, it finally emerged that the baristas give store management lists of hours when they are available -- many are students or grad students in a college town like Champaign and so have varying schedules. Management then schedules employees according to their own needs, but using the available hours lists as a guide.

Older Daughter had submitted a list of only 27 available hours; she expected management to pick 20 from those.

Well, she explained, after Long Suffering Spouse stopped exploding, if she said she was available on Fridays, when she has no classes, they might schedule her and that is the day she wants to set aside for studying. There were explanations for each and every day she omitted.

As usual, Older Daughter had imagined the way things should be if they were just perfect for her... and was amazed that the world had failed to accommodate her.

When Older Daughter was a baby, and all the other babies her age crawled, Older Daughter sat still. If a desired object was on the other side of the room, she would cry until one of us divined her intentions and brought her the object.

Eventually, we figured out that we were getting well-trained and Older Daughter wasn't learning to crawl.

So Long Suffering Spouse, the psychology graduate, placed Older Daughter in one corner of the playpen... and all her favorite toys and stuffed animals in the opposite one. We steeled ourselves to ignore Older Daughter's plaintive cries.

Long Suffering Spouse and I resolutely went about our business elsewhere in the house -- but we stopped pretending we weren't listening the moment the wailing stopped.

Eureka! I thought. The experiment worked: Surely Older Daughter must have crawled over to the things she wanted. Long Suffering Spouse and I went to the living room to investigate....

...And there was Older Daughter (Only Daughter, then) sitting exactly where we left her but surrounded by her toys and stuffed animals. She hadn't crawled at all.

Instead she pulled the blanket on the bottom of the playpen toward her, bringing her stuff along with it.

She had rearranged her playpen-universe according to her own requirements.

And she's still trying to do that even now.

So far, however, the real universe has not been as easy to overcome.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

but somehow i bet she finds a way... lala would! ha ha ha

i love what her sister wrote on her wedding journal, "this is nice but there is nothing in here about me".

smiles, bee

Toni Lea Andrews said...

Ah, Starbuck's. The natural environment for the English Major. Also the Art Major, the Theatre Major and the History Major.

They didn't HAVE Starbuck's when I was OD's age, or I'm sure I would have worked there.

- Toni (Performing Arts Major)

Going Like Sixty said...

Heh. Word verification. Shhhhhhh.

I love a story with a moral at the ending.

I hope she keeps trying to change the world. That's a good thing, right?

Dave said...

She isn't done yet; she just has to figure out what the current blanket is.

Jeni said...

I just had a discussion yesterday and the night before that with my son (age 34) about the inequities of life where you have to work and have no time for yourself, can't do anything, and it's just terrible. I'm so sorry for the boy that he's as old as he is and just having things like that happen to him now. If he'd been paying attention properly, they'd have been happening to him at least since he got out of high school. I wanted to tell him I had the world's smallest record player going (rubbing my thumb and forefinger against each other) and it was playing the old song "My heart bleeds purple piss for you." I just told him instead -"That's life, baby. Get used to it cause there's a lot more where that came from."

The Curmudgeon said...

Dave -- I think Older Daughter would really like that comment.

Jeni -- I thought it was the world's smallest violin... and the song "Hearts and Flowers."

Bee -- I like that comment by Lala's sister too.

Toni Lea -- I was the history major.

Goinglikesixty -- I can't argue with that.

Kacey said...

Uh-oh! From English to nursing? Your poor OD has such a rude awakening coming. While she is in the cocoon of school, everything will be fine, but clinicals might give her a clue into the real world. I went to nursing school at forty and then worked for twenty years in a hospital. By the time I retired, nurses were crying behind the nursing station from sheer fatigue and frustration. She has chosen a very hard, demanding and rewarding career, but it will not be on her terms. She will definitely have to learn how to triage her life to fit the job.

Shelby said...

I'd have to go with Dave... smart one.

Ellee Seymour said...

She sounds like a very smart girl to me, I'm hoping my son will start uni in September to study economics.

Mother Jones RN said...

Congrats on getting a nurse in the family. Funny story.