image courtesy of photobucket.com

image courtesy of photobucket.com

It was a late lunch – so late that some older folks were beginning to file into the restaurant for dinner.

Sometimes a work day gets so busy some of us don’t get time for lunch. Those are the type of folks that society now refers to as “old school”.

When I was a kid work wasn’t a whole lot different than playing sports. We were trained to strive to be our very best; no cheating on time cards, give a little more to make sure our character was above reproach and the like.

Back in the day, work came first and it didn’t matter if it was a birthday, anniversary, or even a sick day. We worked if we could manage to drag ourselves out of bed.

The restaurant was still sparse with customers when my late lunch was finally set in front of my growling stomach. As I inhaled my food I watched and listened to a manager training a new wide-eyed young waiter.

The kid was decent looking, dressed and looked to be in his early twenties. He was sporting a hip twelve o’clock type of shadow shave, had short and light colored hair and eyes. The kid seemed to be well-mannered and focused as well as respectful to the friendly manager.

They wrapped up the in-depth training session and she welcomed the youngster to the team and shook his hand firmly. She told him she’d see him on Friday to wrap things up on his first day of work.

The fair-skinned young man stammered and began to mumble about his brother being in town from California on Friday and the he didn’t get to see him that often and was hoping to get the day off… a day off before he ever got started.

I’ve been in situations like that and more than a time or two in my life. I was beyond curious to see how the manager, who’s about my age, would handle the affair.

“When is your brother leaving?” she asked kindly.

“Saturday,” the newly hired kid replied.

“What time.”

“Around four.”

“Okay, I’ll work with you,” she offered, “We’ll cover you Friday and I’ll schedule you Saturday night and then Sunday.”

I was a little surprised. In the new world with new priorities maybe she did the right thing, but my experience and title of “old school” tells me otherwise.

My old school generation and the ones that preceded us are not the models of moderation, but then again neither is that kid who asked for his first day of work off.

The people that I’ve hired that immediately ask for time off and have been given it never work out. They’re the ones you can never count on. In fact, they’re the ones that you can count on to let you down and shirk responsibility when you need them most.

Peculiar how when you take back a job you’ve given a person who can’t seem to work it into their busy schedule and you become the bad guy…

I’m not sure where the balance is, but I’ve learned that the folks who refuse to sacrifice anything for their social calendar never seem to have enough Fridays in it…