The Harder You Work

The Harder You Work
Photo by Claudio Poggio / Unsplash

You know how sometimes life continues on for months on end, without anything in particular happening? The last few years have been a bit like that. And then yesterday, all sorts of things happened one after another. Which is good, I think?

The universe started to re-arrange it’s doorways at lunchtime. I walked down to a nearby café to escape the four walls of the house. I had only really intended to go for a walk – but something made me cross the road, and head in the direction of the cafe. I blame my feet. I remember thinking to myself “do I really need to go to the café?” as I crossed a road to head in it’s direction.

After eating a sandwich, and sipping a rather lovely cup of coffee for a few minutes, the owner – a friend who’s children went to school with ours – stopped by my table to say hello.

“Do any of your children need a job?”

They opened the café two weeks ago, and have been run off their feet ever since. They just moved from a much smaller sandwich bar, and are figuring out how to do everything – and figuring out that they need more staff in a hurry.

“I’m not sure. Our eldest might be interested, but I’m not sure if she’s ready for something like this – she’s just started volunteering at a charity shop in town”.

He shrugged, and asked if I could ask around anyway.

Half an hour later I wandered back into the house, and caught my daughter in the kitchen making a coffee.

“What do you think about working at <insert café name>?”

I expected a “NOOOOOOOOOO” response, but that’s not what I got at all. Twenty minutes later – after walking back with my daughter listening to a continuous stream of “my hair isn’t washed”, and “I look scruffy”, and “this isn’t an interview, is it?”, I reassured her – “they just got through the lunchtime rush – and they look like they just got through the lunchtime rush”.

After buying a coffee, and catching the eye of the owner, a conversation was had in the kitchen. A trial, on Thursday. A few hours to see if she thought she could handle it. The girl that has hardly left the house for months walked home on air – and with the biggest smile we have seen in quite some time.

That wasn’t the end of it though.

My middle daughter works in a pub in town. When she works through to closing time I wander down and walk home with her. We’ve never seen any idiots on the route, but still – better safe than sorry. Last night she finished her shift, and came out with a huge smile on her face.

“What’s up with you?”

“You’re not going to believe it.”

“What?!”

It transpired that one of the chefs in the pub walked out earlier that day. Resigned and walked – leaving them in a bit of a mess. It just so happens that my daughter – who has been learning the ropes pouring drinks, washing up, taking food orders, and so on – did cooking at college. So she took her chance.

“I could step up to do it.”

Her manager couldn’t believe her luck – and went through the paperwork with her immediately. For the next several days she will be trained by the head chef and brought up to speed – then go full time doing breakfasts. Her pay will leap to almost double what she was on.

“You do realise how hard this is going to be?”

“Yes”

“Ok – so while it’s brilliant, remember you don’t HAVE to do this.”

Nothing I said could take the edge off her. I think she walked on air all the way home – we even called my other half, who had already gone to bed, to make sure she stayed awake until she could share the news.

So yes, anyway… If the last twenty four hours have told me anything, it’s that the old maxim is right – the harder you work, the luckier you get – and sometimes the universe tips in your direction too.

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