The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

August 4, 2013

Murray: Pearls of wisdom from Ponderosa Steak House

It was bound to happen.

Eventually, every kid realizes the quickest way to get some of the things they want (shoes, Chipotle burritos, iTunes) is to have their own. And this is usually done by means of a job.

For my daughter, the day finally came last week for her to enter the American workforce, yet another milestone that makes me wonder where the time has gone: "Wait, what? You're employed? Aren't there laws against the hiring of toddlers?"

But, of course, she's not a toddler. She's a 16-year-old young woman. With a job.

So when I dropped her off at Music Mart today, I snapped a few pictures and watched her head in. After I got into my car and headed back to work, it hit me that I probably should have given her some advice, some words of wisdom based on the things I'd learned when I'd entered the workforce so many years ago.

Here goes.

First, if you ever want to quit a job (and I'm so not saying you should quit), do it the right way, and not the way I left the Ponderosa Steak House during the summer before my junior year of high school.

At the time this all went down, I'd been dating my high school girlfriend whose parents were divorced. On weekends she'd go stay with her dad in Burnsville ... and I would follow. Her dad had a pool, and on the weekend I started working at Ponderosa, we were chillin' at the pool and I'd begun to seriously regret my decision to get a job.

I worked on a Friday, called in sick on Saturday, called in to quit on Sunday.

"You've got to be kidding me," the incredulous Ponderosa assistant manager said.

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