Our Daughter the Shredder.

Daughter of S.A.M. got a summer job at the embassy. Often kids can’t work on the local economy.  They do a great job of creating positions for kids on summer breaks either in late high school or home from college. A lot of the jobs are kind of important.  Creating housing photo displays or working on events for high powered people.  

Daughter’s job was not one of these jobs.

I can’t recall the name of her department. It sounded very techy and edgy.  But, it’s neither of those.  It’s the mailroom.  

“The mailroom!” she exclaimed, “Could be exciting. I do like organizing things!”  

It is not that either.

Apparently, they created this position because they thought regular employees would be short staffed for the summer.  But, plans changed and it seems they are, in fact, overstaffed.  

So, she’s been given a windowless room, a desk, a computer, and 8 hours a day of time to kill.

This is her first real job beyond babysitting, so it’s been interesting to watch. We press her daily for details of her office experience. “I did a task today.”

“Oh? Do tell!”

“I turned in my time sheet.”

“Oh… That’s it?”

Shrug. “There wasn’t anything else to do?”

“Can you ask them for something to do? File something? Tear up boxes? Be proactive!”

“I did.  They said there is nothing.  I just sit and read. Sometimes my boss comes in and tells me to go do something like go get coffee or lunch.”

She came home the other day and announced that she got sit behind the service counter and hand out packages for 15 minutes. But, no one came, so it was back in the box for her.

“It’s alright”, she said, one week into the job.  “I get paid. It’s only for a month, three weeks now.  I can do anything for three weeks.”  

We asked. “Can you find a higher up and ask them for something do?  Do you want us to call someone?”

“NO!  Please don’t!  I’m fine” She pleaded.

So, of course, we called. Well, I didn’t.  Mrs. S.A.M. did.  And if you know Mrs. S.A.M., you know that things happened.

Up the chain it went and back down it came.  Down upon Daughter’s poor Indonesian supervisor, who, according to Daughter, also lacks a great deal to do on any given day.  But, down upon him it came, so he approached her.

“Hello.  So, I’m really confused about what I’m supposed to have you do.”


He handed her a 20 inch pile of papers and walked her to the shredder down the hall.  “These can be shredded.”

“Shredding! I can do shredding. My dad had us shred things when I was younger”

On a side note and in my defense, I had my kids do lots of things.  Setting fire to things, riding motorcycles, catching fireflies, sending  them off to camp.  jumping off the high dive. All those high points and apparently shredding things made the list of memories.  

“Wait! Don’t do all of this.” He begged.

“I don’t think it will be that hard.”

“No.” He held up a hand. “Seriously.  How long are you working?”

“Two more weeks.” she replied.

He pointed to the pile. “This pile has to last you two weeks.”

And so she shreds 1.5 inches per day.  

Ever the optimist, Daughter of S.A.M. put a positive spin on the experience while driving to work the other day.  “I gotta say, I learned a lot from this job.  I learned how to manage time. I learned how to work in an office environment.  I learned how to break one large task into smaller tasks..  That will look okay on a future resume, right?”

1 reply »

  1. My first paid job was sharpening pencils for my dad. I'd have killed for the opportunity to do something cool like shredding. Well…no, actually, sharpening pencils is pretty cool too. Glad to know, given the shredder's track record, that the shredding will be done conscientiously, precisely, expertly, and with appropriate flair.


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