Dateline: 24 July 2014
I'm pleased to see that all three of my sons are working men. My oldest works for an electrical contractor. My youngest works as a cook at a restaurant. And my middle son, Robert, starts a new job on Monday (three days from now). He is leaving the maple syrup operation (where he has worked for the last two years) and going to work for the local school district as a bus mechanic. The job is only about ten minutes away.
Robert worked as an auto mechanic at a dealership in a nearby city for awhile but left because he was bored. The dealership didn't have enough work to keep him busy, and he didn't like sitting around. While at that job he acquired a deluxe tool box and lots of tools. For the past two years the tools have been in a shed on my property. But today he and I loaded the box (it's remarkably heavy) on a trailer and he headed off to the bus garage to get set up for Monday.
Robert interviewed for the bus mechanic job last year but another man got it. Then, a few weeks ago, he heard that the district was going to fill the other mechanic position. He interviewed again and got the job. They told him he was the most qualified.
When Robert went to the interview last year, I told him that he should wear a tie. I told him that because I wanted him to make a good impression, and I think it sends a very good message when you wear a tie to an interview, even for a mechanic job. I'm probably old fashioned in this regard. But he wore a tie to the interview.
Now, you need to know that Robert is not a tie-wearing fellow. He's more on the redneck side. But he listened to my counsel, dressed up nice, and wore the tie. This pleased me to no end.
When the time came for the most recent interview, I asked Robert if he planned to wear a tie. He said, "Yes, of course, you should always wear a tie to an interview."
I got a little lump in my throat when he said that.
When the morning of the interview came, he was here at the house, polishing his cowboy boots and having his mother iron his shirt. I helped him tie his tie. Then I said, "You really should have a pen in your shirt pocket. I think it sends the right message."
Ordinarily, Robert never has a pen in his pocket… but he did for the interview.
Several days later, he got the good news about the job. Marlene and I were elated and thankful. It is a job that will provide a steady income that will support a family…. as long as he avoids getting into debt, but he has listened to me on that subject too.
He brought home all kinds of paperwork to fill out for the job. I told him that I thought it would be wise of him to open a savings account at the local bank and, right from the very beginning, have a portion of every paycheck he gets direct-deposited into the account. Then never touch the money, unless to invest it in some other way.
I told him that if he did this, he would never regret it, and someday he would tell me it was the best advice I ever gave him.
So… I kid you not… within the hour he went directly down to the bank and opened up a savings account for weekly direct deposits.
Things like this make a father's heart glad.