Rite of passage

My older son had to go to a meeting at work this morning. He works at a grocery store in town and I assume the all-hands meeting was called to prepare the staff for an especially busy day because of a big sale.

Thing is, my son’s a bag boy. His responsibilities consist of: putting groceries in bags, restocking shelves, retrieving carts from the parking lot, and being pleasant to the customers. Occasionally he’ll help a customer put the groceries in his or her car. I don’t see what he got out of being at the meeting, or what the store got out of him being there.

The meeting, by the way was at 7:00, several hours before his shift started, so he had to go to work twice today.

I kept my mouth shut, because he likes his job and there’s no reason for a 17-year-old to be infected by my old-man cynicism. But I could tell when he came home from the meeting that he didn’t really understand why he’d had to go.

There is, of course, no reason other than: managers have meetings because that’s what managers do. Even good managers fall victim to the expectations of their class.

I just wish my son hadn’t run into this truth before he was even out of high school. They grow up so fast these days…