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Is there a tactful way to find out if a son is actually going to his new job?

Mikey Jr.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,206
I'm confused.

You said you asked some employees and they said he was the night stockman.

So he does work there??????
 

pants

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,023
Going to second asking him for rent. Set it to something like $500 dollars, and make sure he understands its non negotiable.

The essence of the situation is this: it doesn’t actually matter that hes going to one job or another, you just want to be sure hes doing something proactive with his time. If you make it about his own responsibility (rent) you dont have to worry about baby-sitting him.

Make him hold himself accountable, instead of you being stuck holding him accountable.
 

iksenpets

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,737
Dallas, TX
Just ask for a nominal amount of rent and let him figure out how much he has to hustle himself. Micromanaging a kid at 19 seems useless.
This really seems best to me. He’s an adult, so checking up on his whereabouts is going to be perceived as invasive, but asking for money is pretty neutral. Even a small amount of just one or two hundred a month would be enough to keep him from being able to be completely unemployed, while being generous enough that he couldn’t really complain. Happier for him than having you spying, less work for you, same ultimate result.
 

Radd Redd

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,062
Pretend like you're going to work. Show up at his job an hour after he leaves for work. If he's working you'll know. If he's not then he won't show.
 

Linkura

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,626
This is borderline stalking
Just reminded me of the scene in Eighth Grade where her dad is stalking her when she goes to the mall to meet with friends.
Charge $150 a month of rent
-put 150 in a savings account every single month and let that accumulate as you go on.
-once he moves out, give him the savings account as an extra buffer

That is much better than micromanaging him.
Good idea.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,983
Out of the 29 hours he was scheduled this week, how many did he actually work?

It’s quite common for these joke retailers to short thrift you on hours and send you home early.
 

C.Mongler

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,632
Washington, DC
It sounds like you already know the answer chief.

At the end of the day, what's it matter? You're making a job for yourself out of being a detective for your kid's professional life. He's 19. Get his monthly salary and tell him he's old enough to start contributing to the household and that he owes you 15-20% of whatever he told you as rent. If he protests tell him "Tough shit, you're a grown man with a job now and if you have a living situation lined up for cheaper then that, by all means take it". I like the idea of quietly putting most/all of it in a savings account for him when he does actually leave the nest, if you don't need the money, assuming you ever get a rent payment. Once that's established, it'll come out real quick if he's fudging having a job or not, and at that point you can decide on how harsh you want to be for next steps.

Surly there was some sort of end-goal you had in mind for making sure he has a job, right? For most parents its to make sure their kids are setting themselves up to get the fuck out of their house someday. Chase that big picture, not the micro one of if he's slicing deli meat or not.
 

MiHighGator

Member
Nov 8, 2018
295
Wait a couple weeks to see how things play out and/or charge him a fair amount for rent/food/utilities/etc.

Also, read over these two posts and think about why you wanted him to get a job, what your end goal really is, and how you can help him (whether directly or indirectly) to move toward that.

He’s 19. Micromanaging when he should go to bed is not useful.

Make your expectations clear and leave him alone if he is meeting them. Don’t make it nebulous standards like “well, you did get a job but your sleep schedule doesn’t seem good...”

What he is describing sounds very normal for a grocery store job. Oh, and he can absolutely tell that you don’t trust him.

Do you want him to move out? If so, when? What kind of salary does he need in order to make that happen? If his current job won’t allow for that, what’s the long term plan? Do you want him saving money?

This runs a lot deeper than “how do I know he’s actually employed”
I am trying to figure what exactly was the deliverable you expected out of him by getting a job? Less time in your house?
 

Hektor

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,597
Deutschland
Making sure your son is actually going to his job after providing numerous excuses as to why he's not there is not even close to stalking.
The son is 19 year old, he's got a right to privacy, to make his own decisions and to live with their consequences.
If ya don't see how coming into his job to check up on him is immensily creepy i can't help you
 

Robochimp

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,797
You’ve already done it the tactful way, it would have been nice if he were actually there.
Just ask him, and offer him help to find a job. The world is an intimidating place when all you’ve known is high school and living at home.
 

GungHo

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,058
Just charge rent. You don’t have to keep the money... you can help him buy clothes, insurance, and other shit 19 year olds don’t think about. If his mom wants receipts, let her do that. You’re edging close to “not my real dad” territory. I don’t mean to sound harsh on that, but you don’t have recourse to do anything but tell him to find another bed, and then you have problems with the mom.
 
Oct 27, 2017
234
I'm not a parent, but I feel like the best approach would be to try to have an honest conversation with him. "Be straight with me, are you actually going to your new job? If not, I'm not upset and lets talk about it", etc. Maybe there is an underlying reason for why he's not going (social anxiety, fear, etc.) that needs to be worked out.
 
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OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
So a little background. Not with his mom anymore, but I helped raise him since he was five. His mom was fed up with him for this exact type of thing and he spent some time with grandparents and eventually moved in with me. Initially, it was only temporary because he had friends that he was supposed to move in with in a few months. That fell through, and I actually told him, yes, you can stay with me, but you will have to get a job and pay some rent. That was like, at least, a month and a half to two months ago. I finally gave him two weeks notice- find a job or you are out. Literally, with only a day or two left, he said he got the job.

Here's the thing also. He's led his life up till this point having his hand held through everything and it has left him with a kid in the burbs (hour and a half away), no job, no GED, and no license. He is a good kid, I actually like having him around, and he is great with my two small children I have. When I have talks with him about getting his life in order, I genuinely think he believes in what I am saying and I believe, in the moment, he wants to do those things. Unfortunately, when it comes time to make the right decisions, he falls back into his bad habits. Lying, laziness, lack of any motivation. I do worry that, because of where his life is right now that he could be depressed (and I'm sure completely overwhelmed), but getting him to open up about anything like that is near impossible. Also, his mom has tried to take him to counselors and therapists in the past and he has no interest in taking part. From what I have learned about therapy, if you are not engaged in the process, it will not work.

I'm at the point where I feel horrible that I can't help him but I can't enable this behavior any longer if he is lying to me.

This is more background than I was initially willing to give, but reading some of the responses, I felt it necessary.
 

Evan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
794
Sucks. What are his interest? If he is into tech, have him study and get some certs (comptia). It might spark something in him.
 
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jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
Sucks. What are his interest? If he is into tech, have him study and get some certs (comptia). It might spark something in him.
Basketball, videogames... lol

I have been sending him links to union open houses, talking to him about getting into a trade. He seems receptive and has brought it up to me before, but if he will go through with it???? I really don't have the confidence. There is one in particular I am more than willing to drive him to.
 

Dishwalla

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
9,771
Boise, Idaho
You ever seen that episode of The Simpsons where they sign up Bart for karate lessons but he ends up skipping out on them to go hang out at the arcade and such?
 

iWannaHat

Member
Jul 1, 2019
219
The tactful way is to ask him, and ask him to be honest with you.

I suspect he's not going, but sneaking around to catch him not at work will probably backfire. If you go there and he's working, he'll know you're spying him and take issue with it. If you go there and he's not working and you call him, he'll know you're spying on him.

He might lie, but eventually it becomes obvious and he's caught in a lie. But if you want to build his trust, I think you've gotta trust him until it becomes obvious, and then maybe it doesn't end up like this again.
This guy parents
 
Feb 8, 2019
573
I really don't mean to intrude on your family affairs but are you planning on kicking him out? Does he have some other place to go? 19 is really young, that's like 1 year after highschool. Clearly he isn't going to school but I think maybe he's having trouble getting a job assuming he's actually fibbing about it and you should offer him some help.

Sorry if this sounds brazen though, I'm assuming a lot and it's not what you asked. I think you should just ask him outright but if you're saying that the people at the store said he works there then surely he must work there right?
 

Siyou

Member
Oct 27, 2017
360
Well this seems like it's off to a good start. I would assume he isn't going to the job.

...but I do wonder if he isn't living with you, where will he be staying and without a job?
 

Deception

Member
Nov 15, 2017
6,243
Let me guess...

You and your wife got into an argument about her son being 19 and free-loading so she said he would get a job and start being an adult. You are obviously suspicious because he's never showed any initiative and has shown he's ok being a freeloader. In your suspicion, you are trying to find out if he's actually holding up his end of the bargain so you can use it as a "gotcha" against your wife and kick him out.

This can either end in 2 ways: divorce or life-long resentment from your step-son. Choose wisely.

In all seriousness, just ask him to be up-front and if you still seem suspicious ask to see a pay-stub. Don't go around asking people that work there since you'll either seem crazy or embarrass him in front of his co-workers.
 
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OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
Well this seems like it's off to a good start. I would assume he isn't going to the job.

...but I do wonder if he isn't living with you, where will he be staying and without a job?

Probably back with his grandparents, I would assume. I have been keeping them up to date on what is going on, so it won't be a complete surprise for them.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,751
So a little background. Not with his mom anymore, but I helped raise him since he was five. His mom was fed up with him for this exact type of thing and he spent some time with grandparents and eventually moved in with me. Initially, it was only temporary because he had friends that he was supposed to move in with in a few months. That fell through, and I actually told him, yes, you can stay with me, but you will have to get a job and pay some rent. That was like, at least, a month and a half to two months ago. I finally gave him two weeks notice- find a job or you are out. Literally, with only a day or two left, he said he got the job.

Here's the thing also. He's led his life up till this point having his hand held through everything and it has left him with a kid in the burbs (hour and a half away), no job, no GED, and no license. He is a good kid, I actually like having him around, and he is great with my two small children I have. When I have talks with him about getting his life in order, I genuinely think he believes in what I am saying and I believe, in the moment, he wants to do those things. Unfortunately, when it comes time to make the right decisions, he falls back into his bad habits. Lying, laziness, lack of any motivation. I do worry that, because of where his life is right now that he could be depressed (and I'm sure completely overwhelmed), but getting him to open up about anything like that is near impossible. Also, his mom has tried to take him to counselors and therapists in the past and he has no interest in taking part. From what I have learned about therapy, if you are not engaged in the process, it will not work.

I'm at the point where I feel horrible that I can't help him but I can't enable this behavior any longer if he is lying to me.

This is more background than I was initially willing to give, but reading some of the responses, I felt it necessary.
What you're asking for seems reasonable. What is GED - general education? Maybe try to focus on that rather than a crappy job which probably won't help him long term. Is there anything he's passionate about which he could go to college for - music, film, programming, electronics, anything?!
 

smisk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,104
He's 19, kinda fucked up IMO to show up at his job and make sure he's there. Like others have said, just ask for rent.

Edit: Read your other post, that's a tough situation. One of the reasons why I'm nervous about having kids. Hope one of the trade things works out.
 
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OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
Let me guess...

You and your wife got into an argument about her son being 19 and free-loading so she said he would get a job and start being an adult. You are obviously suspicious because he's never showed any initiative and has shown he's ok being a freeloader. In your suspicion, you are trying to find out if he's actually holding up his end of the bargain so you can use it as a "gotcha" against your wife and kick him out.

This can either end in 2 ways: divorce or life-long resentment from your step-son. Choose wisely.

In all seriousness, just ask him to be up-front and if you still seem suspicious ask to see a pay-stub. Don't go around asking people that work there since you'll either seem crazy or embarrass him in front of his co-workers.

Dude... Not even close. lol

I made sure that when I went there, I was just asking to speak with him. The whole point of this thread is to find a way to not embarrass him if he is actually working. I love this kid and I truly want him to succeed.
 

Bear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,951
Hire three kids in a trenchcoat marooning as an adult to stop by during the day.
 

Tzarscream

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,879
I have a stepson who is 19. I told him he needed to get a job if he is to continue to live with me. Right before the deadline I set, he got a job at a grocery store working at the deli and also doing some cashier work. He gave me the hours he would be working this week. Tues 10-5 Wed 10-5 Thurs 3-10 and today 9-5. (Side note: he has no car and its probably about a 20-30 min walk to his work)

Tues and Wed- I got home a little after before five and he was already home. Alright, first days of training, there is a chance that he got sent home early.

Thurs (yesterday)- I come home and he's already there. I ask him what's going on. He said that they want him at deli on days and cashier at night. The guy that was supposed to train him at cashier wasn't in, so they had him come in early and he just watched a couple of hours of videos and they sent him home.

Last night, he played videogames till 3 in the morning until I came in and reminded him that maybe he should get some sleep since he has to work in the morning.

Today, I decided to stop by his work around 11:45 AM just to make sure he made it in. He wasn't there. I asked two associates who said they didn't know him and another two in a separate part of the store who said he was one of the night stockman. I call him and ask him where he is and he says that the guy that was supposed to train him did not come in again so they had him watch videos again and sent him home.

Obviously, I'm suspicious. I want to find out if he is actually working or lying to me (which there is a history there). Is there a tactful way to talk to a manager about his employment that would not hurt him in the job if he is actually telling the truth?
Why are you threatening to kick a 19 year old out of your house? Your stepson too.
 
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jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
What you're asking for seems reasonable. What is GED - general education? Maybe try to focus on that rather than a crappy job which probably won't help him long term. Is there anything he's passionate about which he could go to college for - music, film, programming, electronics, anything?!

It's diploma-equivalent certification you can get, if you weren't able to graduate high school. He did not.
 

Deception

Member
Nov 15, 2017
6,243
Dude... Not even close. lol

I made sure that when I went there, I was just asking to speak with him. The whole point of this thread is to find a way to not embarrass him if he is actually working. I love this kid and I truly want him to succeed.
Sorry, I didn't see your 2nd post explaining the situation. In all honesty, this situation is very unlikely to change unless your son has a reason to change his behavior. I have a friend who's brother was basically in the same situation that your son is in and he was able to get a job for a couple of years but as soon as the pressure from his parents went away he went back to being unemployed and has been freeloading ever since. Depression surely is a factor in all of this but this type of situation is something that never seems to be easily solved and comes down to the individual wanting to make a change and not being forced into the change. Try your best and support him the best you can be at some point he's going to have to realize on his own that he needs to be an adult and his lack o initiative is going to have consequences.
 

haxan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
786
Sounds like justifiable cruel life lesson time may be approaching. Tap into that 19 years of resentment you’ve likely compartmentalized. Give him a punishment that will make a striking bullet point in his future biography. It could build character.
 
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jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
Why are you threatening to kick a 19 year old out of your house? Your stepson too.

I'm hoping that it will be a wake up call for him to get things in order in his life. He will be 20 next week and spends most of his days playing videogames and watching streamers. I really feel like he may need a dose of real life to get things in order.
 
Feb 8, 2019
573
It's diploma-equivalent certification you can get, if you weren't able to graduate high school. He did not.
If he didn't even get a highschool diploma then I think this is an insanely delicate situation. I think maybe working some dead end job might not be for the best, it'll make him some money and get him out a bit but I don't really know if that'll go anywhere. Props to you though, this seems like heavy stuff to deal with and I can't imagine how you must feel.
 
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jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
Sounds like justifiable cruel life lesson time may be approaching. Tap into that 19 years of resentment you’ve likely compartmentalized. Give him a punishment that will make a striking bullet point in his future biography. It could build character.

It's not like he is going to end up on the streets. Good lord. Like I said before, he will probably end up with his grandparents. I already feel like I am at a point where he has taken advantage of the situation, I just want to send him the message that I will not be supporting this behavior or enabling it.
 

CaughtBeing

Member
Oct 27, 2017
110
19, and not able to potentially uphold a job or finding a job.

Usually, if a person has been wearing training wheels there whole lives, it requires a lot more care for that person to become less afraid of the reality.


Justifiably, presume your kid has a job. Just say you need help paying certain bills. Ask for rent.

Second, spend more time with your stepson, do some activities, play videogame with him or teach him some life lessons, but genuinely spend time with him.

Or, help him go to college or finish GED. Either way, somewhere along the line, the kid became 19 with nothing to show for, tends to be faults of the parents. So kick him out to send a message or teach slowly.