Bm@il

Harefield Gazette - - YOUR SAY - Ev­ery week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­bara@gmail.com

DON’T’ worry, I’m not go­ing to do a bor­ing Brexit col­umn but I’m wor­ried about some­thing con­nected with it, which I must share with you, how­ever you voted.

Who is go­ing to re­place the low skilled work­ers who may not even­tu­ally be al­lowed into this coun­try?

I’ve heard too many young­sters (of all classes and eth­nic­ity) say­ing they would never ‘flip burg­ers’, or the equiv­a­lent.

‘Why not?’ is usu­ally met by an in­cred­u­lous snort, im­ply­ing we oldies would not un­der­stand.

But we did ‘flip burg­ers’ when we were young in or­der to get a few pounds in our pock­ets. Maybe not burg­ers, but we sold bro­ken bis­cuits in Wool­lies and de­liv­ered post at Christ­mas. Mr F did por­ter­ing work at Hoovers in Perivale.

When FJ was lit­tle I did a cou­ple of evenings a week in a sweet kiosk at Rich­mond Ice Rink. While at school she worked Satur­days at Wool­worths; as a stu­dent at a pizza de­liv­ery out­let.

OK, this was ca­sual work, but I’m sure most of us would have taken these jobs on for longer in or­der to keep a house­hold afloat.

My mum did var­i­ous part-time jobs, from shop as­sis­tant at Boots the Chemist, to sell­ing ice creams in the in­ter­val at Birm­ing­ham Rep Theatre.

It wasn’t un­til I left home at 18 that she went for a full-time job in the regis­trar’s of­fice at As­ton Univer­sity.

Noth­ing wrong with am­bi­tion, but con­stantly be­ing told to fol­low their dreams does not help the selfie gen­er­a­tion.

A fix­a­tion with im­age means never be­ing pre­pared to set­tle for less, so many jobs re­main va­cant or are filled by peo­ple from abroad – of­ten from the EU.

Though bet­ter money and con­di­tions would un­doubt­edly help fill va­can­cies in lower paid jobs, a bit of re­al­ism would also help.

I hate to dis­ap­point Mil­len­ni­als but the road to easy money is lit­tered with X-fac­tor hope­fuls, while au­thors like Katie Price don’t ac­tu­ally write the books them­selves. Any­way, who’s to say what is skilled and what is not? Build­ing a wall; wash­ing, feed­ing, and car­ing for a de­men­tia pa­tient; wait­ing on cus­tomers in restau­rants, or rustling up a com­pli­cated cof­fee in one of our many chains, all look pretty skilled to me. We need those who prop up our NHS and care homes, hos­pi­tal­ity and build­ing trade, and many of our EU work­ers, I’ve dis­cov­ered, are amongst the most po­lite and ef­fi­cient staff you could find.

Peo­ple who show good cus­tomer care in all its guises – mainly em­pa­thy and ef­fi­ciency – I would de­fine as skilled. Wouldn’t you?

Not too proud to sell bro­ken bis­cuits in Wool­worths

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