Daughter Update

Just a few weeks ago, at New Year, I posted about my daughter. I thought I’d give a little update.

Unfortunately, the job turned out as I expected. I hate to say I told her so, but… I told her so. Whichever company she had applied to join, they had decided on the strength of the firing that the potential risk of employing her outweighed the potential gain. I can’t blame them, I would have done exactly the same.

[For anybody new to the saga, daughter’s last job was also her first, she was fired from it (albeit under dubious circumstances), and given a correspondingly bad reference.]

Without saying anything, daughter changed her CV, to exclude this previous bad job altogether. It was her only proper job.

So, when we next saw her, daughter was full of smiles. She hadn’t got that job, but don’t worry, several others were in the pipeline.

With daughter, the devil is in the detail, and it took a while to tease out the detail. My wife thinks she did the right thing, even though it will mean dropping a recent job in the same sector she wants to work in. Start from the bottom again. I said that if I were a potential employer, gave her a job and then found out that she’d skipped a job on her CV, I would fire her immediately for not disclosing it.

How would they ever find out? she says. I don’t know, but that kind of thing tends to haunt you – she will have to be on her guard about it for the lifetime of the new job. It only takes a slip of the tongue to mention this previous job. Especially as my daughter is prone to slips of the tongue!

My own suggestion was that instead of asking for a reference from the head office, she should in future ask for a reference from an ex-colleague, somebody she had worked with and got along with. There isn’t anybody, she says. That’s the real problem – she worked there for six months and can’t think of anybody who’d have a good word to say about her. Plus she has strange ideas about who can and can’t give her a reference. Those ideas might well be contrived, a way of just telling me to butt-out. My idea is that somebody who’d worked with her, built a rapport, would more likely be positive. Anyway, for those reasons, daughter rejected my advice. I shrugged – to do anything else wouldn’t help. She will sink or swim by her decision. I’m in a position anyway where I’m happy to butt-out.

As regards her visits, it is like my last title (Boomerang) – she keeps coming back! About once a week, for a couple of days at a time. It is a bit much for me but how can I say no? Besides, she is quite pleasant when she comes, sometimes even quite useful with her car. She does not want to be at (her own) home. I find it awkward when she is here, because her decision to accuse me of abuse was a watershed in my book. It was a trapdoor – we fell through it and can never get back up. We were never going to be a regular father-and-daughter, from that point on. That’s not necessarily her, but something I have trouble getting my head around.

Can I just come over for a visit? Well, at least she asks.


My daughter came to stay for Christmas. All went well – we don’t generally get on too badly these days, although a lot of subjects are off-limits. The day she was supposed to go home, she was very emotional, she didn’t want to go. We eventually had to almost kick her out, a day after she was scheduled to go. My wife supports me in this – eventually, daughter drives her crazy, too!

I wouldn’t mind, she left just last Friday and was back here at 9am on Tuesday morning. She had plans to go out for New Year’s with some old schoolfriends. I use the word friends very loosely here – at the time, she repeatedly begged us to move schools, because she didn’t have any friends! We always refused – in fact her school’s pastoral policy was better than most, she got a lot of support there which she might not have received elsewhere.

She was meant to go home again yesterday, but is still here. She has a few problems at the moment (she always has a few problems) – she has a more general issue of getting along with people. She was fired from her last job (her first). She applied for another job, but didn’t tell them she’d been fired. When it came to getting a reference from the old job, they of course mentioned the circumstances under which she left. So the new job have not surprisingly asked her why she didn’t disclose anything to them when she first interviewed.

The trouble is, she is inconsistent. She says one thing to one person, something else to the next, something else altogether the next day. As she was growing up, it was always easy to spot when she was lying to us, because we never heard the same story twice.

She says she is depressed. That certainly seemss to be the case. She doesn’t want to go home. She said yesterday that she felt safe here. Ironically, all the bad things she says about her bedsit, she said them about here (me) a few years ago, when she engineered her way out by accusing me of abuse. I can see all of this, my response is measured as a result. We will never be a father/daughter in in the traditional sense because of what she did, but she doesn’t see that.

We had a good, long chat yesterday, trying to think how best she could present her situation. She doesn’t help herself – she freely talks in terms of bullying, that somebody just didn’t like her. The same words she has used her whole life when she doesn’t get on with people. The same words she used against me. If I were a potential employer, I’m thinking straight away that this is a girl who makes enemies. Straight away, I’m inclined to pass, because she’s too hot to handle. She might well not get this job, but she will hopefully learn how to phrase things, for the next. Or the next. There are, at least, some things she can do – get her story straight, for one.

I said she could stay another night. In fact, she slept last night in her car (her choice), which will hardly do her physical health any good, either. Outside our house. She says she didn’t come in last night because she doesn’t want to burden us, alshough she came in when we got up and is now sleeping soundly on our sofa. She didn’t want to be a burden during the night, but during the day, no problemo 🙂.

It’s a difficult one. We go through life, and we learn to accept that people will make their own choices, which might not necessarily be the same as the ones we’d make. But that also means we have to watch a car crash as it unfolds.

Different People

I am just back from a night out. We spent the night in a hotel, only ten miles down the road, after going out for a meal last night. I wasn’t sure how I’d be for an internet connection but in the end it turned out okay, and I posted my Song Lyric Sunday choice a few hours ago. It was quite weird, though, because the one thing I couldn’t do was to listen to anything, because I didn’t want to wake my sleeping wife. But I’ve just got home and caught up with a half-dozen other people’s choices. As it happens, most everyone picked the same song as me.

Did I ever mention that my wife sang in a choir? It is no great shakes, we call them community choirs in the UK, somebody organises it, and the same-ish group of people turn up each week to practise. Then, they do performances etc. on top of the practising. I think my wife’s choir, there are probably forty or so of them. There was no audition to get in – as long as someone pays their subs each week, everybody is welcome! Consequently the choir is not very good, but my wife enjoys it. It is all very secular, and actually the person running the choir can make a decent living from it. It is not really any different to here – we all pay our subs to WordPress, and thereafter we enjoy life on here, and it is the same for my wife.

Last night was their annual award ceremony. There weren’t particularly any awards – I think there might have been one for the person who looks like they most deserve an award, but in general an excuse for a drunken night out. It was held in a local hotel in Salisbury, and my wife asked if I’d like to go with her, as a treat.

I’m full of self-control these days, so had one pint of beer, then water. You know how you generally avoid places at christmastime because the quality drops? Because they’re catering for so many people, there’s always another customer around the corner, so they tend not to care whether you’re happy with your experience or not? Well, this was a pleasant surprise. It was mainly traditional christmas fare. My wife chose a cut of beef (she avoids turkey for that exact reason – it is usually not very good) and I stayed veggie. We both enjoyed a delicious three-course meal, followed by a very comfortable stay at the hotel. So, hats off to the White Hart in Salisbury.

It’s funny because I generally consider myself quite reserved, quite introvert, and many people who sing in choirs are quite extrovert. Many people who sing in this choir are very extrovert! So I had a very interesting time just observing people. Lots of them did not have a great deal to say, but they said it loudly in any case. So it was fun just to see how these people behaved toward each other, although I was a bit of a fish out of water. My wife is not particularly extrovert – if she was, we wouldn’t have ended up together – but she has made friends there, there are some people with whom she gets on very well and she enjoys the overall experience. Insmuch as I had anything to do with anything, I encouraged her to join the choir because especially after the stroke, I didn’t want her world just to revolve around me. We didn’t really know how anything would turn out at that stage, as it happens I can now live perfectly independently anyway.

I met a lovely old boy there who was eighty-one. Apparently he had once worked professionally in showbiz, but of course was retired now and just sang in his local choir because he enjoyed the craic. I ended up sitting next to him for dinner and we found lots to chat about.

We got to the end of the meal and the woman who runs the show started making a speech. I’m not much sure what it was about – I’d just had a meal, plus is was a good hour past my normal bedtime in any case, so had but one thing on my mind! But my wife seemed to be happy, and to generally have had a good time.

I come with so much baggage these days, when I go away somewhere I always forget at least one thing. This time, I remembered all my meds, nut forgot my testing kit. Never mind, with just the one night away, I survived just on gut instinct. I can understand why a lot of people don’t bother going away. At least at home, I have everything I need, I know where it all is, I don’t have to worry about an unfamiliar bath, say, where the grab-rails might not be where I need them to be, or where there might not be grab-rails at all. Am I just getting old?