Strong work ethic valuable to youth and adults (LA PARKER COLUMN) – Trentonian

Growing up on a farm provided one of life’s most important lessons — learning how to work.

Memories of the past rushed into the present Thursday during a lunch break at Italian Peoples Bakery where three youth worked during Take Your Child to Work Day, a day that encourages parents to introduce children to the workplace.

The day likely lost luster during the height of the pandemic and after as many parents continue to work from home.

A current Take Your Child to Work Day for many moms and dads would include them dressed in pajamas and working remotely from home.

Of course, that could never happen at Italian Peoples where the family bakery business enjoys an 86-year history.

Carmen Guagliardo and his son, Matthew, rate as connectors to the family’s love affair with work. Open 6 am to 8 pm daily, 365 days per year, daily hustle pays homage to a litany of family members and employees who rise early and work late.

On this TYCWD, Matthew’s son, Mason, joined cousins ​​Giuliana and Michael. Their enthusiasm for work played sweeter than the fresh cakes, donuts and cookies that have been part of Italian Peoples success.

The three children smiled and almost overworked themselves. Now, imagine showing the same ethic work for seven decades like Carmen who at the fresh-baked age of 11, started driving a truck and delivering bread with his dad.

The rest tethered history as Matt joined a successful family business. Will one of these children step up as the heir apparent? Perhaps. Running a bakery business requires hard work and many people lack the dedication for such a time-consuming occupation.

Back on the farm, our dad worked for Winslow, Camden County Italian landowners who cultivated crops of tomatoes, peaches, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, etc. And while descendants continued the family’s agricultural pursuits, offspring eventually attended college and found other less physical means of employment.

The Parker siblings not only worked our large family garden but once school closed for summer break, many of us rose at sunrise then traveled to pick up those aforementioned crops.

Our days started with being assaulted by morning dew on a long stretch of tomatoes and ended with dry dirt caked to our shoes. By summer’s end, we longed for reading, writing and arithmetic.

Most monies earned went to the house as our family learned the value of work and purpose. Plus, we had pigs, chickens and other farm animals to look after.

Work connected to responsibility. Lessons were learned frequently, via verbal instruction and occasionally by more physical means.

Remember this one day when my brother, Willie, and I went to play baseball with friends. We had done our chores which included feeding about 30 baby chicks. We let them out into their pen then headed to the baseball diamond. An unexpected summer storm arrived and rain ended our game.

Returning home, we found the baby chicks were drenched and their weighted feathers had pulled them down into death puddles as they all drowned. It’s amazing how such memories and feelings stay with us, to the point that even in this moment, tears arrive with the same unexpectedness of that summer rain.

Work demands responsibility and a finish the job mentality. Half-finished almost always connects to half-assed.

If we had to perform such tedious farm work for a living, we would have. Of course, I could picture myself atop a John Deere tractor disking acres of land but given the choice between journalist and farm hand — well, point me toward my laptop.

Still, not many people can out-hustle me or most of my siblings. Work became part of my DNA and should be part of every young person’s life. The demise of these United States connects to a lost desire for work. Our citizens have become lazy, even lazier during the pandemic challenge.

People who had chastised welfare recipients for staying home and living on ‘handouts’, got a taste of free government cheese and loved the concept.

Meanwhile, capitalist swindlers employed six ways from Sunday tactics to steal billions of US dollars. Nothing like easy money.

One had to laugh about a Nerdwallet finance article headlined — Six Ways to Get Free Money From the Government.

Of course, a pandemic aftermath created millions of job openings. Employers offered significant hourly wages, signing bonuses and the likes. Working people in the twilight of employment shared a similar refrain — Man, if I were younger, I’d get myself a part-time job.

Even my six-year-old granddaughter found gainful employment. Hired by her mom as an in-home laundry assistant, the young worker reported for her first day of work and made this announcement — Ok, I’m ready for work. Where’s my money?

Talk about a teaching moment and one that produced laughter.

Want to build a better city, life and family? Want to travel? Go on vacation? Work.

Numerous reports suggest about 65% of employees in the US are satisfied with their job while 20% of employees are passionate about their job.

Satisfied? The final instruction — find a job you love.

L.A. Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Find him on Twitter @LAParker6 or email him at LAParker@Trentonian.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.