Thursday, May 14, 2009


My children aren't old enough to be looking for careers advice yet but I must admit I am wondering, given the corrupt society we live in, what to advise them should they ask about future studies. Obviously MP would be a good choice given that comes with free moat cleaning, nappies and designer furniture but failing that I wonder if gardener might actually pay better than doing something that entails a Masters degree at university. Thomas and I have been considering having a metre taken off our garden hedge for about six months now so we can maintain it ourselves but the few gardeners I'd asked for a quote weren't really interested. Yesterday a passing gardener rang our bell to point out out hedge was a mess - that's hardly news. After some discussion, we agreed he could come and trim it today. That I don't mind. What I do mind is the bullshit price-doubling they try to pull on you just because they think you are stupid. He turns up today and within two minutes of starting the job rings our bell to tell us some cock and bull story about the trees having been scored previously with a saw and therefore water was rotting them from the inside and for only double the price he could cut off an extra 50cm and treat the trunks with some miracle cure which would make our trees flourish instead of dropping dead by Christmas. And guess what - when we said no sorry, bugger off, he cut them to the right height, treated them for the original price, and offered to return to maintain them this time next year (hmmmm I thought they'd be dead by then?!) Now if I advise academic careers to my kids, this corrupt double-your-hourly-rate-by bullshitting just doesn't work. So although I may feel prouder as a parent if my child becomes a nuclear physicist, sadly I actually believe they could probably earn a bit more simply by buying a chainsaw and a white van. In fact maybe I should stop writing dictionaries 3 hours a day and starting wandering round Newton Mearns with a step ladder and Thomas's chainsaw...

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