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Treading Father’s Footsteps

Yesterday, my son Jonny asked me for advice about starting a role in a building where I worked for around 20 years. This state of the art structure is home to a financial institution where I’m technically still employed; but for personal reasons have been absent from for a while.

My boy’s role is completely different to what I did, so I couldn’t give advice about the job he will be undertaking. However, as I know his new boss and most likely other individuals he’ll engage with on a day-to-day basis, he asked about the culture at his work residence for the next six months or so.

I paraphrasing, but below is roughly how our tongue in cheek exchange panned out…… NB.. For the purposes of anonymity, I’ve given his new boss the pseudonym of Arnold:-

GS (me)“My first piece of advice is don’t tell anyone I’m your dad!”

JS (my son)“Don’t worry, I’m gonna tell everyone my dad is TV chef Ainsley Harriot and my mum the Scottish diva Susan Boyle.”

GS“I understand the Susan Boyle deception as you look like her, but Ainsley Harriet is black. With your pale skin, I’m not convinced your new team will buy that.”

JS“Potentially, but it’s better than letting them know you’re my old man!”

GS“Lying to your boss and his team on your first day isn’t a good start…… Arnold is renowned for not tolerating untruths from his team about having celebrity fathers.”

JS“Ah…… cheers for the heads up, dad!”

GS“A few years back he let a lad go for claiming his dad was Basil Brush.”

JS“How did Arnold find out this lad was lying?”

GS“Because the kid wasn’t a puppet fox, you chuffing idiot!”

JS“Is there anything else my new boss frowns upon, dad?”

GS“Evidently, he’s not keen on his team having lunchboxes bearing Power Rangers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stickers….. He deems it unprofessional.”


JS“I best make sure I use my blue Mr Men box then!………. Arnold’s on a career sabbatical soon; do you know if his replacement will also disapprove of using Powers Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunchboxes?”

GS“Who’s his replacement?”

JS“I don’t know yet.”

GS“Well how the chuff can I say if his replacement will have the same thoughts as Arnold if I don’t know who it is!…. You berk!”

JS“If I’d have known the replacement’s name, would you have known their introspection of the team using Powers Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunchboxes?”

GS“What’s introspection mean?”


GS“What was the question again?”

JS“If I’d have known the replacement’s name, would you have known their introspection of the team using Powers Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunchboxes?”

GS (sheepishly) – “No!”

At this point the telephone line fell silent, only to be broken when I told my boy:-

GS“Right I’m off, enjoy your first day at your new work place…… Don’t get too nervous….. Unless Arnold’s replacement is a lion; in which case I’d make excuses to miss team meetings and one to ones!……. Hopefully, what I’ve told you will prove helpful in some way.”

JS“Cheers dad…… I’m sure it’ll be invaluable!”



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