This week we accepted our first work experience student, 16-year old Killian.
I have to admit, a few days before Killian arrived I became worried. Would I be able to keep him occupied? Would he feel bored? How could I ensure that he would benefit from his time with Peirene?
Last year my daughter did work experience in a law court. Apparently she was only given a couple of small tasks to complete. But she was allowed to shadow the barrister and attended a court trial. A real thrill for her.
Killian attended a Peirene Coffee morning. He undertook research on how to improve our twitter and facebook performance. He studied a first translation draft of a forthcoming Peirene title. He read three Peirene books and understood how we choose and market the texts.
Furthermore: He has become an expert in heating up soup for lunch, laying the table and stacking the dishwasher.
But his claim to fame was still to come. On Friday and Saturday he helped out at our Roaming Store. On Saturday Natalie, one of our new Peirene Ladies and a super bookseller, manned the stall. “Let’s see if we can hit our daily target twice over,” she fired Killian up. By twelve noon I received a phone call: “We are out of Hallands, and down to one copy of Beside the Sea and Pamplona.” Killian ran back to Peirene HQ to get more stock. By the end of the day they hit their target twice over. The young man deserved a tip.
The Nymph is pleased with herself. “I wasn’t able to offer him a gory murder trial. But he received a lot of hands-on experience and a real sense of job satisfaction. I think I’ve done well.”
I raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t see you on the stall. Maybe the credit should go to Natalie?”
The Nymph pursed her lips and avoided my eyes. After a moment’s reflection she announced: “OK, then. But I get the credit for teaching him how to heat up soup, which by the way is far more important than learning how to sell books. His future wife will be grateful to me for ever after.”