As a two year old, the six year old was an avid watcher of Postman Pat – the amiable country postman – on TV. He liked what he saw, and declared ‘postman’ to be his career of choice.
Clearly, at that age, he wasn’t aware of the financial and political issues which dog the Royal Mail here in the UK, turning what was once a good honest living into an exercise in full-time industrial action.
I assured him that time was on his side, and that he could be anything he wanted to be.
As a three year old, at nursery, and as part of some alarmingly career-minded “learning outcome”, he again identified ‘postman’ as his future employment of choice.
I assume that by now he had at least a basic grasp of the politics of privatisation but still, he wasn’t for changing his mind.
And then, at school, as a six year old, the question came up again.
He stuck with ‘postman’.
There’s nothing wrong with being a postman – it’s a good honest living – but I felt that at such a young age it might be prudent for him to keep his options open.
Postman Pat himself, I’m led to believe, long harboured ambitions to be a vet; he only fell into a career in post after an unfortunate incident involving a nervous sheep and a rubber glove.
So, I confronted him (my son…not Postman Pat): “are you sure you want to be a postman? I mean, you’ve got the choice of any job in the world…doctor, lawyer, feng-shui consultant…”
And he replied: “the problem is daddy, at nursery I told them I wanted to be a postman and they wrote it down…now they’ve sorted out a job for me it would be rude to change my mind.”