Some bike shops have shop dogs, cats and the last one I worked at had shop squirrels for a couple of months. But the current shop I work at has shop children. They don’t live at the shop just nearby, but one of them, Ernie, did spend over 8 hours at the shop for 3 days in a row. During those days he even tidied up the place a bit, cleaning of bikes and learned how to work on them a bit.
The kids are all BMXers and I believe they started hanging out at the shop after meeting my coworkers at the BMX park. It started slow with them coming and hanging out only briefly but now it has intensified. There are 5 kids in the gang, but they rarely are all together at once. There age range from 13 to 19 or 21. With all but one being from 13 to 15 years old. Most of them are quite entertaining though sometimes they are overwhelming and hard to handle.
They all like us very much, one has even asked a couple of us if we could adopt him. It is nice having them around, they make the shop time much more enjoyable. Especially when they do silly things like Ernie did:
It’s nice also seeing all of us making a positive impact on their lives. They all really look up to us and we are able to teach them things. Sometimes it’s just how to work on their bike sometimes it’s about other things. I’ve even had the pleasure of showing Ernie how to solve the first two layers of a Rubik’s cube (he was so excited by solving them he went out and bought a cube the next day and figured out how to solve in by watching some videos online.
Having these kids around has reminded me how I hope to work with kids in my future, it’s fun for me to teach them how to do something, especially when they are already interested in it. But for now I just enjoy having them around, they make work go a lot faster and almost always have a positive attitude.