Donald MacInnes: Why are we getting in a froth over Brooklyn Beckham's coffee job?

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The Independent Online

I'm fairly sure the Daily Mail has its "best people" on the job as we speak. In fact, it being a Saturday, they are probably, at this very moment, crawling through hedges all over west London; hiding in wheelie bins, sniffing the air, questioning the locals and generally doing their frantic best to hunt down the location of Brooklyn Beckham's coffee shop. Gosh, what a holy show over one teenage lad's Saturday job. Although I do wonder how much longer the enormo-quiffed 15-year-old will be able to sling flat whites to an uncaring public without the address of his place of work being compromised and thus then besieged by a panting crowd with anything but Kenco on its mind.

If it hasn't already happened by the time you read this (and if it has, just pretend it hasn't), I'm thinking it can't be long before the corporate identity of Becks Junior's pocket money provider is broadcast to the world. Then it's inevitable that the poor kid will have to steam his skinny milk with an audience of ravenous, gasping paparazzi and even-more-ravenous pubescent girls who want to de-caff the choirboy-eyed hunk-in-training with the Americano name.

There have been the expected songs of praise from columnists directed at David and Victoria's splendid down-to-earthness in making sure their progeny learned a few of life's harsher lessons in a real workplace environment before he gets old enough to spend their hard-earned squillions on models, shiny motor cars and fizzy champagne. Although, given the near-Amish work ethic displayed by his mum and dad over the past 20 years or so, it's unlikely that their sharp-dressing offspring will be anything other than dilligent, ambitious and beyond-his-years savvy in business. Let's face it: he was never going to fail, was he? And if he did, we probably wouldn't know about it. One shot of him crawling out of Mahiki in a drooling daze, with a gamine society miss on his arm, would have his father lacing up his boots for one last Beckham special, only this time the boot would go flying up his boy's behind.

My own early attempts at gainful employment have been documented in these pages over the past couple of years, so I shan't dwell on them too deeply, but I can speak with some authority about working for £2.68 an hour, or whatever Brooklyn will be earning. The honest truth of it is that I have probably never been happier than I was in my first Saturday job, stacking shelves in a Glasgow supermarket. I used to do a couple of nights during the week and then a whole Saturday, for which I took home about £40.

As a 17-year-old chap, this was clearly a fortune, but you wouldn't know it, given the haste with which I would spend it on pints of Strongbow. But then, I didn't have David Beckham keeping me on the straight and narrow. Brooklyn should think himself lucky. Or not, depending on how tasty those small latte groupies are…

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