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This is a question Child Labour

There is a special part of Hell I'd like to reserve for those arses that order every single Sunday paper. Do you know how heavy that makes the bundle of papers some poor kid (ie me) has to lug around? Funny how your papers always seemed to get mangled in your letterbox...

I loved my paper round, but, looking back, I was getting paid peanuts to ruin my back and cycle around in the cold and dark. How were you exploited as a child?

(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:05)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

We wish you a merry pissmas
A few of us tykes used to go carol singing round our council estate each December. Lots of very nice people gave us sweets & coins despite clearly not being terribly wealthy.

One day we had the bright idea to go go to the outskirts of town where the posh people lived in the big houses - if poor people could give us money, rich people could give us TONS of money!

Or so we thought.

After being ignored, insulted, shooed away, and threatened with the police by various snooty wankers we happened upon one house where this lady opened the door and brayed "gosh how charming" or some such, and stood grinning at us for a good five minutes as we went through our entire repertoire of Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Xmas and, um, Jingle Bells again.

And then she said "thank you very much" and shut the door in our face.

Now, by that time I'd just about had enough of these toffee nosed twats. Fury arose within my mighty ten year old frame. Some nice person earlier had given me a tube of smarties, so I immediately chewed up a mouthful of them, opened the letterbox and gobbed them out into the house as forcefully as I could. Then I ran.

About 30 seconds later I looked back and realised nobody had come after us. So I went back to the house, opened the letterbox again, stood up on tiptoes and had a hearty piss into it. Again nobody came out.

The next week I put some dogshit through the letterbox. And so it went on. For some weeks.

Many years later, about 18 years of age, I happened to be walking down the same road pissed out of my head on cider. I noticed that same house and had a good chuckle about my childhood campaign of toiletary vengeance. Then I stopped. It was late. Nobody was about.

Ladies and gentlemen I must confess that I went up to that very same letterbox and wanked into it.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:49, Reply)
Dr Doolittle I ain't
Summer job at a vet’s, age 14- plenty of nasty, scary moments, I can tell you, but I'll just pick one:

The worst ever was the giant dog that started having a very large, very slow poo when it was being operated on. The sadistic head vet asked me to “catch it as it comes out.” The sensation of gently supporting a steaming hot dog log (in hands protected only by membrane-thin see-through gloves) as it slowly oozes out of an unconscious Alsatian’s anus is one that will go with me to the grave. The hound from hell wasn't helping push at all- he took at least twenty minutes from peeking tip to slithery finish, FFS.

However, it was quite fun playing with floppy anesthetised cats: much less scratchy than normal, and oh so poseable. But I stopped doing that when one weed on me.

I don’t see why I should apologise for length- the dog certainly didn’t.

P.S. But lest I forget, I was being paid £2.50 an hour, so it wasn't all bad.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:30, Reply)
Oh the shame...
In year 10 our school sent us out on 'work experience'. A mate of mine was sent to work in HMV in Reading.

During the same period of time a girl in our year was involved in a dismal pop act, they were plugged on all the top sattelite programmes such as Trouble and Nickelodeon. Their single was the biggest piece of crap I have ever heard, however it somehow managed to scrape the Top 100 in the charts which, if you know anything, means that they might aswell have filmed a short of them sitting in their own filth to become famous.

Returning to my mate, who also happened to be friends with the above 'celeb'. One day in HMV, she was asked to destroy the remaining copies of a incredibly poor selling single as it was deemed useless to anyone alive.

Can you see where this going?

My mate sat in a dark room and sat and cried while smashing up her friends face into teeny tiny little pieces.

I almost soiled myself when I heard this.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:48, Reply)
I might be able to go one better than a paper round
when I was about 15 I got a job delivering the Yellow Pages. So ENORMOUS phone directories. I seem to remember I did around 2500 of them, around Moseley in Birmingham.

Aside from the obvious back breaking work involved, I met a few "characters". You got an extra 12p per copy if you could get a signature for the directory to prove you had delivered it, so I dutifully rang every doorbell hoping to make this shitty job pay back in whatever meagre way.

One part of the area I delivered to was a very old block of council flats. It all smelt of piss of course, and being a wee slip of a thing, I was quite nervous. The very first door I knocked on was opened by a kindly looking old man. He signed for his yellow pages, and then said, "Oh watch out in the stair well - it's full of fucking glue sniffers". I was a bit put off by the expletive, but he continued as I tried to edge away from his doorstep. "They're all fucking Irish you know. The glue sniffers. Worse than the fucking blacks."
At this point I am trying to make as swift an exit as is possible while wheeling a cart containing 100 phone books. "I've been living here since 1938. When the bombers came over in the war I hid under the kitchen table and prayed I'd live through the night. Well I did but I should have been praying that Hitler would win. Then we wouldn't have all the Irish and the Pakis taking drugs in my stair well. If they knock on my door I'll fucking shoot them. You think I'm joking, don't you? Well I'm not." He reached behind the door and produced what from my fairly untutored standpoint was a Very Powerful Rifle. He waved this around and offered me a look down the viewfinder. "Of course I won't need that. They're point blank from here"
"It's loaded you know"

I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I'd been Asian rather than a rosy cheeked young brit. I was actually sharing the job with my mate Faisal, who I think would have been perforated had he had the misfortune to knock on this guy's door instead of me.

Anwyay, I finally got away. The rest of the block, rather than being populated by Irish Glue Sniffers, was in fact full of sweet old ladies.

Hardest 12p I ever earnt.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:08, Reply)
fluffy animals
my best friend and i were conned into giving up our precious saturdays to advertise a children's designer clothes shop in cheadle. 6 hours for £20 cash in hand.

the idea was, one of us would dress up in a fluffy animal suit and give balloons to the children. the other would then take a photograph, which would be displayed in the shop. the fond mothers could then come into the shop and claim the free photograph, and the hope was that they would be seduced into buying baby gap g-strings and versace rompers.

unfortunately, the owner was a big, fat, sleazy robbie coltrane double who was tighter than a nun's chuff. he bought four of the ropiest cartoon suits you've ever seen, with holes in them, threadbare fur and less than a passing resemblance to the actual cartoon character - mine was the lesser known "pinkish grey balding panther with a hole where the tail should be and staring weird yellow eyes". cue the horrid boss pressing the tail against my 14 year old breasts and butt, murmuring "we could pin it here. or here. or heeeere." what kind of scaryass panther has a tail coming out of its tits?? anyway.

we had to dance around cheadle in these suits. it was cold. it was windy. it was raining. people threw things at us and my friend vicky's "rotting snoopy carcass" head kept falling down so she couldn't see and walked into things. every single child within a 5 mile radius burst into tears when they saw the freaky suits. this was the only thing that made it bearable (no pun intended).

eventually we were sacked when not one single solitary mother had been in to retrieve a photo in 6 weeks and the shop was flooded with them. well, who would want a picture of their darling son/daughter and heir, dripping wet and crying hysterically as their worst nightmare capered around in front of them?

moral of the story children - never mock people in those suits. it's worse on the inside.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:39, Reply)
Trench Warfare!
Many years ago (age 10 or so) my friend and I were watching some old war films on a glorious summers day in the holidays, might've been All Quiet on the Western Front or somesuch. We took from this the idea that fighting in trenches was a Fun Thing To Do (we may have missed the point of that particular film).

So we were talking about how we could perhaps make our own trenches to fight in if we could find some shovels and somewhere to dig. My friend's father overheard us and announced that he thought that the trench warfare sounded like a Fun Thing To Do also, and, very kindly, offered us the use of his shovels.

'Where to dig though?' we asked, to which the father replied that he would let us dig in the far end of his garden, as he didn't use that part of the garden for anything.

Needless to say we were ecstatic, and happily dug out trenches at matey's father's direction. Our masterpiece of the sapper's art was completed after a few days, and we were all combat fatigued up and ready to fight. Matey's father pointed out that it was getting dark, and so playing there might be dangerous, suggesting to start the following day.

On our arrival the next day we were greeted by the sight of matey's father cheerfully filling the newly tarpaulin'd 'trench' with water from his hosepipe. "Cheers boys, why don't you go and play football down the park?"

If we had paid more attention to the war films we may have questioned him as to why he wanted the trench dug in a more circular shape, as looking back, his justification that "that's how they dug them during the first world war when they wanted extra protection" wasn't really watertight.

We went down the park to play football.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 16:07, Reply)
Getting on my tits
I had a sucession of crap jobs as a kid mainly to fun my weed habit. Did the usual paperrounds etc but in a dope induced year out I some how got a job at a local bacon factory. This place really was the seventh circle of hell. It reeked of death and shit and all the other workers were like some mike Leigh/Ken Loach nightmares. As if all this wasnt bad enough my actual job was to stand in line on a conveyor belt for 8 hours at a time wearing a white boiler suit holding a mecanised circular razor (looked like a magnifying glass) whilst sides of pork wizzed past. My role was to grab the mobile pork and shave of its nipples at a frantic pace which caused them to ping off in all directions often into my eyes and mouth - kind of like Pac-man but with cold dead pig tits. This went on for an entire summer, however I still eat bacon.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 16:57, Reply)
Oh dear
A mate was in the Young Conservatives, but I preferred Child Labour.

Ay thangyew.
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 9:46, Reply)
Jesus' Nature Reserve
as a youngster me, my cousins and some friends were playing in the local park when the local nutjob (jesus look-a-like with long hair and a massive beard) came over to where we were playing and said he had a proposition for us. like any sensible youngster we werent to taken by the sound of this. until that is, he told us there was a gameboy in the offering if we helped him out.

so of course we all gathered round as he told us all about how he's been working with the council to help make the estate nicer and they had given him permission to build a pond right where we were standing in the middle of the park. he also said if we helped him he would buy us each a gameboy out of the funds he'd been given to say thank you for helping.

so off we all ran back to our houses to grab whatever digging implements we could find and rush back to start digging. and dig we did. for about 4 hours we toiled away until we had a nice 4 metre square hole about a foot and a half deep and a giant mountain of mud beside it. all the while 'jesus' sat on the bench eating cheese and some apples that he was slicing up with a huge fúck off knife whilst he oversaw our excavation.

it was at about this time, an old woman walked past somewhat bemused by the goings on but we reassured her "it's ok, the council told us to do it". seemingly unconvinced she left us to it, only to return a few minutes later with the boys in blue, who through the use of expert detective work determined the guy did not in fact have permission to dig anywhere and he was in fact merely a raving nutter.

when the probability of each getting a gameboy started to seem highly unlikely we decided to cut our losses, so we all legged it to avoid any kind of remonstration, meanwhile the police forced jesus to fill the hole back in on his own.

and that was how the essex constabulary put paid to what would no doubt have become the 8th wonder of the world... the jesus gardens of basildon.

apologies for length/width/height/girth/circumference/etc...

p.s. the crazy fool did actually come good on his offer and a couple of the lads who helped in the digging did get a gameboy to share between them.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 20:30, Reply)
Every cloud....
When I was about 14, a paperboy in the next town went missing from his paper round, and subsequently turned out to have been murdered by a paedophile. This is a terribly sad but true story.

Until the man who did it was caught, there was a very real sense of panic among parents that this person could strike again. So many stopped their children from doing their paper rounds

Obviously, this led to a skills shortage in my local town of people with a the relevant qualifications to deliver newspapers. i.e. posession of bicycle, ability to read numbers on front of doors.

The newsagents were either having to deliver the papers themselves, or ask their customers to come fetch them. Not an ideal situation.

Seeing an opportunity to cash in, I strolled into my local Dillons (local paper shop chain) and said "Any paper rounds going?".

The following day I found myself laden with three day-glo orange bags on my Raleigh Mountain Bike (with mudguards that my Dad insisted I have, I mean how gay are mud guards on a mountain bike?) spending an hour and a half delivering papers to the mostly elderly residents of my town, who turned out to be excellent Christmas tippers!

I kept this up for the next 18 months, and also took on an evening paper round too. I ended up being shit at school, but rich (for a 14 year old).

So I'd like to extend a big hand of thanks to that paperboy, who's untimely demise indirectly benefitted me to the tune of about £25 a week. Cheers.

So not really a story of how I was exploited as a child, but a story of how I exploited the newspaper delivery industry. Yes.

Next week: How I got a school caretakers job in Cambridgeshire, when the previous employee had to leave the post unexpectedly.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 10:03, Reply)
Easy Money?
Slightly off subject, but...

When I was a teenager back in the '80s I had a series of the usual rubbish jobs for crappy money - garden centre, old people's home, McDonalds - but when I turned 18 I got my (then) dream job working behind the bar in the local pub. I bloody loved that job and kept on working there in Uni holidays too. Anyway, one summer I was saving up for something so was working loads of split shifts (anyone else remember the days when pubs closed in the afternoons...?). There were a few local old men who used to come in for a half of mild and I'd chat with them and, me being 18 and quite busty (ah, those were the days), they quite liked it. One day, when the pub closed after lunch, I went out to my car and found one of the old guys lurking in the car park. I'd been telling him earlier how I was trying to save up some money, and he asked me if I wanted to make some extra. I swear to God, what went through my head was "Shit, he's going to ask me to do some gardening". Strangely, instead of asking me to mow his lawn, he offered me £20 for me to unbutton my blouse and let him grope my tits. The words "Just a little look and a feel" still ring through my head. Being the polite well brought up girl I was, I actually apologised to him for not showing him my bosoms. I got my own back by getting him barred though. Teenage girls can be so unforgiving.

I still have a nagging feeling that I turned down the easiest £20 I would ever make.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 16:06, Reply)
Pre-Packed Sandwich Converyor Belt... horrific
Temp job one summer to earn cash, me and a mate at a factory that made those pre packed sandwiches you see in supermarkets, garage forecourts, etc.

It was only something like £2 per hour BUT we did get the full hygene get-up for nowt - plastic wellies, beard net, yada yada yaday - our job? near the end of the conveyor, just before they were cut by a huge circular saw - we were 'cheese straighteners' - basically make sure the cheese was evenly spread in the sandwich. Me and my mates just laughed at each other across the conveyor belt... and this conveyor moves fast. AND it doesn't stop for 4 hours till u get your break. At this point, around 30% of the staff on the belt would faint due to motion sickness from watching it move for 4 hours straight...

I did get promoted to 'eggs' once.. basically put a whole boiled egg on the slice of bread as it went past... it was heaven. Till my box of boiled eggs was empty. i had to find another... by then, 30 slices of bread had gone past.

Those biddies at the end of the conveyor took it all so serious and their cries will live with me forever... "GET THE FUCKING CHEESE STRAIGHT!" or "THERE'S AN EGG MISSING - GET ME AN EGG, GGEETT MMEE AANN EEGG QUICK!"
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 11:42, Reply)
My summer in the Garden
I think I was about 11 or 12 years old, and my mother (bless her soul, the easily led women she is) came home from her place of business with a proposition - Her boss also ran a 'market' garden , and needed an assistant for a couple of weeks. The pay would definitely be 'worth my while' - keep these words in mind....

For the next three weeks I did it all - picked tomatos, planted tomatos, hacked and weeded overgrown and neglected garden beds, painted obsolete doors and walls, stacked and packed tomatos (a bit of theme developing here), raked driveways, dug ditches, even to the point of removing the previous occupants of his rabbit/horse/chicken bowels on a daily basis for fertilizer. Seriously, I doubt a japanese beaver working under slave-like circumstances, would put in as many hours as I did.

Of an evening, I would go home, sore, bruised, reeking of all things tomato related, my child spine cracking like an 1850's propsectors, but happy. Happy in the knowledge of the 'worth my while' pay packet that would be mine at the end of the month - I'd even started circling pics of the new mountain-bike I would aquire with my new found wealth, and dreamed of the envious looks and glances of the neighbourhood kids as I'd flash past in a blur, and the possible romantic misunderstandings that I could have with little Felicity (the cutie at the end of my street, that I was sure would succumb to my wealth-enhanced charms).

So the end of the month arrives, PAY DAY - the beginning of the rest of the soon to be Best-Summer-ever. I strolled down to my place of work, knowing full well I'd seen my last tomato of the season, shovelled my last load of shit, no longer a thrall to the man.

"Morning Tim, here for your pay?" was the smooth greeting that I received from my master, a strange glint in his eye, like a slave-master rethinking the recent deal to sell the mother-child combo to the heavy-buttocked camel merchant.

"Sir, yes sir", I may have replied - I have or never will be in the marines, but it just seemed to fit).

"Well, here you go son, you've done a great job, and just like I told your mother, it will be worth your while". I swear I heard drool drip from my flacid lips and smack onto the stone floor tiles of the verandah as those words penetrated my skull - I was RICH!!

Feeling it slightly odd that instead of reaching into a vault like chest, chained up similar to Pandorra's box, from which he would delicately remove my reward/pay, he dug a hand into his pocket, removing a slightly worn, brown-leather (thin!!) wallet. From the note section at the back, he removed a crinkled, stained, and ripped $20.00 note (this is Australian dollars).

At the average going rate, as I'd roughly calulated it (drawing comparisons between paper-round, helping around the house, and other forms of income I had thus received prior to the market garden scam), I was expecting about 10 to 15 times this much. Yet the evil, foul-smelling, crooked, child-labour supporting warlock of tomato torture, mistook the rapid downward charge of my facial expressions, as shock at the rich recompence I was receiving.

"Don't worry Tim, I can afford it, and after all, you've done a fine job around the place". Although I was neither of the age or weight group that usually qualifies for spontaneous heart failure, it felt my blood-pump had stalled - all my future hopes and dreams replaced with the fire of anger straight from the brimstone-lined gates of hell.

"$£%^&*&^^&(*()~@#@#'$£"&^**()((+_&*^$%$" or at least that's what I think I said. Whatever utterance was expelled, knocked the old todger back a few feet, the $20 slap-in-the-face note drifted silently to the floor. I picked that fucker up, and went down to the garden, and kicked the first thing I saw on my way out. Which happened to be Peter, the pride and joy rabbit of the garden. Ol' Pete flew about 10 feet forward, landing with a satisfying 'thunk' into the paling fence.

I mounted my rusty, pathetic excuse for a bike, rode home, and gave another mouthful to my mother - which resulted in the $20 confiscated, me grounded, and left bitter and twisted towards any work for the rest of my life. Hence, I'm writing this from 'work' right now.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 15:28, Reply)
paper rounds
Long story - short.
I had a paper round and ended up fucking one of the women on the round.
I was 15 she was 52.
I rock.

and I still would.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:44, Reply)
Tranny shoes
My first "job" while I was at school was working in Timpsons selling shoes in the early '80s. For some reason I was put in the ladies department and on the day I started I was told by the manager that we sold shoes to the TV market. Being only 15 and rather niaive, I thought this was something to do with the branch of Currys up the road.

Imagine my surprise being asked by a 6 foot "lady" with a five o'clock shadow for "black court shoes - size 10". Normally, fitting a shoe for a lady involved a numerous furtive glances at their underwear (i was a hormonal teenager remember) - not this time - I was confronted by a pair of rather hairy legs surmounted by a pair of equally hairy bollocks as he/she lifted his/her leg onto the stool to be measured.

Now I feel physically sick every time I see the bad trannies on Little Britain......
(, Tue 21 Feb 2006, 14:14, Reply)
everyone loves creosote
When I was about 12 (so about 1997 or so), my parents were painting all the fences in our rather large garden with some foul brown creosote-based fence-protecting paint. It smelled horrible, got all over you and generally wasn't something I wanted anything to do with.

One day they decided they wanted my help and offered me the princely sum of 50p an hour. There wasn't a chance in hell I was going to do it for that, and bet that I could make more money wandering around in town looking for change on the ground.

I returned an hour or so later having successfully found £1.04 on the ground. No further offers of creosote-based fence painting work were sent my way that year.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 20:24, Reply)
13 year old alibi
worked for an irish bloke called noel on his icecream van. he used it as his cover so he could nip round his girlfriends for a crafty shag every saturday. my job was to wait in the van for most of the afternoon and then tell his wife we'd been doing the rounds in the town centre all day. used to pay me a fiver and all the ice cream i could chug.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:29, Reply)
The horror of earning £2 per hour in deepest darkest Somerset.
In 1992 when I was 14 my overprotective sMother thought it would be a good idea to get a job in a war zone. Well ok, it was the local Clay Pigeon Shooting club. I would be a "trapper" operating a "trap" that fired "clays" into the air so that the "inbred gun-toting carrot crunchers" could blast them to smithereens.

The trap is a menacing piece of equipment, basically consisting of a steel arm attached to a tripod by an industrial spring that you have to heave back, insert a clay and when the shooter shouts “Pull!” or “Trap!” you release it keeping all body parts away from the deadly swinging arm.

On my first day I was in for a treat. I was to operate the “Rabbit”. The rabbit was a bigger kind of trap that sent a special clay rolling down a long rubber mat to be obliterated a few meters away. I was replacing Simon who was undergoing facial reconstruction because he had caught his face in the rabbits swinging arm (they got through more trappers that way).

A short list of incidents in the next 2 months:
Hands & gloves ripped to shreds on the sharp swinging arm of the trap.
The protective hay-bale wall collapsing on me.
Spent lead shot raining down on me.
No ear protection because I “might not hear instructions”.
Receiving a shrapnel wound on the hand from a disintegrating clay from a nearby trap. Obviously no first aid kit, so the wound was eventually bound with a paper towel and electrical tape.
Gun fire control that makes Dick Cheyney look like he has an exemplary health & safety record.

The crunch came when I had been sat in a hedge for 2 hours, shivering in the pouring rain operating a trap that was desperately trying to take my head off because the trajectory bolt was loose and nobody could (or would) find a spanner to tighten it. The ghost of Simons missing front teeth & nose cartilage appeared to me and told me to get a Sunday morning paper round, and ‘yes’ chthonic, those Sunday papers are a bitch to carry.
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 10:40, Reply)
i was a paper boy
but wandering too close to a naked flame lleft me as a floating cloud of ash. one day i shall return to wreak my revenge.

and don't be a capitalist lackey, form a workers' collective, attack the enemy from within. you know it makes sense.
(, Tue 21 Feb 2006, 16:32, Reply)
Ting, ting, ting
My parents bought a heap of a house many years ago and amongst the detritus left by the extensive ork needed to make it habitable was a huge pile (perhaps twelve tons) of used bricks. they could be used again to repair or extend the house, since they would match their former neighbours better than new ones or reclaimed bricks from elsewhere. Thus, it fell to me to reclaim them. This is done by chipping the old mortar off with a brick-hammer. if the brick is busted, it can be chopped into a halfbrick and used where it fits.

i say again, Twelve Tons.

Now this may sound like forced labour but when you get into a task as repetitive as that, you can just let your hands do the job and leave your mind free to do other things. So That's what i did. My mind went a-wandering while my hands got better and better at chipping bricks. After a pallet load, i knew exactly where to strike them so that the mortar just fell away like pot-roast meat off a bone. My mind grew agile, and my hands grew strong. Another twenty tons of bricks, i could've achieved Enlightenment ... that would've been woo indeed.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 20:23, Reply)
papers? pish!
My mother ran a leaflet delivery company. Every morning before school, at weekends and during every school holiday I had to help deliver leaflets. 1p per leaflet. If i hurried I could get about 150 done before breakfast. Yeah. £1.50. That was in and around 1990, when £1.50 was worth only slightly more than £1.50 today!

Every winter since I can feel my shoulder ache where the bag strap used to be. I can't even claim for damages as it's my mum I'd have to take to court.....dammit!

Oh, and as we "couldn't afford" a warehouse or other storage unit, our house was used instead. Feckin boxes of stuff everywhere - even in our bedrooms. When we had samples to deliver, we just couldn't move around the house.

And then there were the deliveries. We lived in a Victorian terrace on a busy main road. Imagine the fun then when a 7.5 tonne lorry arrived, laden with boxes and with nowhere to park. we had to climb onto the truck, dismantle the carefully packaged pallets (no forklift, remember!) and then carry each box to the house, where they were stacked, counted and checked. By me or my brother and sister. If we were lucky the delivery would arrive in the day whilst we were at school, but as my mum would be out delivering and organising people, she tried to arrange all deliveries for first thing - no breakfast and then straight to school, late.

And then there were the night times. I'm sure that you have all received bundles of leaflets through the door. Well they don't bundle themselves together or arrive in little convenient packages. Oh no. Muggins here, along with anybody else that wasn't quick enough, had to sit in the lounge bundling the leaflets together. Not just enough for what I was to deliver in the morning. Ohhh nooo! If there were 10 people delivering, say, 300 bundles each then we would have to fold together...all together now...3000 bundles. each bundle could have 5 leaflets which means that i would have potentially 15000 papercuts by the end of the evening and arsecramp after sitting in one spot for 4 hours.

You want stories about exploited kids? I could go on. Honestly, I could.

Thank you, kind B3ta people, for allowing me the space to get this into the open. I'm going to get some counselling now. Cheerio!
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:36, Reply)
Same way - paper round
There was one house in particular - a listed building which contained 7 flats all owned by well-off business types. On Sunday they all had copies of the Times, Telegraph etc. This one building filled up an entire paper round bag to nearly bursting.

The problem was that, due to the building being listed, they couldn't change the letterbox which was really, really small. It used to take about twenty minutes to deliver the papers for this one place. And I could see the bastards standing inside the door waiting for me to finish so they could take their paper.

One day, I'd had enough so I spent about an hour and a half at their door, posting through all their massive Sunday papers one page at a time.

After that they opened the door to me on sundays.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:20, Reply)
I was working front of house at the theatre one night
My job was selling programmes, and I wasn't selling many, so I fetched my friend's 6-year-old kid to help me. He stood next to me, big-eyed and cute, clutching his pile of programmes, while I told people that if the kid didn't sell enough we didn't feed him.

It worked too! But we still didn't feed him.
(, Tue 21 Feb 2006, 9:51, Reply)
Tote that barge, lift that fucking bale...
My Dad used to have a little weekend gardening business and would 'let' me come along when I was about 12. We'd work for about five hours and then I'd get to choose between getting paid four dollars or getting lunch.

If I chose the money, he'd buy a seething great pizza and eat it in front of me in the car on the way home. If I chose the food, he'd buy us a sandwich which I'd have to eat standing on the side of the road near the tip where we dropped off our cuttings.

One day I took my own lunch and asked for the money. He never took me with him again. Cheap Scottish fuck!

(, Tue 21 Feb 2006, 0:25, Reply)
Never work in a hotel...
Did my work experience in a large hotel (part of a very big worldwide chain) - I wanted to work at a big IT firm, but the only place left they had was in a hotel. Aged 15, I ended up working as a waiter in the hotel resturant for two weeks as the manager took pity on me and said I couldn't possibly be expected to lug bags everywhere as a porter [actually I think he probably didn't want me earning any tips from the guests.].

So I spent two weeks (for no payment) serving middle-aged corporate tw*ts on conferences who complained about everything, wanted service at the speed of light and asked a 15-year-old trainee waiter where they could pick up some 'women of the night for some fun' at the end of the evening. And don't even get me started on the tourists - I'm surprised most of them managed to get out of their own countries.. including the fat American woman who complained I served her a cream tea she'd ordered, because I was supposed to be psychic and work out she was dairy-intolerant... why the hell order a cream-feckin'-tea then!!!

God, I resented those bunch of b*stards - four days in and the rest of the exploited staff made it their mission to train me in the fine art of hotel revenge, such gems included; keeping a magnet under the desk to wipe the strip off the company credit cards, calling the Chef to say that 'Table 4 is complaining about the food' (if you've worked in a kitchen, you'll know what happens to all the food for Table 4), and my personal favourite, accessing the billing system and adding one or two pron films to the bills of 'difficult' customers, espcially those who's bills are sent directly to their companies for payment.

This is why I'm always very nice to hotel staff and try to eat out whenever I stay in a hotel...

(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 1:34, Reply)
Dead stuff
My parents live in Australia, their house is built with a (child sized) cavity under the house.

Of course stuff would go under their to die which would make our house smell rank in the summer heat.

There were things like bush rats, mice, some cats and bunnies.

My parents always said that I was the only person small enough to get under there. They'd pay me $20 per dead thing.

That may seem like a good wage, but being Australia, you had to fight your way past all the not dead stuff like spidies and rats! Was always hilarious when my dad shut the door for a laugh. Bastard.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 15:45, Reply)
Fleeced by my own father
My dad used to pay me £2 an hour to do his VAT returns. I started doing this at the age of ten. At sixteen, after many years of attempted negotiations and drawing his attention to the concepts of inflation and minimum wage, I threw a hissy fit and refused to do it for such a paltry sum any more...whereupon he passed the baton to my eleven-year-old brother.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:33, Reply)
SUMMARY of all posts so far (for the time-poor)
Good people, things will never go well in England so long as goods be not in common, and so long as there be villeins and gentlemen. By what right are they whom we call lords greater folk than we? On what grounds have they deserved it? Why do they hold us in serfage? If we all came of the same father and mother, of Adam and Eve, how can they say or prove that they are better than we, if it be not that they make us gain for them by our toil what they spend in their pride? They are clothed in velvet and warm in their furs and their ermines, while we are covered with rags. They have wine and spices and fir bread; and we oat-cake and straw, and water to drink. They have leisure and fine houses; we have pain and labour, the rain and the wind in the fields. And yet it is of us and of our toil that these men hold their state.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 15:44, Reply)
When I was 18/19or so...
[Only just realised how long this is – ah well, I’ve just spent 10 minutes typing it so you’re ‘avin’ it ;)]

...one of my older cousins was harping on and on about how much money he was making picking cockles at a beach in our then-native Merseyside. And yes, it was the very beach where years later, those poor illegals got caught and drowned by the tide and spawned various hoo-haa's for a few months. For as long as people remembered enough to give a fuck, anyway.

My brother and I listened to this bragging on my cousin's part and eyed the, at that time, impressive amounts of dosh he had to throw about. After a brief brainstorm we offered our services as he had mentioned that the 'boss' (which, as we found later, translated to the Queen’s English as ‘double-dealing pikey cunt’) was always looking for extra help. Sadly, the phrase ‘high staff turnover’ and the warning bells it should ring weren’t installed in my brain at the time. So, we were waiting on a street corner with our cousin at 5am on a Saturday for the lad with the van to come get us. The van ride was good fun – skinned up, took the piss out of the idiots with windsurfers setting out for a day’s total failure to travel more than 5 yards in an upright position on the Merseyside coast etc. Then the time came to get to work.

I think, unless you’ve actually had to do it in industrial amounts as we did, that ‘picking cockles’ sounds quite light-hearted and jolly - theme tune to The Archers-type stuff, right? Imagine, then, spending the best part of six hours bent double with what was essentially a high-quality seaside-set rake dragging these little fuckers out from below the sand to fill enormous sacks, for which you were paid £7.50 each. Cockles spit at you if disturbed too, and its extra-salty – just try catching a few of those shots in the eye – the novelty wears thin quick. Bear in mind also that Merseyside's beaches aren't the cleanest in the world by a long chalk.

In short, it was fucking backbreaking and highly unpleasant besides.

At the end of the day (about 1pm), I had four sacks to call my own, collected and tagged by another pikey on a quadbike. When my catch was evaluated, the boss bitched illegibly for about five minutes about my now three-quarters full sacks. My protestations that I don’t do half or even three-quarters of a job that I’m being paid for, and that they were full when quad-boy took them from me fell upon deaf ears. I found out from my cousin later that he did this to a random selection of the new ones, skimming about a quarter of their catch off to bolster his own. I say ‘bolster’, but I mean ‘manufacture’ as I didn’t see the craggy bastard on the beach once the entire time, so I was already suspicious when he compared his own magical graft-free sacks to mine. In the end, I was offered £4 per sack. This pissed me off big-time after what I'd been through for the promise of nearly twice as much, so I grabbed the bottom corners of all four sacks and upended them onto his feet – ‘Now they’re worth 4 quid, you shady fucker’. I then retired to the relative warmth of the van to sulk and ache until such time came to go home. I didn’t even get to rest up in the van though because the boss needed to use it as well as his own small flatbed to take the haul to the fishmongers or wherever.

‘Yer still on one wi me lad?’ he asked as I jumped out of the van. ‘Yeah, well being bent over and fucked without even being asked does that to a lad round my way mate’. He laughed and seemed to take a shine to me after that. He came to me a little later saying that he couldn’t fit the quad onto his own ride along with the day’s haul and needed someone to keep an eye on it here at the beach until he dropped the cockles. For this, he would still pay me the 4 notes per sack despite the fact that I turned them into near-roadkill and another fiver for watching the quad. This placated me somewhat.

They were gone for more than 90 minutes, leaving me alone with a knackered-looking but well-maintained and still quite nippy quadbike and an expanse of beach to play with, so I did just that - good fun :)

I was sat there on it enjoying a slightly jury-rigged spliff after I’d finished playing when some middle-class arsehole, his wifey and two spawn came down onto the beach. Looking across at me on the quad he said to his wife but loud enough for me to hear ‘So that’s who was waking me up at seven this morning’, referring to quad-boy’s more industrious use of the ride rather than my own recent larking about. Still, I've always hated it when folk snipe in such a spineless manner - especially blokes who, in my opinion, really should have more balls. So, I started up the quad and rolled up alongside them (probably looking as grizzled as my employer-for-a-day after what I’d been doing all morning), and said ‘What, you mean like this?’, revved it until it screamed and peeled off, showering the four of them with the effluent-encrusted sand. I have to say, that satisfaction alone made the entire day worthwhile.

Eventually the party returned, and the boss asked me (after paying me) if I felt any better, so I told him ‘Yeah, just about’. He laughed again and said ‘See yer again then?’. My reply of ‘Not if my fucking life depends on it mate.’ caused his recent fondness to fade before my eyes and he shuffled off, muttering. True, he had tried to make amends and I'd shined him on but he shouldn't have tried to short-change me in the first place, the theiving prick. At the time I couldn’t give a toss anyway – I just wanted to get home and get in the bath – I ached and stank in equal measure, and the measure was quite a big one.

Cockling; take my advice folks – not a pleasant pastime in any conceivable way, and not worth the money they pay for it even when they don’t fuck you, free quad fun or no. Oh, and if your headman doesn't know or care the first thing about the tides, you could drown too. Better leave it, all things considered.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 12:40, Reply)
My afternoon paper round was actually a popular event.
Friends used to come with me on my afternoon round simply for the fun that used to ensue.

One house had a dog which could reach the rather high letter box.

It used to leap up, grab the paper and then fuck off. We discovered that if you didn't let go then the dog would jump repeatedly, getting more and more angry and ripping more and more of the paper to pieces.

Every day after this discovery they received a twisted ripped utterly fucked newspaper.
We used to cry with laughter at that. They never said a word either. Still, it was the Daily Mail.

We also winched a mate up a scaffold in a builders bucket. He got to about 60ft up the block of flats before he started to cry.

We showed our willies to a woman in a different block of flats.

We stole 'prizes' from the old peoples home tombola, usually some tinned peaches or some such shit.

We routinelly tried to piss our names onto the road or do distance pissing, or perhaps the high-piss.

then i'd get £8 at the end of the week.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 11:02, Reply)

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