b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Child Labour » Page 1 | Search
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)
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)
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)
My second job was also slave labour
Aged 15 during the summer holidays, working at a milk bottling plant in essex, which is now owned by Arla foods. £4 hr! Yay! plus over time DOUBLE YAY! yeah fucking right. You had to start at 6am, 30 minutes for lunch, no breaks, any work that went on over 2 pm, which was supposed to be overtime, you had to clock out. On the 3rd day one of the supervisors disappeared to the betting shop for 3 hours. Somebody put the wrong labels on the labelling machine so all the temporary staff had to re run the production eventually leaving at 11.30 in the evening. When asked if we'd get overtime we were told that we'd be lucky to keep our jobs. I told them to fuck off and cut several of the high pressure pipes that ran their new 1 litre bottler and sealer unit. And told them were they could stick their job. Obviously there is no mention of this employment on any CV I have ever written.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:37, Reply)
Jobs, I've done them all...
I had a paper round when I was 13 delivering our nasty free paper. 2p a paper and 170 of them, do the maths. There was also extra money if I inserted leaflets which used to take hours at home before I went. Then they decided to make the "Property" section of the paper separate, and paid us an extra ½p per paper. Sod it, I just stuck them inside the papers, and because most of the houses were Council Tenants they just threw that bit away, so I just stopped putting it in. I eventually quit because one old lady had a cat flap in the door which her dog used to stick its head out and try to bite me.

Those of you who think their bosses treat them like Mushrooms (kept in the dark, fed on bulls**t) have obviously never worked on a mushroom farm. Luckily I liked mushrooms but one poor girl hated them and alays looked like she was about to be sick. It was about 10 miles away and I got £1.85 an hour on Saturdays and £2.71 on Sundays. Wow!

Then I worked in a carpet shop for a whole £1.50 an hour, but no mushrooms, just lifting heavy rolls of carpet all day, and nearly passing out from the fumes of the adhesives.

Then last Christmas I went busking, played some carols on my accordion in Bedford town centre, got about £100 for 2½ hours - I make that about £40 an hour. Jobs? Who needs 'em?
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:36, 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)
Child labour or sweetest job ever?
During my adolescence I worked in my local garage which was adjacent to the high school and across the road from the cop shop. There were only two four-hour shifts a week, both timed to coincide with the car auctions at the other end of town. All I had to do was wait till a driver turned up and pump petrol for them, occasionally checking oil and tyres, selling light bulbs, that kind of thing. My pay? £5 per shift. £1.25 per hour. For a 17 year old.

Sounds like utter abuse but, devious little grunge kid that I was, I found a way to get revenge and make the best out of the situation, on the Friday night shift at least. Booze. Booze and friends. And music. And some pot. But mostly booze. Essentially I turned that place into the top underage drinking spot in town - a couple of friends would turn up after the boss left (about 6:30), would nip down to the shop with some cash from the till and return with whisky and beer. Good times and chaos inevtably ensued.

Memorable incidents include: filling matchbox cars with meths, lighting them and racing them along the counter; having the forecourt so full of young chums that cars couldn't get in; nearly destroying the place when Kurt Cobain died; and collapsing in front of a (thankfully sound) customer after a blowback from a local character. All right under the cops noses :-)

Never got fired either but they did stop leaving the sweets, crisps and drinks out when I was working. The boss was an incurable alky and his wife was an evil whore from hell, known simply as 'the bitch', so I never felt guilty.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:35, Reply)
"We used to live in paper bag int middle of road..."

Before you shriek in outrage, I did my time, delivering mountains of junk mail for two years. One night I weighed my bag of pamphlets and it weighed nearly 100 pounds, or 40 kilos in the new money. My mum thought I was going to crush my spine carting this shit around the neighbourhood twice a week, but I survived it. And ate a handful of hot gravel for tea if I was lucky.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:34, Reply)
My First Job was basically slave labour
First Job: Working at a well known local garden centre which has now been taken over, working saturday for £12.50 a day, doing all the shitty jobs that the full time staff couldn't be arsed to do, including at one point moving around 80 1 ton pallets of seeds, bird food etc out of the store room so that it could be swept, rearranging row after row of plants in the snow and they would let me wear a coat or gloves. Revenge was had when allowed on the tills, back in the days of 'no sale' and hand swiped credit cards. £100+ a day before being sacked.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:26, Reply)
best child labour ever
when i was 14, i got a job collecting money for the dodgems, horses, and cyclone rides at an amusement arcade (barrys, portrush) when i were a lad.

i'll always remember the only training i got there - "wobblies and their keepers go free" - meaning "dont charge the phlid kids and their parents". one very earnest guy i worked with asked a loving father if his kid was disabled, which or course he wasnt. the dad's face was a hoot, he was quite angry.

i loved it there, but going round and round and round on the horses ride for 12 hours a day, six days a week, made me sick with dizzyness.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:23, 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)
No...the shop. Honest, not me.
Went there for work experience in Year 10. For 2 weeks. In Brixton (if you know what that's like, feel sorry for me, I have to live here). Funnily enough it closed not long after I left...
Well, for the first week, I was constantly shoved into the back room with crates of CDs/DVDs/videos to order onto shelves. Then put them on the shelves in the store. The manager didn't like me. No one except one security guard liked me. The public abused me and insulted me. On a daily basis. But I was full of work ethic and did my job.
As they say, shit rolls downhill so I was stuck with all the crap.
Come the second week, I'd had enough, why it took me so long I don't know. So I just said I'd go to sort out stock and went in the darkish room for a nap or to read the backs of films and see which ones I was gonna watch (not steal, honest). And since I couldn't get fired I generally gave every single customer that came up to me a verbal lashing.
That said I got to see 28 Days Later a week before it came onto DVD.
There was no point to that story at all.
Oh and the deputy manageress had a nice arse.
Edit: was paid NOTHING
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:17, Reply)
Milk Round
Got a job helping out on a Milk Round, when I was about 13. Paid well at £5 a day, Mon to Sat I thought, but I had to start at 4.30 am till 8 am, so it was £1.43 an hour (not so good really, but better than a paper round which was £5 a week, at the time)
I was ran ragged, as walking wasn`t allowed, and the tight fisted bastard fired me when I failed to wake up one morning, after about 6 months, of 6 hours sleep a night, followed by 3 1/2 hours of hard exercise, then a day of school.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:16, 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)
The Disillusioned Starburst, you have it easy!

I started my paper round when I was 13 way back in 1987. It was 6 days a week, was in a place almost out of town, and in pretty much the hilliest section. And as it was posh, it consisted of little more than lots of Telegraphs, a few Times, and just a single copy of the Sun.

Thursdays were bad due to the fact that the local paper (also a broadsheet) was delivered that day, and Saturdays required the Sunday Supplements to be delivered at the same time.

I got £5 a week for it, and the round usually took me about 1h15 to do a day. Means I was working for 66p/hour. Yes, in retrospect I was a gullible bastard.

That included having to deliver during the Hurricaine, navigating my way over fallen overhead lines that could have been phone or mains.

I decided to call it a day when the papers started doing Saturday supplements as well. By that point it meant the Saturday round required me to make three trips back to the shop and was taking anything up to 2h30 to complete.

I moved onto delivering the free newspaper, which was one day a week for a couple of hours, and paid a quid more.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 13:04, Reply)
Paper Round
I do a morning paper round, which takes me about fifteen minutes (walking): £10/Week.

I do an evening paper round, which takes me about fifteen minutes (walking): £9/Week

I do two Sunday paper rounds, which takes me an hour and ten minutes altogether: £5/Week.

4 Hours and Ten minutes = 250 minutes

I get £24 a week, for 250 minutes of work = £5.76 an hour.

And I'm 14.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:54, Reply)
If you can't exploit your family..
..who can you exploit?

1985, formatting 5 1/4" diskettes at 2p a disk. I did hundreds of the buggers. Funnily enough, I still work there. Pay hasn't improved much...
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:49, Reply)
The bastards made me clean my OWN room at least once a month.
Still, I had the last laugh when I turned 16 and was strong enough to bash them over the heads with a spade and bury them under the daffodils.

Crappy life insurance only paid out enough to live on until last year.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:49, Reply)
Back in the days when I wanted to be a vet,
one evening a week, I worked voluntarily in a local veterinary surgery.

I enjoyed going as I got to learn stuff, and everyone was really friendly (with the exception of the Scottish witch). It wasn't too bad cleaning kennels and walking dogs, as I got to watch consults, and operations.

However, after 14months of being there, a paid job for a weekend helper came up. Didn't think there was any chance I wouldn't get it, I was the only 'permanent' helper so far (ie stayed more than a week).
But the vet who owned the place gave away the job to a poor girl who had just failed her A-levels. Aww.

Funny how she had one of the biggest chests I had ever seen.

I spent the whole day referring clients to other practises and at the end of the day I walked into a consult, and told him where he could shove it in no uncertain terms.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:45, 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)
I had a very strange childhood
I was taken out of school and made to dig the garden, gather firewood and do all the housework, and then I was fed on leftovers from the rest of the family chucked together in a bowl and microwaved. I was also beaten up if I didn't do a perfect job of it all.

Not surprisingly, I ended up in care. Although it took social workers up until I was 14 to notice.

It all sounds a bit victorian, but I'm only 31!

Well, you did ask
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:43, Reply)
Despite what they tell you
Young Enterprise schemes do not look good on a CV and can very quickly turn into some nightmareish capitalist version of Lord of the Flies.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:37, 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)
I always wanted to work with my Dad,
as he worked with machinery and could fix thigs and stuff.

So when I was 14/15 I used to go to the factory he worked and helped him fix things (IE swept up, lifted stuff and fetched him the necessary tools). I was too young to actually be paid by the factory so he paid me a fiver himself for four and a half hours work.

I learned loads of stuff, like how to use tools, plumb hydraulics and drive a forklift (but don't tell Health and Safety), during that time and when I turned 16 the factory gave me a proper job and I have been wokring my acedemic holidays there since. Although more money would be nice.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:29, 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)
I've been making Gin & Tonic for my parents since I was 7 years old.

Not so bad, but for the first 10 years or so, the tight gits never shared.
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:25, Reply)
I stupidly...
Made websites for very little money. :(
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:24, Reply)
Well you did ask!
(, Fri 17 Feb 2006, 12:18, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1