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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)
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This question is now closed.

Revenge of the Snot
I managed four days on minimum wage as a salad chopper once. It was cold, and I had to get up at 5 in the morning.

Because it was cold, my nose ran a lot, I blew it on the lettuce.

Pre-packed salads? You're having a laff!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 12:39, Reply)
old people
instead of getting the usual holiday job in a clothes shop or a sandwich shop, my friend sam decided to work in an old people's home. at the age of 16, without any training, she was let loose on the poor old folk. choice highlights included:

cleaning up liquid black effluent off the toilet, the floor, the walls and the ceiling after an old woman shuffled out and said proudly, "i've done my do's".

rolling an old man out of the bath and into bed, ignoring his squeals and moans until she realised she had trapped his bellend under the mattress and was stretching him unbearably.

being attached by an old woman with a wire coat hanger as the old woman objected strongly to being dressed and going downstairs to see the family who had put her in the home in the first place. sam, undaunted, went to the kitchen for a pair of scissors... and CUT the nightie off her...

all for £3.59 an hour!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 11:17, Reply)
Gluing Magnets on Beds!
For anyone who has even done manual agency work, exploitation is the name of the game!

I did a number of filthy, degrading jobs when I was in my teens and this was by fair was the worst.

The company I worked for was making beds for the NHS alternative therapy section… or something like that. The idea was simple, magnets increase your blood flow... apparently, so installing them en-mass inside beds would be beneficial to people suffering from circulation problems.

Mad? It most certainly was! My job? I had to glue these shitty little magnets into the foam of these magic beds. Can you imagine standing for 8 hours a day picking up magnets the size of a penny coin, covering it in nasty, foul smelling glue and forcing it into the little recesses of a foam mattress, gloveless!

One very unpleasant aspect of this job was the glue sticking your fingers together, gloves where not an option as they apparently would melt if they came in contact to the glue, hmmm I bet it was great for my hands then! The solution to this sticky finger problem was to spray your hands with silicone (I am sure this was poison as well) spray. This nasty combination of chemicals left my hand smelling like I had them stuck up an Elephants anus for 8 hours a day… the smell was also relentless in its resistance to any form of cleaning, in fact, the only time my hands smelt ok again was just before I started work the next fucking day… nice!

So all in all, £3 an hour, making beds that cost about £12 in materials and £10 in labour per bed, knowing that the company was selling them to the NHS for £1200 per bed, also knowing that part of the taxes I paid on my wage went towards the NHS buying these fucking things!

Yes I felt little exploited!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 11:15, Reply)
Sorry about this...
Don't know how I lucked into it, but at 15 1/2 I got a job at the public library, and kept it 'til I left town at 18. Easy work, government wages, pretty librarians, and I had a key so it was my home away from home after hours. But trust me, it's been downhill ever since.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 10:32, Reply)
Worse than trapping...
Did a fair bit of trapping in my youth, and it was, indeed, awful. There is a job that tops it however, there was still danger, pain, and hatred of my employer, but for drastically less money. I was... a mall mascot. To be precise, I was "Dumpster Dan", the mascot composed entirely of things that should be recycled but 'tragically' end up being thrown away. My job was to walk up and down the each and every aisle of one of our local malls (not one of the good ones either) handing out flyers to people as a reminder to be more environmentally conscious. The irony of handing out flyers that immediately found their way into the trash bins (and the floor) of the mall to promote recycling was not lost on me even then. The agony was not the non-breathing plastic costume which smelled like feet and vomit and was absolutely sweltering inside. Nor the sneers and looks of distrust by the common mall patron. It was the packs of 13 year old punks who made my life hell. I was punched, tripped, hit with chairs, nearly pushed down an escalator, on top of jeers, taunts, and just being shoved and laughed at. I lasted 4 hours before removing the costume in the mens room and leaving it there while I walked home. Not surprisingly, I was never paid.

PS. The gun-nuts I worked for later on eventually got theirs. Turns out the lead form their shot seeped into the groundwater in the nature preserve about 2 km away. Government seized everything.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 8:27, Reply)
McSlave labour
I'm sure there are going to be hundreds of micky d's stories but here's my tuppence worth.

Not sure who I pissed of whilst I was working there but I found myself inexplicably stuck on the "walker's run" for the best part of a year.

Walker's was the compnay that delivered everything to the store (Buns, patties, fries etc..) It involved getting to work at 4am finding that the bastards from the previous day hadn't rotated the stock in the freezer and spending the next 3 hours lugging boxes in -21c temperatures.

When you finally emerged you'd find that your eyeballs had half frozen and you couldn't focus on anything. You'd also have to then work the breakfast grill for another 4 1/2 hours all for just $5 an hour.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 5:07, Reply)
merkins
Don't vote for this cos I've posted this before, but I want to tell you one of the best stories I've heard.
A black friend was working as his first job at Butlins, and he'd become really popular with the punters. I don't know why there was an American staying there, florida is well nice, but my mate overhead the guest say "One of the friendliest people I've met here is Jeff. He's a British Afro American".
Sorry to repeat myself like that "Talking Heads" Alan Bennett character that ends up in prison for being boring, but I haven't finished my pizza yet. And God knows there are worse stories than this.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2006, 1:17, Reply)
Not really a child when it happened....
But when I was 16 I had a job in a wood cutting factory. Y'know the type of place that makes frames for mirrors and pictures. Yes. I was totally shit at it too. Despite my best efforts to measure each piece of wood obsessively to "minimise wastage" I was always left with about a dozen shitty bits that no-one could use. The low point came when my supervisor revealed that after 2 months of "taking it easy" I'd have to fetch my own boxes of wood from the warehouse. Okay, I thought, I'll give it a go. Picture me then, weak as a kitten, skinny as a rake, with a 20 foot long, 90lb box of wood balanced on my shoulder. The trick was to let the box literally fall onto you and hoist it. After a single day of that I was truly fucked and resembled a car crash victim. Trust me when I say living on the dole for only 20 quid less a week was heaven.
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 21:57, Reply)
Work Experience
Y10, Work Experience, didn't get a penny...

All i got to do was repair airliners, switch engines, piss about with jet fuel and drive aircraft across Stansted Airport...

Bastards
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 21:34, Reply)
I never was
My first job was as an undertaker when I was 14. It was great. Since then, I've worked as a freelance web designer, museum guide, writer and protest organiser. I've enjoyed every one. I generally earn between £7.50 an hour and £150 an hour.
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 20:16, Reply)
I was Maureen Lipman's Paperboy!
I was the youngest paperboy in my local shop by about ten years. All the bigger boys picked on me because I was the youngest.

I was thirty.

Ok so it wasn't strictly child labour but while I was underemployed a few years back I used to have a huge paper round in Muswell Hill; Maureen Lipman and other media types were on my round. Many of them ordered multiple papers, especially at weekends, the bastards.

Although by no means the worst, Maureen Lipman used to get the Telegraph, the Ham & High and the Jewish Chronicle. She didn't tip. The scary old people in the methodist nursing home, who all got tabloid papers and smelled of wee and formaldehyde, tipped really well though.
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 20:05, Reply)
Public Services
The NHS, schools, and any other public service you care to mention are partly run by the children of people actually employed by them. For NHS parents I've helped move an entire Drs surgery from one building to another, done filing, checked out the dates on medication, and loads of other stuff. A friend did so much work at her mum's school that displays she had done were praised in OFSTED reports.

Your public services are shored up with unpaid child labour.
(, Wed 22 Feb 2006, 19:49, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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