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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.

not my story, but someone elses mother.
when she was a kid, she went singing from door to door at three-kings day (a holiday wich is i believe only celebrated in flanders, where we eat delicious pie!) anyway, on this holiday 3 kids dress up as the three kings (one is painted black, one wears a sheet over his head and one is carrying a staff with additional propeller) and sing from house to house for money, kinda like christmas. so this poor little child went singing by some old, friendly looking guys house and when he opened the door, a delicious waffel-smelling gust was blown in their direction, so they did their very best to sing as best as they could, to hopefully get some of those tasty waffels. so when they where done singing, the man told the three poor kids they were to recieve something better then money. so he went back inside and after a while, he returned with something hot rolled in newspapers. they happily accepted the warm package of happiness, and went back on their trail of singing and joy. then they sought a nice spot to sit down and eat their tasty waffels. after a cold and exhausting january day of singing and walking around, they sat down and opened their newspaper-package. inside was a warm, freshly squeezed human turd.

...and when they got home they didn't get any pie!

okay, this isn't really on topic i realise now...
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 15:01, Reply)
What makes my story different to most other paperboy stories
is that it's my boss who fucked off, rather than me.

I went in one Wednesday morning and there was a sign in the newsagent's that said "Sorry for the inconvenient. We are closed and will be back in a verry soon." (Spelling included - he had only been in England for a couple of years.) Which was unusual, to say the least, but he had a little girl and there was a hospital nearby so I assumed maybe she'd had an accident of some sort.

So I waited around for "a verry soon" before a rival newsagent, Ming, came out and told me not to bother, and that my boss had left in a hurry the night before.

I have (technically) been employed there exactly a year this weekend but in six months my boss hasn't come back and nobody knows what happened to him...
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 14:17, Reply)
Farmer tightass
Being about 12, living in the countryside and not being able to work in a "real" job, I approached the local farmer (I was friends with his sons) in an attempt to bolster my £1 a week pocket money. He told me to arrive at the farm at 6 AM with a packed lunch the following day.

I arrived at the farm on the frosty january morning, was put in a trailer on the back of a tractor with the farmers sons, and driven (for an hour) in the icey winds to a field on top of some cliffs (again more icey winds) next to the sea. I walked around a field behind a turnip picking machine pulling up all the ones it missed. We stopped for a 15 minute lunch break (it was so cold you couldn't stay stationary for any longer), then back to pulling turnips... until 7 pm.

We got back to the farm, and I was eagerly waiting my hard earned wages... I got paid £7.50 for the whole day.

The sickening thing is that I felt like a millionaire at the time.

I have since vowed never to let my employers take the piss out of me. The main element of this strategy involves taking the piss out of them more, than they can possibly do me.

I got a promotion and a payrise last month. Ha!
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 12:30, Reply)
Paper round
I had a paper round as a kid. I was probably about eleven. I remember that newsie wasn't keen because I was underage but he was a friend of my dad so it was wangled somehow. Anyway the round covered two villages in West Yorkshire near Huddersfield. I had a trolley piled up with papers. Thankfully this was before Sunday papers were humoungous like they are now but even so, it was hard work for a skinny wretch like me.

After a few weeks of this my french pen friend came to stay (a school organised exchange - remeber those?) and he helped me do my round. On getting back to the shop newsie told me I was two pounds short. (This was 1978 or something - two quid was quite a lot). He said he had to let me go. I was devastated. My dad would be angry. I was embarrassed in front of my french pf. I went home and cried. Mum was sympathetic. A few days later french pf went home, probably shaking his head in wonderment at les rosbifs, and life carried on. My mum told me to get my dirty clothes out to put in the wash. I checked the pockets of the jeans that needed washing and pulled out two pound notes! They'd been there all the time. Quickly deciding against returning them to newsie I pocketed them. I never did a paper round again.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 11:10, Reply)
I, Like many, had a daily paper round.
And mine only had 50 houses on it - which you would not think too bad. You could not be more wrong....

I used to report to the newsagents (it was actually a shed of a house nearby) at 4 O'Clock in the morning, every morning except the weekend. The houses I delivered to were of well to do people - no housing estates, a lot of houses with stupidly lond driveways, and the round actually covered 3 villages. They all subscribed to various periodicals which weighed a ton, and Fridays were the worst, as that's when the Essex Chronicle was sent out, and virtually everyone subscribed to that. It would take me at least 2 and a half hours, and once my Dad helped me do it with the car as we were going away - he was shocked at the distance I had to cover.

The final straw was one day when my bike was fucked, and I had to do the round by foot - 5 and a half hours. And all this for the princely sum of three pounds fifty a week. I got some tips - there was the quid fiddle from one house I had to take over from the previous delivery boy, but I would be lucky to see a fiver a week - and at least 5 of the people on the round were millionaires. The first house I went to - well her bill was 1.48 (we had no float) and she would never let me off the 2p, so I would end up having to detour back just for that.

It was the doctor that made me quit in the end, threatening to report my bosses to the police for flaunting of child labour laws.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 10:00, Reply)
Child Labor
I guess 'Child Labor'in western countries is more of a political (and a bit of economic) issue. In third world countries, where i came from, it's a survival issue. Picture this: a child as young as 5 has to 'scavenge' recyclable things from a mountain of dump (with all the rotten and stinking shits, safety issues and disease carriers!)to help his family survive. If ur aware of the famous 'smokey mountain' in the capital city of Manila, Republic of the PHilippines. That famous smoking mountain is gone - just to be replaced with a few more. Does this kid get top money? It's SHIT pesos for SHITS. Another picture: A mother and child - about 2yo with sad, tired & hungry eyes - in rugs, under the rain & sun, begging in between traffic lights from drivers & commuters,...U see them, u'll give alms cos the sight of the poor kid will break ur heart. In 3rd world countries CHILD LABOR, CHILD ABUSE & ECONOMIC SURVIVAL come hand in hand....
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 5:31, Reply)
hillbilly haircut
even though it wasn't work, it was humiliating.

in 1970 i was 10, already sporting an AWESOME bouffant, and the mother used to shear it off of me like a sheep with this razor contraption you'd see advertised on tv. how it worked is, you would place a razor in between two plastic pieces that were shaped like a comb, and screw it together, creating a kind of hillbilly haircutting contraption.

she did me over the garbage can that was on the side of our house. the neighbors, they would laugh and laugh. how i begged for her to stop doing it...the frikin beyotch.

ps-im 45 now and i have an outstanding head of hair. yay.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 3:58, Reply)
"I was a teenage Estate Agent"
My first ever job was to help out in a local Estate agents in Great Yarmouth, a job my mother secured me through her professional contacts (I was a big New Order fan and wanted to buy a drum machine). I worked there doing most of the menial filing, photocopying and mailing crap, for the six weeks of the summer holiday before I was due to start college. For this I got paid £80 which at the time seemed like a good deal but in retospect amounts to about 38p per hour. I could have got more pimping my teenage ass on the seafront.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 0:57, Reply)
oh, and (#2)
I talked parents into letting me & 2 mates demolish our shed for £100 when I was 16. unfortunately because we thought it was the right of a working person to have a fag every 5 mins, a spliff every 20, and 3 trips to the pub a day, it took us all week. £33 each for a weeks work left us at about £20 short after leisure activities. we proper fucked that shed tho.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 0:54, Reply)
oh, and..
Does being made to wear your cousins flares well into the eighties count? My Mum has never forgiven me for informing my little brother that flare were like, well sad, and not cool. cos he refused to wear them. and she then had to buy him a shell suit cos there were no other clothes in the house apart from cast-offs. and he was 12 and therefore stupid, and thought shell suits were desirable. pink and green shell suit at that. Now THAT'S child abuse. whether you're a willing victim or not....
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 0:47, Reply)
My self-righteous mum, in the late 80's, decide to stop getting the Sunday Times "because of the poor paper boys breaking their backs". regardless of the fact that they never tipped the poor paper boys more than a pound at Christmas, and that the Times is a right-oriented paper & the p's are meant to be goody-goody sit-on-the-fence namby-pamby liberals that took the Guardian the rest of the week. Having said that, the Observer IS SHIT.
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 0:43, Reply)
i had to fuck a fat guy for $110..

i wasn't a child though.. oops
(, Sun 19 Feb 2006, 0:00, Reply)
I used to deliver 300
papers a week for....

(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 23:32, Reply)
My paper round worked out at about £1.80 an hour, 6 day week...
Not that my job now pays much better ( 7 years later )...
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 23:24, Reply)
Schoolgirl fresh
When I was in school we all had to sit cross-legged on the floor of the hall in our tiny little green skirts, and invariably they'd run out of space at the front and would get us all to 'shuffle back' at least three times every morning.

Me and my friends swore that it was a surreptitious way of getting us to polish the floors for free with our bums!
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 23:09, Reply)
Picking bloody potatoes?
As a lad I grew up in north Buckinghamshire, nice place as they go. Every year the chap that owned the majority of fields around would have his potato harvest and would hire the kids in the village to pick them. He was a decent bloke, paid what he said he would, on time, and would walk around and give you sweets to keep the blood sugar up I suppose.

I forget how much exactly we would earn per day but if you chose the per-bag option it was 5p a bag. Now these bags are old fertilizer bags and when you've stuffed as many potatoes in them as they will hold they are fecking heavy.

At the end of the day your back, legs, and particularly hands were knackered due to dragging endless numbers of bags to the pickup pile along the row.

How did we while away the monotonous hours? we threw rotten seed potatoes at the chap driving the potato spinner tractor.. when they started speeding up the production line because it looked like we wouldn't be done by the end of the holiday what did we do? Lob a bloody great rock in the gubbins of the potato spinner.. that slowed them down for an hour getting that out.

Stay in school kids, actually WORKing for a living is not good.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 23:05, Reply)
when I was 14
I packed in the paper round because I had been headhunted by Nasa to develop an ion propulsion system for them. $10,000 consultancy fees plus flights, 5 star accomodation and hookers. Eventually I got bored with this and went to work on the fruit n veg stall on Long Eaton market.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 23:00, Reply)
My mum was out of the house for a week
And my brother was looking after me. He said I had to do a shitload of chores basically, like paint the fence,clean the windows every day, and vacuum the house every day, etc etc.

Then when my mother gets back, I'm sitting downstairs after doing all of the fucking chores. She says to my brother who is also downstairs, "Did you do those chores I asked you to do?" The cunt nodded. I did all the chores, bitch.

Needless to say, I kicked the cunt in the face while he was sleeping and fucking legged it. Broke his nose in the process too. Wanker.

P.S Apologies for length but not girth, lolol
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 22:36, Reply)
I grew up on a dairy farm
You mean you got paid? Money even?

I was simply expected to do this stuff. I got a little money when I became a teenager, but I got bupkus until then. Nothing like rolling out of bed at 2am on a freezing, rainy, February night to help a cow that was having trouble giving birth in the middle of a field. I was 11. Playing tug of war with a cow in the freezing mud. For no money.

You got shit to complain about.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 21:58, Reply)
When I was 15, I had a Saturday job in a Bakery
On a starting wage of £2.70 with a promise of a 50p pay rise if my first three weeks went well. I wanted to save up for my first festival - V2001 - and this was all that was going; so I went for it. Up at 6:30 for a 7:15 Start, till 12:15. It was so gay. Bitch of a boss, even worse co-workers (though Rose was hot) and, most importantly - all customers are wankers. Making sandwiches for ungrateful people, putting on a clean pair of plastic gloves every time I made a new one...

They didn't even tell me I was entitled to lunch!

I got them back by helping myself to coffee from the machine about once every half hour. Needless to say, this often resulted in my becoming over excited, jittery and agitated.

No pay rise. I left after 4 weeks.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 21:53, Reply)
Minimum wage and Paper Rounds
First off, Serbitar, if you were 21 and got 3.75 an hour you should tip off the DTI or somebody ... they're operating illegally and could face serious prosecution. Tip offs are anonymous, and a could way to get revenge.

Secondly, then, I had a paper round once. It was for the Sheffield Trader, and I got £3 per week. I had to deliver 150 papers, but I didn't think it was too bad, until I realised just what the round entailed.

First, I had to walk up the side of a VERY large hill, delivering to each door. I then had to walk to the bottom (for there was no access to the top of the next road), and walk all the way up the hill again for the next one. This continued for 4 roads, by which time I was so knackered I could barely stagger the mile walk home.

I never did another paper round again. I did work at a bog roll factory getting £150/week with time and a half or double time on weekends. Nice little earner, that, for a 16 year old.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 20:24, 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)
work experience fun
a literally shit job for 1 week, unpaid. basically involved doing stable related jobs that noone else liked doing. I then took the job up for 3hours on saturday mornings for £5 an hour. Not bad apart from the boss was a bitch and treated me like a kid when i was 15 yro. Stayed fro a year and now work in WHSmith where the boss just lies to me instead.

oh and Young Enterprise does look good on your CV but its not worth the pain.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 20:13, Reply)
Fucking Farmers
One summer when my brother and I were 12 and 14 respectively our mum got us a couple of days work at the local farm.

We were promised £20 quid each and all we had to do was wonder round his fields pulling up a certain type of weed that his cows/sheep/ couldn't eat.

12 hours later, bleeding hands, seized back, heatstroke, and de-hydration(for twas mid summer) the tight cunt gave us £10.

to share.

Ok, £10 wasnt bad, but to share? and to come back tomorrow and work for nowt as he said that was all he was gonna pay us?

Fuck that.

Cheers mum!
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 20:09, Reply)
1st job at 14
cleaning dirty dishes at £2.50
boss told me off regularly for not pulling my weight at which I always just drank milkshake I nicked.
second job - 15 - £2ph
same - worse job - 2 weeks
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 19:40, Reply)
sausage boy
growing up as a catholic alter boy had perks.
Weddings £5-20. Baptisms £5-10. Funerals £0. Manual relief of the parish priest £5! The tight fucker.
Oh, & I worked as a "butcher's boy" which also involved manhandling rancid meat, but that's another story.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 19:02, Reply)
At the Car Wash
Mine wasnt all so bad and i learnt a fair few tricks along the way. Working as a car valeter in a garage that sells Mercs, Beamers, Land Rovers, Jaguars and all other fancy expensive cars. I worked with mechanics and other Valeters. I was 13, they were all 23+ and tought me everything you need to know, other than car cleaning. How to throw a perfect punch, whats a good E and a bad E, rolling techniques for all kinds of substance and i was given oppurtunities that other kids my age werent; Samuel Pepys vouchers £20 worth for a tenner, water beds for £5 each, surf boards, cheap jewelery and any tools that you could want. Thinkin back i wish id never quit.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 18:38, Reply)
I'd finished my GCSEs and was looking for a way to earn some money before I started my A-Levels. My search for any kind of job proved fruitless- there simply weren't any around.

So me and a couple of my friends decided to enrol on a YTS scheme to get the training allowance (training? hah!) I chose catering, not from a love of cooking or anything, but because my mate was on it.

Unfortunately the day after I enrolled we were put on placement.

I worked 8.30-5.30 Monday to Friday in a crap food outlet in a crap food court in a crap shopping "centre". There was nowhere to sit, and my occupation for the whole of this time was washing tea cups. Boring yes, but also disgusting as our clientele were mainly old ladies and tramps- mountains of sugar dried into the bottom of the cups, lipstick, chewing gum, fag ends....

My wages for doing this (in the early 90s) were: £30 a week. Which equals about 70p an hour.

After a few weeks I talked the YTS woman into letting me on the computing course instead. This involved playing a tetris-like game called "Brix" for seven and a half hours a day for the same money.

Which was pretty good training for the adult world of work as it goes.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 17:47, Reply)
£3 an hour.
I worked In a small quaint village resurant/pub thing Just before I turned 15 as a dish washer. I wasn't on the books as I was too young really, so some weeks I wasn't paid.

It wasn't too bad other than one of the waiting staff always attempting to feel me up or get me drunk on irish coffee, one of the waitresses taking a deep disliking to me, being entirely ignored. Called a 'Ginger whore, who he wouldn't give a quid for' by a drunk patron, buying half an ounce of resin from someone waiting in the car park. Unknowingly running my bleach covered hand on many t-shirts, and getting nice pale streaks after cleaning. Getting covered in all manner of things, such as gravy, oniony crap, pepper corn sauce and the best of all, beef fat tipped down my trousers attracting every dog on the journey home. Oh and meeting the local flasher trying to show me his cock out the window of his car.

I had to get up at 7:00 on Sunday mornings (after pissing away all my earnings on vodka with some older mates) to walk the two miles into the little village where the place was. This was along a fairly dangerous stretch of road. I sometimes had to work on Friday and Saturday nights as well, thus I would have to walk home in the dark at 11 or 12 at night.

All this sheer irritation for about £15 a week, so that I could start saving for a Drum kit, music lessons, go to gigs, buy fags and other delights that looking 18 brings.

I was finally sacked after a year, since I stopped turning up when I realised that £15 was not worth all the effort, and I would rather spend my friday evenings at the boyfriends.
(, Sat 18 Feb 2006, 17:39, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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