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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.

I had one of those pretend paper rounds.
They pay you 1p per paper and 1p per leaflet that they make you insert into the papers.

My brother and I were so sick of it towards the end, that we used to dump the bundles of papers into the dustbins of the nearby social club or any other local business we could

I ended up getting a proper paper round or rather three at the same time, morning and night, the rounds weren't bad but to make up for the crappy pay, I helped myself to the float under the counter, honest mr policeman, I only did it twice
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 21:27, Reply)
Work experience
In between GCSEs and these new-fangled AS-level things, I spent a week at a crappy local paper making tea and writing those tiny little articles that go in the thin columns down the side of the page - things like "Cat rescued from tall tree". Which the hippy editor would then rewrite totally, so when my parents bought copies of the paper to send to grandparents and so on, I'd see the finished article and say "I didn't write that!" So that put me off journalism.

The week after that I was filing the year's supply of yellow dossiers they'd obviously been saving up for work experience girls for a law firm. The only interesting points were making tea and going to court occasionally to hear about parking offences. Not to mention that the three of us doing work experience there (we were all about 15-16) were each chatted up by the "office sex beast", who looked and sounded exactly like Brian Blessed. And was about the same age as Brian Blessed.

A year or so later, thanks to a phenomenon known as the Welsh Mafia (my parents afe Welsh, the woman who ran the office was Welsh, ergo she had to give me a job), I was doing my community service (my school had had some insane idea that it was necessary to have some community service to put on your UCAS form). I was a computer monkey for Age Concern - they had a brand new spangly computer in both their offices and no one knew how to switch it on. I spent two weeks teaching grannies to use Word, making spreadsheets, flyers, typing up dinner menus for what I can only describe as Springfield Retirement Castle, and adding up totals of how many old people came in and had lunch and what they owed me, which had to go in a basket, and then into a tin, and if the tin was empty it had to go into another tin... and so on. The only interesting bits were when their printer spat out black ink all over me (which wasn't funny at the time as it ruined what I was wearing), and when the Office CD-ROM cracked in the CD drive and shattered into a million pieces inside the computer case, meaning I spent the afternoon hitting it with office equipment to get all the pieces out and making a mini-jigsaw on the office floor, then legging it at 5.00 so no one would know I'd done it. Happy times.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 20:27, 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)
animal care my arse
someone i know went on work experience with animals. he got sent to a farm
with a girl in his class.

when he got there the farm had six chickens.
no other animals.
they had to sort potatoes for two weeks.
he was told never to go near the chickens.

i am going on my work experience next year.
me and jimbo have our hearts set on
selling the big issue outside b&m
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 19:05, Reply)
Internet cafe
A couple of years ago I got paid a whopping £1 per hour, plus "comission" to run an internet cafe, although I only got £8.31 in commission in about 5 months!

Wasn't bad since I effectively got paid to play games, but I got sacked for neglecting my duties or some other crap, manager was a twit. Who gives a 15yr old boy keys and the alarm code to a internet cafe with a few thousand pounds worth of computers in? I kinda wish I'd fucked things up before I left,

Now I work in a pub/restaurant getting paid £3.55, shit pay, but the girls I work with are HOT!
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 18:57, Reply)
There I was - 16, and hungry for my new "proper" job and all the extra dosh it would bring.

And so I joined up at the local Woolworths. Wasn't too bad - lots of free pick'n'mix and some good m8s. It was quite an upmarket suburb I was raised in (Bob Holness lives there!) yet we still got our fair share of shoplifting. Microwaves mostly.

Surprisingly effective - I mean who would try to steal a microwave? So you think till it's too late.
Best bit was the xmas period. The managers all dressed up as Santa Claus (and the girls as elves, but that wasn't too bad...), however just because they were all festive doesn't mean they were off guard. Oh no. They even had code words for when trouble was going down in-store.
I will forever remember my manager running after a shoplifter screaming "Code Sierra! Code Sierra!" into his radio before rugby tackling the little sod.

I left after the ram raiding started. (The tills are right by the front window for God's sakes!)

(And they shortchanged me £200 my first month)
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 18:26, Reply)
...my childhood wasn't totally Oliver Twist: my parents used to give me a fiver if I went to the dentist and didn't have to have a filling (their reasoning being that it cost less to pay me to keep my teeth clean than pay the dentist to fill my teeth). The toothfairy could shove her 50p where the sun don't shine, I was making a mint and keeping my teeth!
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:52, Reply)
The pain of a million papercuts.
Also curious to find out if anyone else has ever had this most mundane of temporary jobs: putting the loose bundles of free scratch cards, loan leaflets and adverts for mail-order catalogues inside magazines? I did that in a dark warehouse for a couple of weeks once. You had to count how many you'd done, and they're fire you if you didn't hit a certain "insertion per hour" quota (arf). Until I had this job I assumed it was done by robots, but no, they are not sufficiently nimble of claw and anyway young teens cost less.

And all so some random leaflets you have absolutely no use for can fall out of your magazine on the bus and be ignored.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:47, Reply)
I am still being exploited, even though I'm 20.
I work at Morrisons.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:44, Reply)
Gobby posh people
The other minging job I had was emptying spitoons at a wine-tasting. Slushing a soup of well-to-do loogies and vintage pinot noir down the drain for £4.50 an hour is about the nadir of catering jobs, no?
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:36, 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)
"Work Experience"
Sheffield Manpower building - 1995. Massive place, it is, and where was I? In the reprographics department, in the Second Basement. Not just 'the' basement: the SECOND, lesser, deeper one. Still, after two weeks, I could fix Xerox photocopiers, printing presses and binding machines quicker than it takes to say 'I've lost another finger'.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:15, Reply)
work experiance
15, work experiance rolls round, really not looking forward to this one. But all works out ok as i got to spend 2 weeks at Codemasters who's work ethic is basicly you can eather sort out these files all day or come and play games with everyone else.

And i got to play on a gamecube and xbox before they were out.

(a gamecube dev machine is wierd looking, it looks just like a midi-tower pc but with 4 gamecube ports on the front in the 5 1/4 inch drive bay.)

Best 2 weeks of work, errrmm... ever!

And now i work for netgear talking to morons all day. dang nabbit
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 17:13, Reply)
in an ulitmately unsuccessful attempt (well to a certain extent) to get myeslf and my siblings to undersand the value of money and its relationship to work
my dad decided that myself and my two sisters would no longer receive pocket money, but would do odd jobs around the house for pay instead

the jobs ranged in value from 2p for cat feeding to (i think) a couple of quid for full car wash. bins were to be emptied, washing up done. all jobs of work had a pound (more likely penny) value attached

im sure many other children experienced this utilisation of progeny resource.

being a lazy feck at heart i found it intensely unfair that i no longer gained remuneration for doing precisely feckall around the house.

especially when it came to the end of the week when our 'wage' was calculated, and i had come up short on dosh for that new go-bot.

i did managed to save for a couple of big toys (nine months for the lego airport). but, dammit, it was hard going. and while not totally exploitative, well not as much as some tales of woe on these boards, i think the cleaner my rents hired after i went to uni got substantially more an hour than i did.

but hey, how much hassle is it to feed two cats for tuppence. gah
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 16:52, Reply)
When i was about 19
in between college, got a job in Peters Pies. It was without doubt the shittiest job I have ever had. And it fucking stunk. Worked two weeks, using a steam hose to get rid of bits of spine, trotter and any other bit of pig which hadnt made it into their delicious pasties. The first day i was there, working off the sausage meet plant, i hear a splat sound. As i turn, the cunts in the sausage area were lobbing lumps of sausage meat at me. As i turned, one hit me on the side of the head and went in my ear. Cunts. So when i get my pay packet after two weeks of back-breaking shit work, i have 76 pounds for the week. The amount per hour £2.78. Wheeeeee....
Asked me if i wanted to work on another week. Did i fuck.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 16:49, Reply)
Sh*t Shoveller
When myself and my family lived in Aberdeen in the late 70's, my father (RIP) ordered a ton or so of mixed cow, horse and chicken sh*t for the garden from a local farmer. This was subsequently dumped in our front garden. This was one seriously big pile of sh*t and it needed to be shovelled into a wheelbarrow, taken through the garage and dumped in the back garden. Cue the 2 younger sons (me being about 12 and my younger bro about 9) being togged out in the oldest clothes folks could find and put to work. Funny thing was , the folks sold it to us an adventure so we didn't mind.
Given that we could only wheel about 15-20 kg at a time, this took a lot of trips.
Did we get any extra pocket money for it? Did we feck but oddly enough we did gain street cred as our friends came down and watched in awe as we happily shovelled sh*t.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 16:34, Reply)
First jobber
My neighbour used to pay me a pound everytime he put his hand down my pants.

This occurence became so frequent I was soon raking in £15k and the Inland Revenue started swiping a quarter of it away as tax and NI.

(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 16:02, Reply)
SUMMARY of SUMMARY (for the highly time-poor)
We work to keep the rich, rich.

*goes off to eat some more shit and die*
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 15:47, 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)
Just to rub it in...
For all those who had shite work-experience related tales mine was fecking ace.

I spent a week at Future Publishing with the editorial staff of PC Review (back in '97 or so) basically playing Little Big Adventure 2 and then getting to write a single page review of Atomic Bomberman. It got printed and everything, not bad at age 15. *chuffed*

The second week I spent at a flying school larking about on the reception desk and got to go out flying with a chap doing his commercial pilots licence.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 15:28, Reply)
I was eleven years old
The very first job that I can remember was cleaning up after the 'Parkpop' festival in The Hague. It's the largest free pop festival in Europe, and those 450,000+ people leave a lot of trash behind. For every full garbage bag I brought to the garbage trucks, I received 2 guilders (about 40 euro cents).
The following day, I bought my very first LP: Duran Duran (yeah baby!). Oh, those '80s will never come back, I hope.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 15:21, Reply)
The Youth of Today
Can you imagine what our economy would look like if everybody in the Country who could be bothered to work had the same attitude as people who are posting on this question. We would have dirty streets, trains that don't run on time and politicians who would rather eat poo than run the country....ahh that would explain it then.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 15:13, Reply)
Tri-ang & Kikilookylikey - I went to Aidans too!
You find Ex Durham people everywhere, it's like a plague...

I got a paper round when I was a kid for a good few months, weekdays only and only one kind of paper so I could cope with it. £6 a week wasn't bad and I saved up and bought a gameboy. BEst thing was my dad made me quit when the summer holidays came around because they couldn't palm me off on relatives. So he gave me £5 a week instead.

Years later i got the privaleage of working in a vinegar factory. Basically you stank, burned your hand on the vinegar bottles and got paid £3 an hour for the privelage.

My favourite 'task' was placing those little bits of paper you get next to bottles when they are packaged as 12's in the cardboard tray next to the bottles before they were cling wrapped. This wasn't that taxing but as you burned the back of your hand slightly with each one you tucked in it required a surprising amount of willpower.

Oh and the heinz special vinegar came out of the same vat as the cheapo stores own brand stuff, make of that what you will...
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 15:00, Reply)
Keyser here just reminded me...
...that I worked in Morrissons for a spell too when I was 15ish.

Piss-poor wages, worse working conditions and yes too, an Assistant Manager who was one of the most small-minded, up-his-own-arse wankers I had ever met, oh-so-proud of the fact that he had scraped his way up to lording it over 2-dozen or so herberts like me who all thought he was a prick. I found out from my then-girlfriend that he'd made a move on her a few months before at someone's xmas party - she was 14 and he was something like 24 FFS. Kiddy-fiddling fucker. That said, the GF could scrub up well and was a bit of a bunny ;)

I lasted for about three months until the aforementioned tosspot bollocked me for losing a label gun that I hadn't lost at all, accepting no explanation other than that he'd made up in his own itsy bitsy mind. I gave up trying to explain and just walked away from him. 'Walk away when I'm talking to you and you needn't come back!', he said to my back, so I took off my fetching navy-blue overcoat and chucked it into the overhead lights on my way out.

EDIT - looking at this post and my others for this Q, I think it's becoming clear that vocational injustices tend to bring out the petulant git in me - already deleted one because it was just too nasty, and not especially relevant :)
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 14:55, Reply)
Ken fucking Morrison
is a stingy git. No wonder he's worth £1.2 bn cos he pays his staff f*** all.

I worked at his delightful Heywood branch during 6th form for 9 months before I realised it really wasnt worth it.

Worked on the cooked chicken counter and for my pennies i had to get knee high in grease, hot ovens and displays, soaked in juices and nearly kill myeslf every time i had to walk around the serving area as greasy shite was all over the floor and mopping didnt help. It was hot, sticky, manky, i stank of grease and kack when i got in whilst my mates were doing other fun stuff on saturdays and sundays as well as dealing with the utter fucking morons who live in said Heywood. Some of the staff werent that much better either esp the dep manager- your typical 'ive worked my way up from lackey and its gone to my head' smarmy twat muncher.

My reward for this- given i was 16/17 and it was 1999......

£2.32 per hour- wtf....

So Mr Morrison- i hope the Safeway takeover fucks you over you stingy Yorkshire chuffmonkey

That is all
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 14:40, Reply)
if i never see another flatpack wardrobe as long as i live.....
so there i was all cued up to spend a blissful two weeks at a small local grpahic design firm for my work experience. i was 14-15 and all enthusiastic.
then the day before i was due to start the phone rang, they'd gone into receivership, and there was no work to be done. fucksocks!
this resulted in the school 'finding' a place for me along with all the other kids who hadn't got placements (for that read couldn't be fucked or were too illiterate and morose to get anything)
cue two weeks of hell working for this snobby pigeon-chested self-satisfied middle management fuck at B&Q, mainly consisting of lifting flatpack wardrobes almost as heavy as me onto shelves taller than me, clearing up spilt paint, broken lightbulbs, destroying perfectly good end-of-line stock before binning it to stop poor people from stealing it (god knows why, it was all being binned anyway, that really galled me as one of aforementioned poor people)and being told off because the work we'd been assigned wasn't done( mainly due to the fact i was the only one working, the other guys were off smoking and being lazy fucks just like school really)
the final straw was being point blank accused of stealing, searched and told i had to stay late to make up for the stock that was missing, while the other guys went off, no search, no nothing. i'm pretty honest as it goes and i KNOW i didn't take anything.
at the end of it they paid us the grand total of.. yes, fuck all. and they wouldn't give us references. all in all a good example of what work is really like!
i maintain that the tin of expanding foam i pierced and left in the staff toilet at closing time on my last day is one of my finer moments, and entirely justified.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 14:34, Reply)
Wait a minute...
..punnage aside, I was a waitress for about 2 years when I was 15-17,just before I escaped to the dubious delights of bar work and Bradford uni. £2.40 an hour and all the bleeding feet I could handle. I probably earned nearly enough back then to cover what I now need to pay out to have my malformed bunion snapped off and be on crutches for six weeks. Bastard.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 14:33, Reply)
paper girl for a little while
i am proud to say i was a paper girl when i was about 13-14. hated it so much because newspapers are heavy beasts! anyway the twat who employed me only paid me for one week when i did 3. it doesnt matter because i got unbelievably lost and no one got their paper that day.
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 14:10, Reply)
My mum worked for a transport company a few years ago and she offered my services to the MD to deliver 500+ flyers to local business in and around the town I lived in.
All the flyers had to be delivered over one weekend for the princely sum of £10.
Oh the irony......
(, Mon 20 Feb 2006, 14:03, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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