If there’s one thing I’ve inherited from my father it’s a strong work ethic – to the extent I had a slew of jobs under my belt by the time I was 16. Here are just a few…
- The classic ‘paper round’. Seven days a week, whatever the weather and for less than minimum wage; what 12-year-old could wish for more? This was good training for me hefting around a massive bag of cameras in the future and also meant I got to read all the good comics before delivering them. As soon as I got paid I’d run to Woolworth’s and spend all my hard earned pennies on records.
- Saturday job in WH Smiths. My supervisor, Jeanette, was a total bitch (I wish I could remember her surname, I’d totally publish it). Amongst other things she’d make me go upstairs to the staff room (4 floors up) to make her a cup of tea and if I’d spilled any in the saucer bringing it down to her or if it wasn’t sufficiently full she’d make me go back up and make it again! I was only 14/15 so thought this was normal behaviour for a ‘boss’. Today she’d be wearing that cup of tea in her face! Aside from her though I liked the job – I learnt more maths there then I ever did at school thanks to old-fashioned cash-registers where you had to work out peoples change in your own brain!
- Sunday job in garden centre – specifically the aquatic centre. As the most junior member of staff I got all the ‘good’ jobs; getting in early to hook out the dead fish from tropical tanks, transferring dodgy-looking ones to the dreaded ‘sick tank’ round the back. (The worst job of all that no one wanted happened when we got a consignment of those bug-eyed goldfish – they’d come in such tightly-packed tanks that often their eyes fell out. Someone had to count up all the spare eyes and find the associated one-eyed/no-eyed fish. Guess who?! (Actually, that would make quite a cool phone app).
(Incidently, this was the only job I was ever fired from – for encouraging stray cats onto the premises. Really! We had sacks of fish food that looked and smelled exactly like cat food so when I discovered a stray Mummy cat with kittens round the back I’d leave it little piles of the food).
Amazingly none of these experiences put me off working for a living – if anything they made me work harder so I wouldn’t have to suffer in such indignities again!
See you tomorrow x
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