Thursday, November 12, 2009

BREAKING ALL THE CHILD LABOR LAWS

remote My brother, Smitty, is way older 12 years older than me. Smitty served in the US Army during the Vietnam war. He was a paratrooper. And my hero. I was 10 years old and in the 4th grade when he came home.

Never one to miss an opportunity to make life easier for himself, Smitty hired me as his personal slave assistant for $2.00 a week. It was this period of my life that formed the strong work ethic that I bring to the table these days.

For $2.00 a week, I would do WHATEVER my brother asked me to do. I was at his beck and call. It was, “Kid, make me a sandwich.”

“Hey Kid, I need a refill.”

I could be upstairs in my bedroom and he would call me to the living room to change the channel on the television that was six feet away from him. I was his remote. And I did it because it was my job. Hey, $2 was a lot of money to a 10 year old back then. And there were all those Donny Osmond records to buy.

It wasn’t long after he came home from the Army that he moved to Illinois for a job. He would have liked to have taken his slave assistant with him but there was that pesky problem of finishing elementary school.

That was how I lost my first job. My mother insisted that he pay me two weeks severance pay. It was only fair, after all.

So what was your first job?




Hugs,
Smart Mouth Broad

31 comments:

blueviolet said...

Geez, I was paid $1 an hour for babysitting and I thought I was being yanked. You totally got screwed over by your brother. Severance pay was the least he could do!

injaynesworld said...

The first job that I remember (because all those drugs I took in the sixties, while fun, erased much of what came before) was a short stint at the local Dairy Queen. I think I lasted maybe three days because for the life of me I could not make that little curl on the tip of the goddamn ice cream cones. It required a certain swift wrist action that completely eluded me. My cones would just be these soft blobs of ice cream that sort of leaned over and dribbled down the side. To this day, I continue to live with the shame and disappointment.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

After babysitting, my first job was sanding and masking cars in a custom auto body shop. I got paid $25 a car and I could do two a day on a weekend. $50 was a lot fo money for a 15 year old in 1973.

smiles4u said...

Other then babysitting for .50 an hour, my first job was corn detasseling, sugar beet hoeing, and weeding soyabean fields. We worked long hours in the hot sun for not very good pay. Seriously, it sucked but it beat doing it at home for free! :)

Reader Wil said...

My first job was an unpaid one. I had to work on the field in the councentration camp, I was nine. It didn't last long for I had a sort of heart condition, which, I think, the Dutch doctor invented to help me. I don't know if he invented more heartconditions for the other children,but he was great!

Heather said...

My unpaid job was babysitting siblings and cleaning the house. That job lasted 8 yrs.

Paid job...hmm lets see if I can think back that far..stacking hay bales for .5 cents a bale at the tender age of 11. I only lasted for that one summer.

I did have a job a Whataburger that only lasted 2 weeks!

only a movie said...

Wow - what a nice brother to teach you that strong work ethic.
My first job was at an orthodontists office (at 16). It's probably post-worthy. :-)

MilesPerHour said...

My first unpaid job was to do things to my younger siblings like your maste, er brother did to you. You got lucky to be paid.

The Peach Tart said...

Oh this is hilarious. I worked babysitting.

otin said...

I made 25 cents an hour to check people for beach badges and set up umbrellas at the Jersey shore!

Jan said...

My mother and step-father owned a donut shop. We were all roped in about age 10 to go in at the ungodly hour of 2 a.m. each and every Saturday and Sunday to help. We got paid in donuts and chocolate milk (and lectures about "family business" and "pulling our weight").

Brian Miller said...

smiles. i used to make tomato sandwiches and watch my elderly great uncle work in his shop...just to make sure he did not hurt himself and make th call if he did. that was my first job...

Arkansas Patti said...

I was hired to weed a rock garden when I was seven and a half. I thought I did a bang up job. I took out everything green and left a perfect bed of rocks. I was not paid.

Snappy Di said...

Just like smiles4u, my first job was walking the bean fields with a hoe in my hand for chopping weeds, and detassling corn while wearing a long sleeved shirt in the unbearable humidity of an Iowa summer, to keep the bugs and sun off my shoulders as well as the corn leaves from slicing my skin. UGH. But, the good news is that I earned the money needed to purchase Snappy's very first camera!

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

The Lone Star Queen said...

Older brothers are so fun! I always wanted one, kinda glad now that I didn't have one. My first job was shampooing and blowdrying dogs for a dog groomer down the street from our house. I only worked on Saturday. Boy do I wish I still had that job! It was definetely less stressful than the one I have today.

midlife slices said...

Your mother certainly was a JEWEL. :)

My first job was driving tractor or hoeing cotton (at 4 a.m. I might add) or something else on the farm....only I don't think I got paid. It was just expected.

My first paying job was working for a small oil company at age 16. The owners even went on 2 week vacation and left me in charge of the whole thing including scheduling all the bulk transports and making sure the filling stations were all taken care of. I felt important!

Linda said...

Babysitting my younger siblings was my first (unpaid) job. I graduated to a paying gig sitting for the neighbors kids. Then on to the wonderful world of food service. I think it was $2/hr.

Debbie said...

What a great story! Now do you and Smitty laugh about that one today?? My first job at that age was working in the fields picking vegetables. I'd work several hours in the hot sun and get paid by the bucket full...piece work...maybe a quarter a bucket. A bunch of us kids would ride on the tailgate of an old farm truck to our post in the field. Remember the days when you could do that legally? We'd ride into town like that too...there were no seatbelt laws back then!

manker said...

working in a dunkin donuts in queens ny.. i remember wearing those horrid pink uniforms and when i came home mom made me always deposit the grease smelling uniform in the washing machine post haste:)

can you say "one for the counter, one for the waitress".. to this day i cant look at a donut square in the eye

JOE TODD said...

S.M.B. I have to admitt I charged my sister (real money .25 cents ) to do things like clean my test tubes from the chemistry set or clean/pickup the "guys" club house and if she wanted to visit the treehouse that was .50 cents. I hope you will still visit my blog and comment after this revelation LOL

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

How I wish I could come to your garage sale! I would be there with bells on!
First job! I picked apples for 25 cents a box and it bought me a hamburger and milkshake every day for lunch. I was five. :) I think..no matter what Mom and Daddy say, that I had a lot of help! I even have pictures showing me hard at work! :) That was in ...what..1940? 41? :) (I am getting downright elderly! Not only that I have total recall!) YIKES!

I loved your story. Your brother had it made...LOL My uncle did too. He had me fan him in the summer for a nickle. AND scratch his back for another nickle! :):)

Beth said...

My first job was helping my grandparents gather eggs on their egg farm. My sister and I got paid in Dr. Pepper and Lance crackers.

So, did your brother have children that he could train to be his assistant later?

Oz Girl said...

You crack me up.... you, a slave? Somehow I can't picture SMB playing the slave for two bucks a week!! LOL

My first job was filing paid medical lab receipts at home for a local lab. I don't remember how much I made. Probably all of $10/month or something. But like you said, it helped buy those Donny Osmond records. Or the Monkeys.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Your mom had him give you severance pay?? She rocks!
I could so see my son doing this to my younger daughter. He can charm and manipulate everyone.
I think I used to pet sit for neighbors animals when they went alway before I even started to babysit. One memorable Winter break in 8th grade I had to watch a dog, a friend's cat and a hamster. I felt completely overworked...if only I'd known how good I had it.

Gaston Studio said...

I LOVE your first job for your awesome brother!

My first job was at a Woolworth's behind the candy counter. Just before my first paycheck, I told my family I would take them to dinner. We wound up at Crystal's with a limited number of those tiny little burgers for each 'cause I had no idea taxes and such would be taken out!

Mrsupole said...

Hey, I and hubby are Vietnam Vets, even though we were lucky and never had to go there. I would have never treated my brothers and sisters that way, they would have had to work for free. And hubby was the youngest and so his elder siblings also made him work for free.

You were lucky you got paid. Truly lucky.

When I was a child we had a little red wagon and would travel up and down the roads to collect the soda pop bottles. We would then take them to the liquor store to cash in and for a quarter we walked out with a bag full of candy. There was a lot of things that you got more than one for a penny. We were the first recyclers, before it became popular.

And we washed cars, mowed lawns, cleaned houses and babysat when we got older.

We were always busy trying to earn money because only the necessities were bought for you. It instilled a great work ethic in all of us.

God bless.

Tony Letts said...

I think my first was selling ice cream - I was crap at it :)

Shelly Rayedeane said...

Forget about my first job. Let's talk about winning lawsuits for people who break labor laws!

I get so sick and tired of millionaires stealing from the little guy!

Nina P. said...

What a first job you had... and yes, I agree... $2 was a fortune, for that matter so was 5 or 10 cents from the tooth fairy!!
My first job was while I was in High School. (Well maybe not my first. But, it's the one that won me an award in later years as most unusual job...) OK here goes... I was a "Litter separator, mink inoculator". Yep I helped out on a local Mink Ranch each summer for about 4 years. Beautiful animals with very, very sharp teeth and nails, Strong muscles and strong odor... Mom always made us take off our work clothes before we came in the house... We should go out and do our barn chores in them but that was about it... I think they ended up in the burn pile at the end of each summer... Thanks for sharing your memories. Love and Light, Nina P

Kimberly said...

1993, evening receptionist for a college - $4.35 ($.10 above minimum wage).