Social Question

ucme's avatar

What was your very first paid work?

Asked by ucme (39921 points ) February 11th, 2011

This could be via employment or from your parents who gave you cold hard cash for helping out in some way. I realise of course this could be material of a sensitive nature for some & you know what, I’m fine with that, either answer or don’t…...it really is that simple. For the record, I had a paper round when I was 12yrs old which earnt me the grand sum of £8 a week!! Yep, that much!

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61 Answers

glenjamin's avatar

Painter at 16. Family-owned business. 50 bucks a day off the books.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Babysitting my niece and nephew got me $40

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I was 11 years old and worked for my dad painting rental homes and apartments he owned.

YoBob's avatar

My parents were believers in providing jobs for the kids to do rather than just handing over allowance money. I don’t remember the exact task. However, I’m sure it was either some sort of yard work or house cleaning task.

misstrikcy's avatar

When I was between 10–15 I used to do jobs around the house or in the garden, for my parents. I could earn up to £20 month… so not a lot, but it was better than nothing.
At 16 I started working full time in a factory.

perspicacious's avatar

Movie theater. What fun it was! $1 per hour.

Cruiser's avatar

My allowance was a quarter and just didn’t cut it for me. At 6 years old I would shovel sidewalks for a dollar with my sister and rake leaves in the fall. Then added a paper route at 8 yrs old and caddied at 14 then got my first paycheck at 16. Been earning money for a long time.

Coloma's avatar

Babysitting and walking an elderly neighbors dog.

I made a LOT of money off of the dog walking, the owner was an ancient little old lady that had the most hyper Siberian Husky. That dog was always barging out the door and she would call me, sometimes several times in the same day to go round up her wild dog.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Babysitter and papergirl at 12. The paper girl gig didn’t last too long; I had to be up by 4:30 every morning for when the route driver dropped the papers of at the local depot, and though a block from my house, it was in a dangerous neighbourhood. I lasted 2 days.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

13 or 14 we would unload hay wagons for $5.00 a day, and at 14 I cleaned and repainted a tavern. It had a magnificent wide wooden bar that some idiot had painted. I stripped the walls and the bar and sealed it so it looked beautiful again. I think that was $5.00 a day.

janbb's avatar

Shelving books in the town library; little did I know it would become my career.

tranquilsea's avatar

I had a paper route when I was 9. Six days a week for the next 5 years.

YoBob's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I loaded hay for a couple of summers when I was around 16. Tossing those 50 pound bails around all day in 112 degree weather was not a job I would like to have again!

Jude's avatar

Babysitting at 13. Also, being my grandma’s “lawnboy” (that’s what she called me) at 13.

Five bucks/hour babysitting and 10 dollars to cut the grass and hedges.

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Coloma's avatar

I remember babysitting for a neighbors 3 little kids, ages 1 & ½, 3 and 5.
I was 13–14 and a friend came with me. The kids wanted macaroni & cheese for lunch, we had never made it before, sooo, we didn’t know you were supposed to drain the macaroni before mixing in the milk, butter and cheese powder.

The kids didn’t seem to mind the mac & cheese ‘soup.’ haha

6rant6's avatar

A crew of us – maybe 4th graders – were hired by the father of one. The job – haul bricks from a burned out home site and stack them on pallets near the road. We made 1/10 of a cent per brick. I think I recall my take home was $1.30 for two afternoons work. And damn near the hardest work I’ve ever done.

SuperMouse's avatar

As soon as I was old enough to hold a weed digger, Dad paid me a penny for every weed I pulled. Beyond that I delivered the Green Sheet/Valley News newspaper seven days a week when I was 8 or 9.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Blockbuster video at 16 years old.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@YoBob I grew up doing it so it wasn’t anything unusual back then. Now I look at the guys doing and think they’re nuts. The worst was getting stuck in the mow of the barn when it was close to full and having to throw the bales to the sides of the barn. The hay produces heat and humidity as it cures. We took a thermometer up one time and it was 130 dgrees. That sucked.

erichw1504's avatar

From parents: mowing the lawn, $20 starting at age 14.
Employment: Party City at minimum wage when I was 16.

J0E's avatar

First official job was milking cows on a dairy farm. I came home from basketball camp one weekend and was excited(~) to find out my dad got me a job. I had no say in the matter.

tedibear's avatar

Babysitting. I was about 12 and I watched my sister’s kids or the neighbor kids. I was also the pet-sitter for the people next door and across the street.

wundayatta's avatar

At 9 or 10, my grandparents would hire me to mow their lawn.

At 14 or 15, a my parents fixed me up with babysitting jobs for two or three families they were good friends with.

I got my first real job at age 17, I think. I lived in a rural area, and you’ll never guess what my job was! Well, if you’ve read the above, you will. I worked at a dairy farm, unloading hay from carts, putting the bales on the elevator, taking them off at the top and stacking them nice and tight.

One day, I discovered a decade-old issue of Playboy up in the loft somewhere. After that, I didn’t mind the heat of the loft so much ;-)

YoBob's avatar

@wundayatta Well, at least you found something interesting in the loft. For me the most interesting thing I found while loading hay was a bail with the back end of a rattlesnake sticking out that had been caught up in the baler. Fortunately the business end of the critter was bailed up quite tight.

flutherother's avatar

Where I grew up schools gave two weeks holiday in October called the ‘tattie holidays’ so children could pick potatoes for local farms. A lorry would come round at 7:00am to take us to the fields. I was 9 years old when I started. We were well paid but our parents used most of the money to buy us clothes etc. We were also allowed to take a ‘boiling’ of potatoes home with us very day.

partyparty's avatar

My first paid employment was as an office junior in a large insurance company.
I thought I had hit the jackpot with the salary I received in reality it was a pittance

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

I was 13 when my parents said their friend, who worked at an accounting firm, needed someone to help shredding some papers. I did this for several weeks. My hands smelled like rust and old paper all the time, but I was getting paid $10 per hour off the books to put paper in a machine over and over, so I didn’t complain. :)

VS's avatar

Aside from the neighborhood babysitting jobs for $2.00 an hour, my first real paycheck job was in a department store’s record department for minimum wage. It was OK though; I got to play all the music I liked, I worked after school and Saturdays and got substantial discounts. That was my first, last and only job in which working on Saturday was part of the arrangement.

wilma's avatar

When I was about 10 I picked up rocks in farm fields for my uncle. If it was as big as my fist or bigger I had to throw it on the wagon. At 12 I started babysitting for 50 cents and hour. My first job where I got taxes taken out of my check was at our town’s drugstore for $1 an hour.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I had a newspaper route, delivering The Pittsburgh Press to homes near where I lived. As I recall, I made about $50 a week, which wasn’t bad money back in 1957. : ))

faye's avatar

At about 9 my neighbor/friend’s mom had a baby. We would walk him around the block for nickels to buy a popsickle or save to go to the fair. I babysat for 35 cents/hour, then I worked at Woolworth’s for $1.45.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@wilma Picking stone was the worst job ever on a farm. Walking behind the tractor for the length of the field picking up every rock, throwing them in the trailer and then next year there’d be even more of them.

wilma's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe eaxctly. Hot dirty and aching arms after we were done.
As I recall I didn’t get paid very much either.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@wilma I didn’t get paid at all. That was on the family farm.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Paper route, snow shoveling. But my first real job at 14 was working at a fast food chicken restaurant with the motto: “Don’t cook tonight! Call Chicken Delight!”
It was an eye opening experience.
Fond memories. Thanks! GQ!

incendiary_dan's avatar

My parents own and operate a small printing shop. When I was a teen I’d work there helping assemble different printing jobs they had. Even now, I occasionally help out there by doing the front desk work.

ucme's avatar

Thanks peeps, good stuff right there. @worriedguy Yeah good memories indeed, thanks.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I was on drive-through in McDonalds at 15 years old, minimum wage.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, so was I, at 16! Oy gevalt.

CaptainHarley's avatar

For any younger folks reading this: never despise any job you get, do it with all that you got… you never know who might be watching, and the worst that can happen is you’ll develop good work habits.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@aprilsimnel LOL, that’s pretty funny.

12Oaks's avatar

Outside a quarter for taking out the garbage or getting good grades or whatever, the first “real job” would be delivering junk ad papers for a payment of one (1) penny a paper.

faye's avatar

@wilma @Adirondackwannabe My family had a ‘stone boat’ and I remember being thrilled to go stone boating. It was just a raft the tractor pulled. Mom would bring food and I’d get to have sweet tea out of a thermos- wow! I was pretty little so wasn’t doing much picking, just enough to know it wasn’t real fun.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@faye That’s kind of nice. I didn’t think there would ever be someone with pleasant memories of picking stone. That even made me smile.:)

wundayatta's avatar

I second what @CaptainHarley said.Your first work experiences may seem menial and low status, but later on in life, you will find they have taught you so much. The stories I could tell…

Having said that….

When @worriedguy said that Chicken Delight was an “eye opening experience,” I have to say that I think I became the worriedguy at that point.

downtide's avatar

Working in a wages office for a company that made baby clothes. The machinists were on piecework, a certain amount of money per item they made. I had to calculate how much each machinist earned in a week, then we also had to calculate how many of each note and coin we needed to order from the bank, because they were all paid in cash. And that was before computers too.

Aster's avatar

Babysitting for nephews. I cleared out a dresser drawer then SPREAD the cash out to make it look like a fortune. I never considered spending much of it; I hoarded it. lol

Bun's avatar

Dunkin Donuts!

meiosis's avatar

Paperboy aged 12, morning and evening round for £8.20 per week. Loved it. After that a petrol-pump attendant aged 15. Not so great

Blackberry's avatar

In high school, landscaping under the table, working with my girlfriend’s dad.

filmfann's avatar

Pulling weeds and mowing lawn for my church’s Pastor. About a buck an hour. I was 10.
I worked in my dad’s tire shop just sweeping up. same same
I got a regular job at 13 delivering newspapers. About an hour a day, about a dollar a day.

Bellatrix's avatar

I worked in a shoe shop. I got the job at 13 and worked there for about 2½ years. Then I cleaned (well sort of, it was her dad’s shop and we were pretty lazy) a fish and chip shop with my friend. I also worked as an usherette for a large entertainment venue.

Brian1946's avatar

I delivered the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, when I was 10.

cockswain's avatar

Fluffer

SavoirFaire's avatar

I started a “business” cleaning rooms and doing yard work when I was about 11 or 12.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I worked for a printing company collating the papers that came out of the printer for an hour every week day after school. I got £10 a week for it.

flutherother's avatar

The very first was ‘Bob a Job’ week with the cubs when I was 7 or 8. We would visit people’s houses offering to do work for a ‘bob’, now worth 5 pence to raise funds.

Lorna's avatar

I was an Office Junior, 5 days a week. I was 17.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Cashier at McDonalds, around 16 years old.

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