December 04, 2005

Pocket Money I

My first paid work was delivering newspapers two days a week after school. I was started out helping my older sister and brother with their runs, and eventually I inherited the job to do on my own. Except it was never really done on my own - my mum used to do the lion's share of the worst part for me. I'd arrive home from school on my bike on Wednesdays and Fridays and she'd have folded and packed all the papers into neat rows in the wooden crate, which I fastened to my bicycle carrier with a 'stretchy' cord.

I was really lucky - folding is the most boring part and you can get blistered hands from the smoothness of the newsprint. Not to mention newsprint stains, the additional task of inserting junkmail circulars and enduring an uncomfortable sitting position on the floor beside the front door.

It took me a while to get comfortable riding my bike with the weight of a full box of newspapers on the back. Certainly, I came off more than a few times in the few years that I did the job. I still recall the buzz that first time I got the paper into a mailbox without needing to stop my bicycle - and that particular box, on Campbell St in Wanganui, one block over from my house on Wicksteed St. After a while, I got so there were only a few places on the run that required a full stop, and only one or two danger spots with barky dogs. I was petrified of dogs, particularly big barky ones, until I was about 12 or 13 and had grown used to the eccentricities of our own dog, acquired when I was 11.

The wage was paltry, and once I discovered how to withdraw money from my account - and then got my first eftpos card, aged 14 or so - it was all over. I needed to find a better paying job.


Blogger Meg said...

You did have it sweet with Mum helping out so much, I recall folding the papers as I went which wasn't the easiest thing to do while riding a bike! I also recall how the pay sucked for the effort involved...ahhh the good ole days :D

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

Heh, my first paying job was holding lambs on a board so my dad could clip a chunk out of their ear, scratch a scabies shot in their groin, burn off their tail and if they were just little boy lambs cut off the circulation to their testes.

It was good because I got to skip school.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

The skipping school part sounds okay, but I don't know about the rest... poor little lambies.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

Well, poor little boy lambies.

Hmm, I just wrote an explanation of why its good to cut tails off sheep, but it got very disgusting and you wont want to read that.

8:50 AM  

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