Jump to content

My First Job


Recommended Posts

When I was 16, I got a summer job with a small local building firm. It was working on the renovation of a local school and a crew of about half a dozen was using a classroom as a mess room. My first job was to clean out the room and have the teas made for the 10 o'clock break. More importantly, I had to wash and dry two packs of playing cards ready for the break.

After tea break, I had to use a lump hammer and bolster to knock a layer of rendering from the inside wall of the outdoor boys toilet. Generations of schoolboys had been weeing against it for years and, boy, did that rendering stink.

At about 12.00, I was told to collect orders from the crew then go and fetch their dinners from the sandwich shop and fish shop. I hope I remembered to watsh my hands first.

 

Great days.:yes:

 

Any other tales of early employment?

Under Scrutiny by the Right-On Thought Police

Link to comment
Share on other sites


It wasn't my first job but for practically the whole of 1986 I worked on the demolition in various places. Looking back I'm amazed I survived unharmed, to say H&S was non existent would be exaggerating somewhat. I used to work on a concrete crusher that could crush massive lumps of concrete, with practically nothing to stop me falling in. Plus the concrete was often reinforced so occasionally rods of reinforcing iron would fly in the air!! Absolutely crazy but just the way it was.

In those days I used to 'sub' most of my wages so was invariably skint on payday and had to start borrowing again!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first paying job outside of bits & pieces work was at 14 when I wanted to start being independent.  Summer holidays from school and I decided I'd sign up to potato picking.  I wanted to do a full section on my own, like the adults, but the gaffer refused and only gave me half, that was the difference between £15 and £30 per day, I was mightily offended but took it anyway thinking it'd be easy stuff.  By lunchtime I was in tears due to the hard work and persistent drive to keep up with the digging machine.  I can genuinely say that at the time that was the hardest thing physically I'd ever done and I was a jelly-armed and legged wreck by knocking off time with a back that felt like it'd done 12 rounds with a professional boxer concentrating on kidney shots.  Turned up next day and the rest of the week.

The week after was the start of the berry picking though.  A good bit easier but still very time pressured.  It was far easier on the morale as it was two in the bucket, one in the mouth with cash output based on weight picked after they'd been sifted for under-ripe or leaves.

My friends all complained about how much money I had as a teenager, their problem was they didn't want to do the graft to earn it themselves.

"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aged 14 me and my mate Pete started work in a fancy goods warehouse Tuesday evening and all day Saturday 15p an hour or thereabouts.

 

come the summer hols they asked us if we could work full time, so we did.

however on getting my first weeks pay I worked out we were being paid only 12p an hour off I march to the office demanding to know why, no real answer apart from the manager thought 15p "a bit much"

Phil marches out in a fit of either pique or principal I forget which, thus setting the template for my working life 

"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where to start?

Aged 10, me and a mate kept our dinner money in our pockets and wandered around Moston during the lunch break. At the back of a store of some kind, a bloke asked if we wanted to earn a bit of money. We said "Yes!" and were set to, crushing cardboard boxes before they went into the bins. We did about 40 minutes (I think) and the bloke gave us a tanner each. We were made up. Two ten-year-olds jumping up and down on a load of cardboard boxes for less than an hour and getting 6d for it? Result! My dreams of riches died when the school told my dad I hadn't had my school dinner. He went ballistic, dragged me round to the store, tore a strip off the owner and I guess I got the sack. After one day!

Next job was at a wallpaper manufacturer - Frastans in Oldham - and I spent a summer holiday working there, properly too. This was the first time I had a 'proper' job - regular hours, pay packet including pay slip with my name on it, going to work in the morning with my 'snap' in a bag. At 14 years old, it was brilliant!

Since then, I've hardly ever been unemployed. Worked summers at university. Worked at Clayton Aniline between universities. Even worked behind bars some summers when I was teaching. Still working today. (Well, 3 days a week, total of 7 hours a week. Does it count?)

 

Rethymno Rugby League Appreciation Society

Founder (and, so far, only) member.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Wolford6 said:

With which council are you on a full time contract?

;)

Bradford, of course!:tongue:

Nice of you ratepayers to fund my retirement.

 

Rethymno Rugby League Appreciation Society

Founder (and, so far, only) member.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apart from augmenting my pocket money by sticking stamps on packets for my mum's business, I did a gloriously sunny stint of work experience outdoors at a gliding club a few miles down the road.

I also worked during school holidays (and later work holidays) for my dad's music festival, setting up and putting on events. The average festival had over 50 shows in 16 days, spread over an area of about 300 square miles and without a single venue that seated more than 200. A couple of them didn't even have electricity!

My first 'proper' job has pretty easy by comparison.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started work for the BBC in August 1972 for £13.64 a week as a typist.  With my first wage packet I bought a weekly train ticket, a comb, a purse (to keep the change in), a tin of Balkan Sobranie tobacco for my dad and half a pound of Callard & Bowsers plain chocolate toffees for my mum.  Life was so simple then.

In the blink of an eye it could all be taken away.  Be grateful always.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad has a car repair garage. One man business but in summer holidays used to earn a bit of pocket money "helping" him out washing cars and stuff. My time as a kid was spent mainly on homework, practicing and playing in a brass band, watching Swinton etc.

Hated school so after 7 "O" levels, didn't stay on to 6th form. Instead I joined Ferranti Computers in West Gorton( what was to become ICT then ICL) as a student engineer. So in 1962, at  16 I was paid by them as an employees to go to full time college for six years to study mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering. Starting salary? £2 6s 3d a week, ending in 1968 on over £11 a week. Our attendance and performance was monitored by HR and non performers were removed.  The course was specially tailored for the 40 of us selected to be manframe computer engineers, though only 8 of us survived to the very end. Vacations were spent working in various ICT factories and sites commissioning and maintaining mainframes: ICT 1300, ICT 1500,  ICT1900s.  Putney Bridge North, Peter Street Manchester, CEGB Roseneath, West Gorton, Letchworth, etc.

“If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.” Zen Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First job was a milk round which I did Monday to Saturday from just before 6 to around 7.  Basically got up at 5.30 and then walked round the village to wherever the float had got to and then clung onto the back between hop-offs.  Did it from age 14 to age 17 (so went to school afterwards).  Got paid £13 a week.

Did a bunch of summer jobs after that, normally on 6-6 shifts.  Steel pressing plant, automotive paint picking n packing, printers ... all fun.

First full time job: Information and Administration Assistant at a charity that helped ex-offenders find work. An absolute doddle compared to the above.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First Job was a paper round, then when I left college, my first full time job was working as a Labourer for Wimpy's the builders on a 3 month work experience scheme, a job I hated with a vengeance, the I worked for a charity in Trafford Park, restoring furniture to go into Elderly peoples homes, which I really enjoyed, but it was only for a year, then in 1984 I got the job that would see me through the next 30 years, working in Operating Theatres, as an ODA/P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, JohnM said:

My dad has a car repair garage. One man business but in summer holidays used to earn a bit of pocket money "helping" him out washing cars and stuff. My time as a kid was spent mainly on homework, practicing and playing in a brass band, watching Swinton etc.

Hated school so after 7 "O" levels, didn't stay on to 6th form. Instead I joined Ferranti Computers in West Gorton( what was to become ICT then ICL) as a student engineer. So in 1962, at  16 I was paid by them as an employees to go to full time college for six years to study mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering. Starting salary? £2 6s 3d a week, ending in 1968 on over £11 a week. Our attendance and performance was monitored by HR and non performers were removed.  The course was specially tailored for the 40 of us selected to be manframe computer engineers, though only 8 of us survived to the very end. Vacations were spent working in various ICT factories and sites commissioning and maintaining mainframes: ICT 1300, ICT 1500,  ICT1900s.  Putney Bridge North, Peter Street Manchester, CEGB Roseneath, West Gorton, Letchworth, etc.

It's good to hear that your dad is still working in his garage John. He must be a brave age now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, longboard said:

It's good to hear that your dad is still working in his garage John. He must be a brave age now.

Well, yes, he'd be 105 now had that been the case! ?

“If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.” Zen Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First job was a paper round 6 mornings a week. The houses were on the edge of town and strung out so it was quite a walk each morning, plus it was a 2 mile walk from home to the paper shop to pick the papers up before the round. Saturday was a slog as it was the weekend local paper and required 2 extremely full bags - was about 60 - 70 houses in total. My nephew has just got a paper round - 20 houses in total! Easy life.

Next job was delivering cars for a local dealer when in 6th form/student. Longest trip was Elbra to Great Yarmouth and back in a day for £10! 640 miles - wouldn't be allowed now

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, shaun mc said:

First job was a paper round 6 mornings a week. The houses were on the edge of town and strung out so it was quite a walk each morning, plus it was a 2 mile walk from home to the paper shop to pick the papers up before the round. Saturday was a slog as it was the weekend local paper and required 2 extremely full bags - was about 60 - 70 houses in total. My nephew has just got a paper round - 20 houses in total! Easy life.

Luxury. Another glass of Chateau le Chasselet, Obadiah?

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ride Operator at Camelot Theme Park when I was 16 - great days! Did it for about 3yrs when not at college and uni; made the mistake when I was 18 to do some factory work in Golborne (frozen meat and plastic bottles) due to money but hated it so did the final year at Camelot instead. Fell in the log flume trying to impress some girls (unsuccessful of course) that year...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I left school at 16 in 1982, started work two weeks later at a local chemical factory, Allied Colloids as it was back then, just round the corner from where I lived.

Loved it. Spent first two weeks in a classroom based induction course with other wet behind the ears school leavers learning all about the company, its products, elf n safety, the lot. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had such a gentle introduction to the world of real work.

It was a really exciting time and a great company to work for. They provided free day release further education for all their employees, had a brilliant subsidised staff canteen (so good I used it every day instead of doing the less than 5 minute walk home) and a thriving sports & social club with loads of activities always going on.

I also got a free pair of steel toecapped shoes (in case anything heavy fell on you while out on the plant area) a pair of white lab coats and various spatulas and other chemistry related accoutrements that made me feel all grown up and a 'proper' member of staff from day one, not just a new kid straight outta school.

After the induction, we newbies were all assigned to various different parts of the business (it was a huge plant that dominates a big chunk of Low Moor in Bradford where I grew up) and I ended up in what was known as the Intermediate Lab, where products were quality tested as they came off the plant production lines. It was quite a young workforce overall, with a few older heads to lead the way, and the people I worked with were fantastic. Friendly, welcoming, helpful. Honestly, I could not have asked for a better bunch of colleagues.

On a daily basis, I was running tests and procedures, using the full gamut of lab based gizmos: bunsen burners, fume cupboards, test tubes, litmus papers, even got to wear a gas mask every now and then. Also got to go out of the lab onto the plant and collect product samples from the huge chemical vats they were stored in, coming into contact with the guys who worked out there and the, shall we say, more industrial language they used was a real eye and ear opener for me. What larks!

They even paid me to have all this fun. One of the foremen from the plant, Sid was his name, would come round on a Friday afternoon with paypackets to sign for, containing a payslip and actual cash money. My weekly wage was £44.45. It seemed like a fortune to me.

If you ever used a fabric softener or a wallpaper paste back in the early 80s, there's a fair chance I or one of my colleagues in the lab quality tested it before it made it onto the supermarket shelves, as that was the line of business 'Colloids' (as everyone called it) was in. They also made stuff for industrial use in oilfields and the like.

Why did I ever leave?

There are days when I still ask myself that question... but really it was for health reasons. Me and some of the chemicals in use there didn't get on very well.

The plant and the labs are still there, but the name Allied Colloids is long gone. It's owned by BASF now, I think.

I have no idea if it is still as good a place to work as it was when I was there all those years ago, but I hope it is. I couldn't have asked for a better first job.

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like an employer who knew how to deal with school leavers properly, instead of treating them like any other new employee. In my first real job after leaving school, I felt out of my depth for months.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I know a couple of lads who work at BASF, they always say it's rubbish now compared to the Colloids days.

That's a real shame, but not entirely surprising the way the world has gone since then.

Glad I've still got my untainted happy memories of working at good old Colloids. :)

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎17‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 10:23 PM, shaun mc said:

First job was a paper round 6 mornings a week. The houses were on the edge of town and strung out so it was quite a walk each morning, plus it was a 2 mile walk from home to the paper shop to pick the papers up before the round. Saturday was a slog as it was the weekend local paper and required 2 extremely full bags - was about 60 - 70 houses in total.

My paper round was 7 mornings a week, starting at 6.30 every day, Sunday's saw thick papers, the Sunday Times was about 5 sections that I had to split up and deliver one by one at two of my houses, yes they were big rounds40-60 houses, but Christmas was very profitable. And my dog enjoyed her early morning exercise daily, just to the East of the Willows

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first job was a student job at British Sidac in Wigton in Cumbria. The factory shut down for maintenance for 2 weeks every year and made rayophane - think of cellophane. We were sent into pipes and chimneys to remove chemical corrosion and repaint with black paint to inhibit corrosion. Health and Safety? Honestly. nobody thought of it then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...