Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kid Work


It seems that there was always an opportunity for a kid to make money when I was growing up. We were for hire for cutting lawns, raking leaves and the cash cow of all cash cows; shoveling snow. Some kids would wait until the snow hit and they would cold call customers, but I had clients lined up. When the show hit I was out at dawn and I was able to knock out a few drive ways and walk ways by 9AM. By Noon I was tired but I had a pocket full of money.

Kid money was hard earned and I fully understood its value. Though shoveling snow was more strenuous than other forms of kid work it was the most satisfying. Cutting lawns was boring; back and forth, back and forth, watch the dog shit fly. Raking leaves was boring as well, and a strong wind could undo all the hard work.

It’s funny, but I never see kids trying to hawk work any more. There were some young girls a few years back that would sell lemon aid door to door with a wagon. I’m outdoors a lot and they caught me daily. I was happy to be one of their customers. I never saw them again after school started up at the end of the summer.

I wonder if the times are different or if kids are different. Are parents no longer encouraging kids to learn a work ethic early because of all tat could happen to them with all the creepy people out there, or are kids too lazy to blaze a trail for their own betterment?

16 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

Kids don't need to work; their parents make sure they have everything they desire. And what kid wants to go out in the cold/heat and leave his X-box or Wii?

4:16 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

Ah....that bit of green in the pocket, but no way to go anywhere to spend it! I had one snow customer, that if I did his drive first he would give me a whole 10 dollars in 1969! He said i did a good job and I was up early, but i think he felt sorry for the widow's kids.
da loopster of loopydom

4:21 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I think between you and Donna, you got it figured out. We buy them too many things and don't make them earn their own stuff. Fortunately, my last remaining child has a fairly good work ethic and a job. The others weren't like that at all. Neither one of them has a job yet. And nobody ever comes by to shovel my walk. Darn kids.......

4:28 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I think parents are fearful to let their kids out into the world. And how could you not be with all the crap on TV about all the crimes in our country perpetrated against children. If you watched the news all day long, you would be scared shitless that one of your neighbors was some secret sex fiend that had a torture room in his house that he stuffs kids into after he nabs them off the street.

That's why I don't watch TV. Well, one of the reasons.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I think I'm the representative kid around here sometimes... my parents let me fundraise for our marching band by going door-to-door in our own neighborhood, but since we didn't get snow there was no shoveling. Being a girl, nobody wanted to hire me for yardwork (and that's my least favorite chore anyway). The creepers in Lebanon were a prime reason for no lemonade stand. I didn't have my first job until I was 18, but I earned money cleaning the houses of my mom's family on and off for years before that. To this day, that was the best money I've made.

I think it's more about the jobs being available than anything. Adults buy leaf blowers instead of hiring kids. They hire professionals instead of the boy down the street. Maybe parents are the problem. But to call "kids these days" lazy is unfair. They aren't all lazy, just like not all parents are spoiling their kids.

7:27 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

I agree with Auntie too on this, there's some crazy wacko's out there, we have a "no door to door without 2 or more rule"

8:33 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

(Happy) coincidence - yesterday I saw a gang of teenagers going around the neighbourhood with snow shovels.
(I'm assuming they were offering to shovel driveways rather than using the shovels as weapons.)

9:04 AM  
Blogger g said...

i remember sweeping my dad's shop when i was 6. 15 minutes seemed like an eternity back then.

some of my fondest memories are work related memories. then of course getting to spend that hard earned dough at the end. work, reward, repeat.

my kids get the same treatment.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to report that my 12 year old grandson kept busy for a couple hours yesterday shoveling sidewalks and made $20. If it keeps up like this much longer, any cowboy brave enough to shovel off a roof can command $50 @ hour.

10:46 AM  
Blogger weese said...

i remember those days too. things are different now - people are different.
my son wanted to take the tractor when he was about 12 or so and try to get some lawns to cut.
but in this neck of the woods no one will hire a kid. they all have 'services' who are insured and all that.
poor kid. i didn't like having to discourage him. then again... it probably saved me tons in mower repair bills.

11:17 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Jaggy- I didn't mean to be rude to kids. Some of my best friends are kids. I think what has changed is a combination of things. One is the way that "some" kids are raised and the other is the loss of a sense of community. Years ago you knew everyone for blocks around. Now I couldn't tell you my next door neighbors name. Some kids are hard working and responsible, like you seem to be. Some are just lazy, but that's always been the case. To lump it all on "those kids nowadays" is irresponsible and I apologize. It's us old farts fault as well.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

We must be in a time warp as there's a ready supply of kids wanting to work here. The prices have gone up considerably though and it's not uncommon to find teens going around with snowblowers the way ther have mowers in summer.

Hope your eye problems are getting better. Losing vision, even temporarily would stink. Been thinking of your sight since shortly after starting to read your blog.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Trop said...

Same here Guy. I babysat, had a paper route, and we could always collect pop bottles for money too.

5:42 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That's another thing. When we go for walks around here, a couple miles, I easily find $5 in deposit cans and bottles. Kids are out on bikes and they don't see them as free nickles in the ditch.

I used to fund a scholarship at our local community college. It was called the Another Green World Scholarship. I did it for two years and funded it totally from deposit cans and bottles. It paid for one term in full of classes.

KIds could make a good living in returns around here.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Parents...it's all in the parenting. Kids don't learn thru osmosis. I know sometimes when I ask my kids to do something...it would be MUCH easier if I just did it myself...but what would I be teaching my kids? "Oh, someone else will do it". Hay doesn't get into the barn all by itself! It is my responsibility to teach my kids most of what they need to know, to function at a higher level, by the time they are out of the house...and I don't mean when/IF they're 40. College (or a trade school)is a must in my house, which requires lots of hard work before they get out of HS. My son got 4 scholarships for college...it was like pulling teeth to get him to complete the paperwork...but it paid off. He also got a job while in college...continuing the idea that you have to work for what you want/need. I never paid my kids for work done at home...we all contribute in some way as a group. Parents...parenting is a full time job, and it's our job to TEACH the next Gen.

3:39 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ginger, I take it your power is back on. Welcome back.

9:34 PM  

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