My first job was delivering the "Valley News Dispatch", a newspaper that serves the Allegheny-Kiskiminetas River Valleys in the Pittsburgh area.
My route covered the beginning of my road where my brother now lives up to basically my house, and a side road that was a dead-end. I had anywhere from 50 to 80 customers at any given time, fairly spread out in some areas (closer to where I lived) but closer together down near the beginning of the road.
The job paid me about $60 every other week if I was lucky and of course I looked forward to the X-Mas season where I raked in a lot of tips (some rather nice ones in upwards of $20) and could break the $130 barrier.
When I started the job I was like 7 or 8 and shared it with my brother. I quit it when I graduated high school since i did the job usually on my way home from school since it was all on the way.
The reasons this job sucked?
-Old people... I had many elderly on my route who felt it was their American duty to bitch me out daily about the cost of the paper, the time at which the paper arrived at their house, and the manner in which they received it.
Most demanded I put it in their front door and not just on their porch as it would get wet or blow away... These same peckerheads were the people who refused a paper tube attached to their mailbox and DEMANDED it be brought to their doorstep irregardless of how hard it was to get to said doorstep (one guy with a half-mile driveway up a steep hill for instance, and this ******bag didn't tip me once, even at X-Mas).
Wet papers, blown away papers, or anything of that like was met with a rude phone call to my house where it was demanded that I get them a replacement paper and get it to their doorstep.
-My father... My father would relentlessly take his "I didn't take that managerial job offer at the mill so I'm going to **** all over your job" point of view by telling me WHEN to get up and deliver the papers, as well as bitching me out any time there was a mistake.
What's that you ask? Did my father have something to do with my job! Ooooh no, no, no... Of course not! He just liked to make sure I was miserable as piss while doing it.
If my mother offered to give me a ride on the paper route, he'd tell her no she wasn't allowed to... I recall one time I was particularly sick with pneumonia and he physically plucked the car keys from my mother's hand and told her to get supper ready... Off I went into the freezing rain/sleet we were having. Oh joy, oh joy.
-Dead Beats... It's amazing to me how big and shiney the pair of balls any given person will grow when they're dealing with a child. For instance, you wouldn't think to tell the gas man, "Hey I'll pay you next month because I just don't have it right now...", or tell the electricity guy, "Come back tomorrow for the money, I get paid then" and oddly turn off all the lights when he shows to collect the electric bill.
No, he'd shut the f'n lights off for you and you'd pay up or read by candlelight (if you could read, which half these dickweeds had literacy issues so I'm not even sure WHY they had a newspaper subscription unless it was to make sure their relatives weren't in the police blotter).
I don't get why it was koscher to tell ME to come back later for getting paid. Old, young... Fat, skinny... Toothless, more toothless... They were all ********, and ******** to a child at that.
-Non-payment came outta my pocket... This combines with the last point obviously. When I collected money, there was an account at the local bank I was to deposit all collected moneys into. There was a bill I was given by the VND every month that I was expected to meet.
This bill, ironically, was never the same twice irregardless of how many total customers I had... I mean, I'd have 60 one month and they'd want X ammount of dollars, then next month there'd be the same number of customers but they'd want $20 more, so my pay never was the same and for no real reason.
But, to make it worse, I had to deposit this money and whatever left was what I got... That's it. So I'd deposit enough to meet what they wanted as per my bill, but then my pay would definitely vary and some times it was noticeably short.
A correction too, I paid into this every 2 weeks, not monthly... Monthly was another thing wholely separate.
Anyway, as you can see, it was a screwjob.
-Lazy, sub-moronic, Bosses... The bosses I had were usually guys too lazy to work hard at a "real" job and they generally took a big huge smelly dump on their paperboys under their "Command". They were usually the scourge of the Earth, and they made their money based off the number of total customers on their total routes.
SOooooooooooo, a notorious action of the boss was to FORCE on me customers who I know would not pay up every pay week. I'd work to get them axed off the list, but since my old boss, "Booker" got paid based only on the number of customers and not whether they paid or not, then old "Booker" (irony of a guy being named "Booker" when he'd likely never read one) would get these dead-beats put BACK on my route because it got him more $$$ and it lost me $$$ at the end of a pay-period.
Booker, may I find your grave so I can take a healthy, wet, dump upon it.
-Mean/violent customers... I'll never forget the day I unleashed a FURY of vulgarity (at 11 years of age) on old Mr. Loughner for him coming out and yelling at me up one side and down the other. I was at my breaking point that day, and at 11 years old I had a break down with that old codger who never tipped me and told him what I thought of him. He never got a paper from me again and after I reported what he called me/said to me (that made me snap on him in return) the GM of our area actually stepped in and refused him service of the VND, thank god.
But he wasn't the only guy to be mean... One old bitch had a dog that bit, and wouldn't leash it. I wasn't too nice to the dog then so I'd make it fear me in return. Nobody would handle the situation and I was told I had to deliver the paper to her since she paid all the time, so she caught me one day giving her dog an ass-whipping for a bite and she chewed me out... I told her if she wants a dry paper ever again, she'd better back off on that or tie the damn dog up. She tied it up but reported me. And I'm even an animal lover, but that dog was satan with 4 legs.
The irony was I learned to like it and it learned to like me and we became friends. Hah. Still hate the old woman though.
-Scary Customers... One woman, I **** you not, told me about the "stains" she found in her husband's underwear at work and how she was soooooooooooo upset... She was practically in tears.
She found "man stains" in his underwear, and said (I'm not making this up at all), "He's been havin' that gay sex up at Klugh's!" where he worked as a grease-monkey (heh).
Now, this isn't me being mean to gays of course, I'm just repeating what I swear to god was said to me at the tender age of 12 by a woman who unfortunately is still breathing.
She also didn't know what a zit was and thought I was "sick" one day...
I'm not kidding... at all.
So that's about what I'd have to say was my worst job... My first job... It was pretty bad. It paid sorta ok, I mean for a kid it was alright getting $60 or so every other week or so. At the time it fed what buying I needed to do, but it was hard work, little appreciation, and a lot of anger and anxiety for a really not a lot. Take my father out of the "managerial" equation he forced himself into there though, and it wouldn't be the traumatic event in my childhood that I label it as today.
For the bad, there was good... My dad worked with a guy down the road, Jose, who always tipped me nicely at X-Mas because he was a pain to get the $ off him all year long... Jose's a nice guy though. And Mr. Sprankle who'd give me a Silver Dollar every pay as a tip... Or the humor I found in Mr. Ziraki giving me $.10 as a tip every pay and telling me to not spend it all in one place (I have a sense of humor of course).
I also had some surrogate grandparents, the Wrights, on my paper route who lived just a few houses down from me, and they were incredibly good to me all my life and now that they've passed I'm seeing how I took them for granted and miss them every day.
The bad made the job bad though... The good people would've still been in my life.
I'm glad I don't do the job now,a s the lower end of my road's a lot of rental properties with a lot of druggies, many more poor, and a lot less older folks. The poor were always worse to deal with since it cut into my bottom line while the elderly just complained generally.
Those were the days.