Sunday, 17 April 2011

Things my Saturday job taught me

I think I need a Saturday job. This would serve a dual purpose. 1. Keep me out of the shops. 2. Earn me extra cash.

Luckily I have some Saturday job work experience behind me.

I had a brief stint as a paper girl. Because (irritatingly) I attended the Grammar School 2 buses away from my home, rather than the comp around the corner, I was unable to pick up a lucrative morning paper round. Really, what were my parents thinking?

I tried a Sunday morning round. This paid £2 a week. I had to get up 6am. Even at 14 £2 was not worth getting out of bed for. I wrote a resignation letter to the paper-shop, apologising for letting them down and explaining that my school work really did need to take priority as I approached my GCSEs. They said it was the first resignation they had ever received. Silly Grammar School Girl was I.

So instead, I started delivering the free paper. In Wolverhampton, this was the Adnews. I am starting to develop back-pain and can almost certainly pin-point its beginning to this bloody paper round. 500 papers. One trolley and one bag. A determination to take the whole damned lot in one go, (unaware that 13 years later my back would start to pay the price) and a less than lucrative neighbourhood to deliver to. And although they paid me, it was basically free for the Adnews to have me deliver their free paper. I wouldn’t like to speculate, but I’m sure Primark pay their workers more.

Lessons from a Career as a Paper Girl

1. People notice if you deliver their free newspaper (totally devoid of news) late. People are sitting at home waiting for it and will report you for its late arrival.
2. If people have a sign on their gate that warns ‘my dog bites’ – it probably does. And the owner is probably not much friendlier.
3. Don’t be a teenage smoker. Your paper round will not even cover your fag habit. 
4. Fly-tipping your entire week’s worth of papers is wholly illegal but utterly liberating.

By a miracle I managed not to get sacked, bitten by a dog or jumped by an angry Adnews fan, during a long 12 months of hauling 500 papers around the mean streets of Wolvo.

Aged 16 I hung up my paper-bag. I now knew better than writing a resignation letter, so I just stopped showing up. Turns out I was pretty replaceable.

I thought it was probably time I moved to an hourly paid position, and started a career in the glamorous and only slightly more lucrative, McDonalds.

Lessons from a Career as a Burger Flipper

1. I have worked the hardest in my life for that £3 an hour.
2. People think they are automatically superior to you because you are serving them a burger.
3. If you are polite and able to work out change from a fiver, you will never have to flip a burger again and will be promoted to a lifetime on the ‘till.’
4.Whilst this means you no longer face dangerous grill burns or smell of gherkins for days at a time, you are now face to face with the dreaded customer all day long.
5. Giving your friends extra fries/double cheeseburgers/happy meals toys, apparently does constitute theft.
6. You actually have to complete several tests to earn each star.
7.  If you have been a model employee for 2 years, your bosses will believe, (even in the face of damning evidence) that you did not deliberately knock that man’s milkshake all down him.

So if anyone knows of any Saturday jobs going in Edinburgh, please do get in touch. My criteria are: the lugging of heavy objects minimal, limited interaction with angry dogs, higher rate of pay than sweatshops and no requirement to wear a baseball cap.

I’m definitely not wearing a baseball cap.


  1. I had to chuckle with your comment about working out change from a fiver and being polite meant you were "promoted" to the till! I was one of them!x

  2. I delivered Chinese meals on Saturday nights for 14 years - not only did I get paid for each and every delivery I also got a free meal every week. However, now I've stopped I wouldn't really like to go back to it. I'll put my thinking cap on and see if I can think of anything... x

  3. I've an opening for a 'host' at Rolling Haggis. Meet and greet the groups and generally just be smiley - you also have to get haggis rollers to fill out their disclaimers and take payments. No heavy lifting but you would have to wear a t-shirt that read "Haggis Honey"!! Pay isn't great but it'd keep you out of the shops and in the fresh country air on a Saturday.

  4. Clayton. As you know I am not be nature smiley.

    I could however try. Let's talk.

  5. obviously there I meant 'by' nature.