1…. Office Work - when I was 16 I worked in the Sales Office at a company called Camvac, I did typing, sending telexes (remember those), filing, shredding etc. It was one of the most boring jobs that I have ever had and the lowest paid as it was part of a government thing called the Youth Opportunity scheme - I got £25 a week, £15 of which I gave to my mum!
2....Asparagus picking - I did this a few times, hard on your back. In the afternoon we would be inside an old airforce hut bunching it up. It is a short season about 4 weeks a year. Highlight being out in the fields at 6.30 am seeing deer, rabbits and pheasents in the mist.
3....Reflexology - this is what I do now, although I don't have many clients at the moment. It is a type of foot massage, very gentle working on pressure points in the feet. These pressure points correspond with different parts of the body.
4....Apple Picking - I did this for one season and it was really enjoyable. The trees were small, we only needed step ladders to reach the tops.
5....Warehouse work - in my 20s I worked for a large book wholesaler, going round a big warehouse with a shopping trolley picking orders, if you were lucky you might get to pack boxes. Highlights getting cheap books - I often got told off for looking at books whilst I was working.
6....Sandwich Bar - I did this job at the same time as the warehouse job (they were both part time). I waited tables, served at the counter and made sandwiches, plus washing up. Very stressful at times especially when you had a queue of customers out the door waiting for sandwiches and a bunch of customers in the cafe and only you to do it all. The cafe has gone now - it was called Pumpkin Crunch and the owner was an eccentric lady with green hair.
7....Cleaning - I have had various cleaning jobs over the years when I have needed extra cash. Most memorable was a elderly female osteopath who had lived in India with servants and liked the socks to be ironed with a nice crease in them. While I cleaned her house she went and cleaned the house of her grown up son.
8.... running a second hand clothes stall with a friend. We would pick up clothes in jumble sales, wash and iron them and then go to a little alternative market once a week. We also did a couple of hippy fairs. Most memorable occasion, stopping at the local skip on the way to a hippy fair and finding two hideous suede afghan coats. At the fair the weather was terrible and I sold them for £15 each!
9....Nursery Nurse/playgroup assistant - for several years I worked in preschools. I like kids, studied for several qualifications and it fitted in around my son's school hours. Left a couple of years ago when it became very stressful. Highlights - the kids. messy art and craft projects. Low points - poor pay, employees who don't like children and aren't professional, children with severe behavioural problems.
10.... Daffodil Picking - I lasted a day at this, it is absolutely back breaking. We were working in boiling hot polytunnels and the daffodils have a very acidic sap that damages your skin.
11....Carrot grading - I managed six months at this - largely because all my friends said that I wouldn't stick it out so I had a point to prove. It was awful on a noisy production line, carrots came out of a bif washer onto rollers and we quickly had to grab off all bad and mishapen ones before they went down into a bit where they were putinto sacks. For variety we went into the field occasionally. Picking up parsnips in the snow, and in summer we pulled seedy beet out of suger beet fields and wild oats out of barley. Low points - when frogs and little creatures cale in with the carrot harvest, also the shocking amount of waste.
12....Barmaid - I hated this, I worked in a very busy pub where a lot of farmers drank. They were constantly either making lewd remarks or trying to catch you out on the amount you charged for each round.
13...Strawberry Picking... I did this every year when I lived in the countryside. It was piece work so terribly paid. My friend and I used it as a social time picking slowly, chatting up the young man weighing the berries and of course eating tons of strawberries.Grape Picking - I did this for a few years. There aren't many vineyards in the Uk but I was lucky enough to live near one. A nice easy job. Highlights - the owners took us all to their manor house for a buffet lunch with wine every day.
Have put these two together as they are similar.
I realise that I have actually done more than 13 jobs! I have also done babysitting, a day peeling onions in a pickled onion factory (smelly), blackberry picking, working for Oxfam dlivering and collecting plastic clothing sacks and running a second hand clothes
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