Economic Realities

Economic Realities

April 27, 1988

I’d have to say I agree with labor on this one. From what we’ve seen, Arlo and Janis do not have a small or simple yard. However, management would be quick to point out Gene’s position comes with generous benefits. When Gene was young, he went through a lot of different haircuts. The above is an early variation of the haircut that he sported for the longest.

38 responses to “Economic Realities”

  1. My first job was as a ‘Gofer’ for my dads “experienced auto parts” business.
    Picture El Paso Tx in the summer, row after row of cars basking in the sun in desert. It was my job to ‘Go Fer’ this and go go fer that. I got $50 bucks a week for 50 hours. Weekends and summers. We looked forward to when we had to remove a part under the car for the shade provided.
    When I was old enough, I was so happy to go to work at a fast food restaurant for the double the pay.

    I still go to our local Yard for parts. It is one of those “you-pick-em’ yourself so I have not lost my skill.

  2. At age 9, I joined my big brother in his lawn-care business. As Mom was the Deputy Village Clerk (hurrah for nepotism!), we got the contract for the 3 town parks; the largest, at the town reservoir, was about 8 acres, and paid $20. Residential clients paid either $1.00 or $1.50 (except one very large lawn that got us a whole $2.00). And, I might point out, these lawns were in the Appalachian corner of Ohio, where “flat” generally means “slanted, but less than 30°”.
    Last week (as I await my 3rd back surgery), for the second time in my life (the first being after my 2nd back surgery) I paid some one to mow my ~1/4-acre, Illinois-flat lawn.

  3. When you cut the family lawn as a kid, rake the leaves, or whatever around the house, the person paying is also paying all your basic expenses. Food, housing, clothes, medical, etc. So they figure you’ll take what they offer or go without for those chores.

    • I received no cash pay at all for mowing the premises, including dad’s church property abutting. Hand mower. In the winter, got to shovel the white stuff off a full block’s sidewalk and two partial blocks’ walks.

      Now, past four score, and for 2 previous years, we pay $35. for the weekly power mowing crew to come. Same crew, same rate, for snow work. They have the large equipment, so our jobs get done in 10 minute, making their rate of pay substantial.

  4. My first job was in junior-high, when I was 13, loading square hay bales on a pickup truck, then stacking in the barn/loft. The first summer was 3-cents a bale and a typical day was from noon to past dark. A big day was 500 bales and $15. By the time I was a high-school senior I was using my Daddy’s old pickup truck and splitting 25-cents a bale with another high-school friend and his girlfriend who drove the truck in the field. A 500 bale day was worth a lordly $75 to me by then!

  5. I worked at a day camp in NY for 2 summers in the mid 1970’s. I was responsible for 15 5 yr olds the first year and 10 9 yr olds the second year. I was paid $175 for the ENTIRE SUMMER (8 weeks) to supervise these little girls during their various activities. That works out to about $22/ wk or $4.38 PER DAY. The fringe benefits were: I was outdoors, the job with the girls was pleasurable, I was fed lunch, and, after lifeguarding the children during their twice daily pool sessions, I got to take a quick dip. The 2nd summer I worked there I also drove a mini bus and picked up 16 kids at their homes in the morning and returned them safely in the afternoon. The youngest was 3 yrs old. For that responsibility I was paid an additional $4.38 PER DAY. There were some tips at the end of the season, but even after that, it still wasn’t very much money. Oh, I almost forgot. Management thought I did a great job the 2nd year and I was awarded one of the bonuses. I think it was $50. Maybe $100. Being recognized was nice.

  6. In our family I got no pay for mowing. The first mower I remember was a dull rusty maual human propelled nonmotorized push mower.

    We also cut grass and weeds with a sling blade unpaid. A skill I suspect few of you share. Also usually dull.

    Our grass implement deluxe was a common garden hoe because my Granny liked bare dirt so snakes were clearly visible for killing.

    By time I retired from weed and grass cutting on farm my mother was mowing about four acres including the river Hill. She paid male relatives through the nose.

    Where did that expression originate?


      Meaning: To pay a high price; to pay dearly.

      Origin: Comes from the ninth-century Ireland. When the Danes conquered the Irish, they imposed an exorbitant Nose Tax on the island’s inhabitants. They took a census (by counting noses) and levied oppressive sums on their victims, forcing them to pay by threatening to have their noses actually slit. Paying the tax was “paying trough the nose.”

  7. Received my mail-in ballot recently. Observations:
    a) The return envelope must be postmarked by election day. However, the return envelope is prepaid, and I don’t think that kind of mail gets postmarked at all.
    b) The instructions say it is VERY IMPORTANT! (their boldface emphasis) to use black ink to fill in the rectangle by a candidate’s name. The actual ballot, however, says to use black or blue ink, so just how “VERY IMPORTANT!” is it to use black? I used blue.
    c) The mailing announces “In this packet you will receive three items:” It goes on, 1. Official Ballot 2. Insert Ballot in the Return Envelope. Now, #1. is, indeed, an item. #2. is a direction, not an item. There is no #3. at all!!
    Who writes this stuff?

    • If we know who won by New Year we will be lucky. And then there will be contention.

      I got 25 cents allowance – and was expected to put at least a nickel in savings.
      For hat I mowed lawn with a push reel mower, picked up dog scat, dried dishes, set table,
      kept my room neat, shoveled snow, and changed TV stations when requested.
      The program selection was NOT by committee.

  8. Thanks for making me think. Ghost voted absentee but I had planned to go vote in person. Suddenly I realized I was too high risk and should vote by mail.

    Facebook has been really pushing that so I clicked to request a ballot only to be told I was not in Oklahoma data base! I have been voting here constantly since 1996.

  9. Helen Reddy has also died.

    And I thought I was registered in Oklahoma since I filled out the paperwork in 2016 when I got a driver’s license here. But when I checked the online database it couldn’t find me. So I printed out an application and mailed it last week.

  10. Item below is revised from a memo I emailed to half or so of my email contacts. Maybe the other half will lose track. Major difference is I no longer have to do my own food prep, & have much less [but quite nice] space. The kitchen feeds us way too much. Movers were not as careful as I’d been led to expect.
    I’ve moved to a Sanford Health Bemidji assisted living apt [from my townhome not quite 1/2 mi. away]. My landline phone w/b the same, but will not be installed until next Mon 06 Oct. Still have not mastered my cell. Am in strict COVID-19 imposed quarantine [house arrest for 2 weeks], then, with all other SHB inmates, whatever COVID-19 restrictions apply to all of us. Staff here is most agreeable. Tho I have no phone, I do have email. At least for the next 36 days or so, we can depend on its being uncensored. Feel free to write.

  11. Good Luck emb!
    Yah them cell phones are really not what they are cracked up to be.
    Movers aren’t always as careful as we wish — even when I do it myself 😀

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