The first job
My ten years old daughter discovered recently that a sixteen years old boy, on his first job, get paid no more than eleven dollars per hour. She was shocked and protested vehemently saying that it was not fair. She added that she would not waste her time working on any job if the pay was so low. On her little mind, she was thinking that people who work will be having a big fat check at the end of each week.
Last week we had my sister and her family over for a few days. She and her husband are working together with some asphalt contractors Edmonton on a new project with the city. They have three children, two boys and a girl. My oldest nephew is sixteen and during last summer he had his first job experience.
Our daughter was really interested on his things went for him. She kept on questioning him on what he was supposed to do, what he liked, what he disliked, what he hated. And finally, how much was he paid for an entire day of work. That’s where she got really disappointed.
Maybe it’s our mistake as a parent, that we never cover this topic with her. Maybe she should have explained earlier to her what work meant. She wasn't raised on a fantasy world, or under a glass dome protected from anything that adds to do with reality. Oh, no! On the contrary. Unlike other children her age, she knows where all her meals are coming from, and how long it took until they landed on her plate.
The fact that we lived so far in a rural area, was simply because we wanted her to grow closer to nature, to have a better understanding of the real values. One year after her birth, we left the city behind and moved in a small self-sustainable farm, twenty minutes’ drive from Edmonton.
Although she was not thrilled about the low pay, she did like the idea of gaining her pocket money. She asked us if we would allow her to work during next summer. When we told her she had to wait a few more years until she would be allowed to work, she protested again. That’s when her dad came up with the idea of her working for our neighbours. He continued she could cut the grass for them, help them with the groceries and other small errands that would not require a lot from her. She welcomed his idea and said she was looking forward to the summer.