First weeks wage

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Post by Maywalk on Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:54 am

I belong to another forum where the person asked about the first pay packet that one receives and I related this true tale that happened when I started work.

My first weeks wage at the age of 14, which was THE school leaving age then to start work, was 7s/6p.
Equivalent to roughly 37 pence in todays coinage. My mother kept 5s/or 25 pence for my keep. First weeks wage  Icon_rolleyes
Out of the 2s/6d or just over 12 pence left I had to put some aside for any clothes that I needed, providing I had the coupons for them.
This was in 1944.

I went to work where the local paper was printed and was learning the Arab machine that printed the papers. I was only there three weeks when there was a paper shortage and when the boss came round he told me to go and clean the toilets to keep me busy.
I can remember the look of shock on his face well when I -----a 14 year old ---- turned on him furiously with my hands on my hips and said " I came to learn the printing trade NOT to clear up other people's piddle including yours."
With that I got my coat and went to the Labour Exchange to tell them about the shortage of paper and they sent me to a hosiery firm to learn how to make hosiery, especially that for the forces.

I finished up being in charge of the seconds department.
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Post by Tan on Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:31 am

Well done to you our Maisie for sticking up for yourself there at your first job, you told him.. chuckles

In those days out of one job, and into another fast, that's good, and how well you did working your way up the ladder, you did really well. :clap10:

My first wage was £5 a week, I was 15, working in the local cake shop, I did another little job before that in a hairdressers, but forgot now how much I got for that job, but I so enjoyed the bakery, ate some cakes too. chuckles

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Post by Maywalk on Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:55 am

Hi Tan,
That wasn't the only time that I lost my temper with a boss.
This chapter taken from the book I wrote will explain.
I hope it doesn't bore you.

http://www.maywalk.oddquine.co.uk/mybook/chapter11.html
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Post by Tan on Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:07 am

Nothing you write bores me at all our Maisie, it is so interesting to read of past times, I will read now what you have linked to..

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Post by Tan on Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:16 am

Blimey, you certainly went through a lot our Maisie, and so right too your brother should never have spoken to you in that way, shame your mum never realised just what had gone on before she came in, as it was his fault for stirring that up of course, not you.

It certainly takes a lot of grit to stand up to anyone in life, more so bosses, but well you did, and you know, as your boss knew, that you were right, well done to him for being human enough to tell you he knew, and for praising you as well.

Good for your Cliff for asking your parents to calm down, shame it backfired like that, but you knew he would stick up for you through think and thin, bless him, and you, for never allowing anyone to upset you when you know you are in the right.. :clap10:

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Post by Guest on Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:19 pm

Loved ready your story of your first and other jobs, Maisie - feisty little thing weren't you - huge smile - and I don't blame you a bit!

And thank you so so much for sharing your stories with us, Maisie - and I nearly laughed out loud reading that you too are a 'ginger'.

But what an unhappy childhood you must have had and I'm truly sorry. You've made such a life for yourself and bravo!!

I can so easily see you working in a cake shop, Tan ... did you get to decorate any cakes, I wonder?

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Post by Tan on Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:32 pm

Yes our Mara, I was taught how to 'finish off' the cakes, adding the cream, yum, and the cherries, yum yum....well, not that I ate any of course..cough, hehe..
I did so enjoy decorating the cakes, and then seeing them going into the shop side for sale.
I remember getting a little told off one time as instead of a line of cream in a sliced doughnut, I added a lovely squirl effect, they look so much nicer, but of course that way I used too much cream, and they of course couldn't just put the prices up for that day, but we all laughed in the end..
I was told that I was 'Decorative, and Generous'.. chuckles

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Post by Captain Nemo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:50 pm

Well done folks this is a wonderful thread and Maisie im sure your Boss was in shock I myself was a Printer and it can be a very messy and dangerous job not many get out without losing bits of themselves ,
My first proper Job was working in a small factory as a press operator a 200 ton hydraulic press with very hot plattens top and bottom to mould Melamine it was a terrible job dusty plastic powder and fumes and the heat and the machines then were unguarded and the only way to make money was to be fast and take terrible chances seeing guys pressing the close button with one hand and with there arm still in the press applying glaze of decorative foils , I could never bring myself to do that and having poor vision at that time was constantly missing small defects it really was horrid and even now I dream about that place , but my first week I got nothing and was told we worked a week in hand but the following week got £22 for a full week and a Saturday morning being peace work as well your wage could drop to £15 or hit £40 if you had a good job that week and went like the clappers , me I couldnt put my arm in a 200 ton press closing to make a few seconds so was after a far to long time there handed my Notice in and moved to High Wycombe and got myself trained as a Flexographic printer this was for several years working 4 days a week thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday lousy hours as anything happening was on a weekend so after qualifying I saw an advert for an experienced Printer at another company in High Wycombe and went along to the interview and the Manager interviewing me was a keen Photographer so we chatted ages then a few days later I got a letter I had the job and was there a long time and running the Print shop myself on the dayshift , but I became ill and as it progressed found I couldnt do it anymore , :laughs:
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Post by Cat on Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:35 am

My first proper job was at C&A's in Kensington High Street, London.I got paid £2.10shillings.That was in 1951.I really wanted to work at Marks and Spencer in our local town along with all my school pals, but they only paid £2.7/6d so my mum made me travel 14 miles into London every day to earn an extra 2/6d.Didn't matter about the train fare to get there. Two years later she relented and let me go to M&S.
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Post by Guest on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:04 am

I had to smile, our Cat, as surely you Mom had something in common with my mother-in-law.

Yup, travelling expenses 'didn't count' - grin. (We'd drive an hour to her place and then go to 5 or 6 stores in various parts of the city ... all to save her 2 cents a can on cat food - grin).

Glad your mom relented and finally let you work in Marks & S with your friends!

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