The most common work today for young people starting out in their first job is in the fast food industry.
When I grew up there was no fast food restaurants and most of us learned work from having a paper route. We had to apply to have a route and were interviewed for the job. There was a paper shed on fifth street in Nanaimo, much like a rural school bus shelter. The papers arrived at 4 p.m. and we were expected to be there, on time, to pick them up.
If we were new to delivering the papers, there was a representative from the paper there to talk about ethics of delivery. You were to make sure the paper did not get wet or blow away. If there was no box you put it under the doormat. They also taught us how to ‘corner fold’ the paper, which gave it bulk so that it could be tossed from a distance and also prevent it from blowing away. The representative did random checks to ensure we were there on time.
They taught us collection methods as we were responsible for collecting from the customers each month. If we could not collect, it was deducted from our portion. Dogs were also an issue as they ran free at that time and there were many. Some waited for us each day because they liked the attention, others not so much.
We have a free paper today, which is mostly old news and advertising with little original content. It comes out twice a week and is supposed to be delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If raining, it might be one or two days late or not show up at all. It is obvious that the ethics, values, and opportunities of this job are not the same anymore.
The good thing is that fast food restaurants and coffee shops are very prevalent in our communities today so there are new opportunities for our youth. Many do an excellent job of mentoring and training in customer service, cash, and discipline.
There are no dogs, but I am sure that there are other challenges that they fear as they learn the tasks associated with their first job!
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