“Triple the Pay”

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When I was in high school, everyone I knew had an after school job and a summer job. It was just assumed that we would work. The only way to buy things for ourselves was to earn our own money. We weren’t deprived, we just were carrying our own weight in our families.

My friend Shari’s parents owned a number of rooming houses and one large apartment house(shown above) in downtown Portland just a few blocks from my high school. Shari, her sister Mary Ellen and her parents ran the business out of the basement of one of the rooming houses. When Shari knew I was looking for work, she introduced me to her parents, and they hired me. I could come in after school, three days a week, for three hours each day. I would earn $1.00 an hour!

That first school year, I did paper work in the office. I would make bank deposit slips from the checks and cash that came in each day. I would keep track of when tenants were leaving and who was behind in their rent. It was easy work and I enjoyed it. And I suddenly had money in my pocket! I was ready for more responsibility, and that summer I would get it. I would get to actually show the rooms and rent them out. I could hardly wait.

5 thoughts on ““Triple the Pay”

  1. It is a great thing for teenagers to work, Elizabeth. It teaches them the value of hard work and responsibility. Unfortunately in South Africa, there is very little opportunities of this nature as we have so much unemployment. I try and make my kids work for money through academic achievement and household chores.

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