Have a laugh on me

We're not all in the same boat, some of us struggle to even get in the boat!

I used to sell rubbers, happy endings and pack apples!

45 Comments

Don’t you hate those pushy, annoying sales people who are SUPER annoying friendly??

I used to be one of them :(.

It wasn’t by choice, I worked at a sunglass shop during my university holidays and my boss was a dip shit!

She thought the more that I haggled her customers the more they would buy her sunglasses.

But with some worth $300 a pop – it was not as easy as she thought – and this was back in 1997!

This is me during my first year of uni - with my $350 RR Oakley - sunglasses! Got them dirt cheap though! Also notice the beer poster on my wall - all class peeps all class!

This is me during my first year of uni – with my $350 RR Oakley – sunglasses! Got them dirt cheap though! Also notice the beer poster on my wall – all class peeps all class!


Everyone that walked in the door I had to speak to, annoy and almost BEG for a sale – it was cringe worthy!

In saying that I used to get great specs at cost + GST – which is DIRT CHEAP.

Just so you know, the mark-up on sunnies is about 300 per cent!

One place I never had to beg for customers was the cinema – a job that I got paid $4.20 an hour for when I was 16.

This could be me, except my teeth aren't that white!

This could be me, except my teeth aren’t that white!

The perks were free movies every week, all the popcorn I could stomach, and spying on EVERYONE who came to the movies!

However, I did have to wear a bow tie, a waistcoat and stockings…

But I did enjoy earning money to put petrol in my 1977 Ford Escort!

This was my first car (except it was granny, pale blue - how cool is it?) My parents gave it to me - I know right, they are amazing!

This was my first car (except it was granny, pale blue – how cool is it?) My parents gave it to me – I know right, they are amazing!


I also had another job when I was a high school/uni – it was at a family friend’s orchard (in NZ).

I used to thin apples – a BORING job of taking apples off a vine so more can grow bigger.

Kind of like natural selection but not really because we selected the apples that went :(.

When I was thinning apples I had a Discman... and it sucked when it fell off from one of these high ladders!!!

When I was thinning apples I had a Discman… and it sucked when it fell off from one of these high ladders!!!


I had another orchard-type job in my final year of high school – PACKING APPLES for export!

Talk about BAT-SHIT BORING – but I made money to get booze freedom!

I used to board with a vision impaired 80-year-old in my last year of high school, and to escape I worked at an apple packing place a bit like this!

I used to private board with a vision impaired 80-year-old in my last year of high school, and to escape her at nights, I used to work at an apple packing place a bit like this! Image source

One of my favourite jobs was working at Para Rubber (The NZ version of Clark Rubber) while I studied at uni.

The only downside was that I worked EVERY Saturday and Sunday.

For those who have been to uni – you will know this took some commitment because I used to party every week from Thursday to Sunday like it was 1999 (even though it was only 1997).

I used to get over by a big feast of Burger King (as it was known in NZ in 1998)

I used to get over my hangover by a big feast of Burger King (as it was known in NZ in 1998) Image source

My boss was amazing, as were my colleagues, one in her 50s, and they used to re-live their lives through me!

In fact their eyes would dance listening to my weekly dramas updates!

At Para I also worked with a trainee-doctor – sadly he and his father died tragically in a yachting accident about 10 years ago – but that’s a whole other blog post.

BUT if you wanna know about foam, o-rings, pool chemicals, gumboots, washers, rain coats, spa pools – then I’m your girl!

I was very excited when I entered search engine terms and this came up - this is the EXACT shop front, in Palmerston North, NZ, that I used to work at - owned by Paul!

I was very excited when I entered search engine terms and this came up – this is the EXACT shop front, in Palmerston North, NZ, that I used to work at – owned by Paul and Sheree!

From a young age I have always worked.

In fact – at just eight-years-old I used to crack walnuts and collect pine cones for my parents just to make a buck!

I want my children to learn that you have to work hard to get what you want in life – things just don’t magically appear.

What do you do to teach your children the value of hard work/money? What did you spend your $4.20 an hour on?

WHOOP WHOOP – here’s to me finally hanging at the “Lounge” – this week it’s being hosted by Kim at Falling Face First

And of course – thanks to the lovely Grace at With Some Grace – I am also flogging my blog


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Author: Have A Laugh On Me

I'm a mum to three, write from home and I rarely cook, craft or clean but admire those who do. I try to live by the mantra that there's no point in worrying about something that might not happen! Be warned this is not a fluffy, sweet mummy blog, rather a place where you can cringe, laugh and be shocked at my brutally honest take on my life.

45 thoughts on “I used to sell rubbers, happy endings and pack apples!

  1. Oh Em, some jobs I’ve had are tragic! Funny, but they don’t seem so bad when you’re young and get your pay packet.
    Bell makes bookmarks and sells them, and she’s very fond of the hard sell with family! xx

  2. Such a great value to teach your kids 🙂 300% marked up price is crazy!!! I used to make cold calls for one of my marketing summer jobs, hated it! But I guess no where as bad as doing sales because I feel quite uncomfortable begging people to do things ;p

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  3. My first job I earned about 4.20 ph at the age of 15, working at KFC! I used to love the chicken until I started working there and had to smell it everyday after school whenI did a 4 hour shift! My skin would always feel oily and greasy too! Ewwwwww. Took me a good couple of years to eat it again after leaving that job.

    • That is about the pay I got – it was a big deal back then right?? I have heard it’s a rather stinky place to work, I wonder if it would actually stop me from eating it – I do some those 11 herbs and spices A LOT 😉 x

  4. I often wonder how I will teach our kids the value of money. It is hard. My daughter said to me the other day, “just put it on the credit card”. Clearly I have lessons to teach.

  5. I installed sprinkler systems and worked at a mini-golf course. Minimum wages then was $1.15 an hour!

  6. LOL your experiences at the sunglass shop remind me of when I worked at a jewellers through high school and teacher’s college. We got some great discounts so I probably spent most of my pay packet there and kept the business going! I hated those stupid sales targets. I mean, people are either going to see what they want and buy it, or not. AND, it’s a bit hard to sell when there are NO CUSTOMERS! Christmas Eve was always brilliant – all the blokes would come in to buy for their ladies – they would literally buy ANYTHING I showed them coz they knew they were in deep doo-doo otherwise! Oh and I think when I started I got about $3 an hour … what the!

  7. My first job was washing dishes at a local cafe for the princely sum of $5.50 per hour. It used to drive Mum wild that she have to sit in the car in the dark waiting pick me up on Friday nights. When I look back on it, it was a massive sacrifice on her part. There’s no way I’d do that for the sisters!

  8. You always make me laugh Em – I got to care for elderly ladies in my first job (have to remain polite about it )in a nursing home and it was a bit sad and smelly.
    I was at uni and needed the money to do proper nursing – same thing but smaller bottoms in kids ward. Then i WORKED in our own business …not as much fun but less work with lots of perks …I could walk out the back door to work for a few years.

    • Oh I can imagine how sad it was a nursing home, my mum worked in one for three years and just thinking back brings tears to my eyes, all those lovely oldies, some who were never visited 😦 I can see the perks of working on own business, but then again I suppose it means you actually get a holiday! x

  9. Dude – trust you to know about all things rubber 😉 I SO remember those uni days – Thursday nights were the BIGGEST! I used to drive a 1979 Toyota Corolla – in budgie yellow – and I named him Gus cos he was so cute. My waitressing tips filled him with petrol. $20 for a whole tank. Those were the days…. 😉 Thanks for linking up! You’ve finally popped your lounge cherry x

  10. Oh my- $4.20 per hour? In what decade?? I remember babysitting at 13, for $2 an hour, yay! Also getting up at Sparrow’s crack to help my grandparents at the Vic Market from 6am to 6pm, for $35… not so bad when you realise that bought you a concert ticket back then. FFS.

    • You were totally ripped off $2 an hour! However, it’s all money right? And $35 for 12 hours – slave labour. But then again, at least it bought you freedom right?! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. You sure got around. I had one part time job – Chicken World, that got me enough just enough to buy Midori on the weekends. Rachel x

  12. I went to boarding school and scored the best possible job ever. Working at a donut shop / ice creamery. After every shift I got to take the spare donuts back to the boarding house. Needless to say, I was super popular….and chubby on account of all the donuts.

  13. Don’t you think blogging is a whole lot more fun. Way less money though.

    The sun glasses lady sounds mean
    Carolyn

  14. Hey snap with the cinema job!! Such a good job. I was so spoilt.

  15. I remember my first ever job at a fruit processing factory in Palmwoods. I think got about $7.00 p/hour for that and I thought I was rich! LOL

  16. How bout dem apples? Bet you heard that a lot, eh? 🙂
    I would love to have worked in a cinema! All the popcorn I ever wanted???!!! And a free movie once a week??!!! AWESOME! It would make up the measly $4.20 per hour rate.
    My flatmate had a little zippy Ford Escort. Her name was Ethel. She was very cool but eventually died. RIP Ethel.

  17. You’ve obviously always had a good work ethic, so I’m sure your kids will notice your example. My boys are so frightfully lazy, (can’t imagine where they get tha from..ahem) working is going to be a HUGE shock to them.

  18. You’ve had a great collection of jobs too Emily. I agree with you, as much as some of these jobs are tough going, it definitely teaches you a good work ethic, some responsibility and some basic financing. I’ll definitely be sticking my kids on a checkout somewhere once they’re old enough!

  19. Oh, I hate pushy sales people (or the bosses that push them!). It puts me right off and I just walk out. But I wouldn’t be in a sunglass shop cos I’m a tight arse who only pays $20 for sunglasses from the chemist 😛 I lose and break them too often to pay more than that!

  20. Too funny Em!! The things we did to get us through uni! By the way – you still look just the same as you did in your uni photo (and thats a compliment BTW) xx #FYBF

  21. I worked at a Post office with my mum as a teen. The boss was going to pay me $11 an hour because thats what everyone else started on..then she looked up award wages and I was back down to $7. I think I spent most of my wage before I earned it though!

  22. Hi Em, such a great post, I’m finally getting around to commenting! Its been hectic here. You really got about didn’t you! That’s quite a CV. I stuck to pouring beers and waiting tables, although I also sold show-bags one year and was an extra in a movie. Ironically I played a waitress, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for my acting skills. I love that first photo of you, classic stuff. xx

    • I bet you’re a better actress than you think! I always wished I could have served at a bar, until I got old enough to realise that meant I’d have to work at nights and holidays when I would MUCH rather have been on the other side of the bar xx 🙂

  23. I was a slacker, I didn’t get my first job until I decided to quit uni an mum told me it was either work or be a hermit with no money and clean the house and cook dinner every night. So of course I found a job. And don’t stop working until I had Punky, first time since I was 19 that I had longer than a month off paid work (and I only took a moth off twice, once to get married an honeymoon, and the other to go overseas, a week of which actually was for work!). Despite the fact that I didn’t get my first job till 19 I somehow had a strong work ethic and I’m pretty sure that’s what allowed me to rise up through positions pretty quickly wherever I worked. While I do love the satisfaction that doing a good job brings I must admit I’m currently at a point where I don’t think I want to go back to full- time or even part-time work for a while. I’d rather be at home with my babies (and am currently thinking about seriously taking the plunge and soon some study to completely switch careers! Just need to find the balls to take the plunge!).

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