My husband and I always brought up our kids to earn their own money. I don’t mean we sent them down a coal mine when they were six years old but they both had a part time job from being young. It taught them self discipline and the value of money. Our son bought his first electric guitar with money he had saved from his part time job, and it meant such a lot to him. He was the entrepreneur of the family. He had his own car washing business when he was thirteen. It was very successful too – more on that further down. Washing cars isn’t about manual labour, as you’ll read more about shortly. He also had a newspaper round and he filled shelves at the local store.
Our daughter was a bit older when she started working. She went to the company where my husband worked and did filing in the office and warehouse work. Their part time job would help to pay for clothes, CDs and little treats. Sometimes, bosses would take advantage. The owner of the store where our son stacked shelves kept him longer than had been arranged. One night, we had had enough of this and my husband went down and demanded that he come home immediately. He hadn’t had his tea yet and he’d got a lot of homework to do. He was never kept late again.
I too have worked part time. When you’re a mum, it’s sometimes you’re only alternative. My family lived a distance away and child care is very expensive. I’d try to do a part time job that fitted in with the children. The most convenient job I did was as a Lunchtime Supervisor at my kids’ elementary school. I got half pay during the school holidays, and of course I was at home whenever the kids were home. I thought they might be a bit embarrassed having Mum work at their school, but they actually thought it was pretty cool for me to have a part time job where they got to see me.
When we were struggling for money, I also did a part time job at a warehouse. That was low pay and bad conditions. My job was to pack greeting cards. It was ok but the supervisor kept doing these time and motion studies to try to get us to go faster. The problem was the warehouse was freezing cold. We were all working in fingerless gloves. Most of us had to work all day standing up as there were only a few workbench stools provided. There was a mad rush in the mornings to grab one. The management refused to put any heating in, saying that it was a new business and they couldn’t afford it yet. One particularly cold day, some of us walked out in protest. We were all laid off two weeks later. That was the worse part time job I ever had.
Back to that car washing business, sometimes it’s about having the right tools at your disposal. You can have the best cleaning service on the planet in terms of your people, but if you don’t use the right products and supplies, you’ll never perform to potential. The car washing was popular for us because we took the time to find the best pressure washer by doing our research. That involved a fair amount of time scouring the web for reviews, and finding sites like this one at http://www.petrolpressurewashers.com/ which gave us all the information we needed.
A big plus is getting a feel for just how many products are out there – we hadn’t heard of most of those makes, let alone models, until we started reading. The key was understanding that we needed the highest power output available that wouldn’t damage the vehicles – too much pressure and the wash could damage a car’s paintwork.