My grandchildren have just started working

It’s hard to believe that both the 19-year-old and the 16-year-old have just got jobs and started on their path of working for the next 50 to 60 years.

They seem quite amused at the thought, and not without reason, and are not really considering the idea. Not yet, anyway.

The novelty is still quite new, and it has a sense of excitement, but this will no doubt wear off in the coming months. After all, as new workers, they only have to do between 3 and 5-hour shifts.

I guess the fact they decided to work at such a young age reminded me of my experience, way back when I was the same age.

Unlike them, who will be afforded to opportunity to remain in school to the end, Year 12, and possibly the chance to go to University, in my case we did not have the money to continue education beyond Year 10, and there was no question of ever going to University. Only the rich could afford that, and we were anything but rich.

Instead, I guess hating school helped facilitate my departure, and the notion that I would have to pay my own way forced me into working.

Of course, it helped to live in a small country town, and my father had a job that brought him in contact with everyone who was anyone and thus got offers to work in whatever profession I chose.

I ended up in the Post Office, what I considered the easiest of jobs, originally employed as a telegram delivery boy, and mail collector from the post boxes scatted about the town. As you can imagine, there were not many telegrams to deliver, so other duties included sorting mail, and then mail delivery. Yes, I became a postman!

Then, after a few months, I became the night switchboard operator, and with a host of other operators, had some of the most interesting and varied conversations imaginable.

It was a bit of a wrench when we finally moved from the country town back to the city.

When we did, my father bought a small business, and for a year or so, I became a shop assistant.

That lasted for a year or two until I was 17. Realising that a lack of education was going to make it difficult to ever get a good-paying job, I took the opportunity to go back to night school while I had the chance, and it necessitated finding another job to help pay for it.

That was packing books for a wholesale bookseller, part of a small team hidden away in the basement of a very old building. It might not be the best-paying job or the best working conditions, but I suspect it was the universe telling me something.

That job, and being surrounded by books started me off on a journey of reading and eventually writing.

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