My first job I took at the age of 3. I was a thief.
My dad, piss poor due to piss poor decisions, made it so we (my brother and sister) had to share a large McDonald's soda in an effort to save money. He would strong-arm bites out of our REGULAR hamburgers (because Big Macs was what only the rich kids could afford - and you CAN follow up with any of my relatives and they will attest to this) because he himself couldn't afford a burger for himself and needed us to "share." Christmas was nothing more than a ruse for our parents to excuse what should have been normal purchases for children implied with parenthood (clothing) as "cherish gifts" while toys were never at the forefront. What kid doesn't want another freaking sweater from St. Nick. Toys were rare, pants were common. And if we dared to complain, "Jesus will send you to hell" or some variation of material possessions being evil. And so VERY early on I realized that if I was going to make any money, it wasn't going to come from my parents. It was going to come from me.
My exploits into capitalism were amateurish at best. My very FIRST foray into enriching myself was rummaging through the coats in the closet at the age of 3. Scouring the pockets of every coat, I would manage to find loose coinage, the value of which I was unaware of because I had no concept of "cents" let alone currency. Whatever it was, I was excited when I found a quarter with its intricate eagle design and intuitively knew it was worth more than the bland, boring Jeffersonian nickel.
Technically this was theft. I was stealing from my parents. So at the age of 4 I went professional. I earned my money the honest way from the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Well, the soda machines had a fair amount of loose change hiding underneath their structures which permitted an already skinny 4-7 year old to fish out with his arm and make off with. Every year and every trip to the zoo I would ignore the animals and go straight to the soda machines. I think one day I made off with about $2, which was a fortune in 1980 dollars. To hell with the alligators and gorillas. I was making bookoo coin.
By 1981 I decided to become very entrepreneurial and try my hand at salesmanship. I was going to sell frogs at church.
"Sunday Vacation Bible School" - which was nothing more than the worst, most boring form of baby sitting for Christian parents too lazy to take care of their kids during summer - was mandatory for me, because...well...my dad was the pastor. But there were benefits of being the preacher's kid. Namely the exhaust port of the church made for a great humid environment where frogs and toads would spawn on the north recessed basement window of the church. I would hop down. My brother, 2 years my junior, would lower a bucket with a string attached to it. I'd load up the bucket with frogs and toads, hop back up and then stand at the entry to the church in anticipation of the Sunday Vacation Bible School students.
Why in anticipation for the Sunday Vacation Bible School students?
Because according to the Wisconsin Synod your children were required to bring offerings to Sunday Vacation Bible school and we knew those kids would gladly hock the 25 cents their folks gave them for a frog instead of donating it to some collection plate.
Our brilliant, grandiose capitalist plot would have succeeded had it not been for the observant teacher who, while handing out the collection plate, realized more than a normal number of children were holding frogs and toads and not one of them had cash nor coin.
Again, you ask any of my relatives, and they will attest that all of the above is 100% true.
Now, admittedly all of my early ventures into business were that of a naive toddler who didn't know "bounds" "rules" "limits" and..well..."law." But when I was 8 I can honestly attest to having my first REAL legitimate job.
I went straight. I started collecting cans.
My dad, after divorcing, moved out to Michigan, where we would spend summers with him. At the time you could get a whole 10 cents per car, and sometimes you'd get a full 20 cents for a large glass beer bottle. Knowing I would get another sweater and no candy for Christmas, it was, despite my age, a very CLEAR sign of freedom to me that if I collected enough cans I could buy myself whatever I wanted. NOBODY could stop me, I was in complete control of my future.
So I spent a summer collecting cans.
Dumpster diving. Going to the beach to solicit empty beer cans from the locals. Knocking on doors. And over the course of the summer I earned myself a full $100. I collected 1,000 cans, the 1,000th of which the recycler gave back to me as a trophy. (I actually turned it into a trophy, until my step dad threw it away assuming it was garbage).
However, I had a side business. My 8 year old self knew the importance of diversification.
Specifically, fishing out crawfish from the Black River in Michigan and selling them at 5 cents a pop to the local bait shop.
This was not as lucrative as collecting cans, but between my siblings and myself, we would literally "clear the market" of unwanted cans and bottles within a week in the town. You could tell there were less cans and I intuitively KNEW it was because we cleaned house the week before. Once collecting cans became less lucrative, we'd focus our efforts on our crawfish operations and increase our profits. I was able to turn a bucket of crawfish into several boxes of Nerds and Tart n' Tinys at the local gas station.
From there I ended up working as a shit shoveler in the 7th grade. And I don't make that up, I was indeed a shit shoveler. I worked at an industrial greenhouse where we had to shovel and mix various sorts of manure with various sorts of ingredients because different types of manure have different nutritional properties for different plants. After that I worked at a locker plant cleaning up dead cow parts. After that I laid sod and installed retaining walls for a landscaping firm. And after that I played campus cop at the U of MN (which I think most of you are familiar with).
Now, why did I bring up my entire pre-adult resume? Well certainly not to get an "awww, wook at da cwute wittle Captain."
I bring it up because I am done listening to the excuses of the youth today who think they have it tough who, by the age of 25, have never worked a real job that even comes close to what I did back in 1980 as a kindergartener.
Whether it's been tutoring these adult children or trying to teach them in college or whether it's the latest incarnation of OWS/hipster purified douchebaggery, I'm done with it. I'm sick of it. I have no patience for these spoiled brats.
You little children have NO CLUE, NONE as to what it takes to succeed, let alone merely get by and support yourselves. You have parental subsidy, governmental subsidy, all of which not only shields you from the full effects of the real world, it stunts your growth from ever becoming a real adult. Worse still, it spoils you in the truest sense of the word. It decays you, it destroys your worth. It makes you a worthless human being because instead of offering something of value to society, be it a skill or labor, you offer nothing. And even worse than that you are entitled. You demand, because of your mere existence, other people take care of you. You're entitled to this. YOu have a right to that. Gimme food, jobs, health care, housing and spending money.
While all you've managed to do in your entire life is spend your daddy's credit card and drive mommy's car.
Ultimately it is the reason I don't care about the "plight" of college students. NONE of you come anywhere near supporting yourself, and certainly nowhere near to the point you can claim you're "independent" (feminists, women's studies majors, pay particular note).
No, you are for the most part the most pathetic excuses for "adult" human beings I've ever witnessed. And while admittedly, I was not the most "normal" 7 year old, at the age of 7 I was already more of a responsible, independent adult than most of you were, or ever will be, even at the age of 32 while you live in your mom's basement.
So the next time you protest something being unfair while your mom and dad and Obama are paying for 99% of your expenses (of course, all the while you claim to be an "independent adult") just look at the little 8 year old dumpster diving for cans and realize he's a better man than you are.