Sunday, January 01, 2006

What's Wrong with Kids These Days?

Happy New Year's everyone - I thought I'd share a New Year's Eve anecdote with my audience.

Time for an old man rant.

I shovelled my driveway and my sidewalk yesterday, in the hopes of beating the huge pile of snow that was inevitably going to build up overnight - knowing full well I'd likely have no desire to do it today. I also routinely do the sidewalks of my two neighbours.

About half way through, three teenagers - all able-bodied - walked past me. They looked at me, and then kept walking.

Not that I needed the help, but when I was their age I would have hit me up for money to shovel it. There's been a couple of snowfalls last year where I've just about handed the shovel to the first kid to walk by. I don't even know what the going rate is for snow shovelling.

I can remember the lawn cutting and snow shovelling market was fast-paced and highly competitive when I was a teen. I remember that if I didn't routinely go by my regular customers' places to remind them I was there and ready to work, they'd have forgotten about me and somebody else would have surely undercut me.

My leg up was that I advertised myself in local senior centres which built me up a steady stream of clientele - that meant I didn't need to rely on door-to-door sales for the bulk of my trade. I could easily rake in $50-$100 a week (tax free!) for about 10 hours of labour, and I didn't have to ask if you wanted fries with that. Spring and fall were the worst periods, of course - no snow, and the grass wasn't growing, but raking, yard cleaning, painting, staining, and pruning could help ease the tight periods.

Grass cutting was more steady and predictable, regardless of the weather - snow shovelling less so, but potentially more lucrative if it snowed a lot.

Now, I'm not old - I only just turned 32, so this was only 15-20 years ago... Wow. Say that again - "15-20" years ago. WOW. I am old ... ahem ... so this isn't like it happened in the olden days.

I wonder how these kids afford those cell phones they carry around.

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