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dun

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OK, we've spilled our guts about accupations/jobs, now how about the most menial jobs.

One year I spent the whole summer pulling nails from used lumber. Payment was a used pair of boots.

dun
 

TLCfromARK

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Back in the 60's before everybody knew how good chicken fertizer was my Dad talked one man into letting us clean his chicken houses ( 250' long each ) for the fertizer. We used shovels & scoops to load the stuff into the back of a old 1/2 ton truck and unloaded the same way out in the pasture. Talk about making the grass grow but the smell was really bad. The basic material smelled bad enough but every once in awhile you would find ( and most of the time break ) rotten eggs that had gotten buried in the litter. :roll:

Payment was sticking my feet under his table 3 times a day & a bed to sleep in. Looking back, the pay was pretty good.

;-)
 

Chuck

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I cleaned out and repaired the pits in farrowing houses for a guy one time. You couldn't pump them all the way down with the equipment he had. Bleh. The pay wasn't nearly enough,but he was a good old guy and I learned to do what it takes to start into a crappy job and get it done(pun intended). I also worked on a hay crew with a bunch of school mates. We came as a package deal-barn and rack crew and had a good reputation. We worked like dogs for this one old codger for several days after which he decided not to pay us because we would just blow it all on Saturday night. I learned a lot from him too. :p My dad got the idea of tearing down a couple old barns on a place we rented. I hated pulling all those nails,but we filled another shed with some of the best lumber you ever saw. And you are right ,three meals and a bed was pretty good pay.
 

hillbilly 2

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When I was in high school we hauled hay, 1000 bales per day,6 days a week all summer. Around 100,000 per year. There was three boys on the crew and the boss, we never missed a day or it would be our job. we got paid 2 1/2 cents per bale.

Ten years later when I was the boss, I had 24 kids on my hay crew because none of them would work more than 1 or 2 days a week. We did good to haul 500 bales per day, 4 or 5 days a week, around 40,000 bales per year. I had to pay 6 cents per bale and beg to get a full crew every day.

After a couple of years of that I sold my old hay truck.

Hillbilly
 

Craig-TX

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I’ll have to say hauling hay is the hardest civilian work I’ve done, and the most menial. It isn’t the nastiest, but it is the most menial. Never made more than three cents a bale except for one time when a man had hay in the field and the rains were coming. We had hauled for him in the past and knew he would be driving and how fast he drove. The barn was close so there would not be a chance for rest. If I remember correctly we negotiated a nickel a bale and just about regretted it before we got all that hay in. Boy did he ever work us hard. We barely finished by sundown and it started to rain. He felt like we took advantage of him and we felt like he took advantage of us. Didn’t ever haul for him again. I’m sure that suited both of us fine.

Like Dun I have some experience cleaning lumber but I never had to do that long term. Hated it. Also hated straightening nails. And using nails that I supposedly straightened.

Craig-TX
 

sidney411

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Wow! I have never hauled hay or mucked out chicken or hog barns, so I can't even imagine how hard and nasty all that work is! I really respect ya'll for doing that hard work.

This year my grandfather paid 25 cents per bale to have his hay hauled in from the field and stacked in the barn. I couldnt imagine only getting 2 1/2 cents per bale at that rate 1000 bales a day would only be $25.00.
 

monkeywerkz

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I remember cleaning out a hay barn for my Grandpa. The cows had broken through his fence and climbed all over the bales, trampling everything. By time I went to clean it we had several inches (nearly a foot) of moldy hay that the cows had used for a toilet. The hay was compacted, moldy, rotten and a nightmare to clean up (and because it was for my Grandpa I didn't get paid for it). That was my worst experience with hay.
 

txag

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Craig-TX":2n6kshe1 said:
We had hauled for him in the past and knew he would be driving and how fast he drove. The barn was close so there would not be a chance for rest. If I remember correctly we negotiated a nickel a bale and just about regretted it before we got all that hay in. Boy did he ever work us hard. We barely finished by sundown and it started to rain. He felt like we took advantage of him and we felt like he took advantage of us. Didn’t ever haul for him again

did you haul for my dad? :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: he's not quite that bad!
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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I remember as a lad cleaning out a barn that had a good two feet of chicken/cow manure in it. It used to be an old house with a dirt floor and so had no big doors. We did it entirely with a wheel barrow and a shovel.
I also worked at a nursery pruning trees in my early twenties. The rows were 1/2 mile long and the trees were 2' apart and you would sit on your behind and move backwards down the row pruning 3 or 4 branches per tree and when you got to the end, you'd get to turn around and start back. I did that for 4 summers.
The worst, though, I think was back when I started contracting I had a guy who was very fussy about his lawn and I moved 22 yards of crushed rock and soil uphill from the street to his house using a wheelbarrow and a shovel.
 

Arnold Ziffle

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Sidney, keep in mind that $25 per day was a pretty fair wage back in those days, if it is as far back as I suspect, albeit for darn hard work. Heck, I can remember barely just getting a little over $2 per hour at my first job in a steel pipe manufacturing facility the summer I graduated from high school and that was as "recent" as 1969.

Earlier on I picked a lot of cotton for 2.5 cents per pound. It took real good cotton and/or a helluva man to pick 400 to 500 pounds in a long day.

I'll fondly admit to voluntarily taking on a real cruddy "job". Probably one of the most hair-brained ideas my cousins and I had was to dig a pond with shovels. We were young farts and none too wise, although we were pretty energetic. We had for some years lamented the fact that grandpa's pond dried up almost every summer and we really wanted a place to fish. Getting somebody out there with a dozer or scraper was out of the question. So in between chopping cotton, hauling hay, pulling corn, hauling more hay and finally picking cotton we all went out and started digging in a low spot, sort of like what they call a "playa lake" up in the panhandle. We did this for a fair amount of time but, needless to say, our efforts never resulted in much of a pond. But there's nothing like the enthusiasm (and foolishness) of youth!
 

Campground Cattle

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Craig-TX":gioccs8v said:
I have some experience cleaning lumber but I never had to do that long term. Hated it. Also hated straightening nails. And using nails that I supposedly straightened.

Craig-TX

Man I thought I was the only one who straighted Nails and old fence staples. We used to get excited to get a new one. Funny thing I still straighten nails and staples, grandkids can't believe it.
 
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dun

dun

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Campground Cattle":t0o4dyuv said:
Craig-TX":t0o4dyuv said:
I have some experience cleaning lumber but I never had to do that long term. Hated it. Also hated straightening nails. And using nails that I supposedly straightened.

Craig-TX

Man I thought I was the only one who straighted Nails and old fence staples. We used to get excited to get a new one. Funny thing I still straighten nails and staples, grandkids can't believe it.

Funny. I had thought the same thing about me.
I've given up on staples though. They're made from suck crappy metal that half the time they break in the middle when I drive them.

dun
 
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dun

dun

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Arnold Ziffle":2bol3gvi said:
Earlier on I picked a lot of cotton for 2.5 cents per pound. It took real good cotton and/or a helluva man to pick 400 to 500 pounds in a long day.

Before there was migrant stoop labor available we picked strawberrys. I don't recall what we got paid per whatever, but if you really busted your hump you could make $6-$7 a day. That was from daylight to dark and not taking the 15 minute lunch.
I alwasy figured shoveling out barns and hen houses was just one of the regular choirs, never though of it as a job. Didn't get paid other then like someone else said, I got to put my feet under the table. The rich kids used to get an allowance, some as much as a quarter a week. Big money back then. You could get a couple of balsa wood gliders with that little lead piece on the nose for that kind of money and still have enough for a coke.

dun
 

Dave

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Dun,
You would have to remind me of the strawberry fields. It makes my back hurt just thinking about it. We made 50 cents a flat. It took real good berries to make $6 a day. I remember a lot more $4 days.
I worked on the salmon charter boats. We got a dollar per head and it was a 20 man boat. On the weekends it was $20 a day when the fishing was hot but during the week or when fishing was slow it was about $7 or $8 a day. For that you got to put up with bossy, ungrateful, seasick, know everything fishermen from 5:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Then after baiting hooks, cleaning fish, and cleaning up after seasick fishermen all day, I got to spend an hour or so washing the boat. The skipper wouldn't let you miss one fish scale either. I was supposed to get tips but they were very few and far in between.
I alway thought that bucking hay was more fun and paid better.
Dave
 

Ryder

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Row binding corn was the hardest I ever did. This was done while the stalk and leaves were green and the weather hot. The row binder would cut stalks near the ground and tie them in a bundle and then we would haul them out and shock them up like a teepee. Someone (often me) had to walk behind the binder and catch them as they came off and throw them to the side out of the way of the next pass.
It was too hot to wear long sleeves but that stuff would eat you up if you didn't.
I took three squares and a bed for granted. Work was also taken for granted.

There are some young folks today that are just as good as any have ever been. But I tend to get a little irritated at these young prima donnas today that have never worked anything but their mouth.
 

SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE

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sidney411":2c5wymkt said:
Wow! I have never hauled hay or mucked out chicken or hog barns, so I can't even imagine how hard and nasty all that work is! I really respect ya'll for doing that hard work.

This year my grandfather paid 25 cents per bale to have his hay hauled in from the field and stacked in the barn. I couldnt imagine only getting 2 1/2 cents per bale at that rate 1000 bales a day would only be $25.00.

I have hauled many a square bale for two - three cents per bale,five cents if we used our truck,me and some of the high school boys. That was rough hard work,but not near as bad or nasty as "catching chickens".Can't remember off hand how much we got for that,but it wasn't worth it. Of course, money went a lot further in those days because there wasn't as much of it in circulation.
 

R.T.

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I chopped a lot of cedar with with the ole double blade axe.
Worked a year to make a down payment on my 1960 Impla.
R.T.
 

TLCfromARK

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Besides hauling hay for Dad ( free ), I've worked for as little as a penny a bale ( 1,000 bales = $10 ) but as others have said things were cheaper then. Most everybody paid $.10 per bale but when my brother & I used Dad's truck he would get $.6 per bale to cover wear and tear on the truck so we got 2 cents / bale each on those gigs.

I would rather haul hay than catch chickens, it was hard to work most of the night and then stay awake in school the next day. If I remember right we got paid by the thousand and split it between the truck hands and the catchers. Worked out to be about a $1.25 / hour.

Late 60's
Gas = less than $.20/gal, hamberger = $.25, soda's = $.10, drive in movie $1 / ticket or a night at the skating rink, so $10 would cover a date ( gas, movie, cokes & eats ) and have a little left over.

When I first got married I worked at a sawmill, $1.90 / hour, fifty hours a week, no O.T., if you didn't miss any time you got a $.10 hour bump to $2.
;-)
 

SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE

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TLCfromARK":2coouzs0 said:
Besides hauling hay for Dad ( free ), I've worked for as little as a penny a bale ( 1,000 bales = $10 ) but as others have said things were cheaper then. Most everybody paid $.10 per bale but when my brother & I used Dad's truck he would get $.6 per bale to cover wear and tear on the truck so we got 2 cents / bale each on those gigs.

I would rather haul hay than catch chickens, it was hard to work most of the night and then stay awake in school the next day. If I remember right we got paid by the thousand and split it between the truck hands and the catchers. Worked out to be about a $1.25 / hour.

Late 60's
Gas = less than $.20/gal, hamberger = $.25, soda's = $.10, drive in movie $1 / ticket or a night at the skating rink, so $10 would cover a date ( gas, movie, cokes & eats ) and have a little left over.

When I first got married I worked at a sawmill, $1.90 / hour, fifty hours a week, no O.T., if you didn't miss any time you got a $.10 hour bump to $2.
;-)



And we call them "the good ole days"! I remember gas was .17 cents a gallon,they advertised "Oklahoma gas at Texas prices" :lol: ;-) :cboy:
 

Wewild

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The worst was in the late 70's in GA when you could get $3.00/hr for hauling hay. Was in the field before sun up and quit around sundown sometimes sooner. I had alot of weeks at $150 plus but it was still hard work at 16,000 bales per year on our farm.

The best of the worst was when working for a farmer who let his girls our age drive the trucks. One crew in the field one in the barn. Talk about a man who got his money out of us ($3.50/hr). Those girls were both something to see.
 
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