Service of Help from Obvious Places
December 16th, 2010
Categories: Appreciation, Busy Hands, Help, Opportunity, Physical Labor, Work
In a Wall Street Journal article, “In Jane Austen 2.0, the Heroines and Heroes Friend Each Other,” Arden Dale and Mary Pilon write about 19 year old Ben Kemper, a Jane Austen fan/member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, who planned to dress up in period clothes for the annual Austen birthday tea in Boise, Idaho.
As interesting to me as the Austen craze among mostly young women that the article describes is Kemper’s proposed solution to fulfill his dress up plans: “The outfit will be ‘the whole shebang’ says Mr. Kemper, who hopes to scare up some yard work so he can pay for the new threads,” wrote Dale and Pilon.
With the exception of babysitting which seems to be a thriving business, [older teens with driver's licenses can get $12/hour while tweens with parents nearby $3-ish per hour according to about.com] it’s been eons since I’ve seen or heard of youngsters doing yard work or odd jobs or asking for same.
At least I don’t see young Americans doing yard work in our upstate town. Wonder if they are applying themselves to career-enhancing internships? Have all figured out how to pay the pocketbook-boggling college tuition fees ranging from $20,000 to almost $60,000/year by lining up scholarships or did they all land with rich parents and do they have transportation to get them to and from higher-paying KP or order-taking jobs at MacDonald’s or Burger King?
I’m not convinced that youngsters are paid more at these places then at home. My mom hired a sister and brother team to paint her apartment. These college students were careful with her and her furniture, did a spectacular and clean job and she was happy to pay them a higher-than-average wage for their attention-to-detail and to her needs. They came when they said they would and finished on time. What normally is a disruptive and horrible experience turned out to be kind of fun as she also enjoyed the kids’ company!
Do you think Kemper turned to such work because he’s of another period, the 19th century, or because he lives in a part of the country where normal things still happen? How long has it been since you’ve hired or heard of a youngster doing crucial odd jobs for you or for anyone at home?