In the early 1990s, when I was about 14, I started working after school at Larry Mulder’s petrol station in Keiraville. This was one of the last full “service” stations – where someone would fill your car with petrol, check your tyres, water and oil, and wash your windows – all complementary.
My tasks included attending to customers, packing away the mechanic’s tools and hoses at the end of the day, sweeping up, recording the fuel dispensed, shutting off the bowsers and locking up the LPG bowser. Taxi drivers were provided a key for the LPG bowser so they could fill up after hours, based on an “honesty system” (complemented by a CCTV!)
For two hours work in the afternoon I received the princely sum of $6.
The most memorable thing was when Larry would pay me at the end of the afternoon. He would often grumble and moan when he reached into the days takings to hand me my pay, and loved to lament, “How am I going to feed my wife and children tonight?” as he sifted through the $50 and $20 bills to find my $6.
This job taught me the value of money and a work-ethic – since I did not receive any pocket money from parents. This is why I despise seeing waste, especially when my taxes are wasted by governments.
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