Sunday, November 28, 2010

Child Labor

My two youngest children are the most industrious of the three. Eldest prefers to hang in his mole hole, playing Xbox Live with friends as far away as Carmel and as near as diagonally across the street. He would prefer to have no obligations, sighing heavily each time he is asked to tend to his daily chore of walking the dog in the afternoon.

Youngest and Daughter are still the type to aim to please. And if the carrot of cash is dangled in front of them, they are all the more eager.

I'm paying them a nickel for each envelope they insert a $10 Target gift card into, seal and stamp. The first wave had 432. Then 380. Then 568. Then 582. This latest one has 759 envelopes to stuff, seal and stamp.

They harass me beyond belief to bring more envelopes home for them to do. By the time the project is completed in January, they will have likely done about 5,000 in total.

5,000 nickels is a hell of a lot of money. And making it under near-sweatshop conditions would drive me insane. But not the two of them. The first 1,000 or so were done by colleagues. Mistakes were aplenty. With my kids, sitting in the playroom with the latest SpongeBob on, not one mistake has been made.

Here's to child labor. And to the apparent lack of understanding that $50,000 in Target gift cards are going right out their hands. A nickel at a time.


tiff said...

what is up with you having to do this a seasonal job, just for fun, or your gifts to all your family & friends? smiles! i think i would have to pocket a few of those gift cards if i was licking the envelopes.

Patois42 said...

I'm conducting a research project for the Dept. of Public Health and UCSF with 7,000 new mothers. Once they complete the questionnaire, they get the gift card. Since we have to track the cards in case they're lost, we have to be fairly meticulous about who gets which card. Alas, we've not found any person at work capable of not screwing it up.

Tyne said...

Yes ma'am! I am with Eluciq- if it were me licking envelopes you would have errors a plenty... one for the envelope, one for me!

Jill - Sconces said...

Love it! A happy holiday shopping season to you and your blog readers.


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