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that friday feeling

That Friday Feeling

10th September 2020

What do Megadeth, a pair of Nike Air Jordans and a Pars away match have in common? Read on…

To finish off our week of all things payroll as part of National Payroll Week, we are reminiscing of days gone by when workers were typically handed their weekly wage in a brown envelope on a Friday night. No automatic transfers, no online banking, just cold hard cash!

Our team have raided their memory banks over the past week, sharing their first jobs, what they spent their money on and any unusual jobs they encountered during life before Thomson Cooper. We hope you enjoy this weird and wonderful collection of memories and cheers to a great weekend.

Walking on Air

My first job was a paper round for a newsagent called Pollingtons Newsagent in Walton on Thames. £6.20 per week. I can remember saving up for weeks and weeks for a pair of legendry Nike Air Jordans! They were about £40 in 1990.

Jewel in the Crown

Saturday staff in H Samuel. Can’t recall what I was paid but enough to make it worthwhile and received a brown pay packet envelope at the end of the shift every week with a payslip and cash for the weekend.  My first wage probably went towards Saturday night out with the girls.

‘It’s fine by me’

My first job was at Fine Fare in Cowdenbeath where I was paid £1.08 an hour. I bought a very fashionable winter coat (not one mum would have got me!).

Spar-ring Partners

My first job was at the Spar shop in Crossford (now the Co-op) serving on the till and then the fruit/meat counter.  I worked on a Sunday morning for 5 hours and was paid £1.50 and hour – time and a half as it was a Sunday.  It was all about making up the newspaper orders and the rolls. I was such a good employee – my two sisters got jobs there too! My friend was a ‘chambermaid’ in the Pitfirrane across the road and when I finished in the Spar I would go over and help her finish her shift quicker – what a laugh we used to have! I saved up and bought a pair of desert boots from Saxone.    

Game On

My first proper job was as Laser Game Assistant working at Megazone in Falkirk back in June 2004. I was paid £4.50 an hour, felt like I was rich getting paid that! I was paid cash, so I used to get an envelope with my wages in it every four weeks. My first pay was £45 and I think I spent it on a new football shirt, can’t really remember though. – Michael

Football Fan

My first job was as an accounts assistant at Condies for £1 per hour. I spent it on going on the supporters bus and ticket to watch DAFC away from home. 


My first job was as an office junior working for in a Triumph car showroom for £11.20 weekly. I bought myself a new pair of black patent modern shoes as my mum bought me Tuf Shoes (sturdy!!!) for my first day at work as they were the best!

French Connection

My first job was as a trainee machinist at the Babygro in Cowdenbeath and my first payroll job was with Simclar, a manufacturing factory in Dunfermline. I was paid £75 per week and most likely spent it on partying! I once worked in France as part of a Global HR and Payroll Implementation Team, living and working there for 6 months with a team from all over including France, Germany and the US. We lived in Orleans in the Loire Valley, best known for being visited by Joan of Arc.

Music to our Ears

My first proper job was with the Civil Service, Historic Buildings and Monuments Department on Melville Street. I had to input the data for people joining ‘ The Friends of Historic Buildings and Monuments Scheme’. My wage was £50 per week, which was about £1.25 per hour, and I used part of my first pay packet to put down a deposit on a Yamaha CX5M music computer which allowed you to create synthesiser sounds on a keyboard and had a sequencer on it, state of the art for 1986! I spent the next three years paying it up on HP! The rest of my pay went to my Mum for board and lodgings. 

Retail Therapy

I was a sales assistant in Sports Division at a rate of £1.97 per hour and I remember using my first ever wage to buy my first ever lottery ticket which incidentally was for the first ever national lottery draw in November 1994. 

Money & Metal

I worked in Littlewoods from when I was 16.  I got paid £2.18 an hour when I first started and thought I was rich.  I bought a ticket to see Megadeath at the Edinburgh Playhouse of all places! Those were the days.


My first job was looking after a paraplegic lady when I was 17. I used to push her in her wheelchair round country lanes and help clean her house. I think I got about £5 an hour and most likely spent it on my horse and my car.  I was once a chauffeur for British Aerospace VIPs, I patrolled vineyards in Australia and spent a summer as a ride operator on an American boardwalk.   

In the News 

I was 14 when I started working at the local newsagents.  Can’t remember what I started on but I remember at 17 I was getting £3.20 an hour plus train fare to work in their Edinburgh branch, International Newsagents, on the Royal Mile (High Street). My first pay from Thomson Cooper when I was 18 was spent on ornaments for my room from a wee shop in St Clair Street Kirkcaldy.