BERGENFIELD, N.J. — Borough gas attendant Mohammad Baksh can't stand this heat, but he didn't mind working Labor Day.
Having a paid gig has always been important to the 29-year-old Dumont resident: When he was very young, his South American parents made him work for what he wanted.
"A lot of kids live under their parents' rules and their parents pay for everything," he said. "That renders them lazy.
"They think a job is a job and if they get fired they'll just find another one," Baksch said this afternoon, during an eight-hour shift at the BP Station at the corner of New Bridge Road and South Washington Avenue. "And that's a bad outlook on life."
Growing up in Englewood, Baksh delivered newspapers, washed cars and fed local farm animals until he needed something more lucrative to cover expenses.
"When you're 18 money is easy, but you have more responsibilities as you get older," he said. "You can't pay your bills doing a small job."
Like most people, Baksch would be his own boss if he could, instead of working for someone who's "paid to push you around."
"I feel like fools work for money," Baksh said. "I don't chase after money -- it's an endless race people are taught to do."
If actually given the choice, "I'd rather work in the winter," he said.
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