What Was Your Very First Job?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by lgp, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    My youngest daughter is struggling to find that very first summer job, and it got me to thinking about my very first job. It was the summer of 1976 and I worked in Woolworth's behind the disgusting food counter. I had to wear this hideous aqua blue waitress uniform and I used to come home either stinking of chicken grease or covered in blue Icee syrup from a chronically malfunctioning machine that always sprayed us! But I was making $2.35 an hour and I thought it was just great! You know what? It stunk!! But I learned more about the world from serving people behind that greasy counter than anyone could ever imagine.

    My parents made me quit this job after three months, and then I moved on to the big time--Alexander's Department store!! I tell my kids this story, and they have never heard of Woolworth's or Alexander's!! So I wonder, what was your very first job and what crazy memories or life lessons do you have of it?

  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    We were just talking on the chit chat board about the wonderful lunch you
    used to be able to get at Woolworth's lunch counter. A grilled cheese, a
    big dill pickle and a chocolate shake. All that for 50 cents.

    I used to be a paper boy. Do they still have paperboys? I think nowadays
    you have to drive a car.

    Anyway, I had to collect from the customers and then send a money order
    from the post office to the paper, so I learned a little bit about business.

    I grew up in a village a long time ago. Things were considerably different
    then. I know I sold boxes of greeting cards and imprinted napkins when
    I was still in grade school.

    But everybody knew everybody. I doubt most parents would want there
    kids going door to door now. And then who's home; today both parents
    work and still struggle to pay the mortgage.

    And I mowed lawns and shoveled walks. And set pins at the bowling
    alley. Now a machine does that job.

    I guess my first real gown-up job was being a cave guide. Went down and up
    a hundred and fifty some step per trip. 3 to 5 trips a day. Didn't really
    understand why middle aged people puffed and panted so much.

    Definitely didn't understand that someday I would be an out of breath
    middle-ager myself.

    Anyway, I got paid 75 cents an hour. Enough to go to a movie and get
    a hamburger afterwards.

    One of the things I learned at the cave was that people who might be competent
    in their own mileau, didn't know anything about caves. And so I got
    questions like: how long did it take to make all this; why isn't this
    closer to the highway; was this caused by the glaciers?

    I also learned I liked to work. Having a job and even a little money made me
    feel independent.

  3. Pippi1313

    Pippi1313 New Member

    yep. I was picking pickles. OK, so they were still cucumbers at that point.
    I got paid pennies for a huge bucketfull.
    I had to get up at dawn, cuz the pickle factory would only accept cukes that had been picked that same day. (How they knew today's cukes from yesterdays' cukes, is beyond me.)

    I only did that for about a week. I was 9 or 10 at the time.

    The lesson I learned is to NEVER work for relatives!
    They'll cheat a kid at every opportunity!!!!!

    Well... That & the fact that I HATED farming!!!

    (PS: Jam is right. This IS a fun thread! Great idea!!!)[This Message was Edited on 06/15/2009]
  4. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    squeezing oranges at the orange julious- i tampered with their recipie. added less sugar to make it healthier. the customers never knew!

    avon lady (technicaly - avon kid- age 15 or so.)

    selling pantyhose at local dept store. and wigs. i had to brush and style the wigs. how freaky is that!!??? LOL

  5. fibromickster

    fibromickster New Member

    i actually pumped gas and checked oil at a gas station. I also worked at Pantera's Pizza, and a tanning salon.

    I got my first real job at after i went to a profesional career agency, where they find jobs for you at 20 and I am still working for the same people today, 24 years later.

  6. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    I was 11 years old and my mothers friend needed summertime help at her Pizza place, so I was elected to fill the job. I worked for the summer, not every day, but a few days a week, serving people their pizza, and sodas. I then went onto another Pizza joint when I was about 15, worked for many years as a waitress. Burnout rate is high, but you get to meet wonderful people.

    When I worked for my mother when she was a manager for a local movie theater, I met some movie stars. That was cool when you are 16-17 years old.

    We had a Woolworths store in the next town. Yes, it was a pretty nasty, dirty store, but the food was ok..... I would say that making $2.35 was pretty good, considering I think waitresses today make about that much......When I quit being a waitress 20 years ago, the pay was $1.10 an hour, we lived on our tips.......
  7. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Other than lots of babysitting...my first job where I punched a time clock was at age 15. We were overseas at a military base and they had a summer hire program. I had to issue newbies to the base things like a washer/dryer if they needed one w/ their housing and do the paperwork...and also I had to put together the gear for the military members. Literally, I had to take items off a stocked set of shelves and make each duffel bag full of survival gear (this was the 80's at a fighter base).

    That included special uniforms and gasmasks, rations, etc, all survivor gear. It was in a nasty hot building and the fumes from the gear, not to mention the rat that jumped on my shoulder had me shouting for another assignment. That lasted about a month and it bothered me that only the military (not families) got the gear, so if we were attacked, we were toast...so I protested and was promptly moved to a desk job working as an assistant for a female lt col.

    That's interesting that this topic came up as I've often wondered if the pesticides or whatever it was in that gear might have had something to do with my illness...who knows????

  8. daylight

    daylight New Member

    I worked for a pizza joint called "Joes Pizza" . General clean up and washed dishes. Paid "under the table",because of me age.
    My boss was a really hot headed Italian man and scare me to death. This guy had fired one kid just for slicing the pepperoni to thick. Oh plus he was flirting with me. At age 15 I was loving that an old man of 17 was firting with me .hehe. But the boss had me so scared that I keep on dropping the ash tray and breaking them . Plus my RA was starting to show up around then . SO I told him that I was quiting . Said that I had a badly sprained ankle and couldn't work for him anymore. My ankle was sprained but not that bad.

    Well the moral to the story is don't lie! Later on through the year I've sprained,twisted the same ankle more time than I can count. Now I have "drop foot" . If I'd only told the truth. live and learn.=)
  9. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    My first job was working in a Fabric store. It was a small store in Salt Lake City, Utah called Piece Goods Unlimited. Most of the fabric was "seconds" so I got good at finding flaws in the fabrics.

    Some of fabric were scraps and were sold by the pound. I had lots of ladies buy this stretchy tricot material & lace to make undies. A lot of ladies came in for tricot sheers to make curtains--seems like they would come as families in a bus every couple of months.

    I cut fabric, worked the cash register, kept the store cleaned up, and the fabric organized and checked in the patterns and put them away.

    I worked there all through high school--after school 3pm to 5:30pm and most Saturdays and the store was closed on Sundays.

    I think I was paid $ 1.75 hour--can't quite remember--that was over 30 years ago.

    The store was close to my house, so I never had to worry about getting there. When I came home and it was dark one of my cousins would meet me part way.

  10. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    Beadlady,our stories are very similar. My first REAL job was working in a fabric shop. That was in 1970,I was 17,did mostly babysitting in the summer before that. I really got hooked on sewing after taking home ec(Rememba that?)In those days sewing was all the rage,it allowed me to expand my wardrobe,by sewing pretty much all of my clothes! I also walked to and from as it was a small town... Jeanne
  11. sisland

    sisland New Member

    Where i grew up in Eureka Montana ,,It was known as the Christmas tree capitol of the US,, so you guessed it, I worked as a tree sorter by size etc,,,at age 14,, 2.35 an hour,,,,They were loaded on box cars and shipped out.

    Then at 17 i worked for a local cafe called "Lynn's Cafe",,,He was a really nice guy and always cooked for us after all the chores were done after closing,,,i washed dishes, peeled potatoes and put them through this big slicer that made them into fries,,,,and loved making the milkshakes in the old time machines! Those were the days when you could eat greasy cheese burger and fries just before going to sleep!,,(miss that!lolol)

    Then at 18 i worked for a local grocery store as a checker and shelf stocker,,until i went off to nursing school,,, the good ol' days!,,,S