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Author Topic: Your First Non-Academic Job  (Read 13358 times)
zharkov
or, the modern Prometheus.
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« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2012, 7:38:06 PM »

Back in the day, there was a government program called something like Youth Job Corps, which placed HS kids in government and non-profit jobs.  I worked in a museum that summer between junior and senior year, along with three other HS kids.  Although the museum had exhibits, it also had a library and a collection of artifacts, and I now wonder what sort of grant money they must have received to set up and run the place.  They had a professional staff of a half dozen people, and I worked for the guy who ran the conservation department, repairing and cleaning old books.  The two other HS boys were janitor's helpers and the girl did clerical work, so they must have known or figured I was ready for a more responsible job.  There were a couple of college kids who worked there too, probably on a work study deal, and they were the ringleaders in the occasional mischief.  For example, they staffed the exhibit admissions desk on weekends and kept mixed drinks under the counter.  (The place had few visitors, so they got away with it.)

That summer I had my first job, girlfriend, and car.  The job ended at the end of the summer, the girlfriend broke up with me that fall, and the car died by the winter.  The museum is still in operation, although it eventually moved to a different part of the state.  
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__________
Zharkov's Razor:
Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
proftowanda
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"Righter of wrongs, queen beyond compare."


« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2012, 7:39:18 PM »

First "real" job, at the age of sixteen, was as assistant proofreader at a newspaper, mainly of classified advertising, oftentimes until well past midnight -- and when I was in high school.  The newspaper finally was forced to abide by the child labor laws, but I had just aged out.

However, training with expert proofreaders was priceless.  They taught me so much that helped my writing -- and my grades -- and that helps me help my students with their writing, even today.

And although proofreading classified ads for ten hours at a time is tough, it sure beat babysitting, which I had been doing since the age of eight . . . and often until well past midnight when parents broke their promises.
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"Face it, girls.  I'm older, and I have more insurance."     -- Towanda!
quotiazelda
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« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2012, 7:55:48 PM »

I started babysitting at 12.

My first job where I was working for a company was at a BBQ restaurant in the deep, deep South. Because I was cute, white, and going to off college, they usually put me in the "hostessing" job, which meant making sure the fixins bar was well stocked, delivering those items that weren't picked up at the counter (anything fried), and getting people refills on their drinks.

That job where where I met a girl my age (18) who was married with a 4-year-old. Talk about culture shock.

The next summer, I worked for an inventory company. We would contract to do inventories for various stores around town. Some were local, but most were national chains. If you've ever been in a store with tons of yellow tags on all the shelves and racks, you've probably seen that company at work. I worked for them during summers and winter break all during college. The pay was not bad, and the hours were super flexible.

At school, I worked as a dishwasher in my dorm freshman year and in the library's cataloging department the remaining 3 years.
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"Dream on, Jump Street."
canadatourismguy
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« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2012, 8:07:13 PM »

My first job was working as a helper in my dad's factory at 13.  It was brutal work and what scared me straight and made me want to go to university.  I did not want to work in that environment for the rest of my days.  Best thing my dad ever did for me.
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On preview:  Candadiantourismguy is a subversive of the first order.
arizona
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« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2012, 8:22:09 PM »

I did a little babysitting in junior high, but that hardly counts. My first summer in high school I worked a few days a week in a research lab and a couple of days a week doing grunt work for a public access cable show.

Only one of those jobs involved decapitating rats.



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zombie_librarian
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« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2012, 8:30:44 PM »

I, too, babysat from age 11 on.

My family owned a gym when I was growing up and I began working there at 14 for an actual paycheck, but I had worked for cash for several years before that. (Yay agricultural laws that allow family to be employed outside of normal child labor laws.)  I did front desk shifts, painted the entire building, stood with a hairdryer for hours defrosting pipes, covered for missing employees before school started in the morning, and met the police when the alarm went off at 4 am on a school night. It was actually pretty good compared to the waitressing I did in college.

I do not think, however, that I ever want to own a business. We were in the red sixteen of the twenty years we owned it, it expanded to take up all available time, and while I learned how to do a lot of things, I don't want to rewire, fix plumbing and HVAC, or paint on a regular basis. Plus, I hate customers.

On preview: I wish I had gotten to decapitate rats...we used poison.
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zoelouise
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« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2012, 8:50:13 PM »

Technically, a paper route.

But the first job where I got a check and was independent of my folks was a summer job cleaning stalls at the local racetrack. I was 13, and cleaned 3 a day for $30 per week. I rode my bike 5 miles each way every day to do it. Sometimes my mother would drive me over on Sundays and read the paper while I did it. I LOVED that job. I loved being on the track, and I worked there every summer until I finished college, progressing to groom and ultimately assistant trainer.

Still wonderful memories to this day. The track is gone now, torn down and made into a shopping mall.
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You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright
undisciplined
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Okay then.


« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2012, 9:05:32 PM »

Babysitting
Wendy's
IHOP (hostess/cashier)
Pier One
Kroger's (cashier--union!)
TGIF (cashier)

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I recommend bourbon and bonbons for that.
london1
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Just for a moment I was back at school...


« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2012, 9:29:25 PM »

Cashier at Chicken Unlimited at age 16
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"Years ago my mother used to say...in this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.  Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant...."
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totoro
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« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2012, 9:34:41 PM »

In high school in London I did the following: Gardening - mainly weeding. Then delivering free local newspapers (every house gets a copy). Then delivering paid for newspapers from a newsagent. Then working at a petrol station filling cars and taking payment etc. as well as shutting up the place for the night - I did the evening shift after school.
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canuckois
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« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2012, 9:45:09 PM »

I took care of pets for the summer before college.  That was something of a disaster.  I hated the job and tried to weasel out of it, but was caught in my own web of lies.  It was a valuable lesson, if nothing else.

I then worked in a molecular biology lab for 5 years of college -- mainly summers, but also some part-time semester work.  It was a fantastic job; I gained a lot of practical laboratory skills, and also learned very quickly that I didn't want to be a scientist after all.  My subsequent academic career owed a great deal to that experience.
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Your opinions are welcome, of course, unless they suck, in which case the Fora will reward you with snark, if all goes well.
moodymoodie
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« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2012, 9:50:49 PM »

Babysitting, yard work, and cleaning golf course bathrooms (including outhouses) before I was 14.

My first real job was at a small grocery store when I was 16. There were only ever one or two employees on at once, so we did everything: inventory, stocking, cleaning, cash. The boss was nutty but relatively benign, and I spent a lot of time rearranging shelves.
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krisanthe
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sciencerely


« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2012, 10:02:35 PM »

Like the OP my first job was at McDonald's at age 16. However, I started out toasting buns, not at the register. You had to work your way up to the registers.

My proudest moment was the summer I single-handedly ran the entire kitchen for breakfast every morning. Breakfasts were fairly slow there so they only needed one person. It was fun being responsible for everything in the kitchen, the entire menu, not just one repetitive task. I cracked so many eggs (yes, real eggs in the shell) that I took the opportunity to teach myself how to crack an egg one-handed. I can still do that today.

That was the summer they debuted breakfast burritos and McRibs. A sample of those was one of the last things I ate before becoming vegetarian for thirteen years.

Oh the McRib.  One summer when I was working at McDonald's, the McRib was discontinued and costumers were pissed.  When explained that we no longer sold the McRib, a costumer said to me: "get your @ss in that kitchen and make me that d@mn sandwich!"  That is the only time I have ever cried at work. 

My second job was at a video store.  Costumers were constantly accusing us of purposely hiding the videos they return so that they would accumulate late fees.  Oh yeah, like the company is really going to share their late fee profits with us. 

Also at the video store, our uniforms were ridiculous.  They were bright purple button up shirts with the company logo written across the front.  We had huge name tags shaped like a movie ticket that hung around our necks.  Yet, despite the obvious getup, costumers were always asking me "do you work here?". 

Here's my favorite memory of working at the video store: one night it was kind of slow so one of my co-workers decided to shove himself in the video drop-off box.  The box was located outside so people just had to drive up to it and drop their movies in.  My co-worker was hidden inside and when people would go to drop their movie in, he would grab it and say "thanks!".  There were a lot of startled customers that night.  We got in SO much trouble when the manager found out.
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Sweet biscuits! Now I really HAVE heard it all.

If you are in to Oreos we can talk about it more.
zharkov
or, the modern Prometheus.
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Posts: 9,567


« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2012, 10:16:58 PM »

Here's my favorite memory of working at the video store: one night it was kind of slow so one of my co-workers decided to shove himself in the video drop-off box.  The box was located outside so people just had to drive up to it and drop their movies in.  My co-worker was hidden inside and when people would go to drop their movie in, he would grab it and say "thanks!".  There were a lot of startled customers that night.  We got in SO much trouble when the manager found out.

These sort of hijinks are what made those jobs fun.  At that museum job, two of the college kids had a sort of FWB relationship, and snunk into an office during the weekend shift, locked the door, and apparently went at it, while the HS kids covered the admission desk.  But one of the janitor's helpers found the key, opened the door, and that was that.  I did not see anything other than the naked torso of the college boy sticking out of the door yelling at the HS kid. 

Come to think of it, I recall making out with the college girl after closing time, we both had been sipping away at the under the admissions desk libations all afternoon. 

 
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__________
Zharkov's Razor:
Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
westcoastgirl
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« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2012, 10:48:45 PM »

China Charlie--in the mall. From there, I went to Burrito Bandito. Oh, the memories!
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We're just cyborgs standing in the way of their dreams.
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