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July 17, 2012

What summer employment looks like


Aidan has a nanny job this summer, caring for our next door neighbors' kids for six weeks. It's a huge thing to go from never having a job to having one that's pushing 40 hours. I'm really proud of her for doing it. She loves the kids, so that's a big bonus as well.

I came downstairs to make my lunch yesterday and looked out the front window to see her in the street, soaking wet, fending off the hose.

I couldn't help but grab the zoom lens and shoot away.

Plus, I caught the culprit as well.


We can all agree that sometimes your boss can really muck up your life.

I mean, who out there hasn't felt totally hosed at the end of a long day, right?

My first job was working as a snack bar attendant at the Roller Fair Skate Deck in Everett, Washington. It worked out perfectly with my figure skating practice hours, plus… all the free soft serve I could eat.

What was your first job? Let's take a stroll down First Job Memory Lane, shall we?

p.s. My second job was working at Chess King where we sold Michael Jackson Thriller jackets. But that's a story for another day…


My first job (age 16) was 'Daisy Girl" at Lauderdale Lakes Medical Center. This was 1973 and they were trying a new approach to food service at the new hospital. The "Daisy Girls" wore green tops with blue pants and all the food was pre-packaged, frozen and was "cooked" in special ovens on patient floors. Think TV dinner!! They wanted the Daisy Girls to be like flight attendants and deliver the trays. I made $2.48/hr which was substantially more than my friends working at fast food or mall shops.
Patients rebelled over the pre-packaged food and eventually the hospital built a full service kitchen. By the time I was 17, I was promoted to part-time assistant to the Dietician. It was a great first job!

OMG- I SO remember Chess King and the Thriller jacket!!! I worked at the local drug store, back in the day when drug stores were local! It was located in our local mall and it was a blast - the cute boys walked the mall all day, and we snuck Andes mints from the front register area all day! Only had to watch out for the cranky pharmacist!

My first job was detassling corn at age 15. I lasted one week after getting so sick from the high 90's temps in the field. At age 16 I became a waitress/carhop at our local Dog n Suds drive in. Yup in 1977 we still had a car port tray on your window drive in

My first job was a camp counselor at camp that was right out of "Friday the 13th" plus it was the wettest summer we have ever had in the NW and that is saying something. The cabins that my age group was assigned had no walls only a floor and a ceiling. It was one WET summer I was so glad to go back to college in the fall.

My first job was delivering the morning newspapers aged 11 on my bike. I did it for about 3 years and loved it other than the crazy dogs who liked to chase the newspaper girl.

Aside from babysitting, my first job was helping out at my Dad's friends' triathlon store. Best part? I got to "model" their clothes at an event...and met Michael Damien from the Young & the Restless (he was appearing at the event).

My first job was working at a locally owned Mimi mart about a block from my house. I ate way too many Mimi PB cups @ that job!

I was a waitress in my dad's restaurant when I was 15. The summer after that, I got a job as a lifeguard at the big fancy hotel in my hometown. I spent the next few summers poolside, folding towels and making polite conversation with tourists. :)

Setting aside babysitting, housecleaning, and a paper route (all of which I did from age 10 through my teens), my first W2 job was cutting keys and making rubber stamps at the Key Shop at Sears. Not exactly glamorous, but it did pay $3+ an hour which was way more than I could earn from babysitting or house cleaning!

First job was very part time at Kresge's dime store in the new mall. Malls were the new big deal, I was 15 and had to get a work permit ok from my high school. Okay, this was way back in the day, early 60's.

Telephone solicitor for new league members at my local bowling alley. I was heavily into competitive bowling. Employees could practice all they wanted for free. Saved my parents a ton of money. I worked there in other roles for 6 years and I met my husband of 21 years and counting there. I'd say it was a good first job!

You know...... I just remembered I also met my oldest and dearest friend there 30 years ago! Guess it gave me a lot more than a paycheck.

I had a paper route (St. Paul Pioneer Press in the morning and St. Paul Dispatch in the afternoon) that was handed down from kid to kid in our family of five. One of us was doing that route from probably 1974 to sometime in the mid-80s. I especially remember the excitement and weirdness of setting an alarm clock for 4:00 on Easter Sunday so we would be on time for 6:00 sunrise service.

Our neighbor worked security for a big box sporting goods store. My first job at age 14 was to shoplift from the sporting goods store. This was long before sensor tags. I was pretty good at it - never got caught. It was stressful though and I was happy when the neighbor moved out of state!!

Oh, you are adorable. You know that, right?

Aside from babysitting, my first job was as a waitress at Apple Creek Inn. It was a huge banquet hall that served LOTS of broasted chicken. So when I got banquet hall and no broasted chicken. My second job was cleaning the barns at the veterinary school in Madison, Wisconsin. The two were amazingly similar....

My first job was as a Sunday School babysitter at a preschool on a military base. My second job was way cooler -- I was a DJ at a local AM radio station!

I ao enjoyed reading about everyone's first jobs.What a great topic. My first job was a cashier at Kroger. I enjoyed it. Who hasn't played check out girl when they were young?

My first "real" job (i.e. paying, regular hours...not just babysitting and not the chores I was expected to do) was at an ice cream shop called The Big Dipper. I'm with you...all you can eat free ice cream? Life could be a lot worse.

Oh Mary! My first job was detasseling corn too! It was a tough job (heat/early hours/corn field) but I felt like I was just rolling in the dough when I got my paycheck!

I started as a dishwasher at one of the resorts near Gull Lake and moved up to waitress. Those were some great times!

First paying (non babysitting) job was shelving books and other duties at the Law Library at Washington & Lee University when I was 16. Unless I was actively shelving books (which I loved doing) or replacing loose-leaf filers, I was bored out of my skull.

My first real job was working at Woolworth's in the big city after my first year at college. I was the only student - everyone else was 50+ and had been there forever! It taught me about getting along with everyone and doing what was asked of you no matter what. After a few weeks I got to train on the cash register (way more fun to meet customers!) . At the end of the summer that experience led to a cashier's job at Safeway and I put myself through university working part time. Memories! Kudos to Aidan for interacting with the kids!!

First job was working reception and medical records at a family practice doctors office. My mom worked there as a nurse, so she helped me get in the door. Great hours (no weekends or nights) and I was paid $6.27 starting out - - I pretty much thought that was a fortune and felt like a millionare.

I worked in many the doctors offices throughout college doing similar work, except for my first year at junior college. I worked at a pizza place that "let me go" after 2 weeks (never knew why exactly!) - it was a bruise to my ego because 1) I thought I was doing a good job and catching on and 2) here I had some relatively "big jobs" working in doctor's offices and that pizza place didn't think I was up to snuff!:)

Hey! I was just swimming in Gull Lake over the weekend! : )

My first job was at Farmer John's Fried Chicken in St. Petersburg, FL. That place is way long gone. Nothing like coming home every night with grease all the way thru your uniform and slip (showing my age) to your skin. Ewwww. But it kept me well dressed in high school :).

My first job was babysitting at age 11... I financed quite a lot of high school through babysitting and am always a little sad that more kids today either don't have the opportunity to do what Aiden is doing, or don't take advantage of it.

Got my first job at a mom&pop donut shop just 3 blocks from my home. I'd ride my bike to/from work. The big perk was getting to take as many donuts home at the end of the day as I wanted. After the first week, it got old...real fast. Haven't been a huge donut fan since then. Still enjoy the occasional one here and there but......

Chess King! I had forgotten that elite boutique from my childhood mall. :) My first job was as an office assistant at the University of AZ. Age 14, so I was a volunteer, but they surprised me at the end of the summer with a $500 honorarium - a reward for my willingness to work only for the knowledge and experience gained. I was astounded by the gift and have never forgotten that if you give *first*, just rewards always come in one form or another. Thx for the trip down memory lane, Cathy!

Well, other than babysitting, my first job was when I was 18 and living on Okinawa. My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed there 3 years.
I worked at the USA and was a supervisor at the Snack Bar there in the early 70's. While I worked there, my mom and I also started a cake decorating business, so what time I wasn't working at the snack bar, was filled with baking and decorating cakes.

My first job was taking inventory at a Sears outlet between my junior and senior year in high school. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds. I also had a job making flyers for a leasing office using Word Art that I actually saved for a "portfolio." Ouch.

My first job, other than babysitting here and there, was at McDonald's. I met my husband while working there, so one good thing came out of it! Other than a little spending money as a teen of course.

I spent my high school and college summers teaching swim lessons. I loved it although I had more snot blown on me by kids practicing blowing their bubbles...through their nose!!?? :-)

My first "real" job was boning chicken at Banquet Foods. No that wasn't a typo...I stood at a conveyor line for 8 hours a day and took the cooked chicken off of the bone. You can't even imagine how mind numbing it was. Luckily, the pay was really good. And the icing on the cake was that on my very first day of work my mother made chicken and gravy over noodles for dinner. Lovely.

My first job other than working in parents photography store was exactly what Aidan is doing. I loved it and did it every holiday from the age of 14 through til a graduated from (yep that's right) Nanny college! I guess you could say I just never stopped til I became a Mum and now I'm still doing it with more rewarding results but worse pay!

My first summer job was working in my uncle's insurance office. I was 14, and one of my daily duties was to call people who were late paying their premiums. Yeah... that was not fun. Especially since I was only 14, and couldn't answer ANY of their questions. Yuck. The next summer I worked in a fast food restaurant similar to Wendy's. It was yuck too, but for different reasons. :)

My first job was a page at the local public library. Mostly shelving books. I'm now a librarian. Coincidence--I think not. It was a good place to work, nice people and decent pay. It still is but I won't pretend that I miss shelving books. I don't.

My first job was at a convent taking food trays to sick nuns! The best part was the homemade cinnamon rolls!

Oh the Skate Deck- still there in Everett- now rocks the all girl roller derby, woohoo, skating is super cool again!

My first job was working at The Great American Bagel- a rip off of the Great Canadian Bagel :)

I worked in the kitchen of a nursing home. Ran a lot of dishes through those big dishwashers.

Hm, my Mum had her own business, so I helped out a lot around the age of 12 - typesetting, answering calls, putting together jobs, and helping with billing. Learned right at a young age I never wanted my own business! But the first job I got on my own was thru a temporary agency doing office work. Second week there the office manager took two weeks of holiday - just when the new F/As [for striking ones] were able to receive free trips as a perk for reaching six months. I didn't pay enough attention to how to do the ticketing so they all got FREE trips instead of it coming out of their salary at reduced rates. Whoops! Blame me for them being defunct, I guess. :-)

B Dalton Booksellers... all the free paperbacks with ripped off covers I could read... it was a great job!

Awesome post!
My first "real" job was at the local Jo-Ann fabrics as a clerk.
later in my work life I worked at Barbara Moss and .... we sold those Michael Jackson jackets as well!

I too was a nanny of sorts. I babysat for a family friend who had 3 adorable kiddos. Mom had a slipped disk in her back & was bedridden so I tended the kids & the house. Fun part was that my grandmother lived nearby but I wasn't old enough to drive so I drove to work on a 3-wheeler ATV. Loved that family & the fact that we watched "Grease" at least 10 times & played til they all dropped! All 3 have kids of their own now. They will always be special to me!!!

I worked at the local newspaper office in the mailroom---it was fun! but the pay was lousy

Showing my age - my first job with a paycheck was as a Woolworth cashier, making $3.90 minimum wage.

My first job that generated money was delivering newspapers, and then I graduated to babysitting when I was old enough under state law. As the oldest of 7, I was a hot commodity as a babysitter. :D

My first job was a Santa's helper, followed by Topps and Trowsers where we also sold MJ Thriller jackets. Amazing how many men actually bought those things...ugh!

My first job was babysitting. I spent three different summers looking after other people's kids and then I quit babysitting altogether so I could get a 'real' job!! My first official job was cleaning the local doctor's office. Sometimes gross but the pay was really good for back then! Amazing how much that question makes you remember! Thanks Cathy!

My first job was at Hickory Farms. On weekends, I dressed up as a mouse and handed out beef stick to customers passing by. I also made cheese logs and cheese balls. The cheese balls had bleu cheese in them. I went to my first prom when I was fifteen, and I reeked of the stuff, but my hands were soooo soft, lol.

As a former figure skater myself, my first job was the same as yours!! Started when I was 13, finished when I was 18. Couldn't have been more perfect- I lived and breathed skating, and it was the hub of my social life!

Next job was as a cleaner at a hospital while I was studying.....which provided MUCH motivation to finish my studies!!

My first job (not counting babysitting) was working at Captain Sundae, a popular ice cream shop in Holland, MI. I didn't last long though - I couldn't scoop ice cream fast enough to suit them. Bummer. I also worked as the lone bus"girl" at a seafood restaurant near the lake. I did way better with babysitting.

I started my working life at age 6 pulling my little red wagon filled with vegetables from our garden, selling cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini door-to-door in our neighborhood. I wish there were photos of this, because I bet I was stinking cute. Dog-sitting, stall mucking, and berry picking took over in my teens. I've been working a lot, so no wonder I think of retirement now in my 40's.

My first job, at 15 when I could get a work permit, was a bagger at Safeway in Alaska. Please remember that was before there were fancy cart moving machines. Imagine gathering and bringing in carts on an icy parking lot while it's -50 degrees! It did leave me with an amazing skill to pack groceries perfectly and quickly which serves me well today!

My first job at 16 was working in jewelry shop. HATED it but I got paid and the hours worked with school so it was goo

When I graduated from high school, it was my dream to become a veterinarian. I bugged a local Veterinarian until he hired me for the summer in Cloquet, MN. I got the job for a whopping $4 per hour! I was hoping to get some good experience before going to college where I was going to major in Pre-Vet. I ended up scrapping wallpaper off the walls and scooping poop - but it was still fun to work there. I did finish college, but I didn't become a Vet, which ended up fine because both of my kids are extremely allergic to cats and dogs!

A very fun topic - so fun to read everybody's post

Babysitting, cleaning houses and selling Kirby vacuums over the phone...

What a great job she has! My very first job was as a telemarketer...selling garbage bags in bulk for the Veterans Association. I was in a room with old men who smoked and swore....I only lasted one day.

I ran the concession stand at an area hockey arena. More youth hockey than I EVER care to see for the rest of my life! It was weekends only though, and a good first job.

Oh, what a trip down Memory Lane... Chess King -- I remember that store -- I got a pair of brown courdoroy pants that I wore so much they wore out but I felt really cool in them in high school. My first non-babysitting job was cleaning a neighbor's house twice a week after school for 2 years. As soon as I turned 16, I gave notice and went to work at the local library shelving books and helping with the summer reading program. I love books so it was a MUCH better job and paid better too. I shelved books at the library for four years (with short stints at Taco Bell and a grocery store) and got through college working part time there.

I worked for a small sandwich shop attached to a local art gallery. I don't remember ever eating a sandwich because there was all I could eat Columbo frozen yogurt! I have never been able to eat froyo since. Nothing measures up to my cheesecake/ heath bar flurry.

Oh how I loved that store at the Everett Mall. Sigh. We always went there to buy stuff at Christmas.

Great coincidence! And yes, it worked with my skating schedule!

I was amazed at how many people tried to STEAL those things, which is why we had to have them chained up in the front of the store! LOL!

Cleaning the parking lot and gas pumps at the local convenience store ... $5 twice a week ... oh the cigarette butts I have swept-up in my life.

My first job was at Meyerland Cinema in Houston for $1.10 hr with no register to add up the totals - we did it in our head. And Johnny Cash came once with a little kid.

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