Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Venturing into the Rat Race...First Jobs, Anyone?

Yes, I know that's not a rat. Hold tight, friend. I'm about to make sense.

I might be a former chemistry teacher, but I like to think that people aren't just composed of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and a few random minerals. No, they're also made of the stories they've lived. So I get all excited when my friends open their mouths and stories fall out. It helps me understand who they really are and why.

So I hate to be nosy, (actually I love it...hope you don't mind,) but I've got a question for you. Would you tell me, pretty please, about your first job? Not the professional kind. The kid kind. It'd be fun to know more about what makes you tick.

I'll go first.

My very first job was the summer after my 5th or 6th grade year, babysitting an only child. I don't remember much about it except that as the little girl's mama was driving me to my very first day on the job, I saw my friend Paige Perry up a tree in her yard, and I rolled down my window and yelled, "Paige! Guess what? I'm babysitting!"
Very professional.
Oh, and during my very first week, I accidentally killed her new gerbil. (He took a suicide run off a card table. I still feel bad about that.)

And then there's the job I had after my junior year in high school, working for the Soil Science department of NCSU. My job basically consisted of going to cornfields all over eastern NC to dig hundreds of 18 inch deep holes with a hand auger. It was the first time in my life I ever wore a hat packed with ice, the first time I discovered that corn leaves will give your eyelids paper cuts, and the first time I almost wrecked a state owned car. And it was also the first time anyone ever cussed at me for 15 whole minutes, after I tripped carrying 120 tins full of dirt, thereby forcing us to start all over again.
Good times.

So I'm not sure what that tells you about who I really am and why, (a gerbil killing, slightly clumsy, enthusiastic soul whose arms used to be in incredible shape) but there you go.
Now, what about you?

Love, Becky
PS. Be sure to take a listen to this fabulous song by one of my favorites, Dar Williams. It's quite a story in itself. The singing starts around the 30 sec mark.
Have a great Wednesday, y'all!


Dawn said...

I babysat for neighbors--hated it and avoided it, drove the tractor for my dad until I graduated from HS. I blogged about my first real job here:

I was extremely shy and stupid! Thanks heaven's we don't have to go back to being a teenager!

Gina said...

I, too, babysat for a couple at church. That's when I realized I wasn't that type who worked well with children - hence, my profession in youth ministry.

What I consider my first real job was as a clerk for Kerr Drug Store in Charlotte, NC. Learned to do math in my head that way and discovered how clever people can be at swindling. I also learned how to count pills in the pharmacy for the technician and balance cash register receipts. Oh... and I learned the difference between menthols, unfiltered, 100s, lights and kings. Who knew cigarettes could be so varied?

Susan said...

First job-swishing toilets and making beds at The Peaks Of Otter Lodge. The scariest part was having to knock on the door and praying that no one was in the room. Maybe that's why I hardly ever do housework to this day.I loved the video, she is wonderful. Sorry about the gerbil :(

TattingChic said...

I babysat for neighbors and people from church. My first REAL job was a party hostess at the local McDonald's which was in the next town and I had to be driven to and picked up from, LOL! Everyone at that McDonald's got to wear cool navy blue uniforms and I had to wear the ugly mustard yellow thing with the ugly orange and red stripe down the middle. The uniform was hideous, but the job was kinda fun!

~TattingChic ♥

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Like you, I was a babysitter. I nearly lost one job for these REALLY uptight people at my church who had no TV--they were super strict and discovered one evening I had turned on the radio at their house and DANCED with their daughters before bedtime. Baptists. Pfft.

CC said...

I worked at my mom's dental office for years doing filing and odd paperwork jobs. It was sooooooooooooo boring, but a lot better than flipping burgers!

JaxPop said...

I started picking stawberries for 10 cents a quart (only for a few weeks every June) & weeded & picked vegetables for the rest of the summer (25 cents / hr) This was my first JOB & it's what I did from the time I was 6 until the summer that I turned 11. At 11 I went to work for my Dad. He was a builder - & by 15, I was running my own framing crew. Lucky for me - 'cause that's how I met Deb. My dad built her parents house. As I recall, my productivity wasn't so great whenever she stopped by (supposedly checking on progress - hah!). I stated rather matter-of-factly that I was going to marry her - & a year later - I did.

Now I have just told you wayyyy too much. But you asked for it!

LW said...

I babysat, I would teach the kids how
to Indian bead with seed beads and paint peace signs on the road.
Therefore, I really enjoyed that video.

First real job was when I was in H.S. working at (ok I am dating myself here)
W.T. Grants…in the men’s department.
At the end of my first night I worked, I was outside waiting for
my dad to pick me up. Everyone was saying goodbye to one of the
stock boys who was leaving for the summer for another job.
I remember thinking to bad he was leaving, he is tall and cute.
That cute stock boy and I have been married for over 38 years now…


Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love LOVE these stories!
Love them!

T. Anne said...

LOl about tripping and spilling the dirt. I one dropped an entire ream (perhaps 50?) of patients dinners onto the floor. It was a bad idea for the hospital to stack them to begin with ;)

Renee said...


Liz said...

I'm not sure theres any way to be professional and a babysitter. At least not in my experience. :)

ToddR said...

I mowed grass....Any size yard for 5.00. It seemed like so much money. I really liked mowing the yard for the cute girl down the street.

R and L said...

I sold our extra garden vegetables to our neighbors by pulling a little red wagon full of vegeez door to door, asking 5 or 10 cents an item. Always sold out quickly.

First real job was delivering the local newspaper by a street/trail motorcycle on small neighborhood roads, and using trails through the woods to get from one neighborhood to another. It was fun except in cold or wet weather.

May Vanderbilt said...

I too hated babysitting! It's an epidemic!

My first real job was also my best job. I was a lifeguard at a summer camp. Since you have to get certified, I was fairly well paid. All I did was sit in a jump all summer and work on my dad.

Occasionally I had to blow the whistle and say, "Don't run." That's it. Best. summer. ever.

May Vanderbilt said...

Um, my comment posted before I had time to edit it. Let's try that again!

I too hated babysitting! It's an epidemic!

My first real job was also my best job. I was a lifeguard at a summer camp. Since you have to get certified, I was fairly well paid. All I did was sit in a chair all summer and work on my tan.

Occasionally I had to blow the whistle and say, "Don't run." That's it. Best. summer. ever.

lynsey. said...

I gave horseback riding lesson as my first job. $10/hr. This was sometime in high school & a way to make money during the summers. I loved it, got to be a great big horse geek, hang out in a barn, and get paid for it. Loved it!

R and L said...

Forgot to mention those two jobs I described were just "kid" jobs, at ages 7 and 13 respectively.

Kelly H-Y said...

Paper girl! Started when I was 10!

Reesha said...

My first job:

Pulling weeds for my dad. He offered us 1 cent per weed, and 2 cents if we got the roots.

If us kids had been smarter, we would've kept on pulling them without getting the roots to ensure we'd always have something to pull. lol.

As it was, one entire day, my brother spent hours pulling weeds and getting the roots, placed them all in a box and presented them to my dad when he came home, saying "I picked ALL the weeds, dad. Now can I buy that Nintendo for $100?"

My dad was the caretaker of a Funeral Home so he didn't mind. Ufda. It was a lot of weeds. And this was the ORIGINAL Nintendo.