First jobs can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time. You are ready to get started and make some money, but you really don’t know what you are doing, and you’re not used to taking orders from anyone other than your parents. Did you thrive at your first job? Did it not last very long? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane at my first attempts at working in the real world…
The first time I ever got paid for work was as a babysitter. A family from my church needed someone to look after their two kids a couple hours each day during the summer. I found out quickly that babysitting is not for me. When I would see these kids at church, they were nice and polite, so I thought, why not? Big mistake. They turned into demon children the moment the parents left for work. We would play and at times they were good, but man, sometimes I just wanted to kick them. After I got them down for a nap, I would go look through the bookcase for something to read. I found the book “The Happy Hooker”. Of course, being a normal 15-year-old girl, I was curious. I started reading it and kept reading. I guess one day I forgot to put it back on the shelf. The next day, they were so embarrassed that I had found it. They were stumbling over their words about not knowing it was even there. Then they told me they didn’t need me anymore. That was the end of my babysitting career, and I was fine with that. Whenever I saw them in church after that, they could never look me in the eye.
My next job was also short lived. My friend Billy got me a job at a deli working the counter. He had been there for a while and knew the ins and outs of the job. He taught me to make the sandwiches and use the cash register. It was fun. I loved talking to the people who came in and I was doing really well. I was getting the hang of the job and I thought it would last the rest of high school. Best laid plans, right? One night we were closing, and he told me to clean the deli slicer. I had seen him do it like a million times, so I thought, no problem. Oh no, big problem!! We were laughing and having a good time, but in one quick second…yup, you got it…I sliced my finger. It happened so fast; I don’t even remember how it happened. I was doing everything correctly, I swear I was, but I guess my finger got too close to the blade and bam, blood started trickling down my hand. I didn’t need stitches and it was totally fine, until my mother heard about it. That was the end of that job. Poor Billy, my mother never really talked to him again.
After that, I had no jobs for a long time. I graduated High School and went off to Community College. Well, life being what it is, I wasn’t able to go back for second semester due to financial reasons. I was just me and my mother, so it was time to go look for another job.
A girl I knew was working at a law firm in downtown Baltimore and got me an interview. I went down on the bus and got the job. I felt like such a big deal. I was 18 and going into the city to work. I was a clerk, which meant copying documents, running to the courthouse to file things, updating the law library. This was before everything was online, so you had to add the supplemental pages to actual books. It was so much fun; I had my first bank account with direct deposit and was going out to lunch with the paralegals. In fact, I had my first drink in a restaurant while working there. We used to go to this hole in the wall called Dot and Dad’s. Everyone else was over 21, so they all ordered a cocktail with lunch. I wanted to be just like them, this was back when I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, so I ordered one too. The waitress didn’t blink an eye, just brought me my Jack and Coke. I loved that job, but I also wanted to go back to school, so I left. I used to regret leaving, because I know I could have gone far in the firm with promotions and tuition reimbursement, but I was 19 and stupid. It’s all for the best though, life gave me even better opportunities and I finally realized that law wasn’t for me.
So, there you go, my first three jobs. I have worked in many places since then, not because I cannot hold onto a job, but because I like variety. I am a squiggle line after all, and I love to see what else is out there in the world. I guess that is why I like to write, I never know what is going to end up on the page when I pick up my pen or put my fingers to the keyboard. And that, my friends, is what makes life interesting for me.
***Question for the comments…What was your first job? Did you love it, or did you hate it? Why did you pick it as a first job?
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