Your first job

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by 2jakes, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. My first real "job" (other than yardwork and such as a kid) was at the pizza parlor making pizzas. It wasn't so bad except the day we were unloading supplies into the walk-in, which included these huge jars of salad dressing. We had the bright idea that my buddy would take them out of the box and toss them to me in the cooler. All was going well until I didn't keep up. It was like in the movies where the bank robbers have that color bomb in their bag...all of the sudden *BAM*. We spend half the night cleaning ranch dressing off of every single inch of the walk-in cooler.

    My most unusual job was my few days in "professional baseball". I once got invited to a professional try out camp, which I thought was pretty cool. There were about 150 guys there about 50 of which were pitchers. I was a catcher. It soon dawned on my that they weren't particularly interested in me, they just didn't want all those pitchers standing around with no one to throw to. It wasn't so bad though, I got to stay all day (about half the guys got cut after the first 10 minutes), and they fed us that lasted the afternoon. I later got to do the same thing at other tryouts, this time knowing ahead of time I wasn't a prospect, just a guy willing to don the tools of ignorance. I think I made $16 for a full day.
     
  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Still sounds like a darn cool experience.
     
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  3. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    vancouver, canada
    Linn County....grass seed capital of the world!!!!
     
  4. Juanito

    Juanito One of the Regulars

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    Oregon
    That's right; right in the middle of it in Shedd, Oregon! Morgan Century Farms, established 1847.
     
  5. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

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    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    I worked at my father’s Esso service station for a couple of years before I was old enough to get a work permit...which, in North Carolina, is fourteen years old. As soon as I got my permit, I landed my first non-family job. I became a proud bus boy at Captain Bill’s Waterfront Restaurant, in Morehead City, NC. I earned the minimum wage, and all the fried bluefish I could eat. Which was a lot.

    AF
     
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  6. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I was a gardener for my uncle's neighbor. His wife had Parkinson's and he was just getting to the age where he couldn't do it all himself. Basically, I took back the guy's backyard from nature, fixed his front walk, did all the manual labor that he needed to have done and couldn't do himself.
     
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  7. Turnip

    Turnip One Too Many

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    1,888
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    Europe
    My first paid job after finishing apprenticeship has been boilermaker / pipe fitter at a shipyard.
     
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  8. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    I discharged at Ft Campbell, Ky and spent my last two weeks in the Army processing out and playing
    baseball with guys from all over the country, many of whom were angling for the Minors. Service baseball
    catches pro scout interest and seeing a scout or two sitting bleacher was fairly common. A couple of guys
    were hit on, got invited to try out somewhere that spring. I caught and the pitchers would go Bob Gibson
    or Koufax if a scout seemed looking. Surprised no one got fatally beaned by a hick hayseed hurler.
     
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  9. Canadian

    Canadian One of the Regulars

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    189
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Golly,

    My first job was being paid 20 dollars for a weekends work at the family business when I was 12. I made it putting together different components of promotional products. I got there early and was offered either two cents per product or twenty bucks for the weekend. I thought two cents was too low, so I opted for 20 bucks. The weekend after that, I made 17 dollars and that was 2 cents per item. Some weekends, it was a matter of, "We're short on money so you won't get paid", it was a family business. We sold it when I was 33 and I walked away with a fair chunk of change in my bank account.

    Another job I had when I left the family business was working in a pizza shop, where a customer would come in and ask about a special. I was told to tell people the best deal was X, while it actually made a lot more sense to buy Y. There was a 10 dollar special for a 4 topping large pizza, and the boss told me that I wasn't to tell anybody about the special, she didn't make much money.

    That was the worst job I'd ever had. I had to sit there all day waiting to deliver pizzas, work for free in the back of the shop assembling boxes and I even got called in on my days off to be told, "There's a delivery, you should be thankful for having the opportunity to come in and make three dollars".

    The boss there wasn't much of a leader. She would come in once a day to pick up the money and pay the employees in cash, under the table. Once in a while she'd refuse to pay me (claiming I hadn't assembled enough boxes - for free), so eventually I told her very politely that I wasn't making the kind of money I thought I would and I'd like to quit. Her response was that I was irresponsible for quitting and she needed me to work the next day. So I less than politely told her that I quit and wasn't going to work the next day. Often I made less than five dollars a day, and this was in 2018.

    C.
     
  10. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    First job straight out of high school was working on a loading dock at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago for the summer. Made good money for college.
     
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  11. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

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    Nashville, TN
    I worked as a volunteer counselor at the Chicago Boy's Club - Lawndale Branch till I was 16, then was hired part-time after school and during the summer.
     
  12. My dad was a baseball player, and played in the Army, including at Ft. Campbell while he was with the 101st. He said baseball in the service was a BIG deal. He was a pitcher, and a darn good one, so there was a certain celebrity that came with that among the fellas, and especially among the commanding officers, as the base team was a source of great pride and braggadocio.
     
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  13. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Chicago, IL US
    In the United States Army boxing rules the roost as the most manly sport; beer is the wine of life;
    and stud poker the game of barracks choice gamble.
    At night after training/fatigue/chow a ring is set up and the gloves come out. Battalion smokers,
    Division matches, and, of course, behind barracks session where a master sergeant strips off his shirt
    and takes three malcontents on single handedly all at once without any rank showing. Or, the first sergeant
    waves an Andy Jackson at morning formation, offering a bounty for a boxing lesson given to a "sorry ass
    ba***rd" who needs a reminder.

    Baseball is a close second. A diamond appears as if by magic and baseball strikes like lightning.
    Kilroy is all over the world. Even Viet Cong turncoats-Kit Carsons-learned baseball.
     
  14. Rats Rateye

    Rats Rateye New in Town

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Wisconsin (The Frozen Tundra)
    I got a job as a "Carpet Cutter" working for "Crazy King Konsell" who was known as "The Carpet King of Milwaukee". It was my job to locate, measure, cut, roll and tape the selected carpet lengths chosen by the customers. Now in case folks aren't familiar with carpet, the rolls are "crazy" heavy, the underside is VERY rough, and the edges can be sharp. So needless to say that it wasn't uncommon to get home with my hands and arms covered with countless scrapes, scratches, and cuts... Yet since I was still an underage HS student, I only got paid... $3.50 an hour
     
  15. Hats Matter

    Hats Matter One of the Regulars

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    197
    Location:
    Oakland CA
    My first job was as a newspaper delivery boy. One of my customers was the family of Jon Miller, the San Francisco Giants broadcaster and former newtwork broadcaster for ESPN. I had a job unloading bread trucks for Kilpatricks Bread. During summers while going to college I worked in a local fruit and vegetable cannery (Hunt Wesson for 4 summers and Del Monte for 2 summers). The cannery job was brutal as the work was typically 10 hour days over 6 days a week. One year I worked 21 days straight for 10 hours a day. After 21 dys the cannery machinery was falling apart so they had to close for maintenance and repairs. I mostly worked in Sanitation cleaning up product and washing down the machines. It was hot and dangerous work. I saw people get hurt by the machines as seam sealers are unforgiving on fingers. I remember one time there was a conveyer belt moving raw tomatoes into a 2 story high boiler. The product had come directly from the fields and there were live frogs jumping on the conveyer belt and into the boiler.
     
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  16. Fifty150

    Fifty150 One Too Many

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    1,194
    Location:
    The Barbary Coast
    I worked for a mom & pop laboratory. I went by foot, and occasionally by bus, to doctors offices and picked up specimen. Doctors would collect the blood, urine, or stool right there in the office, call the lab, and I would go get it. I also delivered the lab results. Back then, the most efficient machine in the office was a Xerox, and everything was done by hand, pen & ink on paper. In the days before you could log onto TelaDoc or MyChart Epic, the standard was for lab results to be mailed. So it was much more efficient for the lab to have the courier, me, hand deliver the results.
     
  17. Fifty150

    Fifty150 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,194
    Location:
    The Barbary Coast
    In my neighborhood, there was a guy who drove the newspaper truck. He had his "route" which was assigned to him by the newspaper company. He delivered the stacks of newspapers to all of the stores, news stands, and cafes. He more or less decided what the paper route was. He decided who got to deliver to which block. He decided how many blocks you got on your route. He decided who got the job of delivering the paper. He was the person who interviewed you, hired you, and paid you. The legitimate delivery guys were actually on the payroll, and got actual checks from the newspaper company with tax forms at the end of the year.

    I knew a kid who was actually the legitimate newspaper company employee. Eventually, he got every route that an older kid grew out of. I have no idea how many "official" routes he actually had or what he got paid. He actually rode around in the truck with the driver, and they drove around tossing newspapers from the cargo door of the truck. And he had to go door to door to collect the payments. The customers tipped him at Christmas time. When he wasn't riding in the newspaper truck, he had a motorcycle. He made enough that he rode a motorcycle. He wasn't even old enough to have a drivers license. Then he got other kids to deliver parts of his route. He paid them in cash. Eventually, he had other kids delivering his entire route. He would ride around on his motorcycle to check on the other kids. It must have been a pretty good racket for him, since he was "King PaperBoy", then he took over driving the newspaper truck when the other guy retired.
     
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  18. KILO NOVEMBER

    KILO NOVEMBER Practically Family

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    899
    Location:
    Cheapeake Bay Drainage Basin
    I delivered papers, too. My father had also delivered newspapers for the same man who ran the office when I was a boy. My father used to tell the story of how that man had picked him up from the train station after he was discharged from the AAF following WWII.

    The first job I had for hourly wages was working for a Greek immigrant who owned a vending machine business, The John A. Karnavas Cigarette Vending Machine Company, Inc. I got that job serendipitously.

    One night after I was with some friends after leaving the local pool hall, we were walking home. The pool hall was located just across the bridge over the Allegeheny River. A Chevy Step van stalled in the road just before the bridge. We figured that if we pushed the van to the point where it would start, we could get a ride part way home. There was a man at the wheel and a woman who was presumably his wife in the passenger seat.

    We pushed and pushed that van. It wouldn't start. When we got to the point where the bridge roadway angled down into our town it picked up enough speed where we couldn't keep up. We were astonished to see the van slow down as the road started to climb once across the bridge. It turned out that he had run out of gas!

    Some days later I got a note to go to the school's guidance counselor's office. I turned out that the van driver was the father of one of my classmates. Two of us pushers where hired to work driving his vans. We had drivers licenses, but knew nothing of the local geography much beyond the limits of our hometown.

    That turned out not to be a problem. It seems that Mr. Karnavas's doctor had advised him not to drive the van, so we would drive with him in the passenger seat directing us to the taverns, clubs, and factories where his machines were. Sometimes the navigator would be one of his two sons, my classmate or his younger brother. Sometimes the navigator was "Russ", an alchoholic who knew the location of every beer joint in the county. We would drive around from place to place restocking the cigarette machines, pop machines (were were west of the Allegheny Mountains), candy machines and hot food machines in factories.

    On one memorable morning, Russ asked me to pull over on the main street in our town next to a tavern. "But Russ, we don't have a vending machine there!" "I know," he said, "but I haven't had a drink all morning."

    The HQ of The John A. Karnavas Cigarette Vending Machine Company, Inc. was his home on a dead end street. As I arrived for work one Saturday I saw a tractor trailer had backed all the way down the block to his house. The warehouse was in the ground floor of the house and the family lived above. I found myself in a line unloading cartons of boxes of paper matches and stacking them high just under where his family lived. Need I say there was no fire sprinkler system?

    From time to time while driving Mr. Karnavas around he would find a machine that wasn't working and he had to perform field maintenance. He was a man with a short fuse and he would lose his temper when he couldn't get it working. On one occasion when he became frustrated he barked, "Go out to the truck and bring me an open shut!" Not wishing to see him get agitated further, I went to the truck immediately. When I got there, I realized that I had no idea of what an "open shut" was. Pushing things around the tool box I came on a crescent wrench. Spin the wheel one way and the jaws opened. Spin it the other way the jaws shut. Problem solved! Dashing back to Mr. Karnavas I handed the tool to him. He looked at it and threw it down.

    "You dumb sonofabitch! I ask for an open shut and you bring an open close!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
  19. Delivering newspapers. I had a few friends who had paper routes, and over the course of four or five years I would occasionally help them while I was hanging out with them--folding papers, putting them in the canvas bags that hung from the handlebars of their bicycles, occasionally throwing a few onto customers' porches myself. Every once in a while their "supervisors" would ask me if I wanted a route of my own, but I always turned them down because I didn't think my friends were making enough money for all of that work. Yeah, it didn't dawn on me until many years later that I was being used as free labor. Eventually I stopped joining those friends, not because of my "free labor" epiphany but because my bike got stolen. :mad:
     
  20. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

    Messages:
    883
    Location:
    Western Reserve (Cleveland)
    Soldering Tiffany-style lampshades.
     
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