"Jobs" Before My First Real Job

Discussion in 'Jobs I Have Had' started by Jorge Ruiz, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    36
    Hey all.

    I suppose most of us had this or that "job" before our first "real job".... I mean those things we did to make either pocket money or gas money as kids or teens. I'll jump-start this one off with some of my pre-job jobs, what they involved and why they didn't last long had they lasted....

    -- mowing lawns
    -- tilling gardens (actually bought a roto-tiller with my own money for this one!)
    -- gas jockey (they let me go when they found out that I was under the minimum state age of 16)
    -- K-Mart (stock clerk, got fired because I refused to say "overtime" with the excuse of having homework to do)
    -- walking corn fields (not detasseling, actually hoeing out "rouge" plants, corn growing from dropped seeds from the previous season that would have ruined the seed purity of the current crop)
    -- personal aid to a somewhat crazy woman who sold plaster busts of Native Indian Americans from her garage, as well as other odd jobs around her house

    -- janitor in an office (got fired because I just wasn't very good at that! Vacuum weighed too much and didn't clean the Venetian blinds every day)

    If memory serves (and it doesn't always! ha), that's my list. What's yours?

    peace,
    revel.
     
    #1
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    24,663
    Likes Received:
    43,449
    Well, not real jobs, but the only things that I can think of that I did for money as a child were...
    • Picking up deposit bottles from along the road. Before all of the anti-littering laws, there were quite a few. Later, I found that I could go to the town dump and find even more, since a lot of people simply threw them away.
    • Delivering Grit, a weekly newspaper focused on agriculture. It's still around, but it's more of a glossy monthly magazine now, whereas it was published as a weekly newspaper then.
    • Working for my uncle during haying season, a job that I absolutely hated.
    • Peeling poplar for my dad, when he was logging, another job that I absolutely hated.
    I don't know if they do that anymore but, when I was a Boy Scout, scouts were supposed to pay for their own stuff by working jobs rather than parents paying for it. The idea, as I understood it, was that this not only taught responsibility but also placed scouts on a more even playing field, so the rich kids didn't have all shiny new stuff while other kids had to do without. There were also Scout fundraisers that everyone had to take part in that would sometimes buy a new uniform for everyone in the troop, but which were usually used for things like paying for scout camp. Although there was a per-scout charge for scout camp, the troop always picked up the bill for that so that no one was declined a place. In practice, there were always some kids whose parents bought everything for them, but it was a good idea. My dad was the scout leader though, so I had to earn all my own stuff for Boy Scouts.

    When I was very young, my dad offered me five cents for every hundred mustard plants that I could pull out of the field, since he farmed six 40-acre plots of land. I honestly didn't understand the point of the task and, since he farmed the same land every year, he didn't have a lot of mustard plants on his land, and I knew that our neighbor, across the road, had thousands of mustard plants in his field, since he was no longer farming. Knowing that our neighbor wouldn't mind if I pulled up his mustard, I began harvesting it, believing that my dad wanted the mustard. I thought maybe he was going to use it to make mustard, the condiment that we generally bought at the store. I had no idea that it was a weed that he wanted pulled out of his fields.
     
    #2
  3. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    36
    Hey Ken and all.

    Wow, Ken, you actually jogged my memory and I'll have to add a couple more.

    Yup, my step-father drove us around country roads to pick up pop cans to sell for the aluminum. That was pocket money used in our after-dinner family poker games (good fun that, the games, not the picking-up).

    I spent most of my summers on my Aunt Maxine's (let her rest in peace) farm learning the farming trade. Pay was a bit of pocket money, room and board (which she would have given me anyway, but well, on the farm everyone was expected to work, even the dogs and cats!). When I turned 16 and got my license, she employed me on the farm that summer. My main job was raking hay and putting it up in the barn (hateful job that second, I had terrible hay fever as a kid). My uncle took me up to a small field one day and left me to make wind-rows with the old Massey tractor and the hay rake. On reaching the end of the field, I found I didn't have room to turn around, so tried to back the tractor and rake up. Needless to say, the hay rake did not turn the same direction as the tractor and climbed up the back tire, hanging in the air. I was sure I was in big trouble, imagined I could lift it off the tire with the extra adrenalin running through my body before my Uncle showed up to see how I was doing, but that's an urban legend. Anyway, the chewing out I expected didn't come, turns out my Aunt Maxine had done the same years before. I simply got told never to go in reverse with the tractor if I was pulling something, he got the rake off the tire and that was that.

    Gosh, I remember Grit magazine myself, those same Uncle and Aunt got it along with Organic Gardening, a magazine I now read online and follow for my own garden work.

    peace,
    revel.
     
    #3
    Ken Anderson likes this.
  4. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Supreme Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    487
    I have worked as a server between jobs, it is a job you can get quickly if you have some experience and don't mind the hard work. I have worked mainly as an accountant and now I sale insurance. You guys that got to work on the farm did some hard work when you were younger and learned to some good life lessons. I am a big city girl but I do like to garden.
     
    #4
  5. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Supreme Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    433
    Well, the first job I remember, I was about 6 or 7 and we went to my uncle's for a few weeks in the summer. it was really hot and he left all the doors and windows open, and when he got home, the house was swarming with flies. He told me he would give me a nickel for every fly I killed - he was joking, but I took him seriously and went on a fly killing rampage. After a couple of hours I gave him my tally, he owed me over $5.00!

    Being a teenager in the 70s, I hate to admit that my first real pre-job was working in the snack bar of the roller skating rink. Disco music, mirror ball, the whole nine-yards.
     
    #5
  6. Harrison Greenberg

    Harrison Greenberg Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    22
    I remember some of the jobs I had before my first real job. They were terribly boring and dull. But they did provide me with some work experience at least, and did help me with some of the skills I needed.
    • Picking up cans
    • Mowing lawns
    • Cashier at burger franchise
    I never liked those jobs, but they did get me money to spend with my girlfriend at the time.
     
    #6
  7. Dave David

    Dave David Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    11
    The usual mowing of lawns and raking leaves. Still had to help the shut-ins at church with their grass and leaves, sans pay. By the time I was 10-12 I was power mowing with an out of special trash, machine. Up till then it was push mowing a reel and clipping weeds and edges with the hand clippers. On my days off, I would pull a wagon of vegetables - going door to door in our neighborhood with home grown stuff, I would never have thought of pushing store bought as home grown...besides my mom and granny would have tanned my hide.

    Both of those required that I pay in to the family for gasoline for the mower and a portion of the door to door, as they helped raise it. Once I was self supporting on the power mowing, I then could save my money and did quite well, earned enough to buy a custom Tandberg stereo in the late 60's that I still used up until just few years back. I treasured it, as I had earned every penny it cost (several hundred $$, then and my Dad absolutely went mad about me wasting my money, on something so stupid).
     
    #7
  8. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    187
    The only job I had in my teens, before I finished full-time education, was a Saturday job in a dress fabric shop. In those days more women had sewing machines and made their own clothes. The shop owner was a friend of a family friend who was just starting out in the business, after leaving his job in a warehouse. I was recommended to him as a Saturday girl and, although very shy at the time, I did enjoy the work.

    I did not use a cash register, I was measuring and cutting fabrics for customers and working out the cost - without a calculator - and wrapping the material. Customer then took their purchase to pay at another counter, after I had written down the total amount they had to pay.
     
    #8
  9. Cindi Marie Bauer

    Cindi Marie Bauer Active Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2023
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    78
    1.) Waitress

    2.) Bartender
     
    #9
  10. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    1,600
    ,50 cents a bale hay in the barn we made very good money at that salary work hard and paid in cash plus my lunch the best one was my cousin Sandi and I running the night shift at my uncle's cotton gin she ran the scales and did the books I ran the suction and spotted trailers, it took seemingly forever for our parents to go along with this idea finally they agreed.

    We saved our wages totally and bought 2 4x4 Ford pickups new from the dealer at the same time for this work then hauled cotton wagons for gin customers, she also was a great hay hauler and stacker mother was scared that I would marry my cousin, but we never did. I lost her to drugs later on...
     
    #10
  11. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    10,849
    Likes Received:
    20,441
    When I was about 13 my mother's girlfriend from H.S. asked me to give her daughter piano lessons. I think it was $2 per lesson. We tried it for a few weeks. I didn't know what I was doing. Only copied what my piano teacher did when I took lessons (and hated it). I would have continued if she hadn't insisted on paying me.
     
    #11
    Ken Anderson likes this.

Share This Page