29 thoughts on “What was your first job?”

    • Had a girl come from the shower in a towel. Had a delivery to a strip joint. Delivered a pizza to a girl from the strip joint at her house and she offered me a beer and some pizza. Boyscout that I am, I said sorry ma’am I’m on the job and ran off after she paid.

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  1. Delivering papers in a retirement facility and running general errands for residents, (mostly to the grocery store/pharmacy etc.) – I started that when I was 11 and worked that until I was 16; After that I worked a few seasons in Food Service at Six Flags before joining the air force.

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  2. Downtown McDonalds in Houston, I was the only Caucasian employee. It’s where I learned to speak Spanish

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  3. Life guard. I had a harder time keeping from getting sunburned than keeping little kids out of the deep end.

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  4. I had the typical job of delivering newspapers and selling them on a corner, but my first real job was working as a nurse’s assistant in the Operating Room at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. I made $1.40 an hour.  My main duties were taking patients to and from the operating room and I also helped out in the OR and Recovery Room. I also picked up supplies from Central Supply for the OR and took lab specimens from the OR to pathology.

    I was 17 years old and that experience was quite an eye-opener for me.

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    • Your story is an eye opener for me! I am a Central Supply Employee (now called Sterile Processing) and these days every task you took part in is now its own certified specialty.

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    • “Delivering Newspapers” – it’s weird looking back and thinking how that used to actually be a job… and I had the same job too; it was a really big deal 40+ years ago but now I haven’t picked up a paper copy of a newspaper in probably close to 15 years… Hard to believe they still print paper editions at all.

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  5. My first job other than delivering newspapers was working as a bookbinder making $3.35/hr. We’d take paperback books and turn them into hardcover books for schools. Some had enough margin to go through an automated sewing system, some had to be done by hand. For me it was the year without a summer–13 years old and working 40 hours a week sucked.

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  6. Modern Building Cleaners – working at one of the largest malls in Halifax, NS.
    It was actually a lot of fun.

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  7. From 12 to 16 years old working on a farm, mostly haying. 14 hour days, loading bales 12 high on the trucks, packing bales in a 140 F barn with dust so thick if the sunlight shown in you couldn’t see through it, for 90 cents an hour.

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    • i never even counted that as a “job”; we never got paid for it but we used to go and work for four weeks during the summer on my uncles farm in North Georgia (; it was hard work but we had so much fun being out in the pasture, herding cows; mending fences; shoveling manure into a wagon or in the field picking the greens/vegetables that we were going to have for dinner; it never felt like “work”… we were outside all day; running around with the dogs, riding horses; 80 acres of paradise to me. That was from around 8 years old to 12 when I was doing that; it was probably more work for him making sure I didn’t do something dangerous but I certainly had fun; I loved getting out of the city and heading up there… now the old farm has been plowed into a subdivision and it breaks my heart every time i drive past it…

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  8. My very first job was as an usher for a firm in my hometown in 1969. It paid $0.65 cents per hour, which was half the minimum wage at the time, because “we were eligible to receive tips”. I ushered at a few concerts, the biggest of which was Three Dog Night. More often we worked at Churchill Downs or a trotting race track nearby, usually directing traffic in the parking lots.

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  9. Weekend dishwasher at a Walgreen’s lunch counter. My first night we were cleaning and I knocked a 5 gallon can of pickles on the floor. The manager said “put them back in the can and don’t worry about it”. Went to work my second weekend and got fired when I told them I couldn’t work every weekend because of high school wrestling.

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  10. My first job was working for my parents at their mom ‘n pop grocery store. My dad (Jonco) would pick me up from school and take me straight to the store. My specialties were selling penny candy, slicing deli meats, and yelling “BEER!”. (When a customer came in for beer, I had to get another employee that was over 18 to sell it to them). Good times. 😉

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  11. Hospital “transport” in the X-Ray Dept. of “North Hospital” MCV, Richmond, VA.

    Pushing patients in wheelchairs and on stretchers through tunnels connecting the different hospital buildings at Medical College of VA. That was the 70’s. Back then, those underground tunnels extended all the way to the Governor’s Mansion on Capitol Hill. That part was sealed at some later point. I was 15…

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    • Barnes Hospital in St. Louis is connected to many other hospitals just like this. I spent a bit of time traveling through the tunnels also going from one hospital to another… and right past the morgue.

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  12. McDonalds. Like so many other teenagers I started in fast food. I can still smell the stale grease. Yuck.

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    • I applied at McDonald’s but they wouldn’t hire me because I didn’t attend church regularly. I also applied at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft and the St. Louis Police Department but they both rejected me because of a (benign) heart murmur.

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