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Old 05-18-2017, 02:03 PM   #1
patfan64
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What Was Your First Job...?

...and did it prepare you at all for life?

My first real job was dishwasher/cook/fountain (soda jerk)/bartender/manager at Howard Johnson's restaurant at the top of Branford Hill in CT back in 1980.

I spent three years there and worked my way up from dishwasher at 16 to weekend manager while home from college when I was 18.

Loved that place. Spending three years anywhere when you were 16 was rare. They gave me a great reference for a job while in college which turned into a great reference for my first real job with Merrill Lynch out of college.

It's been so many restaurants since HoJo's closed back in the 90's.

God, I miss that place.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:36 PM   #2
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I was a paper boy from 12-15. And yes, it did prepare me. I had 50 customers and it usually took me about an hour on a bike to deliver them. It was 6 days a week (no Sunday paper) and I couldn't miss a day or my phone would start ringing.

It taught me commitment, how to deal with customers (not always happy), how to account for money (I had to knock on each door every Friday to collect), how to pay bills (I got a bill from the publisher every week, I kept whatever was left over) and more.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:42 PM   #3
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Package pick guy at lechmere during HS. Younger folks will have no idea what lechmere was. Had a battery pack thrown at me once when a package took longer to come out from the warehouse than the customer wanted.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:45 PM   #4
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My first real job was maintenance/groundskeeping at a farm-estate: mowing grass, digging ditches, mending fences, painting buildings, etc. It taught me how to work hard.

My brother's first job is a better story- it was 8 straight hours of shaving the edges of PVC plumbing pipe elbows off with an Xacto knife. Pick up a piece, slice off whatever extra plastic might be there, and toss it in a box. Pick up a piece, shave it, toss it... The highlight of this job was when the box finally filled up and it could be dumped into a large bin.
The lesson of this job was- don't get stuck doing this shit!
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:00 PM   #5
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My first actual job was working with my grandpa during the summer on a couple handyman jobs. My first real job working for a company was in high school working at a factory making vinyl bracelets that you might see at hospitals for various concerts/festivals. Really the only thing that I took away from that job was that I didn't ever want to be stuck working in a place like that for the rest of my life.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:03 PM   #6
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First real job I got earning a paycheck was as dishwasher/salad prep guy at a french restaurant in Auburn Me. I learned a lot working there and not of all it was how to cook or clean dishes.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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First real job? I was an assistant butcher and meat wrapper in a small butcher shop grocery. From age 15-18 that old man taught me about good business and treating people with respect. He kept tabs on people who were struggling and each Thanksgiving and Christmas he would have me help him put together food baskets for those families $200 in non meat items and $100 in meat we would go around and deliver them the night before the holiday. I would return to help him almost every year till I was 28 years old.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:27 PM   #8
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I used to bag groceries and collect shopping carts from the parking lot.

Interesting side note, if you connect a shopping cart to your cars spoiler with a length of rope, you can use the cart to go skiing.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patfan64 View Post
...and did it prepare you at all for life?

My first real job was dishwasher/cook/fountain (soda jerk)/bartender/manager at Howard Johnson's restaurant at the top of Branford Hill in CT back in 1980.

I spent three years there and worked my way up from dishwasher at 16 to weekend manager while home from college when I was 18.

Loved that place. Spending three years anywhere when you were 16 was rare. They gave me a great reference for a job while in college which turned into a great reference for my first real job with Merrill Lynch out of college.

It's been so many restaurants since HoJo's closed back in the 90's.

God, I miss that place.
You were paid to be a jerk?

I ran heavy equipment for my folks business...full time in the season (late spring through fall) when I turned 11.

It taught me most of my mechanical and spatial skills. It forced you to think and act quickly on your toes. Long hours, hard manual work at times during repairs on the fly...dirty, working with your hands. All of that plus you had to have your head in the game, or you could easily injure your self (or worse).
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:49 PM   #10
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First job was stocking the beer/tonic at a local mom and pop convenience store in 7-9th grade but my 1st real job in 1982 was on a State of Massachusetts Survey Crew doing a sewer study for the Town of Southbridge MA. I was 16 , paid meal money and housing to live in a hotel and made a lot of money that Summer.

I didn't even have a license yet. What an awesome job with some pretty good people.

I am still doing the same work today except I do all the calcs in the office for the field crews while rarely getting in the field unless things are really F'd up and I need to fix something.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:07 PM   #11
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General maintenance at a theme park.

Worked on some pretty valuable historic shit. Manager for some foolish reason had a lot of faith and trust in me. Though I never f'd anything up.

Did everything from cleanup, animal care, painting, wiring/bulbs for extensive lighting.

Taught responsibility and schedule fo sho.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bideau View Post
I was a paper boy from 12-15. And yes, it did prepare me. I had 50 customers and it usually took me about an hour on a bike to deliver them. It was 6 days a week (no Sunday paper) and I couldn't miss a day or my phone would start ringing.

It taught me commitment, how to deal with customers (not always happy), how to account for money (I had to knock on each door every Friday to collect), how to pay bills (I got a bill from the publisher every week, I kept whatever was left over) and more.
Yup, same, Patriot Ledger, otherwise this all sounds too familar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fubar993 View Post
Package pick guy at lechmere during HS. Younger folks will have no idea what lechmere was. Had a battery pack thrown at me once when a package took longer to come out from the warehouse than the customer wanted.
This was actually my second job, but at Sears......Learned how to hide in makeshift forts high in the racks....probably learned more from job 1, this was more fun though.

SSDD
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:16 PM   #13
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Waitress (yeah, no PC stuff back then) at Howard Johnson's on the MA Pike when I was 16. Worked the counter and at $1.75/hour plus tips I made a ton of money.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:44 PM   #14
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I was a paperboy also, actually had two routes, one in the morning and one after school.
That ended for a while when I got mauled by an a-hole customers dog and torn up pretty good. Story for another thread I suppose.

The first real job was pumping gas at the local garage and I learned a ton there. Progressed to being a mechanic go-fer, and ultimately was a solid wrench and got my certification. Learned a lot about dealing with customers and people, so many lessons. I ended up dropping that occupation to be an en-gin-eer geek, but to this day I work on my own cars and save a ton of dough every year.

Last edited by patswin; 05-18-2017 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:48 PM   #15
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I worked "part time" at a jewelry store my uncle owned. I didn't do much of anything but slack off.

It taught me that I couldn't get away with many things I did there at a real job.
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