Friday, May 14, 2010

Flashback Friday - First Jobs Edition

I know I already posted once today, but while I wait for my hubby I thought I'd play Flashback Friday again. I've missed it!

Here's the assignment:
How old were you when you got your first (paying) job? Did you work during the school year? What stipulations, if any, did your parents put on spending, saving, etc.? What types of jobs did you have before you were, oh, 21 or 22? Did you go to college or a technical/trade school? If so, did you work while you were pursuing your post-high school education? What were your favorite -- and least favorite, if you wish to share! -- jobs? What did you learn from those early jobs?

Whew! Linda packs a lot of questions into that paragraph!

I was 14 when I got my first "real" job. It was the summer before I started high school and I helped with the Head Start program. I rode the bus up and down the 'hollers' and helped the driver with all the little munchkins and once at school I helped wherever needed....sometimes in the kitchen (we provided a hot lunch and both morning and afternoon snacks), taking kids to the bathroom, helping with game time; really whatever they needed -- I was the 'go to' girl :-)

[I've mentioned this on my blog before but for those who are just visiting: Just before I got my first paycheck I heard there was going to be a pinto bean shortage so I used my first paycheck to buy 80 lbs. of beans. We ate a lot of beans and cornbread that winter! It's still one of my favorite foods. The money I earned in high school went toward helping my mom with bills and groceries. It also had to cover my clothes, entrance fees to ballgames or other activities, and anything 'extra'.]

Then I spent several years working in the one and only restaurant in town. Turner's was your typical small town greasy spoon and tips ranged in the $5-$10 per shift -- definitely not going to get rich in that job. But living in a town of 800? Not a lot of opportunities for high school employment. I did work year-round, but obviously fewer hours when school was in session.

My mom insisted I attend vocation school during my last two years of high school (they had a program that allowed students to attend high school in the morning, walk across the parking lot and attend the vocational school during the afternoon) and I took the secretarial course. My shorthand is but a faint and distant memory but I can still work a calculator like nobody's business :-)  And even though my typing speed is half what it was (130/per minute back in the day), I type fast enough for what I need.

That training stood me in good stead during my college years when I was able to get secretarial jobs at the college, in a lawyer's office and a bank. Working in an office is MUCH easier than standing on your feet all day long, dealing with unhappy customers and always smelling like a grease pit.

Both my favorite and least favorite jobs fall into the secretarial category. I loved, loved, loved working in the bank! Lots of different things to do, the interaction with people....the HOURS. It was great having evenings and weekends free after spending so many years in the restaurant business.

On the other hand, on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the lowest score, the job in the lawyer's office was a negative two. Dysfunctional is a mild way of describing the working atmosphere and interaction in that office. Ugh. Even thinking about it now makes me slightly sick to my stomach. It was one of the first jobs I had after Ivan and I were married and I dropped out of college with the idea of supporting him until he finished, and then I would go back. Anyway, I was very thankful when God provided the money for me to go back to school six months later! Not just to get back on track with my education, but also to GET OUT OF THAT OFFICE.

Over those years I learned I was good at organizing, writing and administrative STUFF. But I liked being in jobs that had plenty of stuck-in-the-back-office kind of jobs for me.

Make sure and stop by Mocha with Linda to see what she and others have to say about their first jobs. Fun stories!


Mari said...

I like to work where I can interact with people too. I can imagine that working in a lawyers office could be depressing. Lots of negative attitudes there! My SIL is a paralegal, and she has changed since doing this job. She tends to always look at people in a distrustful way, and feels she need to do things to protect herself.

Mocha with Linda said...

It's been fun to see all the different stories.

I never learned shorthand but I could type really well!

skoots1mom said...

BS&K gets tickled watching me take shorthand during our pastor's sermons...i still LOVE shorthand; it's part of me.

I totally agree with your feelings on law offices...they are horribly tight, because they have to be, but still horrible. I get ulcers being in that kind of environment.

quilly said...

I have heard several people say that the jobs they hated the most were in lawyer's offices. Too much high powered nastiness!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

I totally agree, the atmosphere in the work environment can turn a good job sour very quickly. I had a wonderful part time job just recently in fact that turned not so fun because of office politics and personality conflict. I miss the work i did, it was right up my alley and skill set and the paycheck but not the drama!!!!!

Oh and yea!!!! Skoots can fly with the short hand. She can get every word of a sermon and not even look down at her pad!