My First Job...

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Ex-Calif

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A bunch of folks were reminiscing in the Joke thread so I thought I would start a memory lane thread.

My first job was delivering newspapers for the local Newsagent in St Kilda Australia. It was probably 1972 and I was 11. I would rock up at 5am to fold the papers and band them. Then I would deliver them on a crappy bike the agent had. For this I got $5 a week. If I was late the Newsagent would come to my house and knock on the window to my room.

I then added an afternoon corner spot. Standing on the corner of a traffic light shouting, "Herald! Late Extra. Get you Herald!" I got 1/2 a penny per paper. Being industrious I added an afternoon paper route as well. I was making 12 bucks a week and was in fat city.

The best was when one of the other kids quit and I got to take over his territory which included the RCAV center. The RCAV was like AAA and the ladies would take the calls in this place. I would rock up on Wednesday with about 15 Women's Weekly magazines and make bank. A lot of the ladies would pinch my cheeks and tip really well. I guess I was just a gigolo - LOL.

I didn't stop working since then until I retired last year.

My first job I made 75 cents an hour. Busboy at Denny's. I worked that until they figured out I was only 14. :) 1964 Freshman in High School

In 1964 I was 13. My uncle got me a summer job at Melweb signs. After a few weeks they found out I was 13 and they canned me.

My dad used to talk about working at A&P for 10¢ per hour.. So I ask him how much did Bread cost
(5¢/loaf 6 for a quarter) so 8 hours was 20 loaves of bread.. NO income tax back then.
So I ask how much that same quality bread was today... (Note this was back in the 80s) and by the time we totaled the cost of the bread.. Multiplied by 1.5 cause 1/3 of your income (roughly) goes to taxes.. 21.00/hr was what we came up with.. A professional accountant double checked (First female had of accounting in a "Coed" company (both men and women) in the State of MI I might add. so a very distinguished accountant.. (Ok Mother)... 21/hr...
Alas. today many work for 2.50/tips or less than 10/hr..

I really have no idea what the first job I had not working for my dad paid. It was on a fishing schooner. You had to be at least 12 to get a Z-card (merchant seaman's document) and I did. Several times we went off the banks for 3~4 weeks and when the shares were tallied I would not get a lot. It was much more interesting than staying home.
Matt

In 1964 the US government was paying me about $6.50 a day while I was on "vacation" in the beautiful jungles of South Vietnam.
 

Oldgator73

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My actual first job was a hopper on a milk truck. I was 10. The milkman, he also owned the dairy and the cows, would pick me up at around 3am MWF. We would load the truck and my job was to get the orders ready and hop out of the truck and take the orders To the porch. He paid me $5 a morning and I got a big farmers breakfast at his house. After he dropped me home I would ride my bike 5 miles to the beach (Daytona Beach) and stayed all day. There was a guy that rented those canvas floats near where we went. We showed him if he blew them up so they we’re rock hard we could surf on them. The tourists thought was great and they all wanted to try. We were good for business. We got our floats for free.
 

UTTransplant

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I started my first job a few days after I turned 16. I was the entry clerk in a community hospital emergency room, 7-3 shift. It turns out the job had been posted for 18+, but I had been a hospital volunteer so I snuck in. However my co-workers all thought I was 18+. First question? “How do you like your coffee?” “With cream and sugar please,” said the youngster who had never had coffee before. The worst was the day I started there had been an horrific car crash at about 2 am with five severely injured. Everyone with medical training was working like crazy, and we had a transient come in DOA from the streets. They asked me to go through his pockets for ID, not knowing I was 16, had never touched a dead person before. Of course I wanted to meet all their expectations (I was just a teen!), so I did it. A lovely nurse came in the room just as I finished, and obviously noted my green countenance, was terribly apologetic, sat me down in another room, and got me a glass of water. Pretty amazing story of my first day at my first paid job.
 

Skookum

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I mowed lawns and washed cars before I could legally work. I ran quite a stiff business in our subdivision, sometimes getting as much as $10 per car and $40 per yard (early 90's, good part of town!). Tax free ;)

I filled in for an older kid who had a paper route. Did that for a few weeks every summer when his family would take off on vacation.

My first W2... I was an office monkey, two different places. One was for a firm that was working on OCR technology, and the other was at a hospital, scanning paper documents into their new electronic medical record. $10/hr. It was me and my buddy. Oh, the power of youth. I'm certain the only reason we had our jobs is because the office women adored having two young lads to order around all day.

That wasn't my speed. Later that summer I got a job at a Chevrolet dealership. I was in heaven, cool cars and new cars everywhere. I was their only employee who didn't smoke or swear, so they put me in charge of the courtesy shuttle. The next summer, they put me in the detail shop...way more money to be made back there.
 

DutchmenSport

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My first job that someone actually paid me money for doing was mowing lawns (I was 12). Next was under the table payment from my Uncle to help in his gas station (I was 14). Next was bailing hay for a local farmer down the road (I was 15). The first job I had where "they" took money out for income tax purposes was when I was 16 working as a stock boy in a small town, mom & pop grocery store. My LAST job was in Information Technology as a Software Tester for a financial institution, testing application computer code. I did that for 20 years. Now ... retired! But not DEAD!
 

Arch Hoagland

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Age 12 started setting pins at a bowling alley in 1957. You stepped on a treadle and steel pins came up from the floor and you put the bowling pins on top of them. 10 cents to set a game.
I think child labor laws have done more to harm kids than help them. I quickly learned how to manage money.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I shoveled driveways & sidewalks (upstate NY) in winter and did some mowing in the summers. Also assembled boat trailers for a neighbor's boat sales shop (they were delivered knocked-down).
 

Kirk

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It was probably 1972 and I was 11.
What a youngster you are!

I think that the first time I was paid was helping a neighbor lady on the next farm to weed her garden and flowerbeds. I was probably 7 or 8 and she hired me after learning from my mother that she had me do her garden and flowers. (1950) About a year or two later the same lady paid me to help by mowing her lawn. I believe that she paid me 10ȼ/hour. I was 12 the first time that I drove a tractor for pay (25ȼ/hour) and that was for a different neighbor to pick up bales of hay from his field. I wasn't yet big enough to pick up the bales. By 14 I was helping to load and stack baled hay for a couple of neighbors and was making 50ȼ/hour. As I grew bigger and stronger I moved up and by 16 I was riding the waggon behind the baler to load it, rather than dropping the bales on the ground, mostly for a neighbor who did custom baling. I started that at 75ȼ/hour and by the time I finished and went to the Navy I was making $1.10/hour!
 

Ex-Calif

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What if you sold an odd number of papers? How did they split the penny in half????
Good question but probably had something to do with the bundles being in even numbers. I had a leather strap loosely over my shoulder like a bandolier. I'd stretch out the strap and stuff a bunch of papers in. We also carried some magazines which had a bigger profit.

We also wore a leather pouch for the money.

So some skinny 12 year old humping 40 pounds of newspaper and magazines to a street corner.

The worst and best part was after shift having to count out the money (I remember lots of pennies), make sure I paid the boss and I kept what was left. Lots of folks would tip (especially the RACV ladies) so it wasn't a bad gig for a 12 year old. Trudging home with $5 or so in my pocket was a good feeling.
 

Oldgator73

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Not my first job (that was the milk hopper job) at 16 my best friend got us summer jobs working for the county driving dump trucks and tractors. We sometimes worked with the prisoners on the chain gang. We would eat lunch with them; Lima beans, ham, cornbread and sweet tea. It was just like the movie “Cool Hand Luke”.
 

Reinigm

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Westminster, CA
Not my first job, but my neighbor across the street hired me to mow his yards once a week. He owned several laundrimats and they took silver dollars in the machines. He always paid me in silver dollars. 5 bucks a week. Usually late 1800s and early 1900s. A little sharper in those days and I would have realized I should save them and not spend them on junk. At the same time I was working for a Japanese gardener who specialized in Bonzais. I mowed and weeded the lawns and gardens and he cared for the trees. All this in High School.
 

JudyJB

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I had a couple of short jobs, but my first real job during the summer when i was in college was working weddings as a waitress. We worked 9 hours for one wedding Friday night, 16-17 hours for two weddings on a Saturday, and then I would work Sunday brunch. 50 cents an hour, but terrific tips.

Some of the weddings had a great benefit. Back in the 60s, prime rib came in huge rib portions of the steer. In other words, it was a huge piece of meat and the chef carved the prime rib slices off of this huge rib cage. (The piece would be about 24" long and 10" thick--looked like half a cow!) And it was real prime beef in those days. So after some weddings, when everyone but us (7-8 waiters and waitresses, and some kitchen staff) had left and in the wee hours of the morning, the chef would bring out huge trays with these rib cages remains that he had carved the prime rib off of!! There was a ton of meat still on them, so we would cut it up into rib portions and tear into it like we were Neanderthals, but it was the best prime rib I have ever eaten!!
 

Lou Schneider

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When I was 12 I started cutting several neighbors lawns. At 13 I was able to get an after school newspaper route and spent about an hour a day delivering papers on my bicycle and going house to house collecting the subscription money at the end of each month. I'd pay for the papers at a wholesale rate and keep what was left over as my profit. One Saturday I showed up at the newspaper while I was downtown and hitched a ride home on the distribution truck. I rode in the back and dropped the bundles out the back door at each stop. This made the route go faster as the driver didn't have to get out of the truck and walk back there each time. In return he drove me along my route after we finished distributing the bundles and I'd throw my papers from the truck instead of riding my bike. Win-win for both of us and I showed up at the newspaper most Saturdays after that.

When I was 15 one of the San Francisco Top-40 radio stations organized a supply drive for Hurricane Camille victims and invited listeners to come down to the radio station that weekend and help load a semi-truck with clothes, canned food and other stuff they had collected. I went there and said I was interested in radio. One of the DJs pointed me towards a truck going to collect more donations at a smaller station and suggested I ride along and talk to the owner. When I got there he dismissed me with "you need a radio license to work here". I went to the local FCC office that same week, read the study guides, passed the test and got my operator's license.

The next weekend I went back to that radio station and confronted the owner, my new license in hand and grinning like a fool. "You said if I got my license you'd hire me." He did, and that started a 40+ year career in the broadcasting industry. Through high schooI worked I there on the weekends, filled in on the third shift during the longer summer days (the station was a daytimer, only on the air between sunrise and sunset) and whenever else they needed a body to fill a hole in the schedule. Eventually with an aptitude for electronics I got my FCC First Class License which let me work on the transmitters and migrated away from being on the air (I was really terrible at it) and towards the better paying technical end of the industry, installing and taking care of the transmitters, antennas, etc.
 

Sierranevada

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My real first job was as a kitchen busboy at the Green Tree Inn, Victorville, Ca. It was 1966 and worked there when Ronald Reagan was there for a Ca Governor election dinner. Tips were good, I was 17, did not stay there long, went from there to running a Signal gas station while in High School. Many jobs after that, but always had the next job before quitting the one I was working. George
 
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