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My first real job was delivering furniture for an interior decorator in San Diego. I was 17 and it paid $1.25 an hour. My boss was amazing. She taught me to drive a stick shift van safely. My last job before I retired a year and a half ago was as a delivery administrator for a defence contractor delivering naval weapon systems.
Started out a delivery boy, and ended up a glorified delivery boy... As a teen, I maintained a Jr. olympic pool at a country club, I now manage the solution production area of a baby wipe plant, which basically makes me a glorified pool boy-tanks, pumps, plumbing, chemicals, etc. Like a pool, but on a grander scale...
 
I'm in. My first job, soon after my 18th birthday, was for the summer in a factory that manufactured vinyl loose leaf binders with custom silkscreened corporate logos, in a factory and warehouse neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The factory was hot, poorly ventilated, and smelled of vinyl fumes from the heat molding machines. I earned the minimum wage for eight hours with an unpaid half-hour for lunch, even after a strike, which lasted a couple of days for which I got paid nothing, though the other workers then got a 25 cents per hour raise. I was told this was because I wasn't in the union, which I was ineligible to join as a temporary worker.

Workers assembling the binders, which I had to do for a time, had to do it standing up, in one place, all day. If you tried to sit, even for a moment, the foreman would catch you on the cameras and come down from his air conditioned office to give you what for. One day the man working next to me told me he had six young children to support. One morning the police were in front of the building. I was told this was because one of my co-workers and been found lying face down and dead in the parking lot. My informant shrugged, said the victim had been dealing drugs, and it wasn't spoken of again.

In short, it was a great experience, and a life-altering one.
 
My first job was when I was 16. I was maintenance at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial at Lincoln City, IN. I think I was paid $7.50 per hour, but might have been less.

My duties included repairing split rail fences, picking up trash on the trails and grounds and doing anything except running anything with a motor as you had to be 18 to do that.

On rainy days, we were able to go watch the Lincoln documentaries, which were quite educational and interesting.
 
It was 1992 and I was 14. I had to get a work permit from school to be legal to work.

That summer I worked at a tiny little auto repair shop where'd I'd clean tools and help keep them organized in the mechanics' tool chests. I also cleaned up the exterior and any other little basic tasks they needed. I also installed peel and stick vinyl floor tiles and painted the bathroom. The tiles were a faux black marble and the paint (picked by the owner's wife) was a salmon hue; I wasn't a fan of the colors. Despite having never done anything like that before, the quality of my work was pretty good.

They had a junkyard dog for security when the shop was closed so I had to feed him too. There was a now defunct local burger place up the street called Hot n' Now with a limited menu and very low prices. Hamburgers were something like 50 cents apiece at that time, maybe less. The owner would give me $10 or so and I'd walk there to buy like 20 burgers for the dog. He'd be chained up in the back and not friendly so I would throw the burgers into his pen, where he would catch and swallow them whole.

In Michigan, we have a 10 cent deposit on carbonated drinks, so there were a lot of empty pop bottles and cans laying around to be returned. When there were a couple of large trash bags full of bottles, the owner would take me up to the store to return them which was a sticky, disgusting job. Kids in Michigan always collected bottles/cans to return for "free money" to buy candy and other stuff but it was a couple dollars at a time at most. These bags would be $20-$30 at a time and was the first time I ever returned that many at once. It was such a mess though and to this day I rinse out all of my returnable containers so I don't have week old Coke or beer dripping on me or my floor due to my experience back then. One only has to enter the bottle return area of a Meijer or something in Michigan to know just how nasty it is.

The owner was kind of snake and a creeper. The minimum wage was $4.25/hr (I think it had recently been raised) but I found out he was paying me less. I called him out on this and I could tell he was annoyed and maybe surprised that I knew or that I dared question him. It ended up being adjusted so that ended well. I had a new girlfriend at the time and remember him asking me if I had one and her age. When I told him I did he asked if we kissed and stuff and I was like "yeah". He then asked what kind of other stuff did I get to do with her. We all know what's on a boy's mind at that age but I still was weirded out by this guy asking me like he did. I think he picked up on that and he dropped it but still, what a creeper.

I didn't work a ton of hours but since I had no real expenses I was able to save most of the money I earned. By the end of the summer I had a few hundred bucks saved up. I bought a Sony DiscMan at Target for about $250, a bottle of Cool Water cologne, and Super Mario Kart for the Super NES!

I learned that that type of work wasn't for me. I didn't like getting dirty and sweaty in a baking hot, oily shop or cleaning up outside. By the next summer I was working as a DJ at the local rollerskating arena which was infinitely cooler. I still had to do some cleaning and manual labor around the place during off hours, but during skating I played music, freestyle rapped over instrumentals, skated around a lot, met a lot of girls, and had a pretty great time!
 
My first job was in 1991 at a large grocery store called The Real Superstore (terrible name) in New Orleans. I worked part time in the bakery but wasn’t old enough to legally work with the ovens, so I became one of the “counter girls”. No, seriously, that’s the name they gave the women (except for me) who bagged and boxed the items, put them out for display and rang up customers. There are a few things that still stick out vividly almost 30 years later:

-the freezer was a mess, and most of stuff came from the freezer. My favorite pastime was sneaking back into the freezer occasionally to swipe a piece of half frozen key lime cheesecake

-I still remember two particular customers, I can even see their faces. One because she was incredibly agitated, and another because he was incredibly happy. The register would work about 75% of the time. The other 25% we’d have to call a manager to come unlock it, and it took anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. This was the case with both of these customers. The upset customer just got more and more upset. The happy customer had to wait even longer than she did, but he had a beaming smile the whole time, and even tipped me 10 bucks afterwards (I think I made around $5.15 an hour)

-The security guards took their jobs WAAAYYYY too seriously. They’d hide in the bakery and be constantly on the walkie talkie staking out suspicious customers.

-My first ever paycheck was around $42 for the week. It felt incredible.


Really nice thread idea!
 
The first regular job I can recall having was as a Calculus I grader junior year of high school. There were a few kids every year who'd take Calc I as sophomores or juniors (most people who took it were seniors), and we could get jobs from the calc teacher (who was also the physics teacher) the next year doing grading for him, since he had way too much to do between Calc I, Calc II, 11th Grade Physics, AP Physics, and co-coaching the Scholar's Bowl team. (And sometimes a section of Differential Equations on top of that in years where there were enough seniors who'd taken both Calc I & II.) Pay was whatever minimum wage in Alabama was at the time, so not much, but I was doing work in my favorite subject for one of my favorite teachers, so the low pay wasn't an issue.

The main thing I remember about that job was pissing off a whole class of seniors when I went way overboard on my first round of papers. (I think I remember the teacher describing it as me having graded a normal homework assignment like a graduate thesis.) Fortunately the teacher liked me, so I just got a talking-to about chilling out in my grading, and the rest of the year went smoothly.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
Wow excellent PIF yet again! My first job? Gezzz. I guess technically it was around 10 or 11 years old when me and my buddy got a job washing dishes at the local bar/restaurant. It was a small town in Sheridan, IL. Population roughly 2,000 back then. But they counted the State Prison inmates so actually it was around 800 people - non inmates. Small town so who cares about labor laws.

But we washed dishes for about a month. I don’t even recall how much we got paid. 20 bucks a day maybe. No idea. We had way to much fun considering we knew everyone and were so young. Didn’t last long at all. I don’t even thing we lasted a full month.

Then when I was about...13/14 I was sweeping out new house construction for one day. I think I got 70 bucks for one day. Which was awesome. But only lasted one day.

My first real tax paying job was at 15 in Aurora, IL at a small grocery store called Buy Rite. Making $5.15 an hour. I did everything from stocking shelves to helping manage the store.

So who has a pay stub from the first job??

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I'm in! My first job with a real paycheck was as a bank teller. It was a new branch of a bank based in Newark NJ - I lived an hour south in Madison, but the branch was in Florham Park. It was a good job, with co-workers and bosses I liked. One of may favorite memories has to do with Thursday afternoons when an armored car brought bags of cash for the rush to cash paychecks on Fridays.

As I said, this was a new bank branch, and only had a few regular customers. The bank closed the doors at 4:00 and only had the drive up window open until 6:00 (which I worked), and typically only a few customers would come by. My co-workers would go into the vault to count the cash after they closed the bank doors. Once they had finished counting the cash, we would pull out a Monopoly board and play Monopoly with real money! We had some interesting afternoons doing things like that.
 
My first job was working with my Dad who was an HVAC guy, but specialized in boilers and hydronics. He would take me on installs and troubleshoots all over Pennsylvania until I was a teenager. I was his road buddy. After school til about 9th grade, I worked with my Dad until about 7 o clock at night while my 4 younger brothers stayed home with my mom.

I took interest at the local vo-tech in cars at about 15, (my Dad is a huge classic car and motorcycle guy, so am I.) My shop teacher gave me a job at his own personal garage down the street from my house. He taught me everything I know now at 35, and I've been doing this ever since. I stayed with him until I built up a nice toolbox and he got sick and eventually passed. After that, I've worked for Honda and a few mom and pop shops between.

Nowadays, I turn wrenches for a cycle shop here in town. I can smoke whatever I want back there in the shop, free coffee and donuts every morning, good benefits, pay could be better but my wife is a nurse, so she is the bread winner here; plus they're family people and I go home at a normal hour😆

I rebuild 2 and 4 stroke engines, work on a little bit of everything. Side by sides, lots of puking or self ingesting Harleys, dead batteries, rats nest wiring headaches and tires! It's fun!
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Not in (😉) but thought you all would enjoy what The Captain did for his first paycheck. First job was roguing beans in the summertime when I was about thirteen. A crew of us was dropped off in a bean field and we walked the entire field cutting down weeds. We worked ten hour days at $1.25/hour and I could not believe my good fortune to be making $12.50 a day.

The work was hot and sweaty, dirt clod fights broke out, and I had to learn to stand up for myself. Looking back on it now that summer was not about the money, it was me learning something more valuable - self reliance.

I already knew what that first paycheck was going to be made out for, or did I? "Hey Dad, what are these things taken out of my check - state tax, social security???"
I'm in, if this is still available.

We were poor, or rather, became really poor when I hit 9 years old.

Best thing that ever happened to me.

My first real job was selling "Grit" magazine.

It taught me that I loved being my own boss, how to budget, etc.

Thanks Mr Captain for the memories you have stirred.
 
My first job was working with my Dad who was an HVAC guy, but specialized in boilers and hydronics. He would take me on installs and troubleshoots all over Pennsylvania until I was a teenager. I was his road buddy. After school til about 9th grade, I worked with my Dad until about 7 o clock at night while my 4 younger brothers stayed home with my mom.

I took interest at the local vo-tech in cars at about 15, (my Dad is a huge classic car and motorcycle guy, so am I.) My shop teacher gave me a job at his own personal garage down the street from my house. He taught me everything I know now at 35, and I've been doing this ever since. I stayed with him until I built up a nice toolbox and he got sick and eventually passed. After that, I've worked for Honda and a few mom and pop shops between.

Nowadays, I turn wrenches for a cycle shop here in town. I can smoke whatever I want back there in the shop, free coffee and donuts every morning, good benefits, pay could be better but my wife is a nurse, so she is the bread winner here; plus they're family people and I go home at a normal hour

I rebuild 2 and 4 stroke engines, work on a little bit of everything. Side by sides, lots of puking or self ingesting Harleys, dead batteries, rats nest wiring headaches and tires! It's fun!
A good bike mechanic is a great find. I did all my own work on my last bike, an 1982 Xj750, and most work on my current ride, a 2005 Vulcan Nomad 1600, but I have a solid mechanic if I get stuck (had an electrical issue that drove me crazy).

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
A good bike mechanic is a great find. I did all my own work on my last bike, an 1982 Xj750, and most work on my current ride, a 2005 Vulcan Nomad 1600, but I have a solid mechanic if I get stuck (had an electrical issue that drove me crazy).

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

Electrical is the worst offender for sure. We started telling people NO for a season because me and the other guy couldn't get past the workload; bays all tied up from stuff like that. I've got a Power Probe these days and The Hook, I can diagnose shorts, perform voltage drop tests and even apply power and energize circuits with the thing. My tool guy had to show me how to use it though 😂
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Mine was at a pig farm. My parent's house was the last on a very empty 1 1/2 mile long dirt road. I was 15. School was still in and I wanted some money so I got a permit to work (had to cuz I was so young) and applied at the new pig farm that had just opened on my road. It was pretty gross but the $3.75/hour was totally worth it when I got my first paycheck. The coolest thing that has ever happened to me occurred there. I worked mostly in Farrowing (baby pigs) and I saw some being born but one was a stillborn. I picked up the slimy, limp, dead pig and put my pinky into his mouth and wrapped the rest of my fingers around it's snout and blew into it's mouth and then flexed his body a couple times and it started breathing! I know it was just a pig but I, a stupid 15 year old kid, saved it's life. That was so cool, I would've worked there for free but I got brain cancer a few years later and couldn't work anymore.
Great story. Thank you.
 
I was 15 and I got a job as a dishwasher at a mid size mid level Seafood restaurant right on the ocean. This was only a few years ago so I was getting 9 an hour from the great state of Massachusetts's minimum wage laws (now 11) and was primarily a dishwasher. I was a dishwasher and worked 3-6 hour shifts, and I worked pretty hard avoiding taking more hours than that. I tried to get out of working a lot, especially the summer when I was 16, and switched my hours with other people a lot. I was not a great employee, but I was actually good enough in the kitchen environment that by the end of my 1 year 2 month tenure I was occasionally a line cook as well, and they even used me for busing once or twice (which I loved because the tips for the half hour of busing I did when the dishwashing was slow would be like half my night's salary). At the end I couldn't work 2 weekends in a row, and had done too much shift switching earlier that summer and I got fired.

That job taught me how to work, how to respect a boss specifically, how to avoid work, and that I wasn't actually that bad in a kitchen. The people there were insanely nice and sane, and I miss them dearly. The waitresses even still say hi to me whenever I see them at the grocery store or the beach, and this was years ago. My first paycheck felt like an accomplishment and my last taught me that I couldn't shirk all my responsibilities.

The next summer I worked the hardest job I ever had to, or will ever have to, work. But those first two summers will always serve as a lesson to the dangers of taking advantage of a good situation, along with being lazy.

P.S.

In terms of my hours worked the summer when I was 16 vs 17, I'll put it in terms of how much I made and how long I had worked:
5 months of work, including school weekends --> About $650
3-4 months of work, including school weekends --> About $4000
 
I'm in!

1979 I must have been 16. Small grocery store chain of independent grocery stores - IGA.
I think I was only there 3 or 4 weeks. Involved some shelf stocking (1st item I ever handled was "Coco Lopez")

Looks like they still make it :). Also did "Carriage Roundup" which was getting the shopping carts from the parking lot out in the summer heat. I did like unloading in the walk-in freezer and snitching frozen canolis with my buddy Mike.

What I learned, along with many others here, was the reality of the payroll tax. And I learned that having two very different bosses was an introduction to workplace politics.

According to the internet I must have been scoring $2.90 an hour. Woo hoo!
 
Not In

I was 16 in 1969 when I got my first job with a real paycheck/deductions. My high school principal's other job was with the American Trapshooting Association. He selected quite a few of his students as workers at the annual Grand American Trapshooting Championship event in Vandalia, Ohio. It was a great job for a kid. We were outside all day long and surrounded by 10s of thousands of shotgun shells being popped off every day. The association payed above minimum wage for loaders and well above minimum wage for scorers.

Most of the shooters were friendly to kids that loaded and pulled their clay birds. Loading was noisy, dirty, and by today's safety standards flat out hazardous. What was not to like! I loaded birds onto a rotating/swiveling arm and then leaned back a bit when the puller released the bird. Soon as the arm was empty another bird or birds was/were placed on it. I loaded birds in the trap house my first year and pulled/scored my second and third years. Lots of fun!
 
Capt'n, I thought I was going to be in, but having written realize you gave me more of a gift just doing it than I could have ever hoped. Thank you.

I had weed cutting jobs over the summers until I was 17 and fell in love with an older woman who graduated a year before me and went off into the Army. The next year I was expecting to go into the Navy, and I was having a ridiculous case of withdrawal while she was in boot camp. Her mom and her old lady had a garage they'd turned into a nice studio and offered me a place to be for the summer - contingent on the fact I'd be paying rent and helping do some remodeling work on it.

They had a plan in mind as they also introduced me to a man who needed help on the weekends to spell his 24-hour live-in nurse. For ten bucks an hour, I'd help the man who'd lost sensation and control in his lower legs with meals, cleaning up after toileting, and best of all, taking him on trips into the San Francisco bay area to watch foreign films.

Well, the cleanup duties were seriously challenging to an adolescent who had no idea what elder life meant, even though I'd had a grandmother who dealt with intestinal cancer and needed a colostomy bag to survive many years before her passing. This part of the job was all hours any hours, and while I wasn't thrilled with it, the gentleman who I served made the best of it for both of us.

I learned a lot from that man. You see, he was a medical doctor who had been in the German Army during World War Two. After the War, he and his family moved to the US. He became a pediatrician for the folks in the Napa Valley. We talked long and serious about what he experienced as a front line surgeon during the War, how things were for him afterward.

His disability involved a lot of pain and pain management. I became aware of the serious products modern pharma had to offer folks in the late 1970s. Percocet in Giant size bottles and others. All right there in front of me as the Doctor had a small pharmacy in his home/practice. Lucky for me, I had no idea, didn't need an idea, and didn't run afoul of products like these until I was injured in my fifties and needed the services of the flower extract to deal with my spinal nerve damage. With his life as an example, I've been lucky to benefit. Able to stay firmly on this side of the veil.

The other thing Doc helped me with is opening my mind to foreign film and, by extension, the ways people around the world think differently, think the same, as people around me. It's hard to come up with reasons to hate people blindly. To sneer at people from other places who have different beliefs and ways. When you've had the opportunity to meet them where they live, to sit and break bread with them, to learn in more ways than just a few, we are very much family trying to make our way on this little blue ball of a planet out here in the dark.


Oh, and he taught me how to make a wicked hot oatmeal gruel. Guaranteed to help keep you regular.
 
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