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Contest - $50.00 gift card to the winner!

I started for my dad

The dreaded words "for the family"

Sometimes $5.00 an hour

I THINK I WON THE CONTEST!

So when I started work , was like $6.50-$6.75???? How's that even possible???

Just got off work today , contracting $50.00 an hour ...to do nothing

And still barely surviving!
 
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What a fun read!

My first paying job was working as a janitor for the high school in my Sophomore and subsequent years. I learned a lot. The one thing that's stuck with me for 28 years is that it's unwise to clean a freshly waxed floor with Murphy's Oil Soap.
 

Vaporstang

Contributor
Hey! My first post here; why not jump in headfirst? My first job was working at a pharmacy as a delivery person/soda jerk. Also running the cash register as back-up, cleaning and light maintenance. I was 16 when I started. I learned how to make phosphates and sodas (real ones).

I learned that adults could be real jerks. My boss lacked any interpersonal skills, but in hindsight was a good person. He was the mayor of our town, head of the state's pharmaceutical association for a year, supported local high school sports and offered to pay for my college if I studied to become a pharmacist and work for a certain amount of time for him. I made $2.10/hr (cigarettes were $0.50 per pack, so really dating myself).

Side note: There was a gallon carton of Coke syrup and a bottle of Everclear in the back. I asked one of the pharmacists what that was for. They said sometimes the Nursing Home nurses would request special cough syrup for a resident. LOL. I am not sure if the resident wanted it or if the nurses wanted to give it to the resident to make their own life easier....
 
My first job with a real paycheck where I paid taxes and social security was I’m March 1968. I loaded groceries into cars when they pulled around to the pickup spot. I made $1.60 an hour and worked part time after school. After I had been there a while they let me sack the groceries inside and sometimes operate the cash register. It was a discount store called Gulf Mart and it preceded Target, K-Mart and Wal Mart. I remember my first boss was an older gentleman who was kind to me, yet stern when I needed it.
 

Ridpath

FIGHTER!
Contributor
Lifeguard in the Rockies, when I was 22/23(?). Can’t remember anymore, but prior to that, worked quite a few cash in hand and payment in kind jobs, including waiting tables, teaching and performing the piano, and working as a scuba divemaster. First steady job as a pensions actuary/consultant when I was 25, I think. They’ve stuck by me and kept me on their books through my diagnosis and ongoing palliative treatment, even when I’m obviously not well enough to work. Think I’m fairly lucky in that sense.

Edit: not in, by the way.
 
First job was at a community center. Was a sophomore in HS. Made minimum wage (< 7.00 back then I believe). I learned you need to do a lot of menial **** in life to get to where you want to be and that a large portion of all jobs are is busywork and that most places have zero concern for efficiency.
 
This sounds like a fun thread so I'll hop in, too. My first reasonably decent pay check came from working at a car wash in high school before eventually moving up to the answering service and then the oil change (same owner/boss for all three), but before those jobs in Junior High, I had a couple of year-round paper routes and I was also a caddy in the summer ... those are the jobs that actually laid the foundation for a "good, honest work ethic".

I look back fondly at learning to "work hard" to make a little money. First, I had a small, weekly paper route, by bicycle in my neighborhood, and learned the hard way about avoiding responsibility. I was growing tired of the monotony and difficulty of ranging all those heavy papers on my handlebars and somehow ... LOL, I remember that I got it into my fool-head that it was a swell idea to ride back to the far corner of the subdivision and just shove all those rolled-up newspapers into the end of a culvert drain. Nobody knows or cares that they didn't get that weekly, little paper... but I still get paid!! That only lasted for 2-3 weeks until we had a big storm system move through. It never even occured to me that what I was doing might have an impact on the drain... I was young and dumb like everyone is at that age. But a day or two later I got a phone call from the newspaper distribtion manager asking if I knew anything about all the papers that flooded out of a drain at the back of the neighborhood. UGH! How embarrassing. To be honest... I don't even recall how I responded, which means I was probably not man enough to even admit to what I'd done. I was probably fired, but I just don't remember.

I was a lot more responsible with my next paper route. It was a larger, daily paper to be distributed on foot in an elderly-person apartment complex. Much better money, but I had to do my own weekly collections. Kind of a hassle, but I fondly remember my Dad teaching me to go through my coins looking for the silver quarters... found quite a few from those kindly folks paying me from their old coin cans! I did that for several years before moving onto the car wash.

And caddying, I really learned about working hard with a smile on your face. Terribly hard work for a late-blowing (ie. small) boy to carry those heavy golf bags in the heat of the summer sun. You don't get many tips for "looking like you worked hard". You get the tips by NOT letting the player get worried about you.

Sorry for the long story about a few different jobs, but I wanted to add, that sometimes those first jobs kinda "get into your blood". The last couple of years I've picked up a motor-route delivery of a weekly paper on the weekends. I listen to a lot of podcasts, drive around in our beautiful, rural part of the country and I make a pretty decent side-income to pay down all our debts. That was the idea... but we've now paid off the credit cards and car loans, so we're down to a mortgage and paying down a medium-sized student loan (but the kids are now starting college, too). It's really great to have a side-job/hustle to make extra money. Good old fashioned, work!
 
First job was flipping burgers and serving ice cream at Dairy Queen when I was 15.

I can still make the curly cue on a cone without even thinking.

Made minimum wage whatever that was in the early to mid-90’s.

Probably the best part was it was located across from the public pool and my high school so I always had friends in there.

We had to pay for our food but got all the ice cream we wanted for free.

Had a great boss. Made us do our work but was like a second mom to all the staff. Had us over for parties at her house - her husband collected pinball machines. When we had to do extra work she always made it as fun as possible and would bring us pizza, etc.

Good times.
 
Not in as I am not in the US. But still, I was 17 or 18 and it was loading and unloading ice-cream trucks. There were 3 of us sitting and waiting for a truck for a couple of hours and then you start unloading to a cold store. After that you start getting other boxes from the cold chamber and load them into the truck. Don't remember how much money they paid us, but it was a lot. After a couple of weeks I left. I just realized although they paid a lot of money it isn't worth it ruining your health. It was June. The outside temperature was 30-31°C (~87°F) and inside the cold store it was -20°C (-4°F).
 
First of all Thanks for the contest and Well, I'm In.. I guess my first Real JOB was the US Army it started off tough and got a little easier later on... I was a Sergeant not long after joining which made it somewhat easier for me . I was Airborne and went Spec Ops.....Base Pay Rate back then was about 1500 a month + other benefits, bonuses and allowances so it was decent pay but not the greatest...
 
I got my first job when I was 16 and the very same day I got my driver's license. There was an ad playing on public access television for a gig at the local municipal golf course. Five bucks an hour...just a pinch over minimum wage at the time.

My main job at the golf course was cleaning and parking the golf carts and driving the "picker." The "picker" was a modified golf cart with a big attachment on the front used to scoop up the golf balls off of the driving range. A lot of times, I had to do this while people were hitting golf balls. All I had to protect me from the onslaught was a homemade cage made from PVC pipe and chicken wire that slipped over the seat of the golf cart.

I'm pretty certain more than a few duffers on the driving range made a game of trying to hit me. A couple of them got some good shots at me; a range ball would make it under the cage and hit me in the calf or shin occasionally.

Once I filled up the picker, I had to park it on the side of the range, empty the dirty range balls into a garbage can, drive that back to the maintenance shed, and run them all through a ball washer. Then I had to take the clean balls into the club house and fill up buckets for the range. I also had to keep an eye on how many carts were available for rent, make sure they were clean and filled up, and general stuff like that. At the end of the day, I had to jam all of the carts into barn that really wasn't big enough to hold all of them. Lots of bumping and smashing.

There was one cart in particular that I and the other guys in the cart barn made sure never got rented out. It was number 56. Me and the other guys called it "LT" after Lawrence Taylor. At some point, someone had goofed around with it and made it go very fast. It hauled ***. One guy actually got a little reckless and flipped it over one time (fortunately, out of sight of the clubhouse)

Technically I had one manager, the main pro at the course, but my boss was usually whoever was managing the pro shop that day. They were mostly alright. Just as long as I was getting stuff done they tended to leave me alone, though I was always made to feel like I was in trouble or pissing them off for some reason or another. I think they just thought of me as some punk kid they could order around.

I was there a little less than a year. Winter rolled around and I was getting sent home early a lot because there wasn't much to do (and it was miserable working there in the winter anyway). A friend of mine had gotten a job at the local airport that paid the princely sum of $7.50 an hour, and they were hiring. So I put in my two weeks at the golf course.

The thing about that was most of the pro shop staff had gone off on some three-week golf boondoggle or something like that. So I gave my two weeks to the person that was running things while they were gone and left when I said I would.

A few weeks later, the main guy in charge called and left a message with my mom: come get your final paycheck. Before I left I had figured out that it would probably be around $10 and decided it wasn't worth the effort. I never went back.
 
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