Thursday, August 11, 2016

Beyond the Books - My First Job


This week I'm linking up with KissinBlueKaren for Beyond the Books.  This is a meme where we all answer a non-bookish question.  It's always so fun to see everyone's answers and get a peak at the blogger beyond the books.  This week's topic is - My First Job.


I was pretty lucky when it came to first jobs because like so many other people that I knew I never worked in food service!  In between the summer of 9th and 10th grade my mother insisted (for reasons I didn't understand at the time but so do now) that I find a volunteer position.  She even brought home a handy list of places looking for volunteers that she had picked up somewhere.  I stalled and stalled because I was much more on board with spending my summer sleeping late and not doing much of anything but finally she badgered me enough and I got to work calling the places on the list.

Since I had gotten a late start a lot of the places were full or had made other arrangements but finally I got to this one local museum and talked to a woman who said they really needed help both in the office and in the newly opened store and could I start the next day?  The answer was yes and I showed up there bright and early the next day.
Lisa and me - probably spring of 2002 at work.  Ignore the early '00 jeans and hair

Long story short that volunteer position turned into a part time job that I kept from 1995 until shortly before I graduated from college in 2002.  My position and responsibilities changed as time went on but that museum that had always just been a field trip location became woven into my life.  I learned how to work a cash register, answer phones, deal with crazy tourists and crazier wedding guests, brides, brides mothers, and one very belligerent groom.  I learned book keeping, small talk, how to polish silver, a massive amount of local history, how to lean forward with your body and not step forward with your feet when working parking lots for events (because people will run over your toes if you're not careful), and that kids on a field trip will inevitably call 911.  Unfortunately, I never did figure out how to wrap presents in a way that looked like I wasn't drunkenly throwing wrapping paper at boxes or count money without making a mess.   I also made some really good friends - including Lisa from Books, Lists, Life who then decided to move to South Dakota but that was later!

For awhile in college I worked as a runner for a law firm.  It was an entertaining job and I liked knowing my way around the courthouse and the downtown.  Plus the building I worked in was an old house that was haunted which is a story for another time.  But the boss was awful, I was working 7 days a week and taking 18 credit hours and about landed myself in the hospital with pneumonia so something had to give and it ended ended up being the runner job.

So that was my first job!  What was yours?  Did you learn anything that you still use or think about today?

26 comments:

  1. That is interesting and you know, maybe you mentioned it before, but I never knew you were acquainted with Lisa! I like her blog and seeing life in SD, her big skies for my astronomy crazy husband. You guys are so cute!

    My first job was part time maid at a hotel when I hitchhiker to Florida from Michigan, only 17 years old. It didn't last long.

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    1. I can't believe you hitchhiked from Michigan to Florida! I can't even imagine.

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    2. It was a long long time ago! We were tossed off the turnpike near Orlando by highway patrol. Who ever thought I'd actually work in law enforcement after such an auspicious beginning. I don't put anything about work in my blog though,

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  2. You had a very cool first job!! You got to do and learn a lot there. I worked at Michael's the craft store for two years in high school and summers for a while in college. I learned I didn't like working with customers in retail and was better suited to the floor and stocking. I had a couple more retail jobs before I got my "real" job as an accountant.

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    1. I'm definitely not cut for retail either. I am limited in my tolerance for crazy people!

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  3. I bet that was fun! I am trying to encourage my son to volunteer at the nature center near here, he is dead set on trying to find farm work for some reason (maybe because we finally live somewhere where there are actual farms for the first time in his life). Your first job sounds really cool though. Sounds like you learned a lot too.
    You brought up an interesting topic. I would love to hear about those ghosts so I am adding that topic to my BTB list. Thanks for the prompt!

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    1. Oh fun! I'm looking forward to that prompt.

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  4. Sounds good, Katherine! My very first job was working in the cannery during the summers...and then, just before college, I got a job for the county, working in the library. I continued in the college library after that job for a while.

    My jobs for various counties continued after college...so that was how my "almost first" job became something more.

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    1. I think I would like working in a library. I'm sure there are negatives but all those books!

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  5. Such a cool first job! I would have loved something like that, I think. My first job was babysitting. I babysat here and there for my mom's friends and then spent several summers babysitting two neighbor kids every day while their parents were at work. Pretty unoriginal, I'm afraid. Haha

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    1. I never really did any babysitting somehow. I wasn't really a fan of children and then we didn't really know anyone with kids so there weren't any logical clients.

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  6. What a neat story! And yeah we understand later, don't we? I remember being 16 and my parents saying "you need to get a job" and start to learn responsibility and I was like, why? lol. Now it makes sense ha ha.

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    1. It's funny how much sense things our parents did suddenly make with a little age!

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  7. Okay, now I need to know about this haunted courthouse! I didn't have a typical first job either. I worked at my grandparents restaurant as a cashier/bus girl. I never was a waitress nor did I prepare any food. It was perfect for me, I have that job Sophomore, Junior, and senior year. I also went back to it for two summers when I was home for college.

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    1. I'll tell it soon! That sounds like a good job! I've never worked at a restaurant.

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  8. What a great opportunity for you. I'm afraid I'm more of a late bloomer. I've worked with kids most of my life from daycamp to after care to preschool.

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    1. I never babysat or anything. I came late to actually enjoying being around children!

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  9. My first job was shoveling horse poo among other stable duties to pay for my riding lessons. My second job was shoveling dog poo and bathing dogs at a show kennel to pay for my dog show expenses. The skills I learned only helped me out while I was participating in those activities, but I guess they did teach me how to follow spoken directions to a tee; something my son isn't very good at. Ha ha!

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  10. This is super cool! MY first job actually was in food service lol but I love the idea of volunteering! Great post hun :)

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  11. I would've loved to work at a museum. I had various jobs when I was young, like caring for other horses at the stables we boarded at, working at the gun clubs on weekends, and in my grandparents office. They all kind of overlapped.

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  12. What a lovely article, Katherine:). I worked in Woolworths as a Saturday girl from the time I was 14 till I was 16, then as a waitress and chambermaid at a local hotel until I finished college and went to work in an office as a secretary - which was certainly a big mistake. I actually enjoyed working in retail - people are fascinating when observing them in a busy store.

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  13. Your first job sounds fascinating—and how wonderful to have been able to keep it through the end of college! I love your description of what you learned, too.

    My first real job... gosh, I'm not sure I remember. I had a few short-lived unofficial jobs before I could work legally (babysitting and that sort of thing.) The one I count as my first real summer job was working at Swiss Colony—it's like Hickory Farms, but it had some actual stores. We sold sausage and a huge array of gourmet cheeses. I had to wear a fake dirndl for my uniform, and probably looked a lot like Heidi, with my blonde hair in braids. I learned a lot about cheese, and some valuable lessons about responsibility and customer service that I've never forgotten.

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  14. You NEEEEED to tell us the story of the haunted court house.... !!! Can't wait for that post. I would have loved to have your first job! My first job was as a waitress and I worked in a jewelry shop. These jobs helped me pay for my studies and I still tip well if I get good service and can't resist a jewelry shop. Especially the franchise where I used to work!! My wedding ring (not engagement) actually comes from there!

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  15. Very neat! I love a good museum. My mom volunteers at our local natural history museum. They keep trying to hire her but she likes volunteering. lol My first real job was at a vets office. It didn't last too long because one of the ladies in charge was just dreadful. She'd change the schedule last minute and not tell you then bitch when you didn't know. Whew!

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  16. Hey it's me! God we look young. And tired. You know, I miss the museum. And, oddly, the driveway.

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  17. Hey it's me! God we look young. And tired. You know, I miss the museum. And, oddly, the driveway.

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