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First Jobs.
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Robb



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 557
Location: The world at random...
First Jobs.  Reply with quote  

I was listening to the tour and CM brought up his job of making nativity scenes and it got me thinking of my first job. I started as a dishwasher in a Chinese resturant. I worked for a lady named Alice in Stuebenville OH in the basement of this place. There were grey cinder block walls with a big stainless steel table in front of me with a dishwasher that didn't work. All it would do is rinse. I had to wash them all by hand and send them through. Behind me was a dumb waiter that would send the dishes down to me for washing. Alice would yell down from time to time. RRRAAAAHHHHBB! MOOAH TEACUP! MOOAH SILBER WEAH! to which I would yell back NO PROBLEM and flip her the bird. At the end of the night I would have to scrub the place down with a mix of bleach and amonia that ended up burning my lungs. I constantly came home smelling of egg fried moo goo sweat and sour. And for the record Chinese people do not eat the stuff they put on the menu. I can't describe it but I can give you these facts. One we were right next to the Ohio river which has channel cats that would scare a great white. Two, you never saw a lot of strays in the area. Or river rats for that matter. When I got back from Korea I visited Alice when I came home on leave, she not only remebered me after almost 15 year but remembered my folks. She hadn't aged a day either.

So how bout y'all? What was your first job like?
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 4:52 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Think insane.



Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 1577
Location: Night's Plutonian shore
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My first job was as a grave digger. Yes, I am serious. I started out mowing the grass and trimming around the headstones at St. Peter's Cemetery. After a little while, they let me start digging holes for new residents. It really was a pretty good job, once you got used to it. Outside all day, and the customers never complained.
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 5:31 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Lib



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 3423
First Job  Reply with quote  

I'm going to say this but I don't want any smart remarks! I was a soda jerk. Yes, you heard me, a soda jerk. That's what it was called back in the good old days. I grew up in a small town and the local drug store had a fountain service. I could make a mean milk shake. I worked there when I was in high school. Way back then, we had to wear dresses to work and have our hair pulled back (didn't want it hanging down in the ice cream freezer). I would come home smelling like sour milk. HEY...I remember when Reeses Peanut Butter Cups came out!
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 5:40 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Think insane.



Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 1577
Location: Night's Plutonian shore
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Well, I guess I used to be the grave jerk. Wanna guess what I would come home smelling like? Shocked Now I'm just a jerk, at least in the opinion of the patients at work.

I'm sure you made a great shake Liz. I could go for one now. How about you mix me up one, dump it in an envelope and Fed-Ex it to me?

Very Happy
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 6:02 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Lib



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 3423
I don't know...  Reply with quote  

I don't send shakes to just anyone, Think. Especially, someone who's planning a pirate wedding with some other wench. Wink
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 6:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Think insane.



Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 1577
Location: Night's Plutonian shore
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Lol, I'm man enough for more than one wench

Cool
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 6:39 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Lynn



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2295
Location: SF
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Technically speaking, my first job was when I was seven. My parents were antique dealers and let me buy things to sell in their booths at antique malls.

My other first job is basically the same job I have now. I hosted at Applebee's, and now, I serve at Applebee's. My life is complete. Smile Pity Mom insists I continue with that whole college thing.
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 8:38 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sara Leigh



Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 7385
Location: Virginia
First job  Reply with quote  

I was 20 years old, a proofreader in a dinky little typehouse in Baltimore. All young women there, except for the other proofreader, who was an older woman and singularly unattractive. Oh yeah, there was one older man besides the owner. Every morning Potter would come around and put his arm around each of the young women in turn, trying to cop a feel. Evil or Very Mad He was just plain disgusting, but he got away with it. Paul, the other man, never batted an eye, but we liked to think he didn't approve. Who knows? That was until Renee came on the scene. Potter's eyes must have bugged out of his head when he saw her. Think Pamela Anderson-esque, only real. Renee never let him get away with anything. I'm sure he regretted hiring her, but he couldn't just fire her because she didn't do anything wrong other than not let him cop a feel. That was back in the good old days, before sexual harassment was a bad thing.

I hated that man.

I should have taken that job as an omen. Baltimore was not a happy place for me. Fortunately, I eventually wised up and moved out of that town.

I forgot to mention, my salary was $90/week. No benefits.


Last edited by Sara Leigh on Sun May 23, 2004 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total

Post Sat May 22, 2004 8:54 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Think insane.



Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 1577
Location: Night's Plutonian shore
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College? What's the point? You've come full circle. Your work is done.
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Post Sat May 22, 2004 8:55 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Hillary



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 1767
I was the Queen of the Damned!  Reply with quote  

Or the donuts. Take your pick.

I absolutely loved working in a coffee shop. I worked the 7 - midnight (even though I was underage and shouldn't have). Used to get HUGE tips, too. All the creepy old men were getting out from the dog track on my shift. Those who won would get a coffee and leave me a big tip. No kidding, like tens and twenties. Course, half of them would want to shove the tens and twenties down my shirt, but I got sort of used to that. Actually, I got really good at side stepping pervy-donut-girl-fanciers. I must have lost the ability, what with chicks kissing me when I'm not looking.

Shocked

Post Sat May 22, 2004 10:28 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
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First Job? Worked on a strawberry farm in Mansfield, Ohio as a summer football work project to keep the junior high football players off the street and out of trouble. They came around every morning about six and picked us up in a paddy wagon. (I'm not kidding, the program was run by the police department.) They drove us out to a farm where we picked strawberries for 5 cents a quart. If you lasted the whole summer, they would give you a five cent bonus. I worked an entire summer and made $40. But the kicker was, if you held out the whole summer, you'd get to work on the sanitation crew at the county fair, where you could work unlimited hours for two bucks an hour. (Granted, you were picking up trash and emptying barrels of disgusting stuff into a truck, but my God, two bucks an hour! Tax free!).

The more interesting aspect of the job was that most of the guys on the crew were from low income families -- really low income, one guy -- we'll call him John Henry Johnson -- who lived in an unheated garage by the steel mill with his mother and a German shepard. (Unheated in Ohio is nearly a death sentence. He managed to buy a wood stove with the money he made that summer.)

John Henry, physically, was an absolute monster of a guy, all muscle, tremendously strong. He was about seventeen or eighteen while the rest of us were only fourteen. He was a senior in highschool and was just making progress with learning to read. He liked to read bumper stickers, but he had to sound out the words, so he would stand next to the cop who was driving the paddy wagon, and make him follow the car in front really close while he was reading the bumper stickers. Did I mention that this was a large black and white panel truck with red lights and big emblems that read, "Mansfield Police Department" on the side? And twenty screaming adolesents in the back, shouting encouragement through the wire. We freaked a lot of people out, that's all I'm saying.

At the end of the first year, after working the fair, which was absolutely great --arriving pre-dawn to serch the floors of the ticket booths for change, picking up the corks under the air-gun concessions and selling them back to the carnies, watching girls -- stalking girls, really -- on the midway, pretending to pick up trash under the Zipper, when actually we were picking up people's change that flew out of their pockets -- they told us to report to work at 5:00am the day after the fair ended. We were thinking "and do what?" All our job was about cleaning up.

When we showed up the fog was hanging so low in the valley that we could barely see fifty feet. Roger, the deaf old guy who had been our supervisor met us at the maintenence barn and had us load wheelbarrows, pitchforks and shovels onto a flatbed wagon behind his tractor. Then he took us to an enormous barn where the livestock had been boarded during the two weeks of the fair. Simply put, we were to muck out the stalls where goats, pigs, ducks, cattle, horses, donkeys, everfuckingthing had been pinned for two weeks without having been cleaned. The first forkfull of compacted manure I lifted release an ammonia smell so strong I couldn't breath, and in two minutes all of us were standing outside looking at each other. Mind you, we were football players in the Mid-West, all about testosterone and being macho, but the smell -- jeeze.

Suddenly we heard this horrible bellow off in the distance. Then another bizzare noise. We walked a little way toward it, and John Henry jumped up on a fence-post to look. "A dragon," he said. After everyone reminded him what a big dumbass he was, another guy said he could see something too. Suddenly a short, dark-skinned guy in red coveralls came walking out of the fog toward us and said, "Hey you guys want to work for the circus?"

And we dropped our pitchforks and shovels right there, leapt over the fence, and worked for two days for passes to the Clyde Beatty Circus. We put together and helped hoist the big top. (It was supported by four huge aluminum poles that came off of a flatbed semi truck in four enormous sections each -- each section required twenty men to carry from the truck and set in place on the ground. Some of the performers, a team of four Czech brothers who were acrobats, actually helped with this, and with all of the enormous poles were laid out in a line, they hitched it to an elephant and he pulled them into the sky. It was just fucking glorious.) We built the bleachers, the rings, helped carry the rigging for the performers, the whole shebang.)

So yeah, you'll find a shorter version of that story in Practical Demonkeeping, with the drunk, Robert, who believes that horseshit will eventually turn into circuses, and the character Lash, in Bloodsucking Fiends was named after Lash Parker, who was one of the guys on the crew, and who was nearly decapitated by a flying sickle after he opinined that John Henry's mother "stacked bricks." I, personally, did not find that a particularly vicious snap, but upon delivery, John Henry took out after Lash across the strawberry field, and when he could not catch him (Lash was a wide receiver, all legs and hands, and even in eighth grade he could run the hundred in under ten seconds.) John Henry let fly with the sickle that he'd been using to cut weeds out of the field and it traveled in a great boomeraging arch that missed Lash's head by less that four inches. Anyway, Lash ended up in a book, and John Henry did in a way, as a composite really, of another guy I used to work with -- but in Bloodsucking Fiends, when Tommy learns that Simon is illiterate, but more or less gives him a pass -- well I lived a similar scene with John Henry. (He'd once covered for me when I wrecked Roger's tractor, taking responsibilty for the accident because he was the only one who was legally old enough to be driving. This kid didn't have three changes of clothes, but he did have enormous heart. )

Anyway, it was a good job, in that way that I'd never want to do it again, but I'm glad I did it. And going onto forty-seven years old, I still don't think I quite have the chops to write about that summer (two summers, actually) when I was fourteen and fiffteen, and I worked on a strawberry farm and at the county fair with all the rest of the "at risk" kids. Stay tuned.


Drive Thru Please

Post Sun May 23, 2004 12:58 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tan



Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 103
Location: hiding from the kids...
oh no, now i'm crying again.....  Reply with quote  

I just started my pj clad morning watching Something's Gotta Give, eating m&ms and sobbing/laughing with my lab in my lap. Thought i'd do a little light reading here before mowing the lawn...but no....I have tears running down my face after reading about your summer of fun CM!

I too was sent away on the "Berry Bus" each summer morning of my 12th year. That was the year I was introduced to sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. To this day when I hear KC and the Sunshine Band on the radio, I remember the tunes 'blasing' from my transister radio while my friend asked me what the hell that guy with his jeans around his ankles was doing on top of the girl at the end of the raspberry row! We were clueless, but soon put two and two together. The summer of innocence lost, thanks for bringing back some great memories for me CM! Your gift this morning has given me great things to daydream about as I mow.

Post Sun May 23, 2004 2:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message
disco



Joined: 09 Mar 2004
Posts: 243
Location: The Enchanted Mitten
jobs  Reply with quote  

My first job was working for my father, building grain bins and installing big irrigation systems for farmers. And since I was a skinny little kid, I had the job of digging out the cave-ins when the trench would collapse when we were lying pipe. Let me tell you, there's nothing more fun than being at the bottom of a 6 foot deep trench with the hot sun directly overhead. No wind, no air, two feet of dirt over your head and a big ass shovel. On the up side I learned how to drive at like 10 years old moving dad's truck around in the fields.

My first real job was working at the local dime store for under the table cash. Started at 14 and worked there almost all the way through high school. I'll never forget the day I came back to the store after lunch and walked in just in time to see an elderly woman shake a big dump out of her pants leg right in front of the cash register. And her bitch daughter looked at the pile, looked at me, and walked her mom right past me and out of the store. One of the ladies in the store told me I should clean it up and I said I was still on my lunch, and that if it was still there when I got back I was quitting. So she called me a pussy and did it herself. Didn't bother me, I wasn't going near that shit (literally).

Of course, my next job was cleaning a movie theater. Every day, Sundays and holidays included. The place was closed one day a year - Christmas Eve. And then I discovered that the projectionist had a closet at the back of his booth with a stack of porno magazines in it taller than me. I guess it must get boring up there waiting for the reel change...

Post Sun May 23, 2004 5:36 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
JennyO



Joined: 28 Apr 2004
Posts: 2775
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My first job was driving the flatbed pickup when my dad and uncle were hauling hay. I was 11. The pickup was a '66 Ford stick shift. The seat was stuck as far back as it would go and would NOT move at all. I had to haul myself forward with the steering wheel in order to reach the pedals. This was not the worst part of the job...I also had to drive as slow as possible and as near to each bale as possible (these were the square bales, not those round monstrosities) so my dad and uncle could lift the 90-lb. suckers onto the back of the truck. I did that every summer until we killed the first rattlesnake. (We ALWAYS killed a rattlesnake.) Since snakes make me hyperventilate, that was a pretty good way to get back to the house and into the air conditioning (and back to the Looney Toons hour at 3:00).

My first job for pay was building custom computer cables. I thought it was the most boring job in the world. Then, I went to work as a proofer in a bank. Do you know what a proofer does? They put all those checks and deposit slips on microfiche. Yeah, that was a real improvement.

Jen

Post Mon May 24, 2004 2:56 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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I loved my first job. I want it back, but it just won't pay the bills.

My sophomore year in high school, I decided "enough with this babysitting shit" and got a job at a bookstore. I worked there for seven years, and would probably still be working there on weekends if there wasn't a conflict of interest with my current job - how fair is it to be a sales rep for a publisher and work for a store that is someone else's account? I'd know things about someone else's sales, and the owner/buyer would be tempted to ask me for favors (I still get calls from her to this day: "They say you're out of stock on this. Anything you can do for us?")

The owner, sadly, may drive the store into the ground. She got her degree in travel and tourism and was sort of forced to give up her aspiration of becoming a travel agent because her dad wanted to retire and needed to hand the store over to someone. All the other kids in the family basically went "not it!" and pointed at her, and hence she's been running a bookstore for the better part of fifteen years now, when it's not really what she wants to do. Maybe someday she'll sell it and I'll rally a bunch of the old employees to buy it from her. I already have my dream crew.

But I loved it. I love books, I love reading them and selling them, and working with people who love doing those things. I had one woman who came in the night before she left for vacation, and after asking a few questions, sent her home with Love Nun. About a year later, this woman came back, remembered me, and asked me to recommend something for her next trip. I miss that connection.

Even now, I call myself a bookseller, because my job is still to get books into the hands of readers, even if I'm a step removed from it now. But hey, now I can recommend books to buyers, who will read them and recommend them to their staffs, who will read them and handsell to customers. I guess I'm sort of reaching even more people this way.
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Post Mon May 24, 2004 6:32 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
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