I just started my first “real-life-full-time-I can pay the bills-job”. After receiving my first paycheck, I started thinking about all the jobs I have worked prior to this one for a much smaller paycheck— particularly my first job when I was 17.
I had been babysitting from the ages of 13-16 and making a lot of money having fun with children when I decided it was time to get a job that did not just require walking down to my neighbor’s house. My friend was working at a ritzy restaurant and called me to tell me that the high end chinaware store next to her restaurant was hiring. I went in for an interview and was hired on the spot (I wish it was still as easy as that!) I started working immediately and I was so excited… little did I know what I was getting into. From the start I was put on the schedule every single day after school from 3-9. I was required to dress professionally and learn as much as I could about glassware. What did I know about glassware at the time? The same as what I knew at the end of the job —nothing. It was impossible to learn anything in the environment I was thrust into. No one was there to teach me anything. I was left alone at the store for hours at a time and I had to carry 100 pound boxes in heels. Now, I would not normally complain about these circumstances, but my boss would often forget to pay me, and when she did it was nearly half of what I was told I would be making. I was too nervous to speak up about anything because I just thought this was what the working world was! Long story short, I was “let go” after about two months because I had been sending upside down faxes. Oops.
After this first job experience, I had plenty of wonderful work environments that I could not be happier about. But to this day, I will still cringe when I see the sign to that fine china store.
What was your first job? Did you have a similar experience or a good one?