Mocha With Linda has started her very own meme. This is how she describes it:
This new meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!.
I am enjoying this meme a lot. Grab the button and the link and come play along. Linda’s theme this week is:
How old were you when you got your first (paying) job? Did you work during the school year? What stipulations, if any, did your parents put on spending, saving, etc.? What types of jobs did you have before you were, oh, 21 or 22? Did you go to college or a technical/trade school? If so, did you work while you were pursuing your post-high school education? What were your favorite — and least favorite, if you wish to share! — jobs? What did you learn from those early jobs?
When I was a kid my friends and I would rake leaves in the fall. We worked for a dime a piece. There were 3 of us. For 30 cents you could get your yard raked and your curbs and driveway swept. My friends and I had a pretty good repeat business. We usually got lemonade or soda pop and cookies, too. We thought we were living good!
At the age of 12 I graduated to baby-sitting for 75 cents an hour. I’d really hit the big time then! The Summer I turned 13, I took my first “real” job — itinerant farm worker. My job was to crawl around in the hop fields on my hands and knees for 8 hours every day pulling weeds and convincing the hop vines to climb the guy wires. It was a horrid job.
By the end of the first day I was too hot and too dirty. I wanted to quit. My parents hadn’t wanted me to take the job. They said it was too hard and I couldn’t do it. That’s why I got up and went back the next day and the next. I didn’t like the job, but it wasn’t too hard and I most certainly could do it.
My parents made me give my notice by the end of my third week. They didn’t like me out in the field with the itinerant workers. Most of them were kids my own age, but Dad didn’t care. He was certain they were dangerous. He based his opinion on their skin color, not their characters. I argued, but since Dad was my transportation I didn’t have much choice. I gave my notice.
About that time we left to spend the Summer in a logging camp up Bumble Bee creek outside of Kingston, Idaho. We stayed in Babin’s Trailer Park. Every day I walked the mile between Babin’s and the dump. At the dump I climbed right into the dumpsters and dug out all of the bottles and cans, which I put into gunny sacks and drug into the bushes. After work when he came down the mountain dad would stop and load the gunny sacks into the pickup. I made $400.00 that Summer recycling those bottles and cans.
I worked an interesting variety of jobs over the next few years. I baby-sat for a church (paid nursery position). I worked binding and trimming machines in a print shop. I worked janitorial for a bar, cleaning from 4-8 a.m. 6 days a week (didn’t clean Sunday nights). I worked doing tedious record searches for a Land & Title Co. (pre-computer). I worked the switchboard at a very busy bowling alley/arcade/sports bar. Then I finally settled into janitorial work for about 10 years. At 29 I got a job as a cook in a hospital. At 31 I went to college. My pre-professional years lasted a bit longer than is traditional.
As for provisions put on my money and saving — at the age of 14 when I started earning substantial (for a kid) paychecks, my parents collected my money. No matter how much I earned, I was given a $20.00 per month allowance ($5.00 per week). Ten percent of my money was put into savings supposedly for me, but I never saw it. The remainder went to my parents for my room and board.
The reason I got a job during the school year in the first place was because when I was 14 my dad was injured in an accident. He spent months in the hospital and about a year in physical therapy. During that time my paycheck was needed to support the family. After dad was back to work full time and my step-mom quit working, they still took my paychecks. I protested once and was told that I was an ungrateful wretch who didn’t deserve the bed and food I already had. Not surprisingly I left home at 17.
Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com. Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.