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Thread: Just For Fun - First Job?

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    Moderator Mickey Richaud's Avatar
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    Just For Fun - First Job?

    Recently got to thinking about my work history, and remembered my first paying job, summer of '66, between my sophomore and junior year of high school. Sold Watkins Quality Products, door-to-door, alongside three other kids for a local distributor. Can't remember what we were paid, but likely commission based - whatever, it wasn't much! But was kind of fun, being with other guys.

    For those who don't remember Watkins, they were famous for their vanilla extract and their ground pepper, which was all but guaranteed not to make you sneeze when you used it. Claim was that their process eliminated the dust caused by grinding. Big selling point!

    OK - just for fun, your turn. What was your first real job?
    "There are three kinds of men. One who learns by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on that electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
    Mickey Richaud - '73 MGB, '69 MGB GT/V6 (both SOLD! ); Victor TF 1800; '03 Jaguar XK8
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    Sounds familiar. My first paying job was as a "runner" for a furniture company in downtown Fort Worth, 1965. Me and two of my fellow high school buddies would carry sales slips from the salesmen back to the business office, and bring a "paid" slip back to the customer. We got the rousing good wage of $2.25 per hour!

    And Watkins - it's still producing extracts in the original location on the Mississippi bluffs, Winona, Minnesota, where it started in 1868. I was just a lad then ....


    https://www.watkins1868.com/
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    Great Pumpkin DNK's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    [QUOTE=Mickey Richaud;1131312]..., summer of '66, .../QUOTE]
    Sheez
    Moved from Ca to Md
    I was going into 3rd grade
    Don
    "Stick a Wedge in it!"
    Mount Pleasant,SC

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    Moderator Mickey Richaud's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    [QUOTE=DNK;1131315]
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey Richaud View Post
    ..., summer of '66, .../QUOTE]
    Sheez
    Moved from Ca to Md
    I was going into 3rd grade
    So, your job was toting furniture? Like these guys?

    "There are three kinds of men. One who learns by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on that electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
    Mickey Richaud - '73 MGB, '69 MGB GT/V6 (both SOLD! ); Victor TF 1800; '03 Jaguar XK8
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    My first paying gig that was "off the books" was when I was probably in 5th grade. The manager at the Lerner's woman's clothing store where my mother worked paid me to break down boxes in the back room - 5 cents a box! My first official job where I actually had a paycheck was as a dishwasher at a Best Western motel / restaurant that was just off I-70 east of Denver (about where the Denver International Airport is today). This was when I was in Junior High School. The job included lots of other kitchen work besides just doing dishes; I also prepared large buckets of lettuce for salads and cleaned lots of shrimp.

    Just remembered - When Dad was stationed in Germany (early Junior High), I got paid $12 a month to clean the stairwell in the Army post apartment building where we lived.
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    If you don't count mowing yards and such, my first real job was factory work for Woodward-Schumacher. They only make battery chargers and such today (AFAIK) but back then they had their fingers in all sorts of transformer-based stuff. Even built output transformers for tube Fender guitar amps, which I understand are still prized today.

    Anyway, they had these huge machines that wound many coils at a time onto long tubes, then cut the tubes apart. My job was to take those bare coils, attach leads to them, add a layer of insulation, and test the result. IIRC base wage was something like $1.15/hr, but if I worked hard, I got $.10/coil and I could do 20 or 25 coils an hour on a good day.

    That was my junior year in high school. I had bought a car and the job provided just enough to keep gas in the car so I could go running around on Sundays. Must've been 1971. I had already bought the car and driven it home, before I was old enough to get a license
    Not much of a car, (62 Chevy Biscayne) but worth every penny of the $15 I paid for it!

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    Obi Wan LarryK's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    Rode my bike 10 miles to clean dog kennels. Smelly, dirty, but dogs were fun. Once driving, went to work for Kroger.
    Larry K
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    My first job was in a watch factory making faces all day
    Elliot
    Central PA
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    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    Prolly more fun than killin' time.
    "There are three kinds of men. One who learns by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on that electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
    Mickey Richaud - '73 MGB, '69 MGB GT/V6 (both SOLD! ); Victor TF 1800; '03 Jaguar XK8
    ------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey Richaud View Post
    Prolly more fun than killin' time.
    Good one Mickey
    Elliot
    Central PA
    1973 TR6 Damson Plum / Biscuit interior, HVDA 5-speed, Good Parts Hubs
    1976 TR6 White/Biscuit interior SOLD
    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    It appears with the making faces and killing time references that we are listing chronologically.

    My first "job" was helping the maintenance man at my Jr. High School in 1972. I got paid about $1/hour. The next job (my first job that generated a W2) was working at the grocery store "sacking vittles". Everyone should have a service job at some point.
    Doug L.
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    Yoda
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    I had several "Jobs" while still at school. Delivering meat for a butcher shop by bicycle (one with a small front wheel and heavy basket) on Saturday mornings. I would work at a small trading estate doing various tasks, there was an auto repair guy, woodwork guy and machine shop. I traded between all three depending on their work loads. All cash jobs. Between high school and my apprenticeship I worked in a Bonded warehouse where stored wine and spirits. I bottled wine, learned how to move wine casks almost as heavy as I was and anything else they came up with.

    The first real job was the beginning of my apprenticeship at a company that did electrical and mechanical engineering. Gave me a great foundation. We started out at about 1/4 of the factory going rate but we were in training and going to college 1 day a week.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    Discounting the mowing thing, in a factory making car seats for Ford, GM and Chrysler over the summers while in college. They used big furnaces to cure the foam so in the summertime even with all the doors and windows open it was over 100 inside all the time. So you had to drink plenty of water and take salt tablets during the shift. I and the other 15 or so summer helpers were not welcome there, the union made things difficult for us, even though the was a summer program and we were providing additional help, not taking full time people's jobs. Made decent money for the next year's tuition though and wasn't much else in a small town to do that.

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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    My first job was working for an injection molding company when I was in college. They were buying old machines and refurbishing them. My job was to wire up these new machines. This job taught me lots about following schematics and connecting devices.... skills I use today.
    Elliot
    Central PA
    1973 TR6 Damson Plum / Biscuit interior, HVDA 5-speed, Good Parts Hubs
    1976 TR6 White/Biscuit interior SOLD
    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    I was a paperboy for the Santa Barbara News-Press for a couple of years ~1960. Broke the crank on my Schwinn carrying a load of Sunday papers up a hill.
    Then worked in my parent's grocery store.
    In the summer of '64, after HS, started as a draftsman during summer vacations at a shop in Palo Alto. Minimum wage was $1.25/hr.
    John, BN4

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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    I worked summers on my uncles' farm when I was twelve through sixteen. I hoed thistle. I drove an Allis-Chalmers tractor for heying and binding grain. I shockied grain bundles, pitchied bundles onto wagons and pitched grain bundles into a threshing machine. I got paid whatever my uncles thought was appropriate. My dad bought a '41 Pontiac sedan for me to drive from the small MN town we lived in so I could drive home from the farm to attend summer band activities when I was a high school freshman. I learned how to do a brake job on that car which included riveting new linings on the old brake shoes.
    At age sixteen I also worked at the local Green Giant canning company where I started as a typesetter earning $1.10/hr to service the filler machines to stamp codes on the can lids. Upon graduating high school in '59 I advanced to working as a Green Giant factory night cost accountant earning $15.00/night with no hour requirement. Green Giant helped me and most other college students in that town pay for higher education. I understand that factory has expanded and is still operating, but migrant workers have replaced local students because the canning/freezing season has expanded beyond school summer vacations.
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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    Mowing lawns using a large wagon to carry stuff with mower attached to rear. Moved up to a trailer when 16 with drivers license. At night would park cars at restaurant. Did not have that service and offered to do it for owner and he said yes. Printed my own parking stubs and kept all the $$ made. Xmas and New Years Eve were best tips. Drive the inebriated people home in their car and had another guy follow in car to bring me back. Wife would gladly pay the bill but husband was usually too drunk to know what was happening and would hand over $$ 50's or 100 because they could not make out the bill they held out. This was 1965. Owner of restaurant after 2 years wanted a take of the parking concession and I walked away leaving him to fend for himself. Went back there a year later and no parking concession.

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    As a junior in high school, worked part-time in a Ma & Pa camera store, selling processing and doing occasional minor camera repair. Also worked as a "stringer" for the local newspaper, photographing the various three high schools' Friday night sports events and some local social events. Summer jobs in high school and college were photo related as well. Junior/senior summer did a couple months as a medical photog assistant (baby pix of the newborns on Monday mornings was a part of that), assisted a wedding photographer doing "bride chasing" on occasion. Senior summer after H.S. graduation did a 13-week job as a metallurgical photographer, photomicrography of steel samples. Good money, got me my first MGB! As a college freshman I worked for a company taking photos of schoolkids, called "kidnapping" in the trade. A lot of schools in a fifty-mile radius hauling a Beattie Portronic 70mm TLR roll film camera & tripod, four-head strobe lighting kit, posing stool and rig for a seamless background. It all fit into the MG with just enuff room for me to drive it.
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    Luke Skywalker sail's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    After my junior high paper route of 1 apartment building with 80 subscribers which financed a Sunfish sailboat I worked summer of 1969 in a Shell full service filling station. Mechanics were street racers with 66 and 68 396 Chevelle's and lots of friends stopping by.
    Richard
    65 tr4a

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    Yoda glemon's Avatar
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    Re: Just For Fun - First Job?

    My first job was a grocery store, bagging groceries, think it paid $1.85 an hour, I know it was under $2. I was 14, they said they weren't supposed to hire me until I was 15, but I don't think they worried about that stuff so much then.

    In the summers in high school I worked for a friend's dad who had a small farm out of town. Really enjoyed working outside with two good friends, we worked hard, but had a very good time. Work truck was a 50s Chevy pickup, swear you could turn the steering wheel a quarter turn before anything happened.

    I am getting well past first job, but the third one overlaps with the forum subject matter. Worked at Foreign Auto Parts, a foreign parts and repair place as a parts runner and clean up guy. Loved it, some cars, including an old TD, and an old TR, seem to have gone there to die, as they remained in the same place the whole time I worked there. Lots of interesting cars in and out mostly British and Japanese, there were other shops that specialized in VW, and also a higher priced place that worked on Mercedes and Porsche's. We also got Fiats and Alfas, one day a kid came in driving a very clapped out Alfa Guilietta, rusty, smoking, lopey idle, he offered to trade straight up for my only slightly less clapped out Sprite. Needing a car with a fighting chance to get me to work I declined.
    Last edited by glemon; 03-04-2020 at 03:15 PM.

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