Oh, the memories…
When I had just turned 14, my parents decided it was time for me to get a job. I was 14. The last thing I wanted to do was to go hand out resumes, especially at the beginning of the summer. I was looking forward to a long summer of hanging out with my friends and slacking off. Instead, I was dropping off applications at the local Dairy Queen.
I still remember the day I started. It was July 18th, 1997. The first hour I spent just talking to the boss, going over the aspects of the job while she smoked (!) in the back room. Then it was time to hit the floor. For the first little while, I was on cleaning duty. I wiped tables, trays, etc.
Eventually I became the cook (I got to work by myself back in the kitchen, the sole reason why I wanted it so much) and settled into working there for over 3 years. Basically the only reason why I left was because it was time to get a real job. For the most part I enjoyed the job and now that I look back on it, I learned some valuable lessons:
1) If you work hard, you’ll be rewarded. I still remember the first time I ever got yelled at by a boss. It was because I wasn’t moving fast enough. I got the message loud and clear and ever since I’ve prided myself on the ability to work harder than other people. Working smart is important too, and combining both will ensure success at whatever job you take.
2) Working with people irritated me. I almost begged my boss to let me become a cook. I longed for the chance to lessen my exposure to the usual crap that working with fast food employees brought. It was a lesson that, over 10 years later, I still consider myself lucky for finding it out so quickly.
3) Supervising people sucks too. I quickly discovered that I had little desire to supervise people. People are different, responding differently to certain stimuli. Trying to motivate people to work is hard, so I quickly got myself into a position so I wouldn’t have to. Of course, at my second job, I supervised people for upwards to 4 years, so I obviously needed some more time before I figured that one out.
4) Spending money on crap is really easy. I should consider myself lucky. I learned at 14 just how fast money can disappear on crap. I remember looking at my bank statement after 6 months of working hard and finding the balance way too close to zero for my liking. So I just down my crap spending. I haven’t looked back since.
5) Relationships are important, but overrated. I don’t talk to anyone I used to work with. I would still talk to my boss, except she passed away suddenly about 8 years ago. Some jobs are good at building relationships. Some aren’t.
6) 50% of food for staff is a good way to get fat. Dammit!