My oldest son combs back his hair and adjusts the collar on his new McDonald’s uniform. It’s his third day of work. His first job. He’s 17.
I’m really proud of him for going out and finding this job. We gave him my old car this year and agreed to pay for his insurance (which doubled ours, incidentally – ayee!). But we didn’t agree to pay for gas. Or much gas, anyway – we give him about one full tank per month to get to and from school, but beyond that, he’s on his own.
And he’s got a girlfriend.
(Girlfriends can be expensive.)
And he’s got a big group of friends who like to go out and do stuff.
So off to find a job he went. …
Of course, watching him look for a job made us all talk about “first jobs” around the dinner table a lot in recent weeks.
My first job was in a sandwich shop when I was 16. Superman’s first job was in a snack bar at “Gemco” (remember that store?) when he was 16. He also worked at a gas station and a Christmas tree lot. My mom’s first job in high school was in a dress shop in Downtown Akron. She always talks about taking the bus there and how she’d have to change her shoes after slugging through the snow down the sidewalk. My dad’s first job was technically as a newspaper boy, but his first “real” job with a regular paycheck was at a gas station. He likes to tell us how, in the 1950s, the attendants used to pump the gas for the customers. (!) The gas station he worked at is still standing in Ellet, Ohio, and he drove us by there to look at the old pumps a couple of years ago.
I think these are all great experiences. …
I was thinking about this the other day, and how all my friends in high school who had jobs seemed to go on to have a really great work ethic all their lives. I don’t know if it was the job creating the great work ethic or the work ethic creating the desire for the job, but there’s a definite correlation.
I was also thinking about the fact that everyone should have at least one of these jobs sometime in his or her lifetime:
- Working a food counter
- Working retail
- Being a waiter or waitress
Because working one of those jobs creates a huge amount of sympathy and respect for the people who work those jobs now. And, forever after, you will always treat waiters/waitresses, retail workers, and food-counter workers with respect. You know what they’re going through. You’ve been there. You watch them struggle with a cash register that doesn’t work or juggle too many customers because someone called in sick and you think, “God, I remember how awful that was. …” And you become one of those people who is more patient and gracious in the world because you’re more sympathetic that someone else might be having a bad day.
How about you? Did you have one of the “Classic 3” jobs?
What was your first job ever?