Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another trip down memory lane...

Ok, time to reminisce a bit..

Back when I was in High School, my dad told me that if I wanted something, I was going to have to EARN it.

This meant that I was going to need a JOB.

Now, since Junior High, I'd been going out each summer to get extra spending cash. Picking strawberries, picking beans, and picking blueberries.

Usually, by the end of the summer I'd have about 1,000 or more, depending on the crops and my willingness to enslave myself.

Then, I'd fly out to Minnesota for a couple of weeks to my uncle's farm, take care of his stuff, and come home with another $700.

So, by the time school would start, I'd have about $1700 for clothes, books, and tuition. (Books and tuition for college, because I was taking college courses at the same time that I was going to High School!)

Well, things weren't working out so well in the "I need a car!" department, so I got my high school counselor to give me a "emancipation" document that my parents could sign so that I could get a part-time job to work at along with my schooling.

My dad agreed, and signed this.

My first employer? McDonald's.

Yes, I worked the greasy fast-food job for four years while plugging away at schoolwork.

Now, I didn't mind the work. My problem was the definition of part-time.

My school schedule went something like this:

6am. Get up, shower, eat some breakfast, get to school.

6:30 am-2pm High school and related classes.

3pm-5pm College courses.

5:30pm-10pm Work at McDonald's.

10:30-?? Home for homework, then eat a little something, and hit the sack. Usually about midnight.

Now, this wasn't really a problem, since I pulled a 4.0 GPA while in High School, and I also earned a 3.8 with my college courses.

The problem was when I'd get called for extra shifts while I was IN school!

My answering machine would usually be chock-full of messages asking if I could come in for some extra time. Or if I could cover this or that shift.

Did they not know that I was in school? Or did they just not care?

I don't know, but I do tell you that it was the reason that I quit, eventually.

I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I would be working the night of my High School graduation.

I calmly looked the manager in the face, tossed my hat and apron in their face, and said "F-you. I'm going to graduate."

I still don't think they'd rehire me if I was desperate for a job...

Anyway, thanks to that job, I was able to get my first beater of a car.

My cherished 1971 Volkswagon Super Beetle.

I paid all of $300 for it, and it abused the HELL out of it. (refer to a previous post about it, and you can see just how hard I was on it!)

Anyway, this was just one of the small joys I was able to get in touch with because of the added financial freedom!


I moved out when I was 15.

I was able to get in with a friend of mine, and we lived in a two bedroom apartment just across the way from my school. I paid half the rent, and half of utilities.

This would only cost me $250 a month, which wasn't bad!

So then I tried my hand at something else..

I decided to start saving for buying my own home.

Now, I don't know many teens who think this far ahead, but it gave me brain cramps when I'd decide how much of each paycheck I was going to put into my nest egg account at my bank.

I mean, I had gas to pay for, insurance, food, rent, and utilities. Plus, if I wanted to go play at some point during the weekend, I had to foot that bill as well.

I learned how to budget FAST. Plus, it seemed to work for me.

Thus, with some hard work, some dedication, and a little luck, I was able to put aside a nice big chunk of change when I graduated.

Add to that all the bonus cash I got for being in the service, and I was sitting pretty when I decided to buy a home!

But that's for another day..

Do you recall your first job?

Was it as glorious as mine?


Dana said...

My first job was actually ... McDonald's! I worked there for 1-1/2 years until I was able to secure a job at the local Movie Theater - a much more glorious position! I will say this, McDonald's taught me great work ethics and it was the perfect first job!

Jormengrund said...

K, now you're scaring me!

After all, what else are you hiding from me that we're going to have in common Dana!

Thanks for reading!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Wow, you thought about a house that young? I was lost in a sea of angst!

My first job was as a Customer Service Rep at Comdata (where I should have bought tons of stock!) and I met my first girlfriend there. Again, I was way too busy with the angst and girls to "think" about the future!

Jormengrund said...


Yeah, I was quite anal about making sure that I had something that was going to be MINE.

I don't know, but somehow my grandpa really influenced me about real estate, and making it mine.

So, back when I got out of the service, I bought a couple of acres.

These past couple of years, I've been approving floorplans, and such to make the dream house that I've always wanted.

It's going to be impressive for me to see something I've dreamed about come to life, and I'm anxious to share this dream with my wife and kids as well!

I didn't have time for angst at my age. I was too busy trying to stay alive.

Maybe I'll tell you about all that some other time...

Dana said...

Let's see ...

I'm quite a bit older than you, but if I remember correctly, you live near my old stomping grounds in Washington. Don't know how long you've lived there, but are you familiar with the John Danz Theatre in Bellevue? That was my second job!

Bee's Musings said...

I worked at Brown's Chicken and Pasta (may I take your order) for 9 years years while I helped put my lil bros and sis through school. No way in hell did I ever have the stamina for all the stuff you did!

Dana said...

Oh! One other thing ...

I always read - I might not always comment, but you are one of my GoogleReader blogs and I do always read!

Jormengrund said...

Bee - Heh, some stuff I can't really get into, mainly because if I do, there will not be another humor posting for a while, and I refuse to let myself get down right now!

Dana - I'm actually further south. Pretty close to Portland, really. And I don't think you're that much older than me, to be honest! If you don't believe me, I'll prove it! I'm currently 37!

AirmanMom said...

Great saga! Thanks for sharing!
My first job was at a Dry Cleaners. UGH! A teenage girl touching a grown man's neck dirt-UGH! And then there was the cheapo who every week did a PO(press only) for the same suit. I was young, but not dumb!
Scarring episode of my life ;)
My oldest daughter worked at McD's for her first job..oh my goodness...the smell of grease on that uniform! Always a separate load-no way was that uniform going in with the fam's everyday clothing!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Dan da Man said...

I could’ve swore it would’ve been a male prostitute oh well

just a girl... said...

what a great story and no you are a way better budgeter than I.

My first job was at E-Z's it was a pizza, salad, burger restaurant and it was the "it" place to work.