Category Archives: Confessions of a retail Underling

My first job: Paper or Plastic

My first job: Paper or Plastic

I’ve created a new definition for retail therapy.  While some problems are temporarily forgotten about by  strolling the busy streets of Gran Via in Spain or Oxford Street in London, my therapy is actually standing on the other side of the register as the employee.  I love retail for the simple fact that I love meeting all types of people, it’s easy money, and it’s a job that requires very little thinking if you serve as the underling as I have done on several occasions. This love affair with retail started when I was in high school and has manifested itself into various ways, but first let’s start with my first retail job – which also was my first job ever!

My First Job

I started my first retail job in high school (around 17/18) when I worked for a local grocery store chain.  Although I was a  bagger/cart retriever I took pride in my job – something that many young children lack today. At that age, I did not mind pushing carts in the rain or cold. In fact, it was fun racing around the parking lot with my other colleagues.  Imagine pushing a few stupid carts, hanging outside, and getting paid for it – what more could a high school, teenage kid ask for.

Although I enjoyed the job as much as one could at that age, I was quickly reminded of my factory defect: my inexplicable stomach.  I was not a vegetarian at the time, but I believe it was this experience that threw me into the arms of vegetarianism a few years later. As I bagged the food, specifically lunch meat, I became ill with almost every order I bagged.  Til this day, I refuse to work around food.

I quit after a few paychecks, but I will always remember my first job. I was proud to make my own money, gained a little independence from my parents, and I strengthened my work ethic that was instilled in me from my parents, involvement with sports, and programs such as Upward Bound.

**As an aside to my parents, I urge you to enroll your children in some sort of class (music or otherwise), athletics, or job before they graduate.  Without either of these things, I believe the teenager has a harder time adjusting into the real world once they leave the parents home;  the child often has no concept of money, time, nor have they developed the ability to work well with others.**

Unfortunately, I do not see a lot of drive in the younger generation – including my own siblings.  I see the desire for high and quick returns without very little work put forth. Although a lot has changed in the 15 plus years since I held my first job, I am certain that no matter what the career aspirations are a lack of humility, motivation, and a good work ethic will cause the next generation to lag behind.

So tell me…what was your first job? I would love to hear your stories and how it impacted your life?