That story about Bert and his dad* reminded me of those features magazines sometimes like to do about celebrities and their first jobs. The idea, I think, is to find the biggest celebrities that had the worst, most menial first jobs. Maybe as an inspiration to the rest of us that sure, now you work at Burger King peddling sub-standard food to smart-ass kids, but someday, you could be Jay-Z!
Or whatever. I don't know if Jay-Z ever worked at Burger King, it's just a made-up example, okay?
And now onto a not-made-up example! That would be me.
Now when we speak of "jobs," we can sometimes run into gray areas. Like, I worked for a neighbor who had an insurance business when I was about 13, calling the telephone directory to get updated phone numbers for his client database. This was before the Internet was widely used, so it was necessary to do quaint things like talk to an actual person on the telephone. But I don't really consider that my first job. It's not like I had to go to an actual place of employment and report income to the IRS, so no. Not the first real job.
I also, as used to be the case with most girls who couldn't drive yet, did a lot of babysitting. In fact, I babysat for one particular family pretty much every weekend for at least a couple of years. The Matusiaks were an extraordinarily nice family, and they basically funded the savings account I used when I went to college.
But still, not reportable to the IRS, so not a real job.
The first real job I had, in which I had to get up and get dressed and show up for regular work hours (and report income), was at a public library in Tucson. How appropriate. I worked as a page, which meant that I sorted and shelved books. It was a great job--nice people, easy work, reasonable hours. I did it for two summers and my senior year in high school. I would do it now, if I could.
And now, let's have some Audience Participation! What was your very first job, duckies? Dog walker? Dishwasher? Sales clerk? At what lowly occupation did you toil for gas money as a teenager?
* My brother, by the way, was also present at that visit with Bert, and he's calling shenanigans on my dad's recollection of the story. My brother does not actually remember the word "asshole" being used. But it totally makes for a funnier story, so I think it will have to stay.