Monday, November 9, 2009
My First Job
Everyone remembers the first time they had a real job and received an actual paycheck--that all-important, grown-up feeling of having a boss, co-workers, a schedule and responsibilities. My first job was great fun and perfect for a high school kid. I worked in a movie theater downtown in both the concession stand and box office. I much preferred the concession stand because I could eat all the popcorn I wanted, drink soda and interact with customers. I only had to pay for the candy I ate. Other perks included watching the movie after everyone was seated and doing my homework once the movie started. Our uniforms consisted of a very short, navy, one-piece dress. My boss's name was Mr. Schnaible (I never knew his first name). He hired me when I was just 15--three months from turning 16. He told me to keep my age quiet after I told him I really wanted a job and needed the cash. I was saving for a car and was a total clotheshorse (still am). We sometimes had midnight movies and Disney premieres where moviegoers would line up around the block. I remember The Love Bug was a huge hit. We had to make bags and bags (trash bag size) full of popcorn beforehand and then mix it with the warm stuff. I remember the big, clunky cash register didn't add up the totals. It was very old--sort of like a manual typewriter. I became very adept at adding quickly in my head. Once, a guy angrily challenged me and said, "How do you know that's the right total?" I smiled sweetly and said, "Because I do. I can add in my head." If someone had a huge order, I would pull out a napkin and pencil and add the total on that. Of course, we had to be able to count back change (unlike today) but I digress. Several of my friends who were also in the Kiltie Drum Corps started working at the theater so we often had scheduling conflicts with games and parades. Many times, we had to be off at the same time but Mr. Schnaible never complained and would even take a shift himself. What a great first boss. My hourly wage was $1.10. Can you beat that? Let's hear about your first job.