I didn't have a job until I was in college. I halfheartedly applied for a couple of things before that, but nothing came to be. I think I got one interview at the mall, and they didn't hire me. So off I went to college. During "Meat and Animal Science 101" there was a call for workers at the World Dairy Expo. That weekend (and only that weekend) I had my first paying job: dumping jugs of milk and shoveling cowshit (I was a city kid, and fascinated by the opportunity, though not very good at it).
Other jobs that followed:
- Cashier at campus ice cream shop (yuk, but free food. but once you knew what it was like behind the scenes, who would eat the food?)
- Cashier at OfficeMax (full-time hours without full-time pay or benefits. no employee discount. had to take my nose ring out.)
- Assistant at campus computer lab (got fired for largely political reasons. had not known that sociability was going to be taken into account.)
- Student library assistant at engineering library (nice quiet little library, but I couldn't understand any of the reading material)
- Assistant at two more campus computer labs (different school, didn't get fired, people actually cared about my computer knowledge rather than whether I was buddy buddy with my coworkers)
- Customer Service Person for Sears appliance repair scheduling (only for one summer, only for 12 hours a week. first job that made me pee in a cup. lots of very angry people, and we were supposed to get them off the phone in an average of 3 minutes or less. Oh, and when they offer you next Tuesday to fix something that's exploding all over the floor? argue with them. we weren't allowed to schedule better times in anything short of an absolute emergency.. unless the person refused the initially-offered appointment three times. three is the magic number. being a bitch apparently pays off. we also had to hawk soap -- soap! -- at the end of these conversations. try selling soap to someone already pissed because their washer is BROKEN and we're going to charge $50 to come LOOK at it)
- Assistant at public library (lots of fun. learned a lot of library stuff. sneakily took on responsibilities not in my job description.)
- Communication Assistant at state relay system for the deaf (my longest and strangest job. dealt with many things I had enormous phobias about -- talking to strangers, calling people on the phone -- and yet I was pretty good at it. in a way, it helped me get over some of that stuff. but I still often hated it because it was contrary to my personality)
- (ta da!) Library Assistant at a big university library (not the same as the 'student lackey' assistant jobs I held before, I'm actually more or less making a living doing this and I love it)
I should tell some stories about the relay sometime. I wonder if any of my readers have ever dealt with a relay phone call? Everyone hated us. Once or twice in the two years I spent there, someone said, "Cool!" Most other people tried to hang up on us.