In an earlier post, I mentioned that I have been on a payroll since age 12. I have gotten several questions about that, so let me give you the run-down on all of my pre-professional positions…
At age 12, I got a part-time job as an assistant in the church nursery on Sunday and Wednesday nights. At age 14, I began working as a file clerk in a local pediatrician’s office. Filing–that was too much of a yawn.
From age 15-18, I worked at a children’s amusement park as a party host, which also entailed clean-up. It was disgusting, especially in the sweltering hot summer heat. But, all of those hours standing out in the glaring summer sun (earning $4 per hour) gave me hours upon hours to think about what I didn’t want in life. This was a hard, thankless job. Why did I do it? I liked the extra spending money I guess. My parents didn’t make me do it. It wasn’t far from home, and a couple of my friends worked there as well. We did have fun, from time to time. Looking back, I am so thankful for this experience. At an early age, I was able to observe different types of people and I was able to experience different types of work. Providing customer service to difficult people was no walk in the park. With the heat over 100 degrees, covered in sunscreen, sweat, and dirt, I had to lift kids into the kiddie rides, which resulted in more than one bruise. I had to haul heavy, hot, leaky trash down a road to the dumpster. There were bugs. We were only allowed to sit down when we got our break. In fact, I blacked out from heat exhaustion (for the first time) while I was standing near the carousel with no shade. Looking back, I have no idea why I didn’t quit. I guess I just accepted it as the norm and held out hope for a better tomorrow.
In high school one summer, I got a job as a tutor for elementary school students. Not only was this job air-conditioned, but I got a raise. $7 per hour=living the life of luxury.
In college, I held several jobs.
Working in a gift shop, I hated the cash register and the fickle credit card machine, especially during the stressful holiday season.
As the assistant and grader for an art history professor, I determined that if/when I ever became a college professor, I would rely solely on scantrons in order to avoid reading stacks and stacks of essays in barely-legible handwriting.
My stint as a telecounselor for the college was short-lived as I really didn’t like making cold-calls to prospective students for small talk. Awkward.
Then there were all of my unpaid jobs… Student teaching a group of gifted and talented elementary school students. Interning in the college admissions office. Interning in other college offices. Advising student organizations and clubs. And, of course, my ever-famous tenure as the elementary school librarian’s assistant. Why is it that these were the jobs I loved the most?
As I am in the final stretch of my journey to being a full-time stay-at-home mom, I can’t help but reflect on these past experiences as life’s newest chapter begins to unfold.
To be continued…