My First Job Mon, Jul 20, 2020
Before my first real job, me and my brothers earned small allowance (like just loose change) if we did our chores like making our beds, picking up clothes, etc, and if our work was deficient we got proportionately less. As we got older, more complex chores were offered if you wanted to earn extra cash in addition to our regular chores; like you could earn a lot more if you washed the car. I think this system achieved what my parents intended, which was to learn the value of money and work for it, and I appreciate that I was definitely not spoiled despite our family being more well-off than I realized while growing up.
Jump to my freshman-sophomore year of high school, when I began my first job at The UPS Store in my hometown of La Cañada, California for a whopping $5.75/hr (gosh that seems like so little now!). I can't entirely remember what time during the year I started, but I'm pretty sure I was 15 years old and needed a work permit for a short while there, or I was just barely 16 years old. Just did a Google Maps search, and the same store is still there! See the picture below of the very store. I learned all about shipping, packaging, a dash of retail, and some miscellaneous office services like faxing, laminating, and binding. Aside from some Saturdays, I worked for about 3 hours after school everyday until store closing, and ended up working there for several years through the rest of high school until I graduated and moved out of state for college.
I worked with usually one or sometimes two other people, but I also frequently operated the store by myself, and despite being a high school student, I got to the point where I was trusted to train new hires too. However, early on when I first closed the store by myself, I remember being terrified that someone would come in asking for something I didn't know how to do, or come in really upset because an item was lost or damaged in shipping. Most people don't realize that The UPS Stores are mostly (or all) franchises, so we were not UPS itself, though customers assumed we were UPS employees. I'm a much more confident and self-assured individual now, but when I was younger I was much more shy and less assertive, and when the last associate would leave, I'd be nervous until I could lock the door at closing! Eventually I got more comfortable of course.
About a decade later, surprisingly my shipping knowledge came in handy when I took over shipping SlideBelts' first orders; a good reminder that you never know how something is going to help you in the future! I also learned what it's like working with different types of people at that store: the all-star, the slacker, the average joe, and the flirt. From this and later work experience, it really shaped my opinion in the type of work environment I liked to work in and the people I liked to work with. Thankfully Brig and I were lucky enough to get the opportunity to create exactly what we wanted at SlideBelts. 😀