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Miscellaneous Monday - Where it all started.

Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 22, 2019

Happy Monday everyone!

If you're anything like me, you tend to think a lot about what the future looks like. What are my kids up to in 15 years? Have we solved for climate change? How could TVs possibly get a more clear picture than what we have right now? Ok, so maybe not the most-pressing questions around, but I digress. 

With all this looking forward we may tend to lose sight of the past and where we've grown. The question I want to ask you this week is: what was your first job? Was it as a small town bank teller, a teenage babysitter, or maybe trimming the grass with your uncle's landscaping company?

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What are the most important lessons you learned from that experience? How have those lessons stuck with you through your career growth? 

Excited to learn more about all of you!

 

[ My first job was as a lifeguard at my local pool. I was terrified every day because I was not a good swimmer and had barely passed my lifeguard certifications. Fortunately no one drowned, which has become kind of a joke/mantra in my professional life. When things get bad I always remind myself, "Hey, at least no one drowned." It's a great way to put things in perspective. ]

 

 

24 comments

Erica Moss Community Manager Apr 22, 2019

Famous. Footwear. (For those not familiar, it's a franchise shoe store.) While I was never brave enough to work in food service, I did learn similar life lessons about responsibility, patience and the value of good customer service.

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Jill Moloney Apr 22, 2019

I worked at Fayva shoes in high school....similar to Famour Footwear!

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Erica Moss - You're not missing anything in food service, but I agree that working in a service industry really makes you appreciate good customer service!

I did learn two valuable lessons from my time in food service: 

1. Be patient with your waitstaff. Most of your experience is not in their control.

2. When someone is giving me bad service, I know they're giving me bad service and I say something about it. There's nothing I hated more when I waited tables than to learn afterwards that I'd screwed something up and no one said anything and complained to my manager or left a snarky remark on a reciept. 

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Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Apr 22, 2019

I define my first real job as something I found for myself and got paperwork when I got paid, and lost some of it to income tax.  Before my first real one, I'd had various "jobs", but all from a friend or relative saying "here's some work, we'll bung you some cash".

It's dull.  I worked "behind the till" at "Misselbrook and Wesson".  I came home from university for Christmas, went to my friend's house, popped into the M&W local shop for beer and spotted the "help wanted" in the window.  The manager needed a long-term person but hired me because they needed immediate cover, I was happy to work strange hours and as soon as they found someone better, I was happy to leave without fuss.  So I worked maybe 40 hours over the holiday, giving the manager enough time to find someone who was perfect, as they couldn't start until the day I needed to go back to university.  She was so grateful that I could work New Year's Eve, she gave me a bottle of whiskey as a thank-you when she locked up at 11pm, which suited me down to the ground as I walked the 100 yards to the NYE party at my friend's house!  The only hard bit of it was having to ID people who might be under 18 and have them try to ID me back (as I was, um, 18)

I did not learn a lot there, but I would say I definitely learned the value of having no assumptions about a customer - weaving stories about the things they bought together, the questions they asked and the random levels of cheerfulness and grumpiness you saw from person to person was fun.   Bunch of flowers, bottle of wine, pot-noodle and a haggard expression - the chap had made a mistake, is trying to apologise, but also preparing for a night alone, expecting no forgiveness.

My second job was a bit more "interesting" I think, as a counsellor, I have many war stories, but you asked about the first one.

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Wade Tracy [Boise, ID] Community Leader Apr 22, 2019

Nic--I do believe you are something of a poet!  Maybe that is why you post so much...deep down inside you are a writer =)

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Nic Brough [Adaptavist] - I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who creates stories about customers. That was probably what got me through the retail phase of my life. 

I had a good laugh over the bottle of whiskey on New Years!

Kat Warner Apr 22, 2019

My first job with a payslip was working at a fish and chip takeaways shop 5 nights a fortnight (every 2 weeks) for $4.75/hour when I was 14.

I learnt my 17x tables as most items were $1.70 and learnt what is was like to be treated based on my abilities and not my age. The owner was training me to be able to be a 'manager' so he could have the occasional night off rather than the 20 year old I worked with because all three of us agreed I was more responsible.

I only worked there 5 months but it was a great experience - a far cry from other fast food and retail jobs that followed.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

Can we just recognize for a moment that @Kat Warner is still the most responsible person in the room? KAT ROCKS!

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Kat Warner Apr 23, 2019

Awww - I actually blushed when I read this @Meg Holbrook 

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

SMOOCH @Kat Warner 

Jill Moloney Apr 22, 2019

My first job was at Sunken Meadow State Park, in the concession area- I was in charge of nachos and pizza, and making lemonade in one of those machines.  Occasionally, I was able to work the cash register...and I know that I gave away imported beer for the domestic beer price because I didn't know the difference at age 14!!

I think I made $5/hr, but rarely worked more than 20-30 hours a week because there were so many kids that had jobs there over the summer. One week I did actually work 40 hours, and I come home with about $150 because of taxes, which was super disappointing!

My other favorite job was the receptionist at the highway safety department in my town-if your street sign fell (or was stolen) or street lamp went out, you would call up and I would send someone out to fix/repair.  Was also a fun job that I only made $5/hr.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Jill Moloney  - it's really too bad there aren't more 14 year olds serving alcohol these days, I could use a nice German lager for the price of a Bud. 

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Jill Moloney Apr 29, 2019

@Meg Holbrook Right!  I could use that myself!  They should not have changed the serving age laws!

Matt Doar Community Leader Apr 22, 2019 • edited Apr 23, 2019

Good question. First cash earned was a foundry labourer. Lots of hot (hot) metal and many characters. First paycheck was as an apprentice fitter and turner in a piston factory. Jira is easier on the body.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

It's hard to think of you in a role like that @Matt Doar - mostly because you're just so good at what you do now. 

Matt Doar Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

Thanks. There is a certain joy in knowing nothing about something, a point of view we tend to lose over the years. One of the reasons I like teaching people about Jira

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Matt Doar - this is how I feel about my oldest son's homework at this point. 

Scott Theus Community Leader Apr 29, 2019

@Matt Doar It's like pealing an onion...the more layers you peak under the more diversity you find and you never know the paths someone has tread.  I was a mixer making epoxy construction materials in a chemical plant for my first "adult" job where I was providing for myself and my wife rather than earring extra cash as a teen.  I had to quit when I built up a severe intolerance to the amine we made and I still have to cover my skin from head to toe any time I use an expoy.

I had a second job for a while back then as a line cook in a Chinese restaurant to make ends meet.

Wade Tracy [Boise, ID] Community Leader Apr 22, 2019

My first job was delivering newspapers, but I don't really consider it a real job.  I was probably 13 or 14 and I was so lazy I wouldn't collect payment from my customers until I found something I wanted to buy and needed some quick cash.  Occasionally my boss would round all the boys up and make us go door-to-door selling newspapers--and that was the end of that!  I hate trying to convince somebody they need what I'm selling.  I figure if they want something they'll buy it on their own, they don't need my help.

My actual first job was working at McDonald's for $3.15 an hour.  I worked a string of fast food and other meager jobs after that and if there is anything I learned it was that I didn't want to end up like the 'adults' I worked with.  I've busted my butt for the last 25 years to make sure I didn't end up like them and finally feel that I'm solid ground.  Now I've found that it's hard to switch off the 'drive'.  It's hard to tell yourself when enough is a enough--to just be happy with what you have.  I'm getting there...slowly but surely =)

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Wade Tracy [Boise, ID] - I couldn't agree more with what you said about turning off the drive.

When I had kids, I promised myself that they'd never have to go through the kind of struggles I did as a kid and have hustled every single day for them since then. 

Now that I'm at a point in my career where I feel good, I'm still hustling as hard as I did when I didn't have a leg to stand on. 

Here's to a great year!!

Scott Theus Community Leader Apr 29, 2019

Ahhh, McDonald's. I have "if you have time to lean you have time to clean" burned into my brain from that job.

Wade Tracy [Boise, ID] Community Leader Apr 29, 2019

Haha! Yeah, but I worked for a franchise store and the owner didn't care much for the rules.  I remember the first time corporate came through--he told me to throw out all the chicken nuggets and gave me a bunch of cards with numbers on them.  I was like--what am I supposed to do with these things?  I guess he didn't believe in holding times for food--he'd just leave it there til it sold.

Jan-Peter Rusch Apr 22, 2019

The first time I got payed for something I did for other people (that's my definition of a "job"), was, when I was around 15-16. At that time (84....) I was doing a lot of things with some home computers & got access to an ancient portable PC. A guy was asking me, if I could program some sort of accounting application with MS-Basic & I said, I can try. So we iterated thru his requirements, got a prototype & finally a working application for retrieving & printing invoices. Not sure if this could be defined as agile... I got payed some decent 10 German Marks an hour, which was a lot of money at that time. Sort of made me going into IT / dev business afterwards... Does that define me as an early nerd?!?

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Jan-Peter Rusch - I would at least say you were an early adopter! Great job on the solution design, very impressive. You rock in my book. 

Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

So technically my first paid job was washing the cars of family members in return for cash. From that the most important lesson was learning about price categories. Basic wash, waxing/polishing, inside-out, etc. More effort = higher prices :oP

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My first pay slip came from an awesome summer gig working for a pub that had it's own extensive catering company.... so I was building marquee's, serving at events, mowing the grounds on a ride-on lawnmower, an more! pretty epic experience, especially weddings! 
Looking back on that time (over 20yr ago) I have no idea what I learned professionally. As a human I learned how much of a decent person I am.... the waitresses would get so drunk at the staff after parties and exceptionally horny (15 - 18yr old). They all hated it when I'd call up their parents and make sure they got home OK.
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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR - I'm going to take a moment to acknowledge Good Guy Andy who made sure his coworkers and friends all made it home safe. You are a wonderful human. 

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Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader Apr 24, 2019

Thank you kindly for the acknowledgement @Meg Holbrook ! 🙏😇


To further add to the self-branding moment, I always HATE a messy office/house/location after a private party, so you'll often find me clearing away during the event and won't leave/go to sleep till it's tidy. OCD much? 😎🤘

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR - the friend we all need to have when the party is over. I have a friend who is strongly Greek and she always cleans my house after a party and says it's part of her birthright and heritage that she can't leave the house in an 'unkempt' state. 

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Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader May 02, 2019

@Meg Holbrook : That is awesome!! Just imagine how fast the two of us would get through clean up when working together! #PartyHard-CleanUpHarder!

Tomas Vrabec Apr 23, 2019

Well, I mine will be boring.

First Full Time Job was manual QA guy. 

But lets take those not full time.

Not sure which was first, but definitely it was one from "external magazine editor" / "guy who is helping with changing the windows - like not those in PC, but those you are looking thru" or "photographer in antique store" :-D Kind of funny combination, right? :-) 

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Tomas Vrabec - what was your biggest lesson from your first jobs? 

Antique photographer sounds very interesting!

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

My very first job was in our public library when I was 13 or 14 years old. I worked there twice a week for some hours and earned about 50 Deutsche Mark per month. An incredible amount for a young boy and I spent all the money on records. My collection of 80's music would not be half as huge without this job. I still got them all.

What I learned? Reliability. Taking care. Being responsible for what you do. But also how to deal with people. And loving books. 

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carolyn french Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

Loving books 😍

Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

I love this @Thomas Schlegel ! I think records are a big part of youth for a lot of people, and they're so sentimental. 

Can we all agree that books make the best friends? There for us when people might not be. 

Jens Iwanenko Apr 23, 2019

I had a couple of teenage jobs. I'll try to go chronologically:

  • Paper boy
  • Temp at my uncle's trout farm
  • Temp waiter in a restaurant (the first thing I'd call a job, although I had a contract, through my mom, as a paper boy)
  • More temp work at the trout farm
  • Temp at my uncle's trout market stand (Yeah, seems like a pattern, huh?)
  • By now I must have arrived at part time jobs during university:
  • Temp at a theater, hauling stage designs (This one was fun. Lots of passionate people working in a theater, very nice people!)
  • EMT at our local zoo (yeah, you read that right, I was a medic in a zoo)
  • I seconded that last entry as zoo mascot and later desk clerk

My first full time job was as a technical support agent doubling as a technical writer.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

Ok @Jens Iwanenko - I've got to know what your role was at the trout farm. 

Jens Iwanenko Apr 24, 2019

Haha, @Meg Holbrook you picked the most boring of my first jobs. :p

I guess visiting the aunt and uncle can be boring. Especially with a huge family like mine. So whenever we were visiting and I got bored, I went with my uncle to feed the trouts. He farmed salmon trouts. We would also catch a couple and feed them into the fishing pond he ran fun his regulars -- 4 trouts per fisher, I think. Sometimes I helped in the kitchen. Gutting trouts can be a bit tricky when you're 8 so we helped cleaning the insides after the adults disemboweld the fish. Just scrap the inside with a spoon until it's nice and clean. :D

The second entry I helped them out with organizing account statements. The office was a mess and at some point they needed help with the paperwork (I'd guess it was tax return time).

By the time I was about 16 they (when I say 'they' I mean my uncle and his sister) opened a farmer's store in the middle of my hometown of Hannover (Germany). They sold regional goods (and trout!). The store went well for a year and they then concentrated on making an appearance on farmer's markets throughout town. On Fridays my uncle would put up his tent in front of the central railway station, where I just so happened to come through after school. My school was over just in time for me to arrive at the station when he put up his tent. The pay? I helped for fun, but he insisted on paying me 7 EUR an hour. Sometimes he paid me in trout.

It just dawned on me that I made a regular appearence there (nearly) every Friday for at least 5 years! Wow!

So there you go, Meg! I tend to get carried away when I dwell in memories, but I cut some details and tried to keep it short. ;-)

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Jens Iwanenko - don't apologize for sharing your story - I absolutely love hearing about the lives of my community friends. It's such a great way to know who we all are on a deeper level and understand what brought us here. 

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Devon Henderson Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

My first job was in college, where I worked for the city's children's choir (it was headquartered in the basement of my university's arts building). It was a work study job, so I got to spend a lot of time doing homework. But it really fostered a love for working for an organization that provides services for the community. The arts have always been an important part of my life (I majored and minored in them) and this just cemented my desire to work for something I'm passionate about, that leaves the community better than it found it.

Now I work for my hometown public library and I'm not surprised one bit ;)

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carolyn french Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

More libraries, and books, yay! 😍

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

The amount of book love going on in this thread really warms my heart. @Devon Henderson,  you are awesome.

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Jack Brickey Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

ah reflection... better than reading email!

Jack's career (what he can recall)...

Job   ==>  Lessons

  1. cutting grass in the Southeastern US ==> ticks are hard to remove so get them off early
  2. delivering papers ==> at Christmas time you sometimes get a bonus from your subscribers. yay new toys!
  3. packing albums & 45s (yes i'm that old) ==> you get to start your record collection early on; lifting 40lb boxes all day gets old fast
  4. laying asphalt on roads ==> you never want to do this again
  5. wire-wrapping electric circuity ==> look at all those pretty colored wires creating a brain synapsis mapping
  6. video taping college graduate classes for online students ==> teachers don't like it if you doze off during production
  7. hardware technician for ITT ==> i never want to design and build another switching power supply ever!
  8. hardware engineer Nortel ==> finally an adult paying job. Life is getting real.
  9. software engineer Nortel ==> this is harder than hardware, what are all these bugs and who put them in there?
  10. engineering manager Nortel ==> people are harder than software, why do they have all these problems and who put them in there?
  11. Executive multiple companies ==> people management is getting easier, getting company strategy correct is like software sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but second chances are not always possible.
  12. Retirement ==> TBD
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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Jack Brickey - Let me know how retirement goes, at the rate I'm going I'm not sure I'm ever going to actually make it there or stop working enough for this to be a thing. 

Also - ticks are vicious and I am glad to have never been 'befriended' by one, but I did step in a colony of fire ants in Texas one time. No bueno. 

Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader Apr 24, 2019

An epic list @Jack Brickey ! Thank you for the awesome share and insight! I laughed so hard at Nr 10. ! It is exactly where I am in my own career and recognised it immediately.  😵👍 I am looking forward to growing beyond it.

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Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

Great post @Meg Holbrook :) This got me reminiscing about my first summer job in Grade 4. I was a strawberry picker, which involved waking up at 4am and picking berries until about noon. I worked hard but they tended to put the younger kids on the picked over fields so we only picked about 6-10 boxes a day as there wasn't as many berries left (25 cents a box). Hardly worth going for that money, but I loved it and the people I met as well. I was excited to come home with my hard earned money, and put it in a glass jar on the top of my fridge. I made about $50 dollars that month, but I was pretty proud of my accomplishments of my first job and it made me see the value of money. I then understood the phrase "money doesn't grow on trees". My Dad came with me one day and he picked about $50 dollars in one day, I thought he must have had super powers :)

I learned my work ethic from that job and went on to get summer jobs babysitting, a Hostess Munchie character, Tim Horton's, Stock car races, Smart Set and a server in a restaurant. Lots of fun experiences over my summer job years, learned so many valuable skills and great memories to look back on.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Jodi LeBlanc - I need pics of you as a Hostess character, or I'm going to assume this never happened. 

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Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Apr 24, 2019

I tried and tried to find a photo of even a hostess munchie costume, but apparently I must have dreamed it all as I can't find a shred of evidence online. I think it may have been a PEI thing. I was in grade 6 and it was double minimum wage so I was excited, I only had to wear the costume in 30 minute stints, and then we would drive to the next location. I felt like I worked at Disney, the kids loved me, it was a very realistic costume :)

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Jodi LeBlanc  - I guess I'll just have to live with what I imagine a tiny Jodi in a fun hostess costume looks like LOL. 

Obviously something we have to re-create next summit. 

Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

Thanks @Meg Holbrook I was able to find a Hostess Munchies costume, this isn’t me, but it sure looked like my costume 🤣

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

hahahahaha @Jodi LeBlanc - that is truly magical. 

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Mikael Sandberg Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

My first paying job was as a temp mail carrier as a replacement for my dad when he took 8 weeks PTO during the summers and as extra hands during the busy Christmas seasons. I learned to think outside of the box, the mail truck had a standard setup that worked if you only had to deliver mail, but at least once a week we also had to deliver ads, so reused a box that I squeezed up against the dashboard and the door so you could pick both the mail and the ads at the same time. Was it safe? Not so much, but it was effective.

My second paying job was student help desk at my university. We helped the IT staff with handing out logins for the computers and simple troubleshooting. As a bonus we had our own room that we could use, came handy when having having programming assignments and all the computers were occupied.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Mikael Sandberg - Love your resourcefulness when you were driving the mail truck! It's nice that you were able to sub in for your dad.

Craig Castle-Mead Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

My first official job was at Howards Storage World - https://www.hsw.com.au/ (US equivalent would be Container Store I guess, no idea about other countries) as a retail associate. It was only for a few months while finishing high school, as I landed a full time role as a web dev which started me down the road I'm on now.

I found it good to get first hand exposure to working in retail - and I think (hope) that sticks with me when dealing  with others working in retail, for the long hard days they put in and how some customers can be pretty horrible when they're just doing their jobs.

I also had one customer that I still remember 19 years on - they had a very small, relatively unique space they wanted to setup some storage for, and with a bit of out of the box thinking, we put together a solution that used existing products maybe not in the most traditional way, but solved their needs. That mindset of trying to solve the customers needs using whatever is at your disposal has been a rather common theme throughout my career since.

 

CCM

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

@Craig Castle-Mead  - I can truly appreciate that mindset of using what you have and crafting the best solution possible. I think this is a mindset that is severely lacking in a lot of people and a lot of industries. Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring me!

Jennifer Weser Community Leader Apr 23, 2019

My first job, and it led me into the service industry, was at a retail shop named Millers Outpost, most famous at the time for being purveyor of Levis jeans. We carried jeans from waist size zero to over 56 in, longer than my wing span! It taught me to be humble, everyone's story is different and it wasn't for me to judge. I was also in a military town so the clientele was quite diverse. You learned quickly on that the odd smells emanating from the dressing rooms was a culture thing and not a hygiene thing. And mostly throughout my career in the hospitality sector I learned 3 very important life words. "Just be Nice" It doesn't matter where you start or what your destination is, Just be Nice.    

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Jennifer Weser Just be Nice is such a short and succinct way to describe customer service. No judgements, no attitude, just basic human kindness. 

Scott Theus Community Leader Apr 24, 2019

I had many different jobs before I settled into project management. My very first was as a dishwasher and sometimes-food-prep guy at a local pizza shop. I was 15 years old and happy to be making $3.10 an hour to wash dishes, make pizza dough, mix pizza sauce and salad dressing, and grind cheese. I had pizza every day I worked, made the way I like it (because I made it) instead of having to pick off the mushrooms, peppers, or other non-pepperoni and bacon items my brothers and sister insisted on having and I could cook it "well done" so the crust wasn't all gooey.

Here are some things I learned:

  • A solid work ethic, even if others didn't share it.
  • It feels really good to come home after a hard day at work and crack open an ice cold Pepsi
  • The true value of a dollar and what it really takes to get a couple 
  • How to make great pizza
  • People that eat at restaurants are slobs.
  • Be nice to your server, and tip well. Their jobs suck worse than yours.
  • It is very important to keep your fingers away from machinery with gears and rollers, and that if you don't your entire hand will get squished flat. 
  • Pizza places aren't always very clean

But...the most important thing I learned at that first job was that bullies exist outside of high school too. The difference is that if one of them is dining where you work and you're friends with their server revenge can be sweet (or very salty, depending on the day.) But..if one is a coworker there is always the option to tell your boss that "so-and-so" is being an a..hat again even after he was warned several times, then walk out during a Friday dinner after a football game and never go back.

Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Scott Theus - I agree with all of your lessons learned but especially "

  • It is very important to keep your fingers away from machinery with gears and rollers, and that if you don't your entire hand will get squished flat. 

My mom had her hand pulled apart by a dough roller when I was a baby and she still has nerve problems to this day.

Your statement about bullies existing is such a sad truth and unfortunately if you have a bad manager who doesn't take action - it can ultimately lead to someone leaving. Unfortunate that we can't all behave like adults. 

Justin Witz Apr 25, 2019 • edited Apr 30, 2019

My first job was at a restaurant. My brother helped me get the job. What I'll say is that if you've seen the movie Waiting it's on par with what goes on in restaurants. #humblebeginnings

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Justin Witz - oh, I don't even want to imagine. Was your lesson learned 'don't piss off your wait staff?'

Larry Brock Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

Great topic @Meg Holbrook

My first job was sacking groceries at a store similar to Walmart.  As with most customer service jobs, I learned many lessons on handling difficult, sometimes unreasonable, customers with calm courtesy.  An important job I had one summer was working on an oilfield pipeline maintenance gang.  Driving a shovel or hoe all day long in 100F-degree weather wearing a hard hat and heavy clothes definitely inspired me to finish university so I had more choice in what I did for the rest of my life.

I've shared with several people that every job I've held has prepared me for the one I have now and I believe it's true.  I encourage everyone who reads this to reflect on lessons learned (good or bad!) from the jobs they've had and draw from that knowledge!

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

Yes @Larry Brock - if you haven't learned something from every place you've been, you weren't looking hard enough for a lesson. Currently trying to teach my 10 year old son the value of working hard at something and learning from your mistakes. 

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Wade Tracy [Boise, ID] Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Meg Holbrook - no doubt, and also to not give up at the first sign of trouble.  My kids will try something half-heartedly and then come whining to me that it didn't work and that there is no way they could possibly be expected to figure it out on their own.  It's okay because I still love them.  But how are they going to support me one day if they can't persevere in life? =)

Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 25, 2019

@Wade Tracy [Boise, ID] YES. My kids just give up, throw themselves on the couch, and then pout. 

I'm always pushing them to step back and survey the situation... have you really tried ALL of the solutions in your power? You can't just give up after one half-try.

Shannon Spaniol Atlassian Team Apr 26, 2019

My first job was at Fort Delaware State Park. For a few years, between 10 and 16 years old, I actually volunteered there and spent my summers living in the 19th century.

When I became old enough to be paid to work there, they moved me onto the mainland and I worked as a seasonal secretary. I mostly spent time creating databases, converting paper copies of forms to digital, and writing letters for the Park Superintendent. 

They eventually ran out of things for me to type because I was so efficient, one of the historical interpreters had me transpose 19th century handwritten letters into Word documents. THAT was nearly impossible. The handwriting is beautiful, but really hard to read!

It all sounds glamorous but a few summers later they moved me to Lums Pond State Park where I worked the fee booth all day. Much less exciting.

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Monique van den Berg Community Manager Apr 26, 2019

This is a great topic!

My first job at age 16 was when I worked as a "patio hostess" at Universal Studios theme park. (My dream was always to be a tour guide on the tram tour, but alas, I never was.) As a "patio hostess" I swept, bussed tables, refilled ketchup dispensers, and other glamorous activities.

One thing I really enjoyed was that I would rotate restaurants, and because it was in a theme park they all had different music and fun themes. My favorite was Mel's Diner with a '50s theme and music.  I could also go on the tram tour for free, I loved that tram tour. 

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 29, 2019

@Monique van den Berg - The glamorous world of patio hosting and tram tours. You really lived a life of luxury and abandon. 

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Erica Moss Community Manager May 02, 2019

@Meg Holbrook "A Life of Luxury and Abandon" might be my new memoir title.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader May 02, 2019

@Erica Moss - you're probably responding to this thread somewhere poolside, so you're not wrong. 

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Erica Moss Community Manager May 02, 2019

@Meg Holbrook I'm back in New York and wondering where my pina colada is.

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Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader May 02, 2019

In the last 5yr, despite being completely unqualified for the roles, I almost applied for  the General Manager a.i. role of a Train Museum and a permanent position of General Director of a Theme Park.... because... you know... #ChildhoodPassionsNeverDie!

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Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader May 02, 2019

^TERRIBLE PUN ALERT^ : @Erica Moss - Don't you mean.... PINE RICADA!!? 

😍🤣🤡🤭

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Erica Moss Community Manager May 02, 2019

@Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR This just became next level.

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Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader May 02, 2019

@Erica Moss : Totally! I think I have already found next year's first Summit Scavenger Hunt Task: Find Erica, buy her a Pina Colada* and post a selfie with the tag PINE RICADA

*Non-alcoholic if working hours.

(Please don't hate me for this!)

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Bianca Encinas Atlassian Team Apr 30, 2019 • edited

Aside from tutoring and babysitting jobs, my first "real job" was at the concessions stand at the local cinema. It was AWESOME. The perks included unlimited soda, popcorn, and movies. I could even give all my friends free popcorn and bring 1 friend with me to each movie I saw. Minimum wage was about $6-7/hr at that time, and as a 17-year-old, I could eat popcorn for a meal, so it worked out for me. 

 

I learned a lot about timing and responsibility. I had to get to work on time, I had to plan time to be there, I had to be careful not to make a mess with the popcorn or I was going to be there late into the night sweeping it all up. I learned patience and customer service with people who were eager to get their concessions before the film started. It was hard at times and I'm grateful for it.

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Meg Holbrook Community Leader May 02, 2019

@Bianca Encinas - thank you so much for sharing!

Your comments about eating popcorn for dinner reminded me of one of my first jobs working as a grocery clerk - and eating bakery french bread for dinner. 

Only the middles of the bread though. 

Heth Siemer May 07, 2019

The first "Job" I had that wasn't mowing the neighbors lawn or babysitting my siblings was actually web development and the re-branding of several applications when I was 12.

My parents used to own this super duper small web hosting company and one of the services they provided was a backup service (they owned the domain backuporshutup.com which is probably my favorite thing ever). My dad had an application (I don't remember which one) that managed all his backups. He also had a website and email client, but wanted to get them all rebranded.

My dad doesn't have a creative bone in his body. Okay he does, just not when it comes to visual aesthetics... but I do! So I designed him a logo and he taught me how to do the rebranding for the applications. Then he taught me how to use Wordpress and develop him a website. It took me almost all summer to complete my job. I got new racing skis and gear out of the deal.

That "job" was the best thing he could have ever done for me. I learned the importance of time management, deadlines, acceptance criteria... that was my introduction to the world I now live in. 

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Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR Community Leader May 07, 2019

Holy Moly @Heth Siemer ! What a GREAT first job. What an experience and at such an early age! Thanks for sharing.

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