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What Was Your First - Or Worst - Job?

From a newspaper route to a camp counselor to bussing tables at the diner, we all had a first job. Was yours great, or just awful?

Jobs are on people's minds these days. Although the Labor Department just reported that employers added 120,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, it was still fewer jobs than they had hoped. Jobs, especially good jobs, can be very hard to find.

Remember when you were young, and you couldn't wait to get your first job? What was it? Did you love it or hate it?

I remember mine clearly. Of course, I started out babysitting in my hometown of Traer, Iowa (pop. 1,250). I think my going rate was 50 cents an hour. For FOUR kids. But I digress.

My first real job - with what I considered a big paycheck - was awful. Just awful.

I detasseled corn. If you grew up in the Midwest near a farming community, you might know what I'm talking about. It sounded great. I'd get paid about $600 for two to three weeks during July. I'd spend all day outside in the sun, working with other teens (boys) and improve my tan. Or so I thought.

In reality, it was slave labor. We started at 6 a.m., climbed into a machine where we stood in a bucket for nine hours, as the machine drove back and forth through the fields of corn. Our whole job was to pull the tassels out of the corn stalks. Something about cross-pollination. I didn't know then and still don't know now why it was important. All I knew is that it was tedious, boring, exhausting work.

And the sun tan? Not so much. The first day I wore a cute little halter top and cutoff shorts to get maximum sun. Instead, I got a rash from the wet corn leaves slapping against my skin, wet with morning dew. Then when the sun came out, my itchy skin got red and sunburned.

After about six minutes, the tedium of the job set in. Then the shift went on, row after row, acre after acre, hour after muddy hour. 

It. Was. Awful.

What was your first job like? Share in the Coments section below.

Michael Bivona April 14, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Did you get to eat the cheese? Would they allow Ritz crackers on the floor?
Kevin Raether April 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I was 12 years old and working in a funeral home. From moving bodies to vacuuming parlor floors, it was actually a great job.
Brad Faxton April 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Eat the cheese? Oh yea! But I tell ya, after you eat 3 bricks of cheese in the first hour, you get tired of it very quickly.
Jim Powers April 14, 2012 at 06:01 PM
They let you work in a funeral home at age 12? Something about that seems wrong. So the upside was?
Marcia Watts Sagendorph April 14, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Now that sounds like a fun job! Thanks for sharing.


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