No, no, I’m not the one getting a job. Mister likes to tell me I ought to start winning the bread around here, but I’m much too good at being a stay-at-home mother. It’s time for the children to start looking for jobs! India has just returned from college in London (I kept meaning to write about that and now she’s already home) and the boys are running out of spending money. So now comes the fun part of filling out applications and trying to figure out how to make the most money with the least work (isn’t that the eternal struggle?).
My first job was at Pier One Imports when I was 16. I spent my days arranging throw pillows and restacking baskets. I felt terribly grown-up, especially when I had to take someone’s charge card. Back in those days we had to put the card on a slider machine that would make an imprint. We’d give the bottom copy to the customer and keep the top copy.
It felt like playing shop like I’d done a million times as a little girl, only this time I had surly customers that were actual humans, not Raggedy Ann. Once I had a customer make so many purchases that there was no room on the counter and I had to do the card slider on a stack of crates near the check out stand. Only I forced the credit card thing back and forth so violently that the top crate tipped over and out fell a huge stack of bowls. Every single one broke. I didn’t have to pay for them, thank goodness.
I also only made $3.35 an hour. Chances are you made $3.35 as well since this was the minimum wage for about fifty years. Payday was the only time I liked having a job. Who remembers the sheer thrill of receiving a paycheck that was over $100? I felt like the richest person in the world. It sure beat babysitting which generally only paid $2 an hour if I was lucky. The really cheap people would pay $1.50 and hour and they generally had the most dreadful children of all. Nowadays my girls make much more than minimum wage babysitting.
I hated babysitting. Just hated it. I’m still not very fond of other people’s children, truthfully. I love my own but find other people’s kids annoying and problematic. But babysitting was the only choice for a 14-year-old girl. It’s still the same today.
York, in true Ferris Bueller style, got the exact job he was hoping for and started today. Finn and India are still looking but both had interviews this week. Mister is finishing up a Masters degree at the University of Texas and will probably be switching jobs or looking for something new soon too. So basically it means that all I do is help the people around me fill out applications and resumés. it’s as scintillating as it sounds. But my job is to make my family self-sufficient and doesn’t self-sufficient children sound like the best thing ever?
One thought on “Time To Get a Job”
Your mother’s first job at age 16 was as a soda jerk at Walgreens fountain. I made 75 cents per hour in 1957, and with my ADHD could never remember a single order (let alone 4 from a booth) nor a single recipe (How do you do that chicken salad, again?) So they fired me after one week. Crushing, but utterly just! I don’t think I EVER had a job I was good at until it came to painting and cutting out wooden names at home. And then the toluene fumes from the model airplane paint destroyed my visual memory. I do retirement really well, though!