First Jobs

I came to the realization that I probably do not have ONE friend on Facebook who has not had a first job.

Hold that thought.

Depending on your generation, you’ll recall what you were doing, and where you were when Kennedy was shot, or when the Loma Prieta ‘89 quake shook the Bay, or when the first black person was elected president.

Generation-altering events like this tend to stick in our minds. (IF your most memorable moment is when Zayne left One Direction, you can stop reading now. This blog is not for you.)

Back to my (mature) Facebook friends.

Like historical events, most of us can vividly remember our first jobs.

My first job was at Great America. Correction, my first job was at Marriott’s Great America. (Yes, the hotel chain family built the park.)

Whether you enjoyed your first job or not, I surmise that you — at least — learned a lot – especially if you were at the job for a while. I had a fantastic time at Great America. That’s not to say that my first job interview and first days on the job weren’t nerve-wracking.

I wanted to control a ride, or be a character. It turns out that you had to be 18 for those jobs (I was 16).

Subsequently, I was placed in a gift shop called “Gateway Gifts” — the last gift shop as you exit the park. I loved it! I made great friends, and I learned how to deal with all types of customers. The experience was invaluable, to say the least.

At night I sold liquid lights (essentially, the glow in the dark necklaces that you can buy at Walgreen’s today.) I still remember the pitch: “The contents aren’t dangerous. It’s a non-toxic chemical that reacts to heat.”

Corporate profit margins.

What guests (at the time) paid for hamburgers and fries was about $5/6. I was eating the SAME hamburgers in the “employee area” for .50, and the SAME French fries for .25. The drinks were either free, or about ten cents. I don’t recall. Yup! I learned about capitalism, too.

First jobs — especially if you’re a teen — are awesome!

For those of you willing to share, I’d love to hear about your first jobs and experiences.

And in case you’re wondering, I was there during the days of the Tidal Wave, The Edge, and Bugs Bunny.

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