Getting my first job was a very bizarre experience for me. The whole thing seemed rigged right from the get go. I didn’t have a license or a car. I was 15-years-old and my mom asked me to make a list of the places I’d like to pick up applications. Easy enough.
Then I was shocked when she didn’t go get them for me. WHAT THE HELL WAS THE POINT OF THE LIST!?
Hilariously, the first job on my list was Karma. A music store I’m not certain is still in business. Now, to my naive 15-year-old mind, it was just a place to buy music. Nothing wrong with that. There never seemed to be a lot of people inside the store when we walked by the one in town, so it also seemed pretty easy. My parents nearly had a heart attack. Immediately said no and began snooping through my things. I joke about the last part mainly because I had nothing to hide. I was a total goody goody.
I can now totally see it’s a cess pool for drugs, losers and bad decisions. But I digress.
Other places on my list were Fashion Bug (again, not sure it’s still in business) and Shoe Carnival. I filled out the applications and waited wondered why they wouldn’t just call me as soon as I turned it in because I’m an obvious gold mine.
My aunt worked for a placement agency at the time and took me to buy a suit. A legit skirt suit. For a 15-year-old part-time job. I didn’t know! She was an expert! Fortunately, my mom talked to my other aunt who insisted I simply needed to look fashionable and wear their clothes. That would have been so embarrassing to walk in like with a suit on!!
The interview lasted about 30 seconds. I honestly, don’t remember what I was asked or what I said. I just remember my grandma drove me there and waited in the car. She was so shocked to see me so quickly. I thought it meant I had aced the interview and they needed to see no more. She was kind of angry. She said, “They should have granted you the courtesy of a full interview.” I had no clue what any of this meant.
Then I had my interview at Shoe Carnival. It went well and they asked me back for a second. This also totally blew my mind. What the hell were they going to ask me in the second interview I didn’t say in the first!? But I nailed it and was offered the job on the spot.
My First Job
Holy crap was I overwhelmed on my first day. I just thought you stood around and said hello to people and then picked up the trash on the floor. I didn’t know anything about stocking the shelves, which way to put the shoes out on the display, how to find missing shoes, find missing mates or measuring someone’s foot. What the heck had I gotten myself into!? I also didn’t realize I couldn’t leave as soon as the store closed. What the heck did they need me for once all the customers left!?
I worked there for about a year and while I had some good times, I became the store hula hoop champ, it wasn’t a great fit for me. Managers were constantly changing and some were angry about it, so they took it out on the teenage employees. Super not fun.
Then I got a job at the super chic (at least in my mind) clothing store Maurices. Oh my gosh, to me this was the creme de la creme!! I shopped in there all the time and loved everything, but also felt a bit intimidated because it seemed so above me. The manager shopped at Shoe Carnival all the time and so she knew me from both places. One day while shopping in Maurices, the manager said, “Would you like to work here?” I was shocked! I practically fell all over myself trying to answer her question and then fill out the application.
It was by far my favorite job. It was a small, steady staff. At this point in the mid-to-late 90s, it was kind of boutique-ish because there weren’t very many around. We had a lot of repeat customers, so I really go to know the people who shopped. I loved helping people figure out what to wear and then seeing their satisfied expressions when they came out of the dressing room. I worked there until I went off to college. It was awesome! I still talk to the manager today even though she’s moved on to a different store.
Do you have fond memories of your first job!? Tell me in the comments below!