Today I'm linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday. Today we're discussing our first jobs!
I baby-sat a lot during my tween years. When I was about 11 or 12, I'd go over to a church family's house and watch the 2-year-old boy while his mom did things around the house. This little boy and I became great buds and he called me "Bebie" because he couldn't say my name (Reba). My dad took a spin-off of this and still sometimes calls me "Rebie" to this day. We moved to Hawaii when I was 12, and I didn't get the opportunity to see this little boy grow up. I'm friends with his mom on Facebook and when I see pictures of him, it's hard for me to come to terms with the fact that he's in high-school and is no longer a spunky toddler!
When I was 16, I had what I consider my first real "job." My mom worked on the Postpartum floor of the military hospital when we lived in Hawaii. Our house was right down the street from the hospital (we weren't military-- my dad is a pastor and we moved around about as much as a military family does). My mom heard that the newborn photographer company at the hospital was in need of some seasonal help. I applied for the job and got it! So, on my Christmas break, I wore my best clothes and would go up to the Postpartum floor and be the newborn photographer. This was back in the day when the only baby pictures were those head-shots on the pink and blue blankets. I would set up the tiny photo-room and put the film into the camera. Then I would make my rounds and sell photo packages to new moms and dads. If a family chose to buy a photo package, they would come down to the photo room. I would lay the blanket down on the photo-table, and the mom or dad would place the baby on the table. I was under strict orders never to be the one to put the baby on the blanket-- to always let the mom and the dad do it. That actually was a relief to me! I would turn off the lights so that the baby would open his or her eyes, and then I'd press the button and take the picture of the baby lying there on the blanket. At the end of my shift, I had to take the film out of the camera, prepare the envelope for shipping, and drop the film into the mailbox on my way out the door.
I received very brief instructions one day prior to me being on my own at this job. The company (Special Delivery Photos) was owned by a husband and wife team-- an older couple, probably early 60's. The husband wanted the wife to spend more time at home, so that's why they chose to hire seasonal help. The wife was very nice, but the husband? Not so much. I didn't like the fact that this job was based on commission, but I had no other job, so I guess it didn't really matter. Anyways, the husband told me that the pictures were not available online-- although the company had a website. Online availability would be coming in the future, he said. However, on the sheet I had to hand out to the families, it said the pictures were available online and could be ordered online. So, when one family chose the most expensive package (which should have netted me $90.00), they chose to order online and did not submit a hard-copy paper form. I told them that I didn't think the photos could be ordered online, but the dad said "The paper says they can. So that's what we'll do." And I left it at that. The customer is always right, right? This was the only time someone had ordered the most expensive package and I was excited. It also happened to be during my last shift before the spring semester of high-school started. The following day, I got a nasty voicemail from the husband. He told me that I should have never told that family that the pictures could be ordered online (although I did not tell them that the pictures could be ordered online). He knew which family it was who had placed the order (because we always took a picture holding a name card in front of the baby before we took their real photo). He contacted the family and was able to get things set up where they would still receive their pictures. However, he did not pay me for the commission. For three weeks of work (we had long winter breaks in Hawaii), I got paid $86 and some change.
I did take away a love of photography from that experience, though. In college in the state of Alabama, I had a job as a photographer and I photographed college formals, sorority & fraternity events, rush week, college club dinners, a country club themed dinner for the Queen of the country club, etc. It was fun! I was also a tutor for athletes at my college and that was, by far, my most favorite job. Maybe ever.
My husband lived in the Seattle area in high school and he was a bus-boy and waiter at a restaurant. He made stellar milkshakes and visited with all the regulars. He can tell story after story about working there. I'm sure he made more than $86!
What about you?
What was your first job?
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba