The dangers of crappy first jobs…
My very first job was at the age of 13 going on 14. I wanted a stereo and my parents said they would pay for half if I saved up the rest. Thinking I would start a paper route, or yard work on the weekends, the parents figured it would be some time before I had the cash for the sound system of a generation (don’t forget, this was in the ‘80s, so big stereos were in – CD’d hadn’t been invented and massive collections of records and cassette tapes were all the rage.)
But my loving parents had momentarily forgotten how determined I can be. I still don’t know how I pulled it off, but I managed to land a job working at a shoe store, despite my youthful age and mouth full of metal and unruly red mop of hair (and the fact that I honestly looked like I was 10 years old).
It took me three weeks to collect the funds for my musical purchase and the ‘rents had to cough up.
That was when I discovered I could buy more things – big ticket items – in the same manner. Like a computer, or a car!
But there is a rub… I don’t think you understand how much of a challenge this was for me. Especially if your reading about it… Picture a small town in a desert climate with soaring temperatures, and remember this is a shoe store…
Got it yet? Sometimes it is a very stinky job!
Some of those Thursday nights and Saturday mornings were a constant procession of foot odours that had me using all my will power not to retch. It was enough to singe your nose hairs right off. Even though Hi-top sneakers were the bomb, plastic glitter gel sandals were quite popular… talk about petri dishes for sweat and toe jam strapped to your feet! And there I was crouched down on the floor amongst women insisting they were a size smaller than they were, and old men with ingrown or blackened toenails politely smiling.
I managed six months before quitting. I think I’ll leave the stinky shoes to the enjoyment of my dog…
I did find another job shortly after, because those big ticket items were still surely set in my sights… but that’s another story.
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