Ah, the nostalgia of first jobs! For the Gen Xers, stepping into the world of employment was a journey filled with unique experiences, funny anecdotes, and life lessons that they still cherish. Here are twelve first-jobs members of an online forum reminisce about.
1. Fotomats Flashback
One user shares working at the retail chain of photo creation drive-through kiosks, Fotomats. They share the hilarious tale of trying to explain it to their children, “Okay, so there were these little huts…actually, you know how your phone takes pictures? Well, phones didn’t do that then. They were stuck to a wall, and you could only talk to them.”
2. McDondald’s Memories
For some, their first jobs were flipping burgers and serving fries at the golden arches. Little did one know that a world of teenage shenanigans unfolded beneath the aprons and behind the counters. Evenings, weekends, and summers were spent with like-minded peers, forging friendships that lasted a lifetime. A user formed some of their strongest bonds here, from mischievous pranks to store social functions, including meeting their wife.
3. Janitor at Holiday Inn
It’s not every day that one is in charge of tidying up a Holiday Inn. The tales of one Gen Xer’s journey as a porter and janitor at this bustling hotel are both humorous and enlightening. This job had its fair share of surprises, from hilarious encounters with quirky guests to the secrets hidden in forgotten corners.
4. Plumbing Endeavor
Not every teenager spends their early days tinkering with pipes, but for this one user, plumbing at the age of fourteen became an adventurous and insightful experience. Teaming up with a friend’s uncle, they tackled clogs and leaks, learning valuable skills along the way.
5. The Gift Shop for Old Ladies
We have all heard of stores catered towards young women or men, but rarely does one hear of some solely made for older ladies. One user shares their memories of working at one called “Take a Gander.” The heartwarming encounters with elderly customers made the job full of heartwarming moments.
6. Rockin’ It at the Record Store
For music enthusiasts, landing a job at a record store is the same as entering paradise. One individual recounts their days surrounded by the latest tunes and getting exclusive early releases. But it didn’t stop there; they even played bootleg concert videos on the store’s TVs until their boss had to intervene because too many people wanted to buy them.
7. Monotony of the Fitting Room
Not all first jobs are thrilling adventures. One shares they were in charge of the fitting room of a department store called Bradlees. “By far the most mindlessly boring job I have ever had.” Perhaps the good that came out of it was honing their skills of being patient.
8. The Safeway Bag Boy
Bagging groceries may not seem like a dream job, but for one, it turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable experience. Working at $6.74 an hour, it was an opportunity to make some cash while having a blast. The banter with colleagues and interactions with shoppers made every shift memorable.
9. Babysitting Adventures
For some, their first taste of responsibility came in the form of babysitting. From handling mischievous toddlers to calming infants, they navigated the ups and downs of childcare. Through it all, they learned valuable life skills, patience, and how to maintain their sanity during the most chaotic moments.
10. Scrubbing Pots & Pans
At just thirteen years old, one took on the task of scrubbing pots and pans at a neighborhood Italian restaurant. While the pay was modest at $3.75 an hour, the experience was rich in lessons about hard work and the satisfaction of earning one’s own money.
11. Cold Calls and Pre-Arranged Funerals
Working at a funeral home may not seem like a typical choice for a first job, but it opened up unique opportunities for one. Making cold calls for sales reps dealing with pre-arranged funerals taught them the importance of compassion and sensitivity.
12. Taco Bell Tales
Several people described working at Taco Bell with colorful adjectives, so we can assume they didn’t have a great time working there. But the prospect of enjoying delicious tacos at no cost perhaps made it all worthwhile. Who wouldn’t want to work at a place that serves up some much-loved Tex-Mex delights?
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