We were watching the game show 'America Says' yesterday... it's a show where they asked Americans to fill in the blank on a statement and then the contestants have to guess America's top seven answers.. Anyway, the statement was "I felt like an adult when I got my first ____________." Most of the answers were easy - car, house, etc. - but there was one nobody could get. When it was revealed, the final answer was PAYCHECK.
Hubs and I looked at each other in disbelief. Neither of us were adults when we got our first paychecks. Looking back, my first actual pay CHECK came when I was 17, but I'd been making money one way or another for many years before the checks started coming.
I don't remember what my first paying job was or even how young I was. A couple of my siblings and I used to pick trash out of the neighbor's fields after windy days for a dollar a bag. I did some parts assembly - putting rubber thingies on alligator clips for one of Dad's friends' company. I did some data entry for the company Mom worked for. When I turned 13, I was allowed to babysit for a dollar an hour. After that, I was a housekeeper for the manager of the horse farm for like $6 a week and I mucked stalls in exchange for riding lessons. All before I was an adult.
Then when I was a senior in high school, I got an official job working on a different horse farm where they paid minimum wage - $3.35 an hour - and wrote actual checks. And took out taxes. That part kind of sucked, but it was part of life. Still didn't make me feel like an adult, though.
Before my daughter had her first paycheck job - which wasn't until she was actually an adult, come to think of it - she babysat, did data entry, shelving, etc. for my online book sales, and worked as an office assistant for a local retirement community.
I wasn't an adult when I got published for the first time. Of course, I didn't get paid for that and, in fact, had to pay for the book my poem was published in, but back then, published was published. I still have that book around here somewhere.
I figured it out once. I had like 30 different jobs before I stopped working outside the home. And that wasn't counting the pre-paycheck jobs. My resumes were always a mess. I often wished I could've just put 'Jack of All Trades' 1988-1996 and 2001-2003 to cover all the various jobs I held those years. It certainly would've left more space for the few jobs that actually meant something.
Now, I'm a writer and a self-titled 'Spreadsheet Grunt'. I'd just be a writer, but gal's gotta put some bacon in the frying pan somehow, if you know what I mean.
Speaking of which, I have a spreadsheet waiting for me...
What about you? When did you start working for pay? What was your first job? What's your job now?