I’ve been working since I was twelve. My family had a hotel and then an inn, so there were always ways to make money. This came in handy when I was a teen looking for ways to support my record buying habit. But not all the jobs were glamorous.
1) Chambermaid: I was a chambermaid for most of my teen years. I learned how to make hospital corners from my grandmother, and which way to face the pillow case openings (away from the door). For the most part, it was a good job. One of my favorite things about the job was seeing people’s stuff in the room. Each room was its own little world and told a story. Man, and I have a few good ones! Often there would be people I never saw and barely left a trace. Who were they, I’d wonder? I was done by noon if there weren’t any check-outs that day, and then I went to the beach.
2) Gift shop cashier: I didn’t mind this except that sometimes I had to make change. I’m okay with words, but numbers freak me out. When the kind of cash register arrived that said what to give back to the customer, I was pretty happy. Yay! But what if it’s in Canadian??? I hated this job, really. I did this during college. When I had an epileptic seizure in his store and knocked down a display he suggested I not come back to work… I can’t remember how that ended. Did my parents chew him out and get me my job back, or did I find a new one? I’ve blocked it out.
3) Art teacher: This job was at a summer club and paid very, very little. That’s the only reason it was a bad job. I loved it, really. I got to make cool stuff with kids and have my own art supply closet filled with great smelling paints and crayons. Oh, and hang out with the cute tennis instructors.
4) House cleaning: I hated doing this! I did this a lot for summer people when I was a teen and once (1 time) when I was an adult. Most people were great, but it only took one or two people with attitude to change my mind. I will never clean anyone else’s house unless they look me in the eye and say thank you.
5) Sorting and packing oysters and mussels: Yep, I worked at an aquaculture outfit. They brought in the shellfish from the water and dumped them on the conveyor. I did this with some cool guys and some less than cool guys. And speaking of cool, it was freezing cold work in the winter, but I had to do it. I was teaching kindergarten half-time and paying rent for the first time ever. I think I made better money doing this than my teaching gig, though!