TheLadders.com recently reached out to me to talk about my first job and share a little bit with you guys about it on my blog. A fantastic writing prompt, I decided to go with it. :)
Sometimes, it is pretty easy to sit around and mope about how far you haven't come compared to the fantasy you expected yourself to be at your age. I'm not sure what exactly I expected at my age, but I'm pretty sure as a young child, it involved being a child actor, winning copious awards and then going on to author several prize-winning and bestselling novels.
While none of those things happened, looking back at my first place of employment is a great indicator at how far I have come in my life.
My very first place of employment, like many pre-teens of the late '90s, was good old fashioned under-the-table babysitting for neighborhood kids. Like many others of my era, inspired by the books of Ann M. Martin, starting a babysitter's club via a multi-colored ConAir phone seemed like a great idea.
Of course, looking back, I am kind of amazed that parents willingly left their children with alone with a 13-year-old babysitter. Like, with how overprotective people are these days, is anyone going to do that?! But, I guess with my parents being just across the street, it wasn't too much of a risk. All of my former charges are alive and relatively unharmed, so that's a plus!
My first real job, one where I was getting taxed and everything, was working at The Gap. Growing up in a very affluent town, we catered to the wealthy clientele who were coming in for a quick browse. At only 18 and very inexperienced, I was probably not the best employee. Probably? Definitely. And I learned very quickly that retail was not for me.
Although I liked clothes (and the discounts, though it took me a long time to be able to set foot back into a Gap store), I hated having to do "go-backs" (or bringing the clothes back), pulling all night re-stocking/re-decorating of the store shifts (that is a thing in retail stores, in case you thought that storefronts were magically changed by little elves in the night during the change of season). I think the worst part for me was just standing there, when you're just there to wait until someone needs your help. I totally understand the importance of it, but just standing and waiting is the most boring part of the job. At least I got to wear a fancy little headset!
It's not that they treated me badly in any way, I just learned rather quickly that I am NOT a retail kind of gal. I admire anyone who can do it for longer than a couple of months at a time. I guess I could work retail again if I absolutely had to for some reason, but unless that day comes, I am going to try to avoid it in the future.
But now it's been a 10+ years, I am finally able to go inside a Gap with confidence...probably because they have gotten rid of their Dream scent which brought back too many memories of standing, standing and more standing.
What was your first job?