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My First Job -- A Halloween Story by Chris James


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​Thanks, guys. My first job at 15 years old was as a pool boy, picking up trash and cleaning the locker rooms. I had been on a swim team for four years by that point and could outswim everyone on the lifeguard staff, but you had to be 16 to get the lifesaving certification. Bummer of a summer.

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More news from the Olden Days: My first job was as a Page in our town library, putting away books. I was only fifteen and in Pennsylvania if you were younger than sixteen you had to have “working papers” signed by a school official and your doctor and submitted to the local government for certification. It was a big deal, but I only got paid 50 cents an hour.

My second job was a real one, when I was sixteen and finally legal. I worked as a bag boy in our local A&P supermarket. I got paid a lot more ($2.75 as I recall, plus tips) but the A&P was a union shop at the height of the postwar labor union movement in states like Pennsylvania, so I had to join the Amalgamated Meatcutters union (!) which, for a humble bag boy, gave me benefits like sick days with pay and time off. I even got to go to union meetings, where I learned a lot of cuss words.

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During high school I had a number of volunteer summer jobs ($0 per hour) with the Walnut Creek Arts and Recreation Department helping out at classes for young kids through teens, some technical and some not like art (where I was a gofer and after-class Cleanup Specialist).

My first paid job was in 2010 during the summer between graduating with my BS in CompSci at UC Berkeley and starting graduate school at UC Berkeley. I worked as a paid intern at the same company I'm working for now. I designed a web application for a client, including mockups of the screens and the structure of the MySQL database. I was paid $20.00 per hour, a lot better than minimum or volunteer wage. I suppose it helped that my dad works there too.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I think what helped more, Colin, was the project was a total success, you impressed the customer, and the company realized what an asset you'd be.


What I meant, because my dad worked there it helped when I applied for the intern position.

Colin :icon_geek:

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