My First Job: You are not the Boss of Me! Ummm, Yes I am.

It seems everyone is writing about their first job. I love these stories. We should be making all of our teenagers, pre-nagers, emerging adults read these stories. First, I’ll tell you my story. Then I’ll connect the dots.

I had my first real job when I was 16. I worked at a candy store in Manitou Springs, Colorado. We made cotton candy, hot dogs, served up pounds and pounds of Taffy, Toffee, Ice Cream and created health problems for people for years to come. Every evening, we cleaned the place, locked up and went home literally covered in sugar particles, sticky and smelly. To this day, I’m not much of a candy person and I HATE taffy. Side note: When my kids were in elementary school we had a school fair every year right before school ended. Games, booths, and the dreaded cotton candy machine. I always volunteered to make the cotton candy and relived the feeling of being covered head to toe in sugar by the end of the day. Ahh, the memories…I can’t believe anyone can eat that stuff! But I digress…

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I thought my bosses were pretty tough on me. I didn’t like it. I ended up quitting before the summer was over so I could take a vacation and go see my best friend who had moved to Southern California. What teenager doesn’t dream of the beach, boys, ocean, and let’s face it, a little freedom from home. My bosses were incensed because I quit early and I didn’t get it. I thought, it’s my life, and you aren’t the boss of me. Wow, what a teenage ego. I learned how to count change, learned how to serve up a beautiful ice cream cone and perfect swirl of cotton candy on a paper stick. I got to work on time and was an honest employee. What I hadn’t yet learned was that they depended on me to be there all summer. They were indeed ‘in charge’ and had built and run a successful small business. They were the boss of me and everyone else who worked there. They had earned and deserved my respect.

I think every kid should work. And, those first jobs shouldn’t be glamorous. Hard, menial work is good for a kid. There is value in SO many ways.

I hear so many people complaining about Millineals. There was a great video I recently say called, “Millennials: We Suck and We’re Sorry”  I had to laugh. Every generation is different. We can’t expect them to be us. I think we all strive to be different from the generation before us. I don’t find many lazy millineals in the workforce. Their work style if different. They want more flexibility. They work at crazy hours (I work with a bunch of techies). They care about the planet. They are passionate about causes.  I do think that they’ll figure it out. We all did…well, most of us…

Ann

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