I get the impression that most kids got their first “real” job at local fast food restaurants or mall stores. I worked neither, and I think I’m probably in the minority, but let’s do an unscientific poll of the Teeming Millions.
Restaurant, here. Never been in retail (at least not how I’d define retail).
To answer my own question, my dad got me a job where he worked: I was the Saturday morning mail-sorter and PBX operator. It paid a whopping $2/hr (this was 1970) and I also worked there as a general flunky during summer vacation. To me, it was a much better option than the Golden Arches or folding clothing that shoppers messed up.
In fact, I’ve never worked food service or retail, and I’d have to be really, really desperate to do so - I’ve heard and read far too many horror stories about dealing with customers. No thanks!
I have worked as a technician servicing printers and network equipment in retail stores and restaraunts. That’s my only retail experience. My first job was working in a factory.
Never worked at a mall or a fast food restaurant, but I did work at a local chain discount store and the family catering/restaurant business.
Pumping gas / working car wash.
Spent 10 very long, painful years in retail, and I’ll never do it again no matter how desperate I am. My current job is still customer service based, but it’s a zillion times better because there are set rules and deadlines, and there’s no one customers can go over my head to whine and stomp their feet if they don’t get their way.
I never worked in food service and only would if it was “back of the house.” For some reason the combination of food and money changing hands makes some otherwise nice people go totally bugfuck insane.
This is where I’ve learned my patience for dealing with mistakes and problems while in restaurants and at stores. I know what it’s like so I don’t give the workers any grief. I think that more people should have the crappy fast food and retail jobs so they know what it’s like, I know I’ll encourage my kids to take such jobs when they reach the working age.
Actually, just a couple of weeks ago my oldest daughter, 10, asked my why I didn’t get mad at one of the employees at the amusement park. I know she’s never seen me get mad at an employee like that so I’m guessing she’s seen other people get mad and maybe thought I should have been mad too. I told her it was because she was helping me and there’s no reason to get mad at someone helping you.
I didn’t work retail or food, but I worked behind the bar in a pub (something common for 18 year olds in the UK. As we can drink).
My father owned a store, so I was “working” there before I was ten. It was my first paying job when I was old enough.
I don’t know the scope of “retail,” but my first was working in the meat department/deli of a small, independent grocery, so I would serve customers. I actually learned a lot in that job – how to cut up a chicken, distinguish among different cuts of meats, both butchered and deli, and the different cheeses.
I did, as a restaurant waiter, but only for a few day (in college), when it became manifestly conspicuous that I was not suited to that form of employment. I also worked for a month or so as a stock boy (well insulated from, customers) in a shoe department. Nothing I was asked to do seemed to have any logical order to it and was grossly inefficient. After a few days, I could have reduced my working hours from eight to about two, and had no effect on productivity.
I said both, because I have worked in a fast food restaurant, and a convenience store.
In high school I swept up a sheet metal shop and did maintainance at a rock quarry. Then I started working on oil rigs in college. The closest I’ve ever come to retail was tending bar at my distillery.
First job was working on the family ranch. First paying job was helping a neighbor with grain harvest. First real formal job was at a sale barn for a couple months before joining the Army. Then a couple years of college and 20 in machine shops.
My wife & I just opened a restaurant which is my first experience in food/retail/service. Yeah people suck. Just had some customers that thought they should have been served first because they were white. :eek::mad:
I did a bit of retail, but usually ‘stock boy’ type work. I steadfastly refused to work fast food.
My first job was a mall-based Woolworths. Back when those existed (late 70’s). Man was that place incredibly sexist. The men had a small locker room, but all of the management was male and they only seemed to promote men. The women had a luxurious locker room with private restrooms, but they never moved beyond ‘cashier’.
I worked retail throughout college and I actually enjoyed it. Small, locally owned family shoe store.
My first real job was at a camp.
Same here. I went for “neither” in the poll, but I guess “both” isn’t exactly wrong either.
No food service or retail for me. I had some IT/helpdesk jobs in my younger days. But it was for college students at my alma mater, so we didn’t get too many calls unless a router or switch had actually gone out.
Same here. My parents (along with my aunt and uncle) bought a True Value hardware store when I was 10. I would occasionally “work” there for a few hours at a time during school breaks, until I was 14 or so, at which point, I started more formally working there as a part-time job.
This lasted through high school; the store went out of business a few weeks before my high school graduation (the recession of the early 1980s did us in).