LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Labor Day weekend is here, and in addition to our coverage of all the important stories about workers, unemployment and “The Great Resignation,” we wanted to bring you a few stories about the people you see every day on our newscasts.
We asked our anchors to tell us about their first jobs. Here’s what they had to say:
My first job at 16 was delivering flowers. I worked part-time on weekends and busy holidays. Of course this was before cell phones and google maps, so we used a “The Thomas Guide” — the spiral notebook style paper map to figure out how to get places. To this day, I credit that job for having a keen sense of direction.
I had a plenty of small part-time or seasonal jobs when I was a kid (paper route, caddy, mowing lawns) but my first real year-round job was at a meat market called Casey’s Fine Foods. I was a dishwasher and I made $4.25 an hour. First paycheck, I went directly to “Beautiful Day Records” and bought CDs (likely Guns n’ Roses and U2). I quickly learned that everyone in the shop worked hard — all-out, all day, and at a very fast pace. I was washing dishes and cleaning out bone barrels. If I slowed down, got distracted, or had a lazy moment – the pots and pans piled up. You had to grind. I don’t remember many breaks.
In addition to dish duty, around Thanksgiving and Christmas, would sprint outside to a freezer truck to pick up people’s turkeys for the holiday. Frigid work. And, although you couldn’t feel your fingers or toes most of that shift – kind customers would give you a little tip for bringing their bird to their car – which I genuinely appreciated! The toughest part was cleaning the meat out of bone barrels on a hot, humid summer day. It was disgusting work. The way to get through it was splash in a little bleach … and get after it!
My first job was a student piano teacher. I took lessons for 15 years and taught for about five of those years as a student teacher during high school. I made $15 an hour cash while teaching in high school that was 1988-92. I had three girl students and one boy, and I knew it was the boy’s mom who wanted him to play, not him lol. It was fantastic and I really learned to be a teacher and encourage positive behaviors.
I consider my first job when I was about 10 years old. During my summer breaks, I would help my grandmother’s grocery store in Mexico with random duties. It varied from bagging, stocking and cashier. Sometimes I was just a store greeter. It didn’t pay but I learned a lot about responsibilities and customer service. I believe I did this for five to six years and I never saw it as a chore because I loved it. My real first “legal” job was at a McDonald’s. I was hired as a temp and was trained to do everything. It was a small store located inside a big-box retailer. I made minimum wage, so my paychecks were enough to get me inside a movie theater and treat a friend. I only like a few items on the menu, but when someone would order something I didn’t like, I would ask them why. My manager didn’t like that. They moved me to the kitchen. Sunday’s 39-cent cheeseburgers were my nightmare. I had one lady order 100 cheeseburgers and during the madness of preparing them, I left out the cheese. She came back and made a stink about it. That day I learned the importance of details.
I was a sales clerk at Penny Robin Dancewear. I was 15 and minimum wage was $4.75. I loved that job. I got the job for the dancewear discount but ended up becoming so close to the women who owned the shop. They were like second moms to me. They would come to my performances and give me great advice. It really was a family. When it was time to move on for college, I cried. Leaving Penny Robin was tough. But, I saved up enough to buy my first car and have memories that will last a lifetime.
I worked at a driving range behind Sunset Station. It’s long gone now. It was probably too much fun and not enough work. I didn’t make much. It was my first experience dealing with customers, and they weren’t always in the friendliest mood. It was an early introduction to grace and patience on the clock.