Thirteen years old, weekend babysitting gig. Saturday night.
Perks: Just like The Babysitter’s Club!
Responsibilities: A seven-year-old boy and the most adorable three-year-old girl on the entire planet.
How it Went: It was fine.
Why I Left: I was never asked to return.
Stray Observations: I am not good with kids.
Thirteen years old, summer babysitting gig, two days a week.
Perks: It’s just like The Babysitter’s Club!
Responsibilities: Two boys, six and two.
How it Went: The two-year-old HATED having his diaper changed. Had to bribe him with candy. One time I smelled something and forced him to have his diaper changed. There were tears (me) and screaming (him.) Nothing had happened. The smell was the dog.
Why I Left: I was never asked to return.
Stray Observations: Still not good with kids.
Fourteen years old, summer babysitting gig. Four days a week. $2/hour.
Perks: My best friend lived across the street.
Responsibilities: One girl, aged six. Older and self-sufficient!
How it Went: We watched a lot of TV until the mom said, “maybe she should go outside some.” So the girl went outside and I watched TV alone or with my best friend. They also made me clean their house.
Why I left: End of Summer. They did not ask me back for the next summer. They asked my best friend instead.
Stray Observations. Not any better with kids.
Fifteen years old, summer job. Washing hair at a hair salon.
Perks: $2/hour plus tips and old ladies tip really well. Sometimes made $80 a day.
Responsibilities: Washing hair, sweeping hair, answering phones. It was mostly old ladies who came in once a week to have their hair set.
How it Went: I was not very good at washing out all of the hairspray.
Why I Left: I was fired.
Stray Observations: I still really love the scent of salon shampoo.
Sixteen-years-old, first “real” job. Cook at a carry-out/delivery Pizza Hut.
Perks: Worked with one of my best friends. We requested lots of amazing music on the radio like The Cure and Cheap Trick and we danced while we put pepperoni on pizza.
Responsibilities: Made pizzas.
How it Went: I was kind of slow so on busy nights I was usually on phones, but I’M SORRY for wanting your pizza to look beautiful and for the toppings to be distributed evenly. Favorite part was cutting pizzas with the giant knife.
Why I Left: I left when I went to college.
Stray Observations: Delivery drivers are CRAZY.
Eighteen-years-old, work-study, computer lab.
Perks: Was supposed to do homework. Spent 3+ hours talking to friends on AIM.
Responsibilities: Check people in and out.
How it Went: Fine.
Why I Left: Decided I’d rather take the money as an upfront check than work for it. Paying it off ’til I die, but worth it!
Stray Observations: I had somehow met this guy on AOL who was from Pittsburgh and also going to WVU. We talked on AIM a lot. He know which lab I worked in so he would come to the lab and we’d talk on AIM while sitting in the same room, both pretending that we didn’t know the other person was there. Eventually he realized I wasn’t going to acknowledge him and he gave up on me.
Nineteen-years-old, summer job. Worked with my mom at a private insurance company three days a week.
Perks: Got to look at the private properties of incredibly rich people and suddenly I knew what I wanted for my life.
Responsibilities: cleaning out files and shredding documents
How it Went: I got bored, wrote a lot. Maybe didn’t do everything I was supposed to.
Why I Left: Had to go back to school.
Stray Observations: They discontinued the program after my summer.
Twenty-years-old, camp counselor.
Perks: Three months away from home! Outside a lot! Learned to be silly (it hasn’t stuck)!
Responsibilities: Only THE LIVES OF CHILDREN
How it Went: I cried a lot. Alone, in front of other staff, in front of campers. Just general weeping for three months.
Why I left: Summer ended and I CHOSE not to return the following summer.
Stray Observations: Junior high girls are VERY DIFFICULT. Still not all that great with kids.
Twenty-one-years-old. Inserter in a newspaper factory.
Perks: I had a job.
Responsibilities: Putting the ads in the middle of newspapers.
How it Went: It was literally the easiest thing I have ever done in my life and I am very lazy and don’t do that much.
Why I left: Returned to school. CHOSE not to return after I graduated.
Stray Observations: If I tell you, you won’t read my book, the newspaper factory tell-all that I am currently writing.