I was 12. I thought I was a big shot. After all, how many other 12 year old kids had a job? It was technically my first job, because taxes, but I had done a ton of babysitting before that. I babysat from the time I was about ten (insert WTF face). Could a ten year old be trusted babysitting other kids and babies even? Parents, what were you thinking? But apparently, this ten year old could.
But this was a real job. A fill out the W-4 kind of job. The you better be on time kind of job and the you need to count back change kind of job. I messed up a few times that I can remember. I feel bad about it. I know one time I gave someone one dollar too much.
Car hop. I was a car hop. The Embers was the restaurant. Those of you who live in Pierre, the Embers was a burger joint and used to be where Wells Fargo Bank is now, and also across from Wegner Auto.
My sister worked there and she basically got me the job. The Barth brothers worked there (soooo cute they were) and the Kaiser sisters.
This place had the best burgers and the best drive inn food. You know the kind with the toasted buns – crunch on the edges…delicious!
I got $1.10 per hour, plus tips. If I was a waitress on the inside of the restaurant, I got $1.50 per hour. I mostly car hopped. If a car drove up, one of us car hops went out and took the order. We took the order to the window and the order was prepared. When the order was ready we took it back out to the customer’s car and the tray was placed on their almost completely rolled down window or in between the window and the car door.
I remember one particular order. I took the tray and was putting on the guy’s window. I spilled the food!! I was mortified. It was potato salad. Not only was I mortified I was also grateful that I didn’t spill the pop!! Not sure how I saved that. The guy was super nice and still gave me a tip. A 50 cent piece. Thanks guy.
I was so excited to get my first paycheck. I knew exactly what I wanted to buy. Levis jeans. School was out for the summer and it was getting close to starting up again. My first paycheck was $44 and some odd cents. To me, I felt rich. I felt like that was so much money. I went to the bank and cashed my check. I then walked to the Sandvigs store. I knew exactly what jeans I wanted. They were boot cut. Faded. Not the normal wash faded, a little lighter. I bought two pairs of jeans. Jeans were expensive then. About $20 a pair. I spent my whole paycheck on two pairs of jeans.
I learned a lot during that time.
I learned how to treat people.
I learned what work ethic was.
I learned how to talk to people.
My first experience with customer service.
My first experience with freedom.
My first experience with you will be working the rest of your life now. Haha.
It’s funny because John said he used to deliver hamburger there. We wondered if we ever saw each other…