I lived with my parents in Raynham, Massachusetts until I was almost 23. It feels like a different lifetime! These are all the jobs I had in chronological order.
  1. Blueberry Picker, Age 12
    Too young for a work permit so this was illegal and under the table. It was an old neighbor's fruit farm, 6am-noon(summer job). A man named Jackie who wore the same pink Tshirt daily was our boss and gave us donuts and kool aid around 10am. He called kool aid "soda". Got paid for what you picked, about 70 cents a pint. Could pick 16 pints on a good morning.
  2. File Clerk, Age 13
    My grandfathers's second wife was the office manager of a small surgeons office in Brockton. She hired me and my cousin to sort and destroy their old medical files. It took the whole summer. I felt like such a grown up working in an office. Lots of weird diagrams in those files. One day I got my period so bad and had to fake sick to go home and change.
  3. YMCA Day Camp Counselor, Age 14
    Summer day camp. I had about thirty 8-year old kids in my group and a stoner co-counselor named Nate. There was an overnight sleepover that I was too young to work (had to be 18). Some of the older counselors brought beer and got tanked. It was a huge scandal but no one was fired.
  4. YMCA Day Camp Counselor, Age 15
    Same job, new summer. 2/3 of our campers had ADD/ADHD and a handful had Downs or Autism. The nurses station kept a lot of their meds on site, and one night someone broke in and stole everything. Everyone was a suspect but they never caught the thief.
  5. Super Market Clerk, Age 16-17
    I was pretty much working full time by this age and going to school at night. Since I was often the only teenager working the day shift, I was always sent out for carriage duty in the parking lot (we just called it "Carriages"). Snowy, rainy winter spent bringing the carriages back to the little corrals and to the front of the store. Also, I think Massachusetts is the only place we call shopping carts "carriages".
  6. Walmart Lawn and Garden Associate, Age 17
    My mom hated that I worked at Walmart. I hated it, too. But they paid more than the grocery store (probably about 25 cents more an hour). Pros: could wear jeans cuz I worked in the garden dept. Cons: I didn't know anything about grills or lawn mowers and unloading the big plants from the trucks was hard cuz I only weighed about 90 lbs. When I turned 18 my 45 year old boss made a joke about bringing me to the back shed now that I was legal, so I quit.
  7. Filene's Sales Associate, Age 18
    You had to be 18 to work at Filene's (now it's Macy's) and that day had finally come. They had an opening in the juniors department (JACKPOT) but most of my paycheck went right back to the store. Their credit card was my first. A man in his thirties worked in the neighboring fragrance department and was vocal about his crush on me. He still works there and I sometimes see him if I'm home and shopping with my parents. I always stop and say hi.
  8. Hollister Brand Rep, Age 19
    I only worked here for one holiday season to get a second income. I was one of the few over 18 so I would have to work ridiculous hours like 4am-11am or 9pm-2am, basically just re-folding tshirts. My local mall didn't have an Abercrombie so to kids like me, this was the most elite place to work at the Silver City Galleria. I felt like a cool kid and still have at least 2 pairs of jeans from that era. They still fit.
  9. RE/MAX Office Manager, Age 18-22
    Filene's didn't give me enough hours so I started working at the Taunton real estate office in an old train station. Only one small train would run sporadically to transport grain to a small local mill up the tracks. One of my coworkers lived in a trailer and scammed all the real estate agents for money. Her daughter had special needs and always smelled like her period. Eventually her daughter was taken away and she was too depressed to come to work. They fired her and promoted me. Last MA job.