My first real job was at the A&P Supermarket on E. 31 street & Lexington. After school (in my senior year) I’d take the 4 train down to Grand Central and the 6 across the platform to 33rd street. It was there I learned about produce, dairy, stocking shelves, packing PAPER bags, working the cash register. I had to give out change and count it back to the customer… no digital display on the register telling me what was owed to the customer. Yeah and I learned how to mop and dry seven aisles of a supermarket. And, oh, I hated truck night. It would arrive around 7:00pm and we’d be done by 10:00pm. I had to take the train back to Bronx on a school night.
My first job was as a docent (volunteer) at the NY Aquarium, later I got paid. I worked in the Children’s Cove, demonstrating horseshoe crabs and starfish and sea urchins in the kids touch tank. I’d flip those poor crabs over and show the kids their claws and stuff. Used to hang out with the older teenagers who worked the refreshment stands, and would always say hi to the dolphins at the end of the day. Don’t get much more Coney Island than that! It was fun. I remember having to wear white pants to go with my blue t-shirt, and I had a pair of those 70’s double-zipper types with flair legs.
My first summer job on the books was at Mickey D’s by Prospect Park. I was 15 and so happy to get my little work permit, until I got hit with a little thing called taxes. The money I brought home was a joke compared to the “free” money I earned doing hair, or baby sitting. I was beginning to cultivate a bad attitude about working on the books until I got a new cute young manager. Gave me something to look forward to. My check sure wasn’t much to look at.