Job history: high school edition

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I thought it’d be fun to go through the jobs I’ve held over the years, since each feels like a different version of me and sometimes I’m suddenly reminded of those experiences (like when a blogger I follow wrote about her kid getting swim lessons). Let’s start with what I did in high school:

The FIRST job, being a babysitter
My very first “job” where I got paid to do stuff outside the home was (surprise) a babysitting gig when I was 14. It was a lively family of 5 children, ranging from about 1 to 10. The first four children were boys and the little baby was a girl. I was approached by the mom one day on my way home from the bus stop – her house is along my route and visible from the stop, so I guess she’d seen me here and there. She needed help managing all those kids so she asked if I’d come watch them. Much of the time she just needed help while she was home, so she could get some work done. Sometimes I helped with the work, other times I made sure the kids were ok. The oldest son didn’t need any watching and basically did his own thing. Two of the other boys would sometimes fight and otherwise cause a ruckus. The one who didn’t fight much was autistic so he needed additional attention, but was mostly happy to watch videos all day. And the baby girl would usually be in her crib playing or sleeping. I don’t think I was very good at it, but I did manage to lighten the mom’s load as much as I could. What an experience it was for me, an only child!

The second job, working at a Chinese buffet
When I was 15, I had reached out to a local Chinese buffet that my parents and I ate at consistently. I wanted a job after the babysitting gig ended, so I spoke to the manager and he took down my number. One day, they actually contacted me to say they were interested, so I got the appropriate work clothing and began as a bus boy/waitress. Initially, they wanted me to just help seat guests and get their drinks, but I kind of ended up waitressing too. Every now and then I’d help out in the kitchen and once I even ran an errand to get groceries when they were running low. I cleaned a lot of tables and poured a lot of fountain drinks. Tips were shared among the “real” waitresses and since I was technically a bus boy, I didn’t get split any (but I didn’t mind). The highlight was when one family was leaving, noticed that the tip they left for me was cleaned up by another waitress, and they flagged me down to give me a $5 bill to thank me specifically. Awww. Scheduling conflicts quickly ended this job – I was a student first, after all!

girls swim team at danbury ymca in early 2000s

I couldn’t find a picture of any of my jobs but this is a pic from the YMCA swim team I was on!

The third job, teaching swim lessons at the YMCA!
A few months later, I was practicing at the YMCA pool (where I was on the swim team) when I was approached to be a swim instructor. I thought it might be a joke since it was April Fool’s that day, but the manager got back to me and we set up a time for me to start! I watched other instructors teach and assisted with their lesson until I could do it on my own. I forget what level I taught – probably Minnows or something – but the kids were mostly about 5 or 6, though I think some were up to 9 or 10. I wasn’t very confident in my skills with kids, but I did have fun and I think they did too. I mean, the goal of the class was basically to help them not drown if they ever fell in a pool. Any sort of swimming skills beyond that was a bonus! Their favorite part was at the end of class, when I’d take them one by one, have them hug me, hold their breath, and we’d go under the water for a few seconds. They came out squealing in delight!

That summer, I ended up having to move away. At my new place, I was too busy getting used to the new environment, not only academically, but physically and socially as well. For the rest of high school, I focused on SAT prep and getting decent grades and applying for college. No more jobs! Next week I’ll be sharing the jobs I had in college, when I started working again.

What was your job history like during high school? Did you try out a bunch of things too or did you not work at all?

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