Sunday, March 24, 2013

First Job

I remember being so excited to find my first job.The most coveted jobs were at our local mall. This was the early 1990's, after all! I knew I didn't want to work in food service. That is funny to me now as I waited tables and bartended my way through college!

My first job was at a Hallmark store. I started when I was 15. Not only did they sell greeting cards and gift wrap, but they also sold every tchotchke known to man. Precious Moments. Cherished Teddies. And so on! I was hired as a sales clerk. Because of my age, I could only work around 15-20 hours a week during the school year. During the school week, I worked one to two days for 3-4 hours. On the weekends, I would work either Saturday or Sunday. When I turned 16, it was less strict and I started closing the store on Friday nights. Thinking back, I can't believe my store manager let me and another 16 year old sales clerk close and make the bank drops! Ha!

Working at the mall was a blast. I had friends who worked at the Barnie's coffee (no Sbux in our town for many years) and Chick Fil A, so I'd get to chat with them on breaks. Of course, there were always a few creepers at the mall. We would have a couple of older men (come to think of it, they were probably in their 30's LOL) who would ask us out. Obviously, they'd back off once I'd disclose that I was 15/16/17. If they came around too much, we would call security on them!

I have great memories helping customers find the perfect card or gift. At least once a week, we would have a male customer asking where the "I'm Sorry" cards were located. Some would completely unload on us and I did find that helpful when finding cards for them. At Valentine's Day, you always had a guy coming in at 8:59 p.m. (Mall closed at 9 p.m.). One year, I had a guy offer to buy our last box of Russell Stover chocolates. The thing is, the candies were display (i.e. WAX) only. We had to convince him it would be much worst to bring those home than to come home with only a card. Crazy!

I worked at Hallmark during the Beanie Baby phenomenon. I remember wearing the Beanies on my shoulder to help promote them. It wasn't long before we had grown ladies waiting for us to open so they could buy way more Beanies that any one person possibly needed. Little did they know that one of my co-workers was obsessed with them and had an extra large bag filled to the brim with all the good ones. Opps!

This was truly a wonderful first job! I resigned when I went off to college. They always worked around my band schedule or exam schedule. Twenty years later and one of the ladies STILL works there and remembers me!

What was your first job? I'd love to know!!


  1. Great post! I remember Barnies! And Beanie babies! (I still have mine) Anyways, my first job was a cashier at Krogers, I only lasted a month and it wasn't my favorite but it was a good lesson that people aren't nice all the time.

  2. Hysterical. My first job was as a hostess at an Italian restaurant. I worked for them a few years, went to be a hostess at a Chinese restaurant, worked at both for a while then back to the Italian restaurant till I went to college HA!

  3. First job stories are always so fun - thanks for sharing! I started working at 14 for my stepdad's construction business. After that, I was the secretary for our church typing up/copying the weekly bulletins and monthly newsletters (that job rocked because I could do a lot of it at home). Then I went on to work fast food at both Wendy's and McDonald's. My town was too small for a mall and retail jobs weren't available.

  4. I was a hostess at Chili's! It was THE place to work at the time. You probably saved a relationship by not selling the wax candy!!!!

  5. Coming from a super small town, the closest mall to me was an hour and a half away. Talk about being hard on a teenager. I started working at my grandfather's restaurant waitressing when I was 13. I did that for three years (until I was old enough to get a "real" job) and worked in the video section of Ingles (our grocery store) until I left for college. This was such a fun post - love it!

  6. My sister always wanted a job at Hallmark but they were never hiring! My first job was at the office where my mom worked (for a summer) and then when I could drive I was a hostess at a breakfast/brunch place...and then I was a tutor. I don't like to stay at jobs long :)

  7. My first job was as a tour guide at a local antebellum home/plantation location. I wore one of those period costumes (a big fluffy dress) and talked in a fake southern accent. I worked there until my senior year when I actually got a job at the mall at BBW as a sales associate. :)

    1. I need to see a picture asap!!!!!!