In January 1998, after the holidays I got my first job at my church’s Rectory, I was 14 and in 9th grade. I got the gig because at the time I was an altar server, one of the first female altar servers after a rule change in the Catholic Church thankyouverymuch. Now, I had sporadically babysat for a few years prior and continued to do so, but this was my first job on a payroll – making a whopping $4.25/hr. I generally worked on Wednesdays from 4pm-7pm. Much of that time was spent listening to Z100 on the clock radio and doing homework. Oh and there was that one time that a funeral got scheduled, but I failed to write it down in all the like 5 places I was supposed to, so the family and funeral home showed up to a locked church…oooooooooopps. Thankfully it got worked out quickly and I didn’t get fired due to my misstep.
Each subsequent year of high school I picked up an additional gig, summer after 10th grade I worked my first of 3 summers at a Day Camp near my house while keeping the Rectory job. I loved my summers as a Camp Counselor – I got a delicious free lunch every day, got to work on my tan, make new friends, and some of the male Counselors were babes. I also liked the kids, I worked with Kindergarten boys my first summer – they were my favorite. Then 1st grade girls and finally 6th grade girls. As a Counselor, we only got paid a small stipend, but tips at the end of the summer were awesome!
The summer prior to my Senior year of high school I picked up another job at CVS, which was right across from the Camp, so during the summer on days that I was working at CVS I’d walk across the street for a 4:30-9:30pm shift after an 8am-4pm day at Camp. I knew I had a good work ethic, but I also wanted to be away from my house as much as possible and the spending money was critical since by this time I was paying for most of my own clothes, school supplies, etc. By this time, summer 2000, the minimum wage has risen to $5.15/hr. I also l really loved my time at CVS, being on register and facing the shelves were my favorite. My coworkers were also a cast of characters which made working there entertaining. I was working at CVS was when “ExtraCare Card” launched, I wanna say February-March 2001. I still have my OG card. While working there I ended up picking up some hours in the Pharmacy as a tech and went to a few weekend training for some “certifications.” I actually got paid a little more for the hours I worked in the Pharmacy which was great. Plus I really like Pharmacy too, well except for dealing with insurance companies, but nobody like them!
Even after I left for college I came back to work at CVS over my 5-6 week Winter break my freshman year. On New Years Eve 2001 (going into 2002) about an hour before the 6pm holiday closing the store was held up… at gunpoint… by a former employee… who I hugged only minutes before when I saw him in the store. I was actually in Pharmacy when the robbery happened, but my friend (an elementary school turned he friend who I got the job at CVS a year prior) was the one held up in the office when the robber slipped in behind her. I didn’t know we were robbed until after the fact, but needless to say my CVS career did not extend through whatever shifts I was scheduled to work the rest of Winter break. I actually was subpoenaed to testify at the Grand Jury trial months later which required me to get excused from college in CT to go to Long Island for a long weekend. Despite this blemish on my CVS experience, I am still a very loyal CVS customer.
If you thought I worked a lot in high school, then spoiler alert: I worked even more in college.