First Job, First Pay Packet.

JL_LI

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May 20, 2017
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Long Island, NY
Medical laboratory technologist. $8400/yr. I met my wife I. The lab starting the cycle of never seeing my pay check no matter how much I earned. The job paid my way through graduate school and a change of fields.
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
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Feb 3, 2017
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Foat Wuth, Texas
My very first paying job was when I was ten or eleven years old in musical theater at Casa Manana, for fifty dollars. (The Music Man) That was for one week rehearsal and two weeks performances. Wasn't doing it for the money, but with that $50, plus $45 I made for two TV commercials, I was able to buy an "English Racer" bicycle (three speed) at Western Auto. Later rode that bike to deliver newspapers, for about $40 a month. When I was around fifteen, my band started getting a few paying gigs, earning $50.....split four ways. Obviously, that wasn't for the money, either. Also in High School, I worked briefly at a fried chicken place, and then even briefer at a fish and chips place. To this day, I hate the smell of cooking grease.
 

Drew617

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Mar 4, 2014
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917
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North Shore, Mass.
Burger King in the next town, for $4.25/hour. Can't remember what I spent my check on - probably paid my dad back for the $1000 car he fronted me, or insurance that he'd covered.

Within a few months I upgraded to the grocery store, one of those small local chains that serves crummy neighborhoods. Best job I ever had, aside from the wages. I bought myself a sunburst MIM Strat, then a white Tele, when they were $300 new, and a SF Twin Reverb for $100.

We practiced in some relative's shed that was maybe 10x20', the exact ideal room for a Twin.
 

P-Nutz

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Dec 24, 2004
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2,379
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Middle America
I was 12 in '73 when my uncle (who ran a junk store next to my grandfather's junk store) paid me 4.25/hour to fold army surplus clothing every Saturday. Both stores were a treasure trove of books, guns, clothing ... you name it. Well before the regulation of pawn shops, 'cuz, well, they were junk stores. My grandfather had quite the assortment of stuff at his house, including an interesting arsenal.

First "real" job was washing dishes at a family-owned restaurant that closed a few years back after about six generations. Started line cooking at sixteen and learned all the skills I would need later when I became a chef. Minimum wage was $1.35/hour.
 

tomasz

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Dec 18, 2007
Posts
604
Location
Europe
I have been hired to a cleanup job on the BMW plant in Munich. I remember hitch-hiking there with a colleague of mine, which took 2 days. We registered and the gate, have been issued "tutta's" as the guys from Südtirol, that we've worked with, called the blue overlays, and we've been assigned a bed at a worker hotel, that was a 30 minute commute.

My job was the night shift. I remember going to work, when everyone was just leaving. People were grabbing groceries for dinner, when I was buying a yogurt and a bagel for breakfast. I was freaking tired getting back around 7:00 am, while people where rushing to work. All was in the reverse order. Youssou N'Dour and Nena Cherry's "7 seconds away" was all around the radio and I was feeling totally out of phase.

That time of the year at the BMW plant was used to prep all the machines up for another season. Our squad has been deployed in cleaning the paint shop, with all the tunnels and chambers it had. We've been scraping all that paint off with spatulas then rubbing a a fresh layer of grease on shiny steel walls, slipping like crazy. Jobs got easier day after day though, with one of the last we had, which was exchanging air filters above the paint shop. That was the day, we were lucky to watch the Rolling Stones perform in Olympia Park from the roof of the plant, right across the street. It was 1995 I guess? I remember us going to sleep on the freshly laid filters and having a blast that night.

When I came home after 3 weeks, I got myself a 1994 MIJ Candy Apple Red strat and a Marshall Valvestate 2240 Combo. My first serious gear I had for years.

Thanks for waking up some memories with this thread :)
 

Rustbucket

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Mar 28, 2016
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Location
Arizona / Québec
I washed dishes at my Grandmother's restaurant starting at age 11 for $3/hr. The next year she gave me a raise to $4.25/hr, which was minimum wage in Arizona back then.
I thought I was rich compared to the other kids in class who just got an allowance if they were lucky. I can't remember what all I wasted my money on back then.

I had numerous other "kid" jobs through high school. First summer out of graduation, I got hired on a framing crew as a laborer for $7/hr in the Phoenix, sun. I was too tired to do anything with my money after work.

After college, I went full time salary for a general contractor for $950/week and still work for them to this day. In my 20's I wasted more money than I would like to admit and wish I would have invested more of it.
 

twangking

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 10, 2010
Posts
2,181
Location
Out in the woods.
Worked in an Italian bistro as a line cook. Boiling pasta, making salads, mixed crap together to make dressing. Dreadful job. Everyone was drunk all the time.

I think I got a fuzz pedal for my first paycheck. A guy who made modified fuzz faces that sounded pretty cool.

I don't remember how much I made but it was a definitely a pittance. They tried to pay under minimum wage those scumbags.
 

Tim G

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Apr 10, 2011
Posts
318
Location
johnstown
First job was playing in bars with a band. Started when I was 15, my parents would drive me to the bar so I could do the job. Someone else's parents would pick us up. that lasted until I got my drivers license. The only job I had until I started college. I think we made $10-15 a night. This was 1970.
 

ieatlions

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Posts
1,184
Location
Wales, UK
First job was technically as an extra for a welsh language tv show that was partly filmed in my school. £50 a day, in cash, in a little pay-packet brown envelope with my name on it. Filmed mostly in school holidays and weekends. Was a great little number for a 12 year old(around 1997/1998) It was pre guitar days. Think I put the money towards a new PC.

30F24D3E-EAA0-4969-9D1F-C987FD93EFAA.jpeg


The show was popular for a time. Don’t think it would have aged well mind you :lol:
 

getbent

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Mar 2, 2006
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Location
San Benito County, California
used my brothers school id card to get a job throwing newspapers at 10. 7.10 a month.
moved up to throwing the Anaheim Bulletin and then the Register within a couple of months and made 45.00 a month plus tips.
About that same time, started cutting fish at my sister's job, a fish place. Icelandic cod, 6 oz. filets... but a bozillion of them for 1.35 an hour and all the soda and cracklins I could eat.
At 12, I started hawking at Angels games too. Have not been without a job since I was 10.
 

Greggorios

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Jun 18, 2016
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NY
1976, I worked as an administrative assistant to the comptroller of a medium sized importing business. I made about $7.25/Hr and got a check every other week. 100% of the first check of the month went to rent (for a small 1 bedroom apartment on the upper east side of NY), the 2nd covered food, gas/electric, subway fare and a couple of beers.

I worked my tail off and after the first 6 months the boss called me in, told me what a great job I was doing and told me I'd now be the assistant comptroller and a full salaried employee. I waited for the first check after the change dreaming of all I would do with my new full salaried pay. My jaw hit the ground when I opened that next check and the total was less than when I was an hourly worker. My office mate explained you don't get overtime when you're on salary. :mad:

Good to learn the ways of the world when you're young.
 

nixdad

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Mar 14, 2011
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Now in Little Rock, AR
Summer after hs graduation in '74, lot driver/oil changer at Jim Wangers Chevrolet , drove every late '60's & early '70's muscle car. Actually drove a '69 Z28 with a cross ram, chambered exhaust & 4-wheel discs. Damn bias ply tires...But it wasn't my first job,'cause I was a paper boy from age 12-15, then station captain, then truck driver for that newspaper.
So by my junior year of hs it was work, school, work. What was the minimum wage in '72 or '73- $1.65 an hour?
Bought slot car stuff.
 

brookdalebill

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Nov 15, 2009
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Austin, Tx
I remember that when I got my first paycheck, I bought a box of strawberries, and ate em’ all up.
Remember I was only 13, and just barely 13, at that.
Apparently I hadn’t been able to get my fill of strawberries before that.
Kinda funny that I’d do that, and remember doing it.
 

Mechanic

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Apr 1, 2009
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2,465
Location
Over the hill and far awa
1st paying job was cleaning apartments for my mom and dad. Got my first pair of zip boots and acquired a taste for Pendleton shirts and jeans all befor leaving 6th grade. Jr high Daddyo taught me to paint walls and trim. Started my vinyl collection then in with Columbia Record club. Can’t remember the wages of all this. In ‘65 at 14 or so for a summer gig I got to work in the machine shop my dad worked in. Sweeping floors emoting chip trays on the lathes and around the mills. Child labor laws had started and I only worked a half day, I still hung around asking questions a got to play on the tool room lathe. When I got good at that, I did a little production for the shop at the end of my shift. Dads boss turned me on to Machinery’s Handbook for machine fits for bushings and cutting threads. I didn’t make too much scrap. Did that for 2 summer’s at about $125 a paycheck every other week. I turned 16 in ‘68, got my drivers license and found a job in a gas station as a pump jockey. Can’t remember the wages but it kept me in gas and insurance and helped with me get through high school. Drove my inherited ‘55 Ford pickup To the job, and doing the apartments and going surfing when I’d had time. Around ‘72 I’d moved to a pipe yard doing deliveries and truck maintenance got my CDL and tried getting into a trade school for diesel work. SoCal being unionized you needed a sponsor to get into the main school in downtown L.A. I’d no one to sponsor me nor wished to pay initiation fees to get in. Found a school in Salt Lake City I could just walk into. Moved in late ‘73 doing the pump jockey thing at a truck stop and going school in the morning. Finishe trade Tech and got on in the local pubic transit. I retired after 40 years there. Thank You
 

VWAmTele

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Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Posts
4,111
Location
FL
Paper route when I was 12. 126 newspapers, folded, put into the sling across my handlebars and then delivered through rain/cold/snow. Next was dishwasher, janitor/pin setter at a bowling alley, busboy, waiter, bartender and then when I finished school, an adult job as a computer programmer writing BAL on punch cards. 43 years later, retired - which is the best job. However, considering my age and the mid 70's time period in which it happened, bartending was the most fun.
 

telleutelleme

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Jan 15, 2010
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Houston
After High School USAF. I got standard enlisted pay plus flight pay and later combat pay. Eventually they only allowed the higher of Combat or Flight pay. I would guess I maxed out at about $500.00 a month.

After college, I continued with the job I had while in school. I started at $1.17 an hour. By the time I left I was around $20/ hr. I remember being excited to crack the $10K per year barrier. I did much better once I became a consultant and later started my company.
 

1955

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Apr 10, 2010
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11,000
Location
.
My grandmother was a genius. She had persuasive power taunting from billfolds of station-wagon promises, depression-era peanut butter sandwiches, empires of wheel-deal legacies storied through musty capital boxes run-down and begging the grunts of hard backs with mold noses and blistered shovel hands clanging crisp clay.

She raised 4 kids on real estate prowess and enthusiasm over other folk’s broken and bent dreams, somehow she convinced all of us grandkids that the biggest thrill of all was a sweat-palmed fist of quarters and rising before dawn to be the first bird to haggle at the yard sales.
 

blueruins

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Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Posts
279
Location
Honokaa, Hawaii
1984 washing dishes and grilling burgers for Wendy’s.
My first paycheck I put a blue Hondo Randy Rhoads V on layaway.
My grades suffered so much from this night job and eventual guitar noodling that my dad stole it and hid it in the attic.
 




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