Ice cream stands, ball parks, farming, yard work, road crews, car washes, babysitting and construction all boom with temporary jobs for young people to earn money and gain experience during the summer months.
The first job has the ability to hold steadfast in most people’s memories, with even unpleasant experiences taking on comedic proportions with a bit of time passing. Ask a table of strangers about what their first jobs were like, and everyone becomes friends hearing each other’s stories about the best, worst, dirtiest and funniest work ever.
Even bad jobs have plenty of lessons to be learned — the job you don’t want to do confirms the likable jobs. But others have the opposite experiences, where first jobs offer incentive, mentors and inspiration to drive them forward into a lifelong career.
Camp counselors who become teachers, summer lawn mowing that leads to landscape architecture, ice cream stand vendors who turn into successful salespeople and dog walkers who become veterinarians — summer jobs can shape likes and dislikes at a young age.
Heather Johnson of Delhi had some interesting memories of her first job at 16 in a hometown diner.
“When business was slow, I always had a book with me and I would read. I was engrossed in a Western story when customers came in. I couldn’t stop thinking that one of the customers looked very familiar to me.”
Johnson brought them menus, took orders and shared some conversation with them, the entire time trying to think of where she knew this man from. All at once she realized, “This man looked exactly like the character described in the book I was reading, even his mannerisms,” Johnson said. She laughed and explained to the man how she “knew” him.
Margie Keller, a former Margaretville resident, wanted to start earning money early in life to pay for summer camp. With farm work papers in hand. she found work with the help of a local farmer friend.