May as well start at the very beginning. I started babysitting when I was 11, for the infant across the street. It’s a bit freaky to think that infant is now 30. I did a lot of babysitting in my teens and early twenties. From kids across the street, to spending a week with an NBC ad exec’s kids while he and his wife went to the Olympics. Their kids were great and all I had to do was make sure they got up for school, then I could go to work afterwards. I made great money that week. I think they paid me like $500. Or maybe it was $300. Anyway, it didn’t matter – they had nice kids, a great house and they lived closer than I did to my work.
My first real job was when I was 16. I worked part-time at The May Co. for the holidays. The first department I was in was women’s sportswear or something. Anyway, it was a department where all of the women were on commission (except me), so they were like sharks looking for sales. It was fine with me, I stepped back and let them deal with all the sales stuff. I was happy tidying up and refolding clothes. Then, I was moved to bed linens, which was the HUGEST pain in the ass.
Not because of what I had to sell, but because none of the items were marked for scanning – they all had to be looked up in a binder in order to figure out prices. Horrid, just horrid. Not to mention the sexual harassment from the creepy guy who worked with me. I was young and didn’t realize what a scumbag he was until years later. No biggie, he didn’t get away with anything, but as an adult, I’d make sure he suffered for his behavior. So, that job, it lasted for just the holiday season. Thankfully, my parents let me leave it. Because, well, blech.
My next job was working for Robinson’s department store; ironically, The May Co. and Robinson’s merged later to become Robinson’s-May. A sad thing for the higher class store that was Robinson’s, because alas, the new store operates more on The May Co. level. I worked for the whole holiday season in Infants, Toddlers and Toys. I loved all the cute little outfits. Unfortunately, when the holiday season was over, they didn’t have room for me there, so I ended up being a floater. Being a floater is the most tedious department store job ever. Every day it’s being in a new department and having no idea what your products are. I lasted a year, to the exact day. I couldn’t take it anymore. At least my mom got to take advantage of my most excellent discount, so it was probably worth it for her.
My next job was one of my absolute favorites – I worked at my brothers’ tanning salon. It was a great atmosphere. All the customers were happy and it was like being a bartender, except for having to clean off the sweaty beds. Blech. But, we had interesting customers; Cory Everson (six time Ms. Olympia), who I thought would be scary, but she was super nice; an astronaut’s ex-wife and her tv producer new husband; a girl I ended up dating for a few years (which was a mistake); the NBC ad exec and his wife; and, a bunch of really nice…and lots of times, cute, people.
Oh yeah, and a guy I went to elementary school with, but I didn’t realize it was him because one of the other employees wrote his name down as “Bots”, although his name was Bob. Close, Kellie, close. Wait, just remembered one more person who occasionally hung out at the salon, Shiri Appleby. She didn’t tan, she lived in the neighborhood and just stopped by every so often to chat. She was a really sweet and smart little kid. I think at that time she was doing Afterschool Specials.
My next job was child care at the Calabasas Athletic Club. The hours were good (12-4), the kids were mostly good, and the best part was that in general, I only had each kid for about an hour while their moms worked out. The management of the place was a mess. One of the owners was having an affair with one of the trainers and there was weird tension on the workout floor, but fortunately my childcare room was upstairs. Except for school holidays, when I was swamped with big and little kids, it was mostly babies and toddlers, which are my favorite.
That job was mostly fun, especially because one of the moms brought her daughter in early to work out, then she left her with me the rest of the day so she could go to work and I took her home after I was done. She was the cutest baby – really chubby, red hair and big blue eyes. One of my favorite kids ever. I was so sad when her family decided to move back to Vermont, so I didn’t get to see her grow up. Her mom kept in touch for a while, but I imagine after time, she didn’t have much to say to her kid’s babysitter. A couple of months ago I finally remember their last name and I know her dad’s email address, but I’m debating about whether or not to write. I kind of just want to see what she looks like. At least I know she grew up and went to a good school. She’s enrolled at Penn State.
The internet, it’s an amazing thing. Then again, I haven’t been able to find my friends from high school because they haven’t signed up for Classmates.com and I don’t know their married names. How come most of the people at Classmates.com are the people I don’t want to find again? Sure, some of them were friendly acquaintances, but none of them were my closest friends. Oh yeah, back to the gym – they were so poorly run that one Sunday I received a phone call telling me not to come in the next day because they’d gone out of business. Well, it was eleven months of a fun job. Little Brian, my two year old super athlete and Jamie, the cute baby, made it worthwhile. I still have some pictures somewhere of some of the kids. The other pictures were on a bulletin board at the gym, never to be seen again.
to be continued later today…stay tuned for my employment at Jacoby & Meyers (the first personal injury lawyers allowed to advertise, which is why you now see PI lawyers’ everywhere)