First Jobs Can Provide Lifelong Lessons
What was your very first job?
My buddy Barry Richard and I have made our careers thanks to the people's airwaves. We were talking about work when I asked the question, what was your first job?
Barry laughed. He said he was 15 years old and needed to start making his own money, so he applied at a local farm that raised chickens.
The farmer asked Barry if he's ever had any experience working on a farm, and without hesitation, Barry nodded his head to the farmer.
I remember giving the same unequivocal nod when asked.
And so Barry's journey began. His first job was to clean poop from the chicken coop, and that included the water trough. Anyone familiar with chickens will tell you one of the most frustrating things about keeping a water trough in a chicken coop is that the chickens get in the habit of perching or roosting on the edge, which leads to them to defecating in their own water supply.
Even though chickens go about 15 times a day, they really can't control their poop all that well. That means that when a chicken has to go, it really has to go. There are methods to eliminate this problem from the their drinking water, but young Barry wasn't interested in any of that. He said he only lasted 30 minutes before like in a John Steinbeck novel, Barry hit the road in search for another job.
My first job story isn't as adrenaline-charged as Barry's. I shined shoes at eight years old. I had to be up early to get a ride and spent the day asking folks if they wanted a shoe shine.
I learned a few lessons: I put most of the money away in a savings account, I learned that asking someone for a shine worked best for business, and I caught on early that a nice smile increased my tip. Lessons I still use, year after year, as we close out 2022.
Happy New Year!