Do you remember the first job you ever had? I don’t mean the miscellaneous ones like babysitting or cutting the neighbors lawn. I mean the very first ‘real taxes-deducted-from-paycheck’ job. My very first job the minute after I turned 16 was for a retail store called Pay’n’Save. It was a Washington State fixture which through several mergers and sell-offs ended up being absorbed into what RiteAid is today.
They had opened a brand new location in my little town of Kent, Washington, where I grew up (which ironically closed shortly after that because of the subsequent mergers. The store, not the town.). It was the perfect place for a first job since my parents preferred I work somewhere that closed at a reasonable hour vs. the late hour of fast food places. I even had to go to a 3-day “Cashier School” in Downtown Seattle to ‘train’ for the job. The first of many training seminars in my subsequent diverse corporate background.
Picture this: A bright, sunny Spring day. The sky is a stunning shade of blue, the birds are chirping cheerfully. I’m one of several cashiers working on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the cash registers. Suddenly the automatic doors at the entrance opened, and in comes a girl in her early twenties riding her horse into the store.
A real live honest-to-goodness horse. Inside the store.
Apparently she was doing so to protest the fact that Pay’n’Save had been built on previous horse pastures. She wasn’t happy about that. She also thought she’d be able to just make a scene then leave without getting caught. The mysterious cowgirl who rides into the store, then off into the sunset. Except that the automatic doors into the store won’t open from the inside – you have to go through the register lanes to get to the exit doors. The lanes were too narrow for a horse to walk through.
She and her horse were stuck in the store.
The police showed up and arrested her, and it was a comedy of errors as they tried to get the horse to go through the widest cash register lane. They finally had to pry the automatic doors open to get the horse out. I was so glad I was on cash register duty that day – one of the shelf stockers had to clean up the horse poop.
That had to be one of the most memorable events that ever took place for what normally was a mundane job. What was your first job like?