When I was growing up I always was looking for ways to make money. I worked for myself by pet sitting, mowing lawns, and selling Magic: the Gathering cards to pay for my hobby. Unfortunately none of these were steady sources of income. The summer before my senior year in high school I decided I need to get a job to start saving money for college. I was a…
Pizza Man Extraordinaire
That’s right I worked at a nationally known pizza joint. How on earth did I decide that is where I wanted to work? Well… I didn’t want to work in fast food and I figured pizza takes a while. I’m serious that is how I decided. I don’t even really like pizza which in hind sight was a great thing. As a seventeen year old I clearly made highly educated decisions.
How Did I Land the Gig?
I had my dad get me an application on his way home from work. I didn’t even go in to get the application myself. Turns out these places probably don’t even know who gets applications so it wasn’t a big deal. I filled out the application and then dressed up in a dress shirt and dress pants and returned the application. Instead of being smart and giving it to a manager I just nervously handed it to the cashier and left… Great start.
After a week I hadn’t heard anything back so I decided to call and follow up. This time I got smart and asked for the general manager. They needed a phone person and he asked me to come in and interview. Again I dressed up in a dress shirt, dress pants and even a tie this time. I don’t remember the interview but my guess is it was basic questions to figure out if I would be reliable or not. I did enough to impress him and landed the gig.
So What Did I Do?
In the beginning I strictly answered the phone. “Thank you for calling *Pizza Place* Will this be for pick up or delivery?” As I got used to the phones I slowly picked up more positions. I was trained to be a cashier, pizza cutter, dough prepper, restaurant cleaner, host and server. The only things I didn’t do were deliver pizza (they never pulled my driving history) and cook (because the cooks were jerks).
I tried to learn as much as I could in a dead end job which was good for character building. I naively expected a raise based on my personal work ethic. I didn’t get a raise until they gave everyone a raise and even then it was due to hiring new people at a higher rate. In retrospect I shouldn’t have expected a raise for my own actions but at the time I felt like all of my efforts didn’t get me anywhere further than anyone else.
I have quite a few fun stories from working here. It was an absolutely crazy place to work and if my parents knew half of what went on there I probably wouldn’t have worked there as long as I did. I continued to work at the pizza place through the summer before my freshman year of college and then came back for the summer after my freshman year.
During my college sophomore year Christmas break I came home to work and found out the pizza place had been closed. I wasn’t shocked because as far as I knew the place was almost always losing money and it was very poorly managed. In the end it was a decent first job that taught me a lot of lessons. I’ll follow up with another post soon about some crazy stories and lessons I learned from my first job.
What was your first job? What do you remember about it?