A Trip Down Memory Lane






“I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.” -Lou Holtz

This week has been a trip down memory lane. Let me just say that it is a very long lane and went all the way back to when I got my first job as a waitress. The pay was awesome, a whole 75 cents an hour. That was a super raise from the 50 cents per hour I had been earning from babysitting.  My days as a waitress at the local diner were not long-lived, they were cut short by my behavior. Well, no one had bothered to tell me that I couldn’t clock out for my lunch break at noon to sit and eat with my mother. Humph guess they thought I would just have enough sense to know not to take a break at the busiest time of the day. Who knew that they would fire me for such an innocent offense? Oh well, my second job was way better – frying chicken at the Hardin County Fair where they loved me and I made a whopping $1.25 per hour.

Let me put this trip down memory lane in context. I am hosting a Junior Achievement (JA) Job Shadow Day here at our offices next week. As a part of that, we held a “lunch and learn” session for the staff who volunteered to be the JA job shadow hosts so that they could understand the agenda for the day and learn what was expected of them as a host. During that meeting the JA Program Manager showed a few great video’s. One of them was, “Make a Difference in the Life of a Child” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZLeBFNIUVo ( to learn more about Junior Achievement in Orange County visit http://jaoc.org/) .

While we were having our lunch, we started discussing our first job experiences and how much we did not know about the work world.  For some of the hosts, their trips down memory lane was much shorter than mine, but in every case we remembered how much we didn’t know then compared to where we are at today. This helped us put in context what we could do as hosts for the students. Modeling professional behavior, showing enthusiasm for our work and for the company, and answering the students questions will all be a part of the day. Especially explaining to the students how we got to where we are today. Some of us have taken a very circuitous route to get to the positions we currently hold. This brought me to the memories of a few of my first jobs. I can say that I have learned a bit since then.  One, it is important to understand what is expected of you on the job, two, it is important to show up for work on time and ready to work, and three, repeat one and two each and every day.  The rest is just good manners, be kind, be trustworthy, be respectful, and be a team player.

So it is with excitement that I am looking forward to our Junior Achievement Job Shadow Day.  We will have over fifty students visiting from two different local high schools along with a few teachers. What a great opportunity this is for our staff and the students.  However, I don’t think I will share with the students my first job experience or maybe on the other hand I should. What do you think?


3 thoughts on “A Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. Interesting that I never heard the story about your short sint as a waitress….As my Mother you encouraged me in my first waitress job… but instead of my eating lunch with you, you were actually one of my first customers! Did I mention how picky you are? I learned that the request for lightly toasted no butter should be handled with a smile and that providing what the customer asked for had rewards (nice tip!). In the end I learned a lot of lessons from that job. You could say everything I learned about customer service I learned waitressing in a family dinner.

  2. So true are your statements of being dedicated, reliable, honest, and hard-working, but let’s not forget your going the extra mile, always being open to more learning, and always raising your hand and/or offering to be the one to call upon. I’ve also been lucky in learning those lessons long ago, plus others…to never stop learning, and not to pass up learning something even if the topic is not your job or chosen profession, and to never fear to volunteer, or get to know those of knowledge and integrity around you…and to only burn bridges you would never have to cross again. Because of this, and being dedicated, honest, etc., I’ve been able to take knowledge learned and move up, whether it be in the same company, different company, different type of job, etc. These steps grew me from being a pretzel, hot dog, and pop corn maker (and janitor) to a telephone operator, to accounting, to software, to where I am today (and I still have a way to go).

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