Do you recall YOUR most memorable first day on the job? Whether it was a babysitting gig after school or the bottom rung on the ladder of your new career, I'm sure those first hours of your working day still linger somewhere in your memory. I've been working about forty years if you count my early days as a child care provider, so I have a whole host of would-be careers that I could cram onto a resume. Why I've been everything from a senior administrative assistant to a janitor, and some of those first days I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Think back if you will to your first day on the job. Remember how difficult it was having to endure the endless scrutiny of your new coworkers? Everything from your looks to what you brought for lunch that day was on parade for all to see.
My first day in an office proved to be an embarrassing one. My supervisor was explaining my duties: "This,' she said "is our dumbwaiter, or dummy that transports items from one floor to another like a mini elevator. When a member comes in, the receptionist will call you and announce them. You will then ask if they need their file. You will put all of their paperwork onto the dumbwaiter and send it down." That seemed easy enough. I sat down at my makeshift desk and began to read the employee handbook when all of a sudden the phone rang. "I'm sending the dummy up" said the receptionist. "Oh. Okay" I replied in haste. "Will he be needing his file?"
My short lived career as a waitress was no better. I was offered a serving position at a little diner in town and I was nervous and excited at the same time, but very determined to make a go of it. In the beginning it was easy keeping track of the tables and who all needed what and where it went, but as the morning turned to noon a rush of nearby factory workers inundated the diner and I found myself having to write myself little codes so I knew which person ordered what dish at the larger tables. I wrote for instance, ‘man with green shirt’ in the corner of the ticket. That was going to be my sure fire system, until I realized when I returned to the table that the workers had taken their white coats off. They were all in green shirts. I had discreetly written ‘man with monkey ears’ in the corner of one ticket and had forgotten that I’d done so. I refilled his cup of coffee one last time before depositing his check at the table. As I walked away, this dread washed over me, remembering at once that I had left the ‘code’ on his ticket. “Maam”, he called. I slowly turned around. “What does THIS mean?” as he tapped his finger at the handwritten description. “Uh,’ I stumbled over my words as they made their way past the lump in my throat. “That’sss a code for the eggs”. I don’t think he bought it because all I got from him was a 30 cent tip and a lot of dirty looks!