Ask anyone and they can proudly tell you about the first job they ever landed. It’s almost like a rite of passage into personhood. I stuffed rolls of film in plastic bags and stapled on cardboard toppers for store displays. For my hard work I was paid $1.00 an hour. Mine was considered a white collar office job, I suppose, because Jim Brawner’s blue collar job running TV antenna wire under houses only paid twenty-five cents an hour. But, we both had jobs and we learned how to work.
I remember Dad saying, “Honest, hard work never killed anyone.” I guess that was to differentiate from dishonest work which might get you killed. “If you know how to work, you can learn a job,” he’d say.
Knowing how to work was on our list of things we wanted our kids to understand before they left home. They had all kinds of jobs from waiting tables to mowing lawns. Travis, who’s now a surgeon, got his first job experience cleaning toilets for a resort. Jason, now a camp director, was a life guard at a water park and Jill handed out tokens at a go-cart track. Those were all valuable learning experiences.
Jim’s been a bus driver, a construction worker and a maintenance guy. I was an Avon lady who took orders from my hospital bed after giving birth and I wrapped gifts for a department store where I learned how to make even a cheap gift look expensive. We both collected life skills along the way.
Not all jobs are fun because they all have one thing in common ... work. The sooner that’s realized the better. In our entitlement society it seems more and more of the twenty-somethings are “holding out for management positions.” I even know some forty-somthings doing the same thing. Maybe they should learn to work on their way to that dream job.
”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”