My first job…

As I mentioned earlier, my first job was working at a department store wrapping Christmas gifts.  After Christmas was over, I started working  in the store waiting on customers.  In those days, the clerks would walk up and ask the customers “Can I help you find something?”  (Does anyone remember those days???)  That was called personalized service!  After a customer finished their shopping, the clerks would total the purchase on an adding machine, take the money from the customer, and  actually count the correct change back to the customer after figuring the amount in their head.  There weren’t any electronic cash registers to tell one how much change to give back!

At first, I worked only on Saturdays.  Later I worked on Tuesday and Friday afternoons, also.  I worked a total of sixteen hours a week and was paid one dollar an hour!  I can only imagine what you are thinking, but that was a lot of money in 1971.  I could buy lots of things with sixteen dollars, and I did.  I bought clothes, clothes, and more clothes.  I also bought all of those household items for my “hope chest”, that I mentioned earlier.

I was the only girl “my age” that worked at the store.  The other ladies were my mother’s age and older.  I never quite acted my age(always older) so I got along well with all of them.  In addition to clerking, I did inventory, and put out new stock.  Eventually, the store manager let me do the store window display.  It was so much fun!  I picked out all of the clothes to put in the window and dressed the maniquins.  I decorated one store window and another clerk did the other.  We had a friendly competition going to see whose side could look the best!

The most surprising thing that I learned from working in a department store is that an amazing amount of people wait until the last minute to do their shopping!  On Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas Eve you could bet the store would be FULL of people when closing time came.  I vowed then that I would NEVER be a last minute shopper–and I’m NOT!

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 2:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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