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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What my first job taught me

Welcome back to my page, you awesome people! I am honored that you would wish to come back to this corner of the blogosphere to see what I have in store.

 Today, I will speak on one of my beginnings. Some paths have since diverged, but I still have transferable gifts from those paths that I can use just about anywhere. Let me get to it, or this post will end up being very long.

 My beginnings as a  worker-

 At the age of 13, I was gainfully employed by the local paper. It was not as a paperboy, a position in which I held the highest esteem, because the video game bearing the same title was one of my favorites. No, I was the door-to-door salesman.

 Back then, the paper didn't cost as much as it did these days, so it was fairly easy to persuade people to get it. The paper I sold was printed and delivered three times a week and only cost around fifteen dollars for a whole year's worth. That was a great deal, even then. I had no trouble selling in the affluent sections of the suburbs.

 The challenge came in convincing people to take up the rag in the urban and rural areas around my town. I had a way to sell to everyone, for example:

 Potential Customer(PC)-"I'm sorry, strapping young lad, but I can't afford it."

 Me- "I can understand that, sir. You can afford a vehicle, I see."

 PC- "Yes, but what does that have to do with me not taking the paper?"

 Me- "If you were to fill your gas tank 3 times*, then drive around the city, you still wouldn't find out as much information in a day that we would be providing you for a full year."

 PC- "Since you put it that way, I can see how this is a great deal. Sign me up."

 Then there were those that I would have to sell by employing showmanship. A popular television commercial in that area was pretty annoying to me, but it was something that everyone else seemed to have loved . A tiny guy in a cowboy hat would have someone off-screen toss him a product from the left side of the screen, and would talk about it, then toss it to the right side. He would then catch another from the left, and so on. I used this same technique with different sections of the paper, and it had the desired effect. People would instantly see that my imitation of the commercial guy was good and they'd get to laughing. Once I had them giggling at my antics, I knew it was an easy sale after that.

 That job taught me some valuable lessons. I learned to consider a persons needs versus my wants. If I really knew that a person would be making their children go without if they bought from me, I'd botch the sale. There weren't too many of those, so I'd usually make up for them at the next house.

 It was also a lesson in courage. I was a very shy child, and this job helped me climb out of my shell to approach strangers. Taking those steps have helped me immensely, although I am still shy in some situations.

 My first job was one of many, and has helped me gain the experience I need to relate to my fellow humans.

 What was your first job?

*way back in the day when five bucks would  fill your tank, I know, I'm ancient.

Have most of a tasty burger on me!

91 comments:

  1. My first job was delivering the newspaper! I learn all about people stealling other peoples papers and how bosses wouldn't trust there employees when they report such behaviour! Its helped me alot in life knowing that people are assholes and bosses are even bigger assholes!

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  2. i was that paperboy. hard work and early mornings,, but you learn alot about people.

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    1. Another paperboy. Man, I was really jealous of you guys not having to get doors slammed in your faces. Also, I wanted a sweet bike and be able to toss like a boss. I learned the toss, but usually got in trouble for doing it as I was supposed to give the customer their sample paper, instead of hurling it at them.

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  3. Paperboy was the best game ever!

    My first job was a little 13-year old server at a pizza place. I always racked in the tips because I was "so damn cute."

    But the place was dirty as hell.

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    Replies
    1. 13 + so damn cute + tips = sinister as hell.

      Glad it worked out okay for you though!

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    2. YI guess you weren't a green youngman Brown, then. @Cranface Haha, glad you've posted in another comment. I encourage such behavior. 30 influence points fly your way.

      Delete
  4. I remember when gas hit $1.gallon and it was outrageous.

    I was 13 when I got my first job too. I lived in the country and there was a bar that was about 1/2 mile from my house. I was their dishwasher. I hung out there every night they were open and kept everything clean. Easy gig. Free food and I got a lot of good stories to share with my friends at school the next day.

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  5. You were clearly a very clever sales man! :)

    My first job was at McDonalds. I started at 14 years old and didn't leave until I 19. I LOVED that job. Sigh... Even though I only began at $5.15 an hour. hahaha

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    1. Haha, I worked there too! I was always slow on making the sandwiches, so they busted me to first window drive through. I liked it, but always had this creeper hitting on me and trying to tip me. The wierdo(and who am I to call someone wierdo) wouldn't listen to me when I told him that I couldn't take it or make my till over.

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  6. Glad your first job went so well. Mine not so much. I didn't have one until I was 19, and it's the job I still technically hold now. I work as a volunteer at a charity shop. I took a lot of good from that, I know, but also at times it ruined what I had gained and made me worse. Sometimes it built my confidence and others it shattered it. Ah well.

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    1. I believe that volunteering is BEYOND having a job and having such compassion that you care for others more than you care for yourself. Built up on grounds of your merit, your experience is outstanding.

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  7. haha that was a tricky way of selling. I like it! Be nice to still be back when it only cost $15 for an entire year. Mine was piling wood, manual labor, hate it..hahaha

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    1. LMAO!!!! Piling wood? As in moving wood from one pile and making a new pile? Ok, I'm done butting my little nose in where it don't belong... hahaha

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    2. Don't worry, Jax. On my page, I have no worry about noses belonging any particular place. Especially not this far away from the cat's shore*winknod wonknid

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    3. @Pat] I hate manual labor as well. I tend to attract those jobs, though.

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    4. haha that little nose of hers couldn't be seen anyway. Just keep it our of a certain rhyming behind..hahaha

      It was at a sawmill, so I had to pile siding a certain way and pile normal wood another certain way and all that fun stuff, sucked! Thanks for the youtube views too!

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  8. I completely forgot about that video game! I remember having to go around to make money for our elementary school, I hated ringing those doorbells!

    My first job was working at a nursery in this old hippie landscaper guy's backyard. I got to weed and water and learn a lot about plants. I still love to garden to this day!

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    1. That video game made me so happy and sad.

      I never rang doorbells. I was pretty superstitious in those days.

      Your green thumb sure got started in a great way.

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  9. nice...i bet that did help you come out of your shell...i worked in sales myself and it def did goot for me to learn how to read and talk to people....

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  10. Hey-hey!

    I like the way you think and I must agree, the things we experience are there to teach us, all that is needed is the willingness to learn! The trick to most things in life is persistence and you strike me as very persistent, indeed!

    My first job was at 15 as a hairdresser's assistant on the weekends. It involved the washing, drying and setting of hair (in curlers), sweeping up hair, making tea and coffee and giving bitchy women under the dryers magazines. It also involved buying lunch for the staff and tidying up after them. It sucked sideways and the pay was laughable! This was around the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but even back then, it wasn't a lot of money!

    That burger looks wicked! I've had dinner, but I could do with a burger about now. Filthy little overeater, me! Hope you had a great day! :)

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    1. That job sounds like it was rough, for sure. I can only imagine;

      "No! The MARCH issue of Vogue! That's February, you little ruffian!"

      Thanks for sharing. I am really enjoying these threaded comments, when they don't go haywire, that is.

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    2. Looking back, it wasn't nearly as awful as the 'waitressing years'!

      When you say the comments go haywire, you mean me not knowing when to shut up, right?! I can be a chatty little bitch sometimes! My bad, I'll keep it brief. :)

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    3. Not at all, I really don't even mind if anyone's comments to my posts are longer than the original post. It's cool to read.

      The haywire I speak of is the java or whatever code used for the replies messes up on me to make the editing window off by a line, so I am not able to see what I'm typing until I hit preview. Sometimes I just hit publish and hope I don't have too many errors.

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    4. I hate that, too! I have a slight OCD about it! I can honestly say that I haven't noticed any mistakes, though! I often forget to disable NoScript and I get the-hell-in when it blocks certain things! My worst is the new (2 word) word verifications on comments. The first word is easy to see, but the second one with the shape at the back really fucks with my eyesight! Even with my glasses on, I battle to make it out! Grr!

      http://lh3.ggpht.com/-9ZPhwRSThLc/Tz_GzOeTMNI/AAAAAAAAGTU/6CSKOAKmQPw/Word%252520Verification_thumb%25255B4%25255D.jpg

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  11. I remember when all this was fields...

    My first job was helping out at a drama club for the younger kids at my secondary school.

    I think the worst job I had was a janitor at a department store. They didn't even give me a brown shirt that said 'Janitor' on it :(

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    1. Yes, fields as far as the eye could see.-

      Your first job is also a coveted one. I only got little in the way of exposure to the gem that is drama and improvisational comedy.

      I've been that position as well. No brown shirt for me, either. I knew how to use the powder stuff to clean up the vomitus, though.

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  12. I was a dishwasher at a local pizza shoppe. That pizza was so good.

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    1. I bet. It seemed to me that there were places that no longer exist where the pizza was fifteen times better than it is today. Maybe it's because my taste buds have changed, and not because commercialized 'za's are so cheaply made.

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  13. TOTAL attitude of a salesman, I relate! I like it when people are different and you have to react different ways. I once made a sale by not trying to sell. Felt so good. So good.

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    1. Heck yah! The "no pitch" pitch. A very difficult maneuver in any sales position. The addiction to that feeling of a closed deal was what gave me drive.

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  14. I was a papergirl at 13. My foster brother got £7 for delivering a weekly free newspaper. He paid me £2 to do the delivery. I know, I was a mug.

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    1. But you did it for your brother. Doing what my older brother said was a necessity to stay alive.

      And, I didn't know any papergirls. I always imagined they'd be very cool. That and they rode pink Haros.

      Did you ride a pink Haro?

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    2. I'm going to guess that a haro is a bike? And I'm sorry to ruin your picture but no :-(

      Did we have the same brother?

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  15. Replies
    1. I never thought so. I was so envious and jelly that I would deliver our paper with my brother's freestyle bike. Video games influenced my youth greatly, and seeing paperboys in a good light was one of the ways my reality seemed to be off.

      Delete
  16. my first job was cutting grass for my neighbours when I was 11...and then sorting wooden pallets when I was 13...it taught me a lot

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  17. Nice post, I enjoyed reading about your first job. My first job was at Cold stone creamery.

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  18. LOLOLOL, I was 15. I was working an after school job at the greasiest restaurant in existence after wrestling practice, and I also worked in the morning as a groundskeeper.

    I didn't even get the money, it all went to my parents.

    Yeah. Best lesson ever. Hrmph.

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    1. Yeah, you should have gotten some or all of that money, man.

      I was always restricted soda as a kid. When I grew up, I drank so much soda that I developed a kidney stone. Moderation is a virtue best taught early on.

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  19. I didn't get my first job until I was 18 and that was for Fruit of the Loom. I stayed there for 8 years sewing T-shirts but saved and invested my money.

    Longest 8 years of my life...

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    1. I bet. I haven't done any factory work, but I've had office jobs. They're so stifling to my free nature. I want to be outside with the wind and the animals.

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  20. my first job WAS delivering papers haha

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    1. That makes you one of the FOUR of the coolest paper delivering future bloggers. You guys were held in high esteem by me and my kind.

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  21. That's pretty cool. Took a lot of courage. Nowadays, kids are encouraged to go door to door for sales. Kind of sad.

    My first job was when I a few months short of 14. I worked with my godmother at the flower shoppe. It was a lesson in artistic floral creativity. I enjoyed it for the short time I had that gig.

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    1. The smells of the bouquets must have been wonderful!

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  22. my first job was working in a baseball card store (age 14) that paid cash under the table. It was awesome

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    1. And I spent most of my paper selling money on baseball cards. Under the table was the best.

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  23. Life lessons right there. Sadly, I have never had a paid job. Welcome to the shit-conomy.

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    1. I'm right there with you. Maybe not on previous work experience, but financially, we are very alike.

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  24. my first job was to sell homemade popsicles. i was about 12 then. my gran ran the little business but whenever i made the popsicles, i could keep the money from the sale. that's what gran told me. so i made popsicles everyday, and kept the coins.

    it taught me to be independent. turned out i was a creative teenager, so by 15 i was making a lot of handicrafts and people liked those. so apart from the usual pocket money, i never had a reason to ask money from my parents.

    :)

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    1. You were very creative and resourceful! I love hearing stories of family teaching through valuable experience. Your independence shined through.

      :)

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  25. My first job was at a tutoring center, helping kids of all ages with their studies.

    One of my students was named Shithead. His mom pronounced it "Shih-thay-ed." He had a sister named Iamunique. Some people shouldn't be allowed to name their own babies...

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    1. yup.
      i know of a family who named the daughter B Flat and son, D Major.
      it's like some kind of cosmic joke.

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    2. @Lost- That's a very respectable way to earn money. I shudder to think of what those poor kids had to go through, but I'm glad you were there to help them.

      @Jaya- Even more poor, poor, kids. Lost is right, there should be laws on the books against this sort of mental torture.

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  26. I can't say for sure, but I think my first "job" was either making and selling letter writing stationary - or selling empty soap boxes because you could put them in your closet to make your clothes smell good lol... must have been under ten years old (I hope!!!)

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    1. So young to have such a good entrepreneurial spirit! Reminds me of my older brother who was the 'gum dealer' for the whole elementary school. He'd buy a bag of gum for $2.50 and make over ten dollars off of it in a day. The little dude raked it in hand over fist.

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  27. Very awesome. I want to find a job!

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    1. They are not for everyone, as I've come to find out. Some people just jump straight from education to career, skipping j.o.b.'s altogether. There's others that don't do any of that, whether it be by silver spoon pacifier, or perpetual couch surfing. You will find one, if it's in the cards.

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  28. I still haven't been employed :<

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    1. But yet I view you as a professional.Your blog is so kick ass that I thought you were a working game designer or web designer.

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  29. Replies
    1. Always. Maybe not full of joy, but there's some shiny nuggets of sunshine in there somewhere.

      Same to you Pham.

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  30. your writing & sense of humor impresses me. my first job was babysitting, which i really didn't think of as work, because i enjoy being with children. then i grew up to work with them.

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    1. Thanks. To me that is one of the toughest jobs of all time, only to be eclipsed by full-time parent. Gratz for your heeding the calling.

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  31. 5 bux would fill your tank? what did u drive? a scooter?

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    1. I didn't drive back then, but walked and got rides everywhere. Five dollars would fill a small economy-sized car full of the stuff we pay five dollars for a gallon now.

      Delete
  32. Ahhh...the comment thingy is giving me a hard time... sorry, if i am posting this more than once..let meh try one more time heree...

    My first job was working at a hot dog stand, and it was just the first fail in a long line of life failures sorry to say. But anywho, you sound like a pretty good salesman. A lot of those lines reminded me of the scripts they would make us read when I worked as a telemarketer, only your lines are better. Wait...oh yeah... I did have to go door to door once selling chocolate bars for little league baseball, and I did a little better at that then selling hot dogs or memberships to Sears Emergency Road Service.

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    1. I hear you. It gives me trouble almost daily now. For some reason today is a rare exception, and the comments are flowing like the Mississippi river's waters.

      I've had my share of fails as well. My first telemarketing job was for a thrift store that used a charity as a front for donations. I liked it in that I could color my hair any way I wanted,(yeah I was a green headed shock at one point) and didn't have to labor at all. That job didn't last, because I couldn't bring my numbers up. I felt that I was scamming these people out of their unwanted goods, so I stopped trying.

      Even through those fails, we remain better for having those experiences.

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  33. hahaha, you should have became a lawyer, with your elloquence

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  34. Oh your not that ancient. I'm not yet 30 and when I got my first car I could fill my tank for around 10 dollars. And the Girl Scout cookies I sold for my first "job" were only 2ish dollars a box....I think. Selling stuff at a young age is a great way to teach people skills and confidence.

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    1. They're $3.50 now. But, ohhhhhhh. they're still so very good.

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  35. That's awesome that you where a salesman at 13!
    My first job was as a cashier in a shitty car shop called Halfords. Destroyed my soul that place did.

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  36. That's pretty cool that you had become an intrepid salesperson by 13. I still am not very good at selling.

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  37. My first job was babysitting. It taught me that I don't mind kids, but I don't want nay of my own XD

    As for Christchurch, there were two major earthquakes, and the aftershocks&small quakes have run into the tens of thousands in number. 185 people were killed in the February shake last year. The initial reports were a little too optimistic when they said there were no casualties. Yesterday they set out empty chairs for the dead and released 185 monarch butterflies in their honour.

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    1. It's good that you are able to know whether children are for you or not. Having a job teach you that is one of the best experiences to make that decision to not procreate.

      It is disheartening to hear that the first reports were of a mistakenly nature. I send thoughts of well-being and peace of mind to those who had friends, family, and loved ones in the disaster.

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  38. I had my first job as a paper boy too. Least favorite part was the winters. Ugh... so cold...

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  39. cute blog! thanks for dropping by!

    xx from hong kong :)
    www.ldmldmldm.com

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  40. My first job taught that people suck. It was at a student bookstore run by hell itself.

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  41. thanks for the lesson!

    http://underthefluorescents.blogspot.com/

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  42. My first job was a waitress at a pizza place. My husband (then boyfriend) used to not tip me because the restaurant didn't carry Ranch dressing. Come to think of it, why did I marry him?!

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  43. My first job was working as a stockboy at the neighborhood grocery store (as detailed in my book, "Shag Carpet Toilet", now available on Kindle! Get your copy now while untold thousands still exist!!! )
    Ahem....please excuse my crass, self-serving, shameless sales pitch. Anyway, while employed, I learned:
    1. How to properly bag groceries
    2. How to properly arrange produce to please the eye and, therefore, boost sales
    and
    3. How to fold the "Land O' Lakes" package so it looked like the Indian princess's boobs were showing.
    Ah, youth.

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    1. I'm enjoying a sales pitch on a post of this nature. Actually, you can do so on any post you wish. Until, I actually have a copy of your book, then I can do it for you :)

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  44. Its amazing that you learnt all these tactics when you were 13!! Very interesting post. Thanks for your kind comment in my blog. Cheers, Ruby.

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  45. My first job was as a sales clerk on a 7-Eleven store. I hate it when someone goes AWOL, I have to work straight hours without sleep.

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  46. My first job was also in the newspaper industry. My brother, who is 9 years older than me, had a paper route in our neighborhood when he was about 15 (and I was about 6). Our dad rigged a small trailer onto the back of our riding lawn mower. My bro would drive said mower around our 'hood, while I would deliver the papers into the boxes (or chuck them into yards as best as my little 6 year old self could chuck them). I got paid in candy. Which was awesome!

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