My First Job

Today I was catching up on some blog reading, and found one by Jane Taubman (aka Family Historian extraordinaire) in which details her “First Job”. She came to write this after seeing a tweet from Geneabloggers  saying:

“November 14: Do you remember your first job? Where was it and what type of work did you do?”

And I thought I should do the same. Afterall as historians and genealogists sometimes we get so caught up in researching and recording the past, that we forget to write about the current. Not to mention our OWN history.

Now to answer the question “What was my first job?”. As usual I don’t have a definitive answer, because growing up in a family business which worked from home, it meant that there was always work going on, and often I helped out. So I’ll actually tell you about my family job, as well as my first non-family job.

First up the family job. My parents started Gould Genealogy & History (which was originally known as Gould Books) when I was about 3. This was a mail order genealogy bookstore which they ran from their house. My dad did the buying and promoting of books etc. via catalogues, and mum did the mailing of orders.

The Advertiser, 19 September 1985

The Advertiser, 19 September 1985

Fast forward, a heap of years … and this is the company I work for today.

I officially started working for my parents when I left school at age 16. But prior to that, maybe from about the age of 10 or so I did do paid work for them. I remember coming home and typing up family trees for people’s family history books that we were working on at the time. I remember using the microfilm reader/printer that we had at home (doesn’t everyone??) to extract all the BDM entries out of The Register newspapers for the “Register Personal Notices” books which we produced (anyone remember those books?). And of course after printing all the entries there was the typing and proofreading of those books too …

I also remember my brother and I being picked up from primary school as our family headed off on yet another genealogy conference somewhere (usually interstate). To say that we were squashed into the car would be an understatement. There was boxes and everything else packed almost to the roof. My brother and I had about 30cm to sit, with no room to wiggle. And maybe it was a good thing for my parents to pack boxes between him and me to stop us fighting!

Gumeracha deli (now known as the Top Shoppe) - October 2013

Gumeracha deli (now known as the Top Shoppe) – October 2013

Anyway … on to my first non-family job. I would have been maybe year 9 or 10 and I went down to the local deli at Gumeracha (which is still there but is now called The Top Shoppe), and simply asked the owners (the Burford’s at the time), if they would have anything for me during the summer holidays, and they said yes. There was no resume, and no interview or anything. Then again being local, they did know me and my family. Anyway from memory I started shortly afterwards. So probably most days during December, January and possibly into February you could find me working at the local deli.

I think I did a pretty good job as they even got me to open up some days. I stocked shelves and the fridges, I made lots of sandwiches and hotdogs, made sure there was lots of pies and pasties etc. in the food warmer, and served many, many people. And I remember the sore feet from being on my feet all day – obviously something I wasn’t used to!

I’m not sure what I made per hour, but it was probably something like $6/ hr or so , but I do remember what I purchased with the money. It was a stereo, one that had a dual tape deck, a turntable, AND a 5 disk CD player!! Now that was COOOOL! That was my first big purchase.

So there you go, that’s the story of my first job/s.

Now I’m going to ask you to do something for you (and your family). Take a few minutes and write some details about your first job.  Afterall no one can remember it like you can, so you should be the one to tell it. It doesn’t have to public, but at least write it down, keep it in a safe place and those memories will come have a life again sometime in the future.

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