And Then They Went Shopping

School bus stop on Red Cap Road, Orleans CA

I read something today about someone who worked at a clothing store and it made me remember this story.

When I was a teenager but before I could drive I made money by babysitting. Somehow I met this great family who ran a vending machine business. They would leave a giant box of candy on the counter for me to pick snacks from. They had two daughters. The younger one was sort of a pill but overall they were good kids. I babysat plenty worse.
When I was old enough to drive and wanted to get a job, the Mom wanted to help me out. She knew this lady who ran a clothing store and decided that this would be a great job for me. Me, being a self-involved teenager with no clue how the world worked, thought that I was going to get a really cool job.
I went to the store to talk to the lady and the first thing she said was: what kind of experience do you have?
Me: None.
What the hell? I was sixteen. I went to high school. I did babysitting. Where in the world would I be getting all this experience?
She told me she had nothing for me and that was that.

Prospect Trail on Ishi Pishi Road, Orleans CA (not recommended)
At the time I was hurt and confused. Why set me up for this big thing if you weren’t even interested in giving me a chance?

Now that I’m a grown-up and have a better understanding of how the world works, I suspect that babysitting Mom shopped there regularly and probably chit-chatted with the lady and that was the basis for their relationship. She probably told the store owner, oh this girl babysits for me and she’s a good kid. She never burns down the house and our kids are always still alive when we get home. She never takes more than 3 candy bars even though we leave out about 60. I’m sure she would be great at selling clothes.
And then this lady has to be polite, “Oh wonderful. Sounds swell. Send her over.”
And then I show up and she can’t wait to get rid of me. Although as I recall she was pretty snotty about it.

I ended up getting a job at Jack-in-the-Box where they did take teenagers with zero experience and paid us $3.10 an hour.

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One Response to And Then They Went Shopping

  1. Kira says:

    $3.10? I thought only grad students made that kind of money!

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