Sunday, November 24, 2013

First Job

I was counting the days until I turned fifteen and a half years old and could get a "real" job with paychecks and taxes and work schedules. I started babysitting a few months shy of my twelfth birthday and had built a solid following but I wanted a consistent paycheck to fulfill my fantasy of opening my first checking account. 

Truth be told, I was motivated by the cute check designs (Hello Anne Geddes!!) more than the concept of managing my finances. I couldn't drive yet and my schedule was already jam packed with school, activities and candystriping at the hospital so my employment options were limited. I had an in at the local Parks and Recreation Department as Mom had been a sports official for several years. 

After completing an application, interviewing and attending an orientation, I was ready to tackle my job. It helped that I looked super cute in the kelly green t-shirts that were our uniform. I loved the fact that I would run into cute boys while working too. That winter of 1985, I spent my Saturdays at the scorekeeper's table in a high school gymnasium or National Guard Armory. I wasn't old enough to run the game clock or keep score but my job was critical just the same. 

Some coaches loved me and some despised my mere existence. They challenged me and shunned me. As timekeeper, my job was to keep track of how many minutes each player spent on the basketball court. It was the program philosophy that each player spent an equal amount of time in the game. I sucked at math and yet it was my job to calculate minutes played and notify coaches if they weren't doing their job.

I created a mental Shit list of coaches who thought they were above the rules. Men who were living out their unfulfilled sports fantasies through their sons. Men who screamed and paced along the sidelines, throwing clipboards and expletives.

Luckily, for each asshole coach there was a kind and gentle one whose goal was to teach the value of teamwork and skills. These coaches who politely approached me during time-outs to see who they needed to put in the game. 

It was my first job and a very stressful one for a shy, non- confrontational fifteen year old but it has always been one of my favorites. For the next twelve years, if I was living in town during basketball season I could be found sitting behind a scoreboard.

What was your first job?


1 comment:

cynk said...

Ugh. That does not sound like a fun first job. Of course "job" and "fun" don't often go together, but I can understand why you would dislike this one. I wouldn't want to confront those coaches either.