Save for my freshman year in college, I’ve been working constantly since the summer after I turned 14. Meaning I’ve been working for well over half, creepin up on ⅔ of my life. Which means at 65 (if I’m able to retire then by some miracle, which I highly doubt), I’ll have worked 80% of my life. God, that’s depressing as hell, isn’t it? I know, my math basically assumes 100% working during the working time, doesn’t account for time asleep and in leisure. So divide it into thirds, so…65/3*.8 = 17.33333 years, so…really only 26.6% of my life. Still depressing, especially considering what I’ll have to show for it at the end.
And this post wasn’t supposed to be about math and depressing myself, it was supposed to be about my first job.
From the summer before my freshman year to the winter of my junior year in high school, I worked in a candy shop, which sadly but unsurprisingly went out of business a couple years ago. The place was owned and run by a sister and brother who, while it probably wasn’t super healthy for them to work together emotionally, hey balanced each other out–her with her pretty brilliant bursts of temper and him pretty much embodying the philosophy of “water off a duck’s back” (and I’m sure he used his slight deafness to his full advantage with her. I never really had issues with them and always felt they treated everyone pretty fairly. I think my being a bookworm helped get me in the sister’s good graces, not gonna lie. On the whole, it was a good place to start work.
Aside from a couple of my guy friends who worked on the fudge making side of things (get your mind out of the gutter), it got me socializing with girls I might not have normally hung out with due to ages and different groups we ran with in school.
And it got me interacting with all sort of people, period. Living and working in a summer tourist town, believe you me, you deal with all sorts. ALL sorts. Aside from the one old rich bat, mother to a regional celebrity, who said the samples I gave her were too small and wound up walking out in a huff, I don’t recall anyone super terrible. The one thing I’ll never forget as long as I live is the person who asked if the chocolate walnut fudge had nuts in it. Hm, I dunno, maybe? Perhaps? o_O In retrospect, maybe they wanted to know if there were peanuts in it, but back in the mid-late ‘90s peanut/food allergies weren’t a thing, at least where I grew up. *shrug* Regardless, the person asked if there were nuts in the chocolate walnut fudge (with a big label that read CHOCOLATE WALNUT FUDGE).
I also started out at the job liking maybe two kinds of fudge, if that, and none of the other stuff–taffy, caramels, caramel corn, candies, the maybe dozen or so other flavors of fudge. By the end of it, I liked EVERYTHING. There’s nothing like freshly made candy, still warm and as fresh as you’re ever going to get to make you like it. To this day, peanut butter fudge will never be as good as it was fully-set but still warm on the slab. Guh. Or caramel corn, with and without nuts, just warm.
Having spent half my tenure there with braces, to this day I still have issues chewing caramel and taffy. I hate having it stick to my teeth. I started eating it before I could chew it, so once I could chew it it just felt weird.
The candy shop is also where I got “hazed” in the early days by being given a piece of baker’s chocolate to try. I’d known it was different…I just didn’t know HOW DIFFERENT. OMG, chocolate, what a betrayal. *gag*
And there was the one time we tricked/talked the one guy clerk into eating the straight citric acid granules (you know, the sweet and sour sugar coating that goes on candy). That was pretty hilarious. 🙂
So now you have another insight into something that’s shaped me.