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My First Job

In July of 1968, after my sophomore year in high school, my dad drove me and sat in the car while I talked to Mickey, the stout, perpetually smiling, quick stepping manager of the Dairy Queen on Denton Hwy. Mickey saw something in my chubby, frizzy haired, awkward self and gave me my first job. It was the first thing that made me really happy since my daily partner in mischief and best friend, Cathy Colvin Lovellette moved to Illinois earlier that year.

I called my friend Carrie Minnis Townley and told her. She went straight away to talk to Mickey and she also got a job. She got the same starting salary that I was offered – 80 cents an hour. I was really glad to have Carrie on board because I was scared to death of this new thing called a job. We started on the same night and were schooled in the art of getting that perfect swirl on the top of a cone and how to operate a big mop and bucket contraption to clean the greasy floor during closing. Our night shift companions were Joe, Nathan and Ida Faye. My first check was $10.80 which I cashed and took the money to Treasure City to buy a swimsuit for my little sister.

I worked there through high school juggling my time in the drive-up window with Friday night football where I marched with the high school band. I learned some things about myself. I learned that I liked talking to people, that I could easily remember numbers and orders and that I caught on to things pretty quick. I learned that a good supply of really cute boys came through that drive-up window including the Chicken Brothers. We never knew their name, we just knew that almost every day the two brothers would call in an order for two fried chicken baskets, double breaded with an extra chicken breast, and drive through to pick it up in a beautiful 1968 green GTO. We would fight over who was going to greet them at the window. The 2nd and 3rd degree grease burns on the back of my right leg taught me to respect safety precautions. My tiny bit of a broken heart taught me that the 19-year old fry cook would treat me no different up front just because I let him kiss me in the walk-in fridge.

That was my high school job. It afforded me my first car and offered many life lessons about respecting authority, the satisfaction of doing a good job, and the importance of setting boundaries in the work place.

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