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Did You Work In High School? (Spin Off)
Let's hear from Maccas alums (and others)

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#1 baddmammajamma

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:43 PM

As a spin off to the thread about teen contributions to family holidays...

* Did you work when you were in high school?

* If so, what did you do?

* Approximately how many hours week did you work?

* Do you remember what your hourly wage was (might want to note the era)?

** ETA: Bonus question: Did working in high school seem to help or hinder your educational/career prospects?

I never had the opportunity to work at Maccas, as there weren't any in my vicinity, but I have so many friends who held their first job there ("If there's time to lean, there's time to clean" was the axiom).

During the school year, I probably worked 10-15 hours/week (incl. babysitting). During the summer, unless we were taking a family vacation, I was working a standard 40 hour week.

I started babysitting at age 12 -- which is high school aged here but middle school in the U.S.

$2.00/hour for watching three young boys in the early 1980s.

My first non-babysitting job was in an import/export business. The summer when I was 15, I spent 2 months inside a warehouse, putting red bows on fluffy teddy bears from China. I think I earned $5 or 6 dollars/hour (1983).

From 1984-1985, I worked weekends in an old fashioned "variety" store (called "Dime Stores" in America), making minimum wage at the time: $3.40/hour.

Almost forgot to add that I tutored my next door neighbor's kids (recent immigrants from Hong Kong) for several years, essentially helping them with their homework each week. I think I earned $5/hour for that in the mid 80s, and I also did a lot of random yard work, pet sitting, etc.

Who's next? original.gif

Edited by baddmammajamma, 27 December 2012 - 04:57 PM.

#2 BetteBoop

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

Yes, I started working at Maccas when I was aged 14 years and 9 months.

I worked 5 shifts a week, so about 30 hours.

I think I earned around $6 an hour but that was in the late 80s so probably the equivalent of $14 an hour now.

#3 Soontobegran

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

Yes original.gif
I worked at our local Chemist Shop.

I was 15 years old and worked there until I left to come to Melbourne to do nursing at nearly 18.

I worked two day after school hours from 3.30 to 6pm and Saturday morning from 8.30 to 12 MD.

It was in the late 60's early 70's BMJ, I can't even take a guess at how much I was earning but I am thinking it was not too much. original.gif

#4 susie78

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

I worked at Maccas for 6 years from the age of 15. I think I started on about $6/hr (that was in the early 90s) and did 2 or 3 shifts a week while I was at school. Once I was at uni I needed more cash so was doing 3 or 4 shifts a week. It was pretty tricky fitting it all in (work, study, drinking) but I managed and honestly really enjoyed the social aspect of working. It also taught me a lot about hard work, responsibility, initiative etc which I know laid the foundations for my working life in my 'grown up' career.


#5 baddmammajamma

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:53 PM

Need to edit my post to add:

Did working in high school line you up for a crappy job? wink.gif

#6 Expelliarmus

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:53 PM

Dad paid me the award wage of $4ish/hour to work in the family General Store (small supermarket, technically an IGA before they branded them that) in the mid 80s from the time I was 12/13 until we sold the business when I was about 16. I worked the register, stocked shelves, defrosted freezers and my fave thing was using the clicky gun to put the prices on things. I probably did 5-10 hours a week.

I think that was the sole thing that got me my next job at Maccas when I was 20 Tounge1.gif It was Maccas that taught me all the good stuff. I tried to go to uni before that and it was  a big fat failure! Random optional work when I thought I needed money wasn't exactly good for teaching work ethic and the like!

Edited by howdo, 27 December 2012 - 04:55 PM.

#7 Monket

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:54 PM

I too babysat for $2.00 per hour in the late 70s.  When I was nearly 15 I worked part time as a candy bar girl at a small independent cinema.  I possibly made over a million choc tops during my time there.  When I was 16 I was promoted to usherette where I had the pleasure of watching Tootsie during a record run of 51 weeks!  I knew the script by heart.  I can't remember the pay but it was a really lucrative job, much better pay than friends who worked at Woolworths.  I continued to work there after beginning full time work as it was easy to pick up evening shifts.  It was such a fun job and I was really sad when I left.

#8 marnie27

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

No. I commuted a fair distance to high school so couldn't get home in time to work nearby, and working near school would've meant public transport for 90+ minutes after 9pm at night.

My first job was relief in a child care centre I was volunteering at in between graduating high school and starting TAFE. Ironically I think not working during HS and then working casually helped my work ethic. I NEVER turned down work and at one point was studying a full time course load at night, completing a field placement on the job for 40 hours a week at working 30 hours a week - this went for 6 months before things eased up.

I have a tendency to be a bit of a workaholic tbh, luckily I love my job!

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 27/12/2012, 05:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Need to edit my post to add:

Did working in high school line you up for a crappy job? wink.gif

Not for me and not for any of our children original.gif

#10 CupOfCoffee

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

Yes, starting working at kmart when I was 14 and 9 months.

I have no idea what I was paid, I don't think it was very much, but with my first ever paypacket I bought two long sleeved Billabong tops (one red and one white).  I was so happy.

I generally worked Thursday nights and at least one weekend day.  

Edit: to add Did working in high school line you up for a crappy job?

No, I went through to uni and have a pretty good job and I love part time work.

My son started working at McDonalds earlier this year (just after he turned 14).  

There are laws in place in Queensland to restrict how much children of a certain age work.  

With my sons first pay he predictably bought a PS3 game.

Edited by CupOfCoffee, 27 December 2012 - 05:01 PM.

#11 Bam1

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

Another one for Macca's I did the breakfast shift on the weekends (6am - 2pm) after usually arriving home 12am-1am on Fri Sat nights, also at least 2 x 4hr shifts on the weeknights. Did great at my HSC, went to Uni on a Scholarship and then got a crappy job (well compared to Maccas grin.gif ).

I find I perform better when busy, if I didn't work I probably would have studied a lot less than what I did. I was on $2.70 p/h when I started!

Edited by Bam1, 27 December 2012 - 04:59 PM.

#12 susie78

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 27/12/2012, 05:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Need to edit my post to add:

Did working in high school line you up for a crappy job? wink.gif

Only if teaching is a crappy job?  wink.gif

#13 I'msoMerry

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

Two months after turning 15 I started work full time- 40 hour week in clothing factory.
I earned $105 per week. I moved out at 16.

Yes my teenage sister and I helped pay for family holiday so we could stay in a high rise on the Gold Coast. It was very exciting. Not everyone's parents earn money for plane flights and resorts.

Teenagers are too soft these days. I have two of them! My 18 year old says none of his friends pay board except him. Parents are not doing their kids any favours by not teaching them any responsibility.
Sorry for my mini vent!

Edited by michellew68, 27 December 2012 - 04:59 PM.

#14 MooGuru

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

Worked in a small newsagency from 15 on. Was approx 7am-1pm, plus Saturday shift if the other weekend girl couldn't make it. Extra dys during the school holidays too. Was a great start! Also used to feed, rug etc horses for several different owners after school.
No idea how much I earnt.
Think it gave me a good work ethic because I was letting someone down if I didn't go to work.
I've done alright for myself employment wise.

Edited by MooGuru, 27 December 2012 - 05:04 PM.

#15 Dowager fancie

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

I worked for a family friend who was a chef and did private catering (usually for weddings) on weekends.  I helped set up the room, tables, place settings, decorations and then waitressed during the reception and cleaned up after.

Worked most weekends 10-12 hours usually in a split shift.

Didn't help or hinder my studies.

#16 momerath

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

I worked at Coles all through years 10 - 12 (in the mid 90s), scanning and bagging groceries. I worked Friday nights, Saturday and Sunday morning, between 15 - 20 hours a weekend. I think the pay was between $8 and $15/hr,  it increased as I got older and there was weekend loading.

I went on to study a double degree at Uni, and now work in a professional role with a very good salary. It definitely didn't hold me back long term and lined me up well for further 'crappy' jobs during Uni!

#17 BetteBoop

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 27/12/2012, 04:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Need to edit my post to add:

Did working in high school line you up for a crappy job? wink.gif

That's an odd link.

I doubt it would be the case that working minimum wage in school means you're more likely to work minimum wage for the rest of your life - assuming that's what you mean by crappy?

IMO, the opposite is probably more likely to be true. Kids who are motivated to work at a young age are probably motivated in general.

Edited by BetteBoop, 27 December 2012 - 05:04 PM.

#18 LookMumNoHands

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

Macca's chick here  biggrin.gif .

Early 90's, about 3-4 shifts a week. I have no idea what the wage was, too long ago!

#19 Expelliarmus

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 27/12/2012, 06:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's an odd link.

I doubt it would ever be the case that working minimum wage in school means you're more likely to work minimum wage for the rest of your life.

IMO, the opposite is true. Kids who are motivated to work at a young age are probably motivated in general.

That's part of the spin off. It was mooted that this would, in fact occur - the high school job would cut down your opportunities because you'd work so hard you would get crap grades and not get into uni ...

#20 baddmammajamma

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:05 PM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 27/12/2012, 06:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's an odd link.

I doubt it would ever be the case that working minimum wage in school means you're more likely to work minimum wage for the rest of your life.

IMO, the opposite is true. Kids who are motivated to work at a young age are probably motivated in general.

Bette, I was referring to the other thread in which a fellow EBer contended that working at Maccas & the like in high school lined her friends up for crappy jobs -- whereas not working in high school enabled her to go on to achieve greatness.

Edited by baddmammajamma, 27 December 2012 - 05:06 PM.

#21 LynnyP

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

I started off collecting the paper money, then I moved up to Coles cold cuts counter (I can;t remember my hourly rate but my first full time job paid $3,700 pa).  Part way through that I also got a job as a serving wench at a theme hotel restaurant where I had to sing and show my cleavage.  I was 16 and serving drinks!

My parents, in all the wisdom that that had, decided that once you turned 15 you should be self sufficient.  I struggled until nearly the end of Year 10 but then dropped out and got a job in the Australian Public Service.  They were genuinely proud of me.  It was the most prestigious job anyone in our family had ever had!  I fell in with a bad crowd (university educated, book learned socialists) and went on to further study.  I am now a school Bursar.  Sometimes that can be a crappy job.

My brother had the same upbringing but not the same brain wiring.  He is a labourer.

#22 ~*Rainbow*~

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:10 PM

I worked in an ice cream shop and then a donut shop for 13 years old. I did 3-4 shifts after school each week plus Saturdays and Sundays and baby sitting on other days. I earnt $7-8 an hour in 2001. I then worked 2 jobs (kmart and a shoe store) from 16-19 during my VCE, working around 40 hours a week during the term and 60 or so during the holidays. I was paid $14-19 an hour during this time.

I didn't go to uni, or care about high school, I prefered to work and earn money. I don't think working hindered my studies as I got great marks in year 12 even though I worked before and after my final exams. I've since completed my nursing degree as a mature aged student original.gif

#23 FreeRangeMum

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:11 PM

When I was 14 I got a job at a party shop working Saturdays for $5 an hour. Then just before I turned 15 I got a job at Coles working approx 15-20 hours per week for around $12-$15 an hour. I worked at coles throughout my remaining years of high school and through uni as well. On holidays I'd work 30-40 hours per week.

It didn't hinder me achieving the results I needed at school, I got an OP 6 (qld) and into my first choice of course at uni original.gif

#24 *~Luvmy3~*

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:13 PM

I started working at Hungry Jacks when i was 14, i worked after school and on weekends, i could do everything and was the birthday party hostess. I stayed there once i finished high school and went full time until i got a job at a smash repairs place. I had a job up until i was 22 and 4 months pregnant with DS1.

Cant say how much i earnt as it was so long ago.

#25 somila

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

No.  I did work in the holidays after I finished school and in the summer holidays after first year Uni.  Not by choice, just because my parents thought I should.

I started earning money regularly in 3rd year Uni and that job expanded and continued as I did post-grad and established myself in my chosen career.  I needed to do all sorts of bits and pieces to keep body and soul together until better-paid work opportunities presented themselves.

No-one has ever asked me in a job interview if I worked in high school.  It has always been about my current level of skill in my chosen area.

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