I will always remember my first job. While I carefully weighed career paths worthy of a promising a fourteen-year old, my father found a job for me. He marched me down to the corner and rang the bell of a nondescript storefront with no identifying sign. A man who looked like a Hobbit straight out of Tolkien's imagination answered the ring and invited us in. He introduced himself to me simply as "Mel". I couldn't help notice that Mel walked with a pronounced limp that gave him a rolling gate.
Mel turned out to be a quiet, decent man who was a very talented engraver. I did the job for a while, but before long, even the calendars couldn't overcome the mind numbing boredom of packing glasses every day, so I gave Mel my notice. He was really nice about it and even gave me some glasses to take home. They had someone else's initials on them, but still, it was a big step up the glassware ladder for us since we usually drank out of Welch's jelly glasses.
No matter how well off a family is, young people should learn the value of a dollar early in life. Besides teaching me how to pack glasses, that job helped me understand that when I asked my father for ten dollars, it meant the family would have to do without something that week. Starting with my next job, I always gave my mother something out of my earnings for the house. The news story last week of the
brat who was suing her parents to pay her college tuition is the reason why
kids with the entitlement mentality need to learn that there is no money fairy. New Jersey
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