Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time out with Shopper Mama - First job!

They say MONEY makes the world goes around. So unless you are born with a gold, silver or diamond spoon in yr mouth, then we really have to work and slog hard to see us thru life.

Last night, I had a company bbq dinner at Seoul Garden @ City Square Mall near Mustafa Centre. (Digress a bit - Seoul Garden @ City Square is having a 1-for-1 offer on its ala carte buffet from Mondays to Thursdays till end of November for lunch and dinner, so its really worth to go as its like 'Get 2 for the price of 1'! We Singaporeans love such offers right?)

Back to topic. So I observed that the waiters are mainly teenagers, some look as young as 16 years old - still nervously learning on the job as they were taught how to stack up the plates & bowls on the tray etc. I figured that was probably their first vacation job since the school hols has started. Then it really made me think back what was my very first vacation job?

When I was abt 17 years old, instead of me staying at home enjoying a pampered sheltered life not knowing what’s a working world was like, I took my my cousin's recommendation to work as a temporary promoter selling Johnson’s & Johnson’s baby products at a small counter in Oriental Emporium (now no longer existed) at Queensway Shopping Centre.

Naturally I was scared nervous and not enthusiastic at the same time
– meeting people & promoting stuff. Some more, its based on commission – the more I sell the more $$ I get, so I was kinda worried, what if I cant sell any. Luckily for me, J & J baby products are sort of a basic daily needs, so I had no problems selling talcum powder, lotions shampoo etc especially to the mothers. Some of them even taught me which powder (plain or medicated) was better for babies and some also explained to me the use for the different types of baby lotion and oil.

One funny incident I encountered which I will never forget was this man who went to my counter, asking for a ‘Napkin Liner’. I didn’t know what it was, so based on the word 'liner', I showed him the shelf that had women’s sanitary pads & panty liner. He was taken aback at my stupidity blurness. Luckily he was a nice guy, he told me, ‘You know, the malays called it Lampin, the cloth version of baby pampers, not women pampers?’ Oh, paiseh!! I apologized & told him that its my first job, so I was still learning. I took out the 'lampins' & this pakcik, kesian punya pasal, bought 3 dozens from me plus more J & J baby stuff. Woohoo, more commission for me!

So in fact, the job was not a bad experience for me after all. Even thou I worked for only 1 month plus, it was a truly humbling experience. My commission was abt $500 I think (that was 23 years ago, so it was big money to me), and I felt that I have spent a very fulfilling time earning the money. And of course, Mother was happy when I handed her my very first pay packet!

For teenagers, taking up a job can be very daunting but I assure, it is a very good learning process for you. It might surprise some of you that my FM started doing any odd jobs available since he was 14 years old, young and eager to learn the different types of trade.

As such, we need not be ashamed being seen working in McDonalds KFC or Pizza Hut (which seems to be a very common vacation job for these school going kids nowadays) as long as our intention is to earn money to support yourself and help your parents lighten up the burden.

So, can you remember what was your very FIRST job? What did you like or hate about it? What did you learn from it?

Last but not least, a piece of advice to the youngsters out there - Don't forget to give your parents your first salary - BERKAT, I tell you.

ps. My dearest son F, are you reading this?


rasp said...

my 1st job ermmmm i if i'm not mistaken was helping my aunt tending her 'nasi lemak' stall, i was 13 years old...she paid me on a weekly basis...

1st pay day, i blanja my family breakfast hahahahahaha....

Mak Pah Vogue said...

hmmm during sec sch days mak pah had to stay home to look after my baby sister with my grandma. so eventually i had to help her cook lunch n dinner too. Sometimes neighbours would seek my grandma's help to get me grind their chillies condiment and paid me like 30 - 50 cents per bowl. It's using those big pedestal to grind, not the blender type boy. Imagine my hands were always red and orangy in colour all the time!!! Each time after that I had to clean my hands properly in case I need to change my sister's napkin. when my sister was older and my mum did not mend the stall, my dad asked me to help him with his sole proprietor job. He paid me weekly. I used up the pay to buy the bus pass stamp (remember during the 80s. we ned to purchase the stamp monthly and pasted it on our bus pass...hehehe. since my mum did not want my paycheck, i kept my pay and at the end of the school holidays, my dad will ask me what I want to do with the money. i told him I had been aiming for a branded watch, so my dad brought me to a famous watch shop in beach rd area if not mitaken. there I bought my first branded watch, a Seiko-5 (automatic - no need battery). My dad helped paid the balance coz my salary savings were not enough. I used the watch until I got engaged or just before my marriage coz the liquid in the watch seemed to kaput... (time pun dah tak accurate)...hmmm 20 yrs I think. fm then onwards all my school holiday paycheck ada jer barang i bought. Only when I got a permanent job after schooling baru my dad suruh give my mum my first paycheck. Betul Ann, mmg berkat.... Alhamdulilah.

PearL said...

Oh mama Ann, yur experience is so cute. Lucky that pakcik is nice to you and understand that you're a first timer ya...Now, hmm i wonder cam ne lah kan...

My first job, was a temp job after O levels. And the reason i work pun cos none of friends willing to continue with the 3 months JC/PreU stint..Ikut kawan punya pasal, I went to work at Metro in Marina Square in Missy department (baju baju 40years above...hahaha)But my favourite is when I got to tend the Wrapping Station especially during Christmas..cos I got to play with the wrapping paper lah ribbon lah ..hehe...And terpaksalah tahan with all the cerewet customer yang ade aje nak extra wrapping paper lah, gift cards lah..blah blah blah


Gembo said...

Mrs G:

I was 18 when I worked as a General Clerk at a nearby car service centre specialising in rust-proof coating.
I was so excited when my first pay came - $400. Yep - 14 years ago and for a teenager - that was a LOT!

My first taste of "financial independence" i.e. allowance no longer required ;D and I was able to give my parents instead...

I just hope our kids one day will be able (& willing!) to do and experience the same thing..

So dear mummies, please share tips if ur "little grown-up" successfully goes thru this phase..

Blushwax said...

My first job was doing some data entry thing for kodak for a month after 'A' levels. Cheong all the way....over time every night so I could get more moolah. Haha.

For Feroz, his first job was at McD when he was 14. Haha....die die wanna work eventhough his parents didn't allow at first. He said the best part was the free meals everyday. Lol!

Blushwax said...

My first job was doing some data entry thing for kodak for a month after 'A' levels. Cheong all the way....over time every night so I could get more moolah. Haha.

For Feroz, his first job was at McD when he was 14. Haha....die die wanna work eventhough his parents didn't allow at first. He said the best part was the free meals everyday. Lol!

Moralle said...

My first job, ermmmm.........while doing my part time study, I came from a very susah family, so i work n study,the first day i started my night class, it was my first day to work at Queensway Shopping centre, doing the wilson parking job......collect duit for bikes........haha interesting sangat, got to meet ramai handsome-handsome mat with big bike.....btw my girl now work part time at Pizza touched when she gave me pocket money from her first salary.....not only me, her dad, her sis n aqil pun dapat jugak :):)