I Must Confess…My First Job

Hey everyone, welcome back again for I Must Confess, the weekly linkup where I make a confession and ask the bravest of you to do the same.

Work has been in my thoughts this week. I travelled to Canberra for work for a few days and had lots of time to think about all sorts of things, which is possibly why I ended up reminiscing about my first job.

I started relatively late in the workforce. While some of my friends started working as soon as they legally could at local fast food outlets, I made the decision not to find work while I was at school and instead concentrate on my studies.

Once school was done there were no more excuses. I clearly recall coming home from my schoolies week away at Seal Rocks and sitting the public service exam the next day. I was committed and ready to be an employee!

However, the public service was not to be my first job. I had to wait a year before I got the call inviting me to an interview there.

No, my first job was at a service station in a little town on the New England Highway. It was a truck stop and hosted a restaurant as well as a little shop. It was an interesting place, to say the least…

Some of the highlights (or lowlights) of my service station career:

  • Cleaning the toilets and showers and having to clean faeces off the men’s shower floor. More than once.
  • Accidentally spilling hot water on a customer and myself, leading to burns for myself and legal hassles for my employer.
  • Making THE WORST coffees in the world. I was so bad at it customers would ask, in front of me, for someone else to make their coffee. Seriously.
  • Manning the Saturday night shift and dealing with the stream of drunk people who came in for late night munchies when the bowling club next door closed up.
  • Getting up at 4am to help out with the early bird shift – you’d be surprised how busy it was at 5am in the morning!
  • Never being able to completely reconcile my till at the end of my shift, no matter how careful I had been all day.
  • Dodging trucks and other vehicles as I measured how much fuel was still in the tanks under the driveway.
  • Having to fork out money to pay for any customers who filled up and drove off without paying.
  • Continually asking customers how many items they wanted when they asked for a ‘couple’ – it took me a year to work out they meant 2!
  • Gorging myself on chicken chips every shift – my absolute favourite!

While I was pleased to escape the service station after being offered a job in the public service, I am grateful for my time there. Sure, I hated nearly every moment but I learnt some important lessons there.

I learnt the true value of customer service. I learnt to be patient and polite with everyone, customers and workmates alike. I learnt to save money. I learnt that I was stronger than I thought. I learnt that good workmates are worth their weight in gold.

What was your first job? What were the highlights or lowlights? And are you glad you had that experience?

Whatever your confession, feel free to link up and cleanse your soul – you won’t be sorry!

The Rules…

– I Must Confess is a link up that will be happening every Sunday – a bit of a homage to my Catholic upbringing, in fact!

– The link will be live from 10pm Saturday night for the whole week.

– You can link up something old or new, we’re not fussy around here.

– Please go forth and share the comment love – it is bloggy crack after all!



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14 Responses

  1. LizC says:

    Wow Kirsty, I didn’t know you had such a ‘fun’ start to your working life! Very colourful indeed.
    My first job was generously titled ‘post-fire reclamation’ but basically involved many tedious hours of wiping ash & soot of paperwork. There had been a fire in the MedSci building at the Uni and I had the pleasure of sorting through boxes and boxes of stuff that came out of the lecturers’ offices. A bonus was that we got to wear those white, space suits and face masks while we worked…not great in summer.

  2. Laura says:

    LOL sounds charming 🙂

    My first job was waitressing when I was in school – I enjoyed but 10 years later I was OVER it!

    • Kirsty says:

      At least you enjoyed waitressing for a while Laura – I never did. I am not at all coordinated and get flustered easily hence how I ended up spilling boiling water on myself and a customer. I am much more comfortable in front of a computer. It’s safer for all concerned too!!!

  3. Cathy says:

    Sounds like it was a baptism of fire! I guess jobs like those make us stronger, one way or another.
    Cathy recently posted..I Must Confess: Looking Forward to the Sporting Mayhem

  4. Deborah says:

    My brother worked at a service station at school part time. It was on the other side of town and he’d ride his bike 30mins across town for a 2hr shift (or maybe 3hrs) and pumped petrol (back in the days people filled cars for drivers) and then he’d ride home. It was the early 80s and I recall he’d make a total of $6 for his efforts. Obviously it was still worth it though as he did it for a year or two.
    Deborah recently posted..My first paid job

    • Kirsty says:

      In a lot of ways it’s a great first job as you do get a chance to see different sides of employment – it’s such a diverse role. Having said that, I was not sorry to see the back of it when I landed my PS job!!!!

  5. Chips with chicken salt! They do make everything better.

    Thank you for sharing your memories of your first paid job with us.

    SSG xxx

  6. Denyse says:

    You have learned more about life from that job I reckon! Our DD had a temp job at the servo up on the main road near our place in Kellyville but it was a prime target for thieves and we never felt secure knowing she was there. I wonder, are there still exams for the Public Service..oh wait, of course not, the govt is privatising everything…LOL..kind of.Thanks for linking up #lifethisweek Denyse

    • Kirsty says:

      The PS exams went out the window with the introduction of the new PS act in 1999 which enshrined employment on merit (through direct recuitment processes). I count myself very lucky that I was able to secure such a great job at the age of 19 – not sure I could be able to do that nowadays…

  7. I can’t beleive you had to pay for stolen petrol! That sucks big ones.

  1. February 11, 2013

    […] wrote a post last year about my first job at a service station. That job certainly had it’s interesting moments, that’s for sure! […]

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