My first job was pretty awesome, actually


Like some of the other debs who have blogged about their first jobs this week, I have held an assortment of occupations. Like deb Natalia, I’ve spent time in restaurants, both behind the hostess stand and waiting tables. I was a terrible waitress. My head was always in the clouds, which meant that I’d forget basic things like how to dress a salad before bringing it out to the floor. I once put au jus, meant for roast beef, on a lady’s spinach salad. I thought it was hot bacon dressing because the two heated tubs were right next to each other.

Like deb Lori, I’ve stood on a factory line. The only thing that kept me taping boxes shut at the packaging plant where I worked one college winter break was the allure of a week skiing at Breckenridge, which I would pay for with my factory wages. Well, the week in Breckenridge and the bus ride there, with a keg of beer in the back and endless games of Euchre.

But when it comes to my very first job, I actually had a pretty good one. As a teenager, I was a lifeguard at a university pool near my parents’ house. Sure, sometimes it got old listening to four-year-old kids cry when I tried to teach them how to blow bubbles during swimming lessons. And sometimes it was stressful when the narcoleptic senior citizen took a little too long to come up for air between lap strokes. But overall, it was either fun or boring. I could play whatever music I wanted on the PA system as long as it didn’t have a parental advisory label on it, which meant I blasted a lot of Grateful Dead and Barenaked Ladies in those days.

The hands-down highlight of the job, though, was guarding during men’s swim team practice. You might find it odd that I would have to serve as lifeguard for a bunch of competitive college athletes who were, without question, stronger swimmers than I was. But for liability purposes, a guard had to be on duty at all times the pool was open. So I sat in my guard chair and watched while beautifully sculpted bodies butterflied back and forth across the length of the pool. It was fantastic, and provided for plenty of fodder for my daydreams and, even once, a date. So when it comes to first jobs, I have no reason to complain.

Image credit: SwimCSA


Author: Susan Gloss

Susan Gloss is the author of the novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins, March 2014). When she's not writing, toddler wrangling, or working as an attorney, she blogs at Glossing Over It and curates an online vintage store, Cleverly Curated.

5 Replies to “My first job was pretty awesome, actually”

  1. Lucky you! I love that we’re all writing about our terrible first jobs and you’re like, “Umm…mine rocked, actually. Beautifully sculpted bodies, anyone?”

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