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What was your first job and other early work experiences.


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Lol,the power of aerosols...In the late 80's a garage i worked at used to burn all the rubbish in old oil drums,every now and again the odd one would go in burn and explode which gave a couple of us an idea....Every couple of weeks or so well stocked up with aerosols we'd burn the rubbish,twice we managed to set fire to a skip a few feet away,some landed on the garage roof once there was was a hell of a moo from one of the cows in the field behind it and one went through the window of a used car (fortunatly it was a wreck) and after putting four in at once we needed a new drum....

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Some interesting times described there.  I can't match those I'm afraid.  My first couple of jobs were over Christmas 1980 and 1981 as a shop hand in Quinnsworth, now Tesco Ireland.  For my first long-term job, from 1983 to 1985, I had what might be considered the traditional Irishman's start in London.  I was a labourer for a Reading-based firm that installed suspended ceilings.  Construction projects included Delta Point in Croydon (later BT South-eastern Region HQ), Centurion House at the Monument, and the new Lloyd's building.  Later on when working as an Asbestos monitoring chemist on Battersea power station I mentioned my time on the latter to one of my CEGB engineer colleagues and his reaction was immediate and unequivocal: 'That abortion!'  I saw a Queen's Birthday flypast of Tornadoes from the roof of said abortion, which made my day.

Edited by JosephLalor
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1 hour ago, JosephLalor said:

Reading-based firm

That's funny . This was to be another one of my Moolighting gigs . I was putting up Suspended Ceilings ,fixing things that weren't correct in Reading in the Metal Box Company's offices next to Reading station 1983/84 . It was a weekend so could spy on all their latest packaging projects , riveting stuff ! Did quite a bit of it in Newbury, Chichester,  Epsom, Farnborough,Wantage (Now Williams F1 team HQ) and a few other places .

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4 minutes ago, bzn20 said:

That's funny . This was to be another one of my Moolighting gigs . I was putting up Suspended Ceilings ,fixing things that weren't correct in Reading in the Metal Box Company's offices next to Reading station 1983/84 . It was a weekend so could spy on all their latest packaging projects , riveting stuff ! Did quite a bit of it in Newbury, Chichester,  Epsom, Farnborough,Wantage (Now Williams F1 team HQ) and a few other places .

Interesting indeed.  Were you one of Eddie McIlhinney's contractors?  I was a subby to his company, Special Acoustic Services of Earley. 

 

In the early '90s I did a security guarding shift at Metal Box at Whyteleafe in Surrey.  Not that far from a place called Kenley.

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40 minutes ago, JosephLalor said:

Eddie McIlhinney's contractors

We seemed to deal with an outfit in Newbury ,in the town but the two guys I worked with/for were friends . They used to do the dealing ,I just turned up every 6 days ! Wish I could remember the blokes name , we gave him the name "Hows yer luck" . That's how he greeted you !  Every time we asked for day work or overtime he used to suck huge amounts of air in ,then chuckle . just remembered a job we did for a Vauxhall dealership showroom in Sonning Common or near there , not far from Henley as far as I remember . Imagine there were new cars and we were fitting ceilings … It was driving us mad ,they were in the way and damage was a cert before we'd finished so we kept dropping things on the floor (not on cars) That was enough . Hang on men ,we'll move the cars out !

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Shelf stocker at a liquor store in Chicago. It was my first summer job. I was 15 and really shouldn't have been working there. I got paid under the table. 

 

I hated every single moment of it. I lasted long enough to save up for a few computer games I'd been wanting at the time, and promptly quit.

 

 

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On 4/8/2019 at 9:30 PM, bzn20 said:

We seemed to deal with an outfit in Newbury ,in the town but the two guys I worked with/for were friends . They used to do the dealing ,I just turned up every 6 days ! Wish I could remember the blokes name , we gave him the name "Hows yer luck" . That's how he greeted you !  Every time we asked for day work or overtime he used to suck huge amounts of air in ,then chuckle . just remembered a job we did for a Vauxhall dealership showroom in Sonning Common or near there , not far from Henley as far as I remember . Imagine there were new cars and we were fitting ceilings … It was driving us mad ,they were in the way and damage was a cert before we'd finished so we kept dropping things on the floor (not on cars) That was enough . Hang on men ,we'll move the cars out !

I can appreciate that, I'm glad somebody in the customer copped on.  I'm sure that the access panels we put up at Delta Point would have severely dented a car roof or bonnet. 

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My first job after education to an aircraft mechanic: soldier and MiG-29 mechanic in German Air Force.
Other jobs were Warranty & Core Administrator for biz jets, Cessna and Embraer jets mechanic and logistics manager in small biz airline, gardener in desert as kibbutz volunteer, waiter/cook as student job.
And now doing "Parts & Logistics" in biz aviation.

Edited by MiG-Mech
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I worked at an auto supplies shop part time/casual in my teens. Nothing particularly spectacular, picking and packing orders, putting stock away, ordering lunches, doing the mail.

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Believe it or not my first job was at a Hobby shop, it was fun while it lasted. The owners had no clue what they were doing , and the business was  poorly located. It became a case of the inmates running the asylum, as we had very little traffic thru the door. The employees did whatever they wanted, because the owner(s) were never around. But it was fun to sit there getting paid to build models. 

 

Dennis

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As a student I worked in a factory to clean the machines in the weekends (getting the grease of milling machines, emptying the tanks of coolant fluids, repair some belts etc) and I also worked in a frozen food company to load and unload trucks... Heavy work, but it paid well... After studies I solicited with an engineering company as a consultant trying to solve/solving problems for the customers... that's what I'm doing the last 18 years... never got bored of it...

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I was a barber for the first 6 years of my working career. At 21-22 had a total life change and become a graphic artist /designer and never looked back. I’ve not got a hair on my head now, so probably good job I left barbering. 

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My first paid job was working in a foundry on their galvanising bath that held 60 tons of zinc. Hate to do that job in todays summers that we experience nowadays.

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My very first job was working in a model and fishing tackle shop. We sold r/c aeroplanes, helicopters, lots and lots of cars and plastic kits.

 

My next was working in a little supermarket. After about a month I was made supervisor and given the keys. Shortly after that, due to the manager commuting from 30 miles away I became one of the police contacts which wore thin as it was in a less affluent part of town and smashing windows "just for a laugh eh?" was de rigour and getting phoned at 2am all the time by plod to go turn off a burgler alarm and call an emergency joiner to board up (again) wore thin.

 

I left that job 1 year in to University and took another job at Aberdeen airport as a baggage mangler. Unlike Political Studies students, Mechanical Engineering was 35 hours a week of lectures plus tutorials and self study, but I needed the money so I started at 6am every Saturday and Sunday to do 12 hour shifts hauling peoples' junk around. What I quickly realised is that almost holiday makers are self-absorbed, think they're all special exceptions and lack the intelligence or imagination to suss out why they are given 25kg limits on any one item of baggage, and most of them came through the hatch with a "HEAVY" sticker slapped on. The sticker doesn't really help much, and neither do the backside-covering manual handling safety courses when crouched in a 4ft high aircraft hold lifting someone's 35kg case full of superfluous crud overhead whilst twisting to slot it in to a space.

 

I never condoned or even sympathised, being young, foolish and holding unrealistically high ideals, but looking back I understand why some who knew they were stuck in that kind of job forever sometimes lost their temper at receiving some outrageously overweight monstrosity and launching the damned thing across the baggage hall. You'd sometimes half to go up just behind the check ins and marvel at the sort of person who needs to be to stand there trying to lever a case onto the weighing belt that they clearly can't lift themselves, neither interested nor concerned that someone else needs to lift it in a far less luxurious posture shortly afterwards.

 

Anyway. Luckily for me I received a good education and no longer need to labour manually. I'd like to think I won't forget what it's like though and will maintain a respect for those who do it whether by choice or necessity.

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Afternoon All :) 

 

My first real proper job was a Motorcycle Courier for a medical samples company. You know the type of outfit. You have blood tests etc and the bike picks them up and takes them to the labs. Nice bunch of blokes but the day manager was an absolute A hole that took a disliking to me because I liked Heavy Metal. Did that for about a year until I could take the A hole no more and quit. 

Went for a coffee with a mate and no less than an hour later I was working for another bike courier firm, much better place, better pay and no more hospitals :) 

Did that for three years, and the last six months was as the day controller until the company was taken over by a big courier chain and our 'safe' positions weren't.....

 

Wasn't it just so much easier in those days. You had money left when the month ran out :) 

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I very nearly became a motorcycle courier in Dublin. I was out of work had no bike but was experienced. A friend knew a friend who knew a bank manager managed to get me a loan for a bike. Yes it does sound pretty dodgy. But just before I collected on the loan. I got a job maybe that was lucky because motorbike couriers were 'self employed'. They were also noted for their, lets say 'spirited' approach to crossing the city making their deliveries. Now I was well used to riding a bike in the city and had plenty of near misses because I was brain off hooligan on bikes. It was never a job with a future. 

 

In fact it seems to have died a death and been replaced by bicycle couriers who have a similar spirited attitude to making their deliveries with less risk to anyone but themselves.

 

In a previous job I was often used to make deliveries on my motorbike which was a great break from my normal desk job. Better, I got expenses at car rates. One trip generated £60 in expenses. Plus I also used the opportunity to use up an afternoon and only turning up again at 4:30. The most memorable trip was the time I was urgently called up and told to get to Aer Lingus Head office, pick up a cheque and lodge it to the bank nearby. 'Make sure' I was told with great emphasis, ' to tell the bank that they expected interest for today'. Back in those pre electronic days. I had to fill in a deposit slip. Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and saw the amount, over £750,000, yes three quarters of a million. Imagine the surprise of the man beside me who glanced over at the scruffy biker and literally jumped when he saw the cheque. I played it cool and briefly wondered if I could lodge it to my account 'accidentally'. I didn't feel a bit guilty about claiming my expenses that day. A few days later there was another urgent collection, disappointingly it was 'only' for £275,000. Meh, peanuts. But I was able to say that I lodged a  million pounds into a bank account. Just not my bank account. 😂

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On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 1:32 PM, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Aberdeen airport as a baggage mangler

What year was this ?

 

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12 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

September 2003

Just wondered I went up a few times in 92 driving a set of passenger steps from Heathrow to Aberdeen Airport and down to Turnhouse Airport and then a few months later driving a flat bed with a new set of towable steps on top from South Wales to Aberdeen Airport.

I went across that weight limit bridge . The other truck behind stopped , I went back to see what he was doing. Why aren't you following me...? Weight limit, pointing at the easily seen sign ! You just did it twice ! Ended up being photo'd by gangs of tourists on the main drag through the City

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  • 1 month later...

First job: left high school at 15 and worked as a machinery operator at a local sawmill (operating large and small veneer drying machines) in a small town in northern Queensland.

 

DennisTheBear

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20 hours ago, DennisTheBear said:

First job: left high school at 15 and worked as a machinery operator at a local sawmill (operating large and small veneer drying machines) in a small town in northern Queensland.

 

DennisTheBear

Is the mill still operating ?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/7/2019 at 10:38 PM, Julien said:

First Job while at school was working for Morrisions. As a big lad I was tasked with collecting all the shopping trolleys for the 2 story car par above the shop and bringing them back down in the lift. Pay was not bad for a Saturday job and they left me alone all day. As long as there was trolleys for the punters all was OK.  Occasionally had to walk all over town getting rouge trolleys back that were reported to management.  As we were next to a Marks & Sparks brought one of theirs back one day and the manager said he would give me a Pound for any I found and brought back. In 1985 this was worth it. Made quite a bit on the side doing that.

 

First job on leaving school was my Apprenticeship at shipbuilders, navy jobs one Frigate and 3 subs plus parts of the Trident Subs. I miss that place.

 

Julien

My first paid job was a Christmas job at what was then Quinnsworth, now Tesco Ireland, in the old Dundrum shopping centre.  One evening I was trying to bring in a line of recalcitrant trolleys which seemed to have a collective mind of their own and were not exactly bending to my will.  Eventually a gentleman who had been talking to a friend intervened and helped me to get the trolleys into line and under way.  I could have sworn for years after that the man was the actor, Donal McCann.

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My story is really boring. Have been a software engineer all my life, got my first money for programming in about 1988, I was about 14 or 15, still doing basically the same thing after 30 years, for much higher wages though :)

 

There also were some occasional summer jobs in my school years, such as strawberry picking or archeological digs. The dig was particularly interesting because we worked with professional archeologists in Abkhazia digging 3000 y.o. settlements in the mornings (starting at 6 AM as it became too hot by noon) and having usual youth fun afterwards. This was when I tried beer for the first time in my life :)

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Deadly dull, compared to some of you.

 

I finished high school in December 1963, and got the results of my final exams in mid January '64. I signed articles of clerkship early that February, and after six years of doing no more work than was absolutely necessary to pass exams was admitted as a solicitor in NSW in May 1970. I stayed in practice until I retired in April 2007 to be primary carer for my wife in her battle with cancer. When that came to its inevitable conclusion in February 2008 I decided that I liked being out of the ant heap, and adopted retirement as a full-time pursuit. I've never really looked back!

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