Work; Work All Day

If you don’t count babysitting, a paper route, or finding pairs in the Lost Socks bin; my first job was working for a chiropractor.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

This chiropractor did more than crack your back. His specialty lay in understanding the body’s energy fields (chi). An appointment involved some straightening of spinal fixtures, sure; but also his holding one point whilst stretching another. Our office sold supplements and copper bracelets. We encouraged eschewing Western Medicine and embracing acupuncture.

I began the job as a front desk receptionist, but everyone quickly realized I did better as a paper-sorter and inventory-labeler than I did as the face of the company. Then, there was the small matter of my prioritizing my Track and Field participation over working. Annnnd, I may have gotten less productive and more makey-outy whilst dating Kevin. (I was sixteen.)

Still, such was my start in the professional world. I didn’t know anything about a chiropractor before then. All I knew was I didn’t want to work in the grocery store as a bagger nor in a restaurant/fast food place as an underappreciated slave.

Besides teaching me about the other half of health and medicine, I learned job skills, where all of one’s paycheck goes, and that one classification of job could be different depending on where you work. I learned what sort of employee I was. I figured out what tasks I enjoyed (fixing the toilet and filing) and which I did not (answering phones and caring for patients who were in pain).

Photo by Michael Wysmierski on

Your first job sticks with you. It’s your first love, used as a measure for the next one; remembered more fondly than it was in the moment.

What was your first job? About how old were you? Did you continue in that field? As a bonus: if someone had asked you then, what would you have said would be your ultimate dream job?


Aaaand, here are the things I wrote since last noting the things I wrote:
Wednesday, June 1: Admitted to an old crush for France.

Friday, June 3: Snapped a Friday Photo of some economically-priced seafood.

Saturday, June 4: Oh, man. This sonnet on soup (sort-of) was the best poem ever!

PLEASE ENTER THE FINAL TERRIBLE POETRY CONTEST! I’ll be reading and posting the winner(s) soon! The winner gets a prize in the mail!

Sunday, June 5: Quoted Nicolas Chamfort about laughing each day.

Monday, June 6ish: Mormon Monday: dudes hold the Priesthood, and the Priesthood has a lot of tiers but blessings.

Tuesday, June 7: Answered Carolyn’s prompt. YOU SHOULD ANSWER IT TOO!

©2022 Chel Owens

55 thoughts on “Work; Work All Day

  1. Frank Hubeny June 9, 2022 / 2:42 pm

    My first job was as a computer operator. This was long ago when tapes had to be physically mounted on machines as big as I was to retrieve and backup data. I also ran card readers to load data. It was just a job. Perhaps my first job was mowing lawns as a student in a college work-study program. Working on the farm wasn’t a “job” so much as part of the “chores”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens June 9, 2022 / 3:41 pm

      ‘Computer operator’ is much different now! And yes, working on the farm is the laundry and dishes of everyday life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • M June 9, 2022 / 3:44 pm

      My uncle built his own computer in the 70’s it took up an entire room.


      • Frank Hubeny June 10, 2022 / 6:14 pm

        That would have been about the time I was a computer operator. Things have changed much since then.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. obbverse June 9, 2022 / 2:54 pm

    Chiropractor joke; Back to work; Sorry, baaad chiropractic joke.
    First job- school ends, a long summer break ahead, and I’m offered a job with a builder/plasterer for the summer. Hmmm, work for money to spend on ‘light refreshing beverages’ or a long hot poor and dry summer? So I signed on, and I’m now a sixteen year old boy posturing as a working man. 8 hours of lugging concrete slurry-filled wheelbarrows and creaking leaking buckets around a blazing hot work site gave me a painful introduction into the real world of working for the man. First day I lost 5 pounds of sweat, it fell like rain off my reddening neck; the skin blistered on my soft white schoolboys hands before sloughing off, and come the blessed weekend I slept from 7 on Friday night till lunch at noon on Saturday. Two months later (slow learner, yes,) I had learnt my lesson and threw the job in, before I threw my back out. Hey, I coulda used a decent chiropractor then…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens June 9, 2022 / 3:45 pm

      I thought you were going to go with the “how many light bulbs” chiropractor joke, but yours was better.

      Wow; that job beats any I’ve had. I think my kids would quit on their first day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. John W. Howell June 9, 2022 / 3:06 pm

    My first job was a paper route at 10 years old. Not sure that counts. The first out of college was as a sales representative. Yes, I continued in the field and enjoyed it very much. Once I retired from my first career I started another and worked 15 more years in the technology field. My final career is author and I think I’ll stay in this field as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 9, 2022 / 3:46 pm

      That’s quite a record. What were you a sales rep for?

      Liked by 1 person

      • John W. Howell June 9, 2022 / 5:57 pm

        I started with Procter and Gamble and then moved to the Alka-Seltzer company

        Liked by 1 person

  4. M June 9, 2022 / 3:40 pm

    My first job was in the Summer of 1987. I was a jr ride operator/attendant/kiddie ride operator at Dorney Park & Wild Water Kingdom. I initially worked in this area called Thrills Unlimited and hated it. It seemed like all the kids that worked there were Vo-Tech Stoners. I transferred to what was called the Golden Zone, I operated kiddie boats and the bumper cars and was a height checker-seat belt securer attendant for the rides you had to be 18 to operate. I finished out my Summer in what was a well hated section called Tot Spot (rides for kids ages 2-6)…ugh. I wore my hair long from 16-40. That was the first year someone called me “Miss”. Sadly that still happens to this day but I blame the Klinefelter’s Syndrome I was diagnosed with at 51. If someone had asked what my dream job would be, I’d probably back then say Film Maker or anything within the arts, who knew that by 29 I’d make a career out of Digital Archiving while doing multiple creative things on the side.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens June 9, 2022 / 3:51 pm

      Tot Spots usually suck. I’ve always wondered if working the amusement parks would be fun or just garbage cleanup.

      I’m glad you’ve done what you would’ve said was your dream job – you know, in the important ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      • M June 9, 2022 / 4:12 pm

        The first year kinda sucked but it was also a great time too. I made a lot of friends the years I worked there. When I was 18 I worked 16 hour days there but still managed to do late night dinner with friends at a 24 hr diner after the shift or go to the midnight movies. Those years were the best years 😁

        Liked by 1 person

          • M June 9, 2022 / 5:16 pm

            A heck of a lot…I worked there in 1988 as a ride operator and in 1989 as a Team Lead that gave breaks/foreman of the Ferris Wheel (it was a skill to properly balance that ride), in 1993 I was a sound guy/stage tech and in 1994-95 I was a Berenstain Bear Costume Character Performer.

            Liked by 1 person

      • M June 9, 2022 / 4:13 pm

        I don’t make movies or really work in the arts…so not really fulfilling the “dream job”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens June 9, 2022 / 5:03 pm

          Well, I mean that you have. I watched at least one of your films you shared.

          Liked by 1 person

          • M June 9, 2022 / 5:13 pm

            A short film doesn’t really count in my opinion

            Liked by 1 person

              • M June 9, 2022 / 5:23 pm

                Right, but I mean doesn’t count in the sense that I never really got to expose a lot of people to those films first time around. I always had high hopes to break into showbiz. A regret in life was at 22 I took a test through the mail to become an Assistant Director for a NY training program and passed but the second test was in Chicago…why it wasn’t in NY is beyond me but crippling social anxiety of traveling alone dashed those plans.


    • obbverse June 9, 2022 / 4:10 pm

      interesting back story M.(No pun intended Chel!) I’d always thought to work at a leisure park or similar a prerequisite was tattoos and red-eyes behind sunglasses. Maybe I’m recalling the travelling shows that used to blow through our little ‘burgh back in the day. It was usually a ramshackle low rent carnival show, all cheap Ghost Trains, smoke and mirrors and cotton candy.
      Klinefelter’s not diagnosed till 51? Late in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • M June 9, 2022 / 5:18 pm

        Yeah really too late in the day 🫤, naw those are Fairs/Carnivals. Amusement Parks are Stationary they hire a lot of teens…Carnies/Fairs hire What appears to be ex cons 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. dumbestblogger June 9, 2022 / 7:26 pm

    I went to the orchard down the road, and asked the owner if he needed any help picking apples. He’d had three guys walk off the job that morning because they were mad that he asked them to weed the strawberry patch. He said he would hire me as long as I didn’t complain when he asked for the strawberry patch to be weeded.

    He was a very decent boss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 12:03 am

      Were you able to complain about other things? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • dumbestblogger June 11, 2022 / 8:49 pm

        Reasonably so. There was a three legged dog who used to visit the orchard, and one of my co-workers was a 76 year old alcoholic who woke up at 4AM every morning to watch the playboy channel.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Annette Rochelle Aben June 9, 2022 / 8:19 pm

    I was a full-time babysitter for the 2 little girls of a single mother. Every week for the summer I was 12. I earned $35 a week and every dime of it was collected by my father and saved so I could pay for school clothes come the end of August. As my mother made most of my clothes, that money went a long way. Oh yes, they did allow me to spend $5 anyway I wanted. I bought some 45 rpm records and 5 pairs of nylons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 12:05 am

      Man oh man, Annette. This is the sort of frugality we need these days. Did you like babysitting for them?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Doug Jacquier June 9, 2022 / 10:01 pm

    First paid job was a school holiday stint with a haberdashery company where my older sister was the book-keeper. Most of my onerous responsibilities rested on counting buttons, buckles etc into paper bags for shipping to mail order customers.
    First full-time job was as a clerk in the delightfully named Department of Air (the admin arm of the Air Force). I don’t recall there being any stress leave applications.
    And of course I dreamed of being a rock star and/or writing hit songs.
    Won’t bore you with the 30 plus jobs in my working career but I think my least favorite was being a process worker in a welding rod factory. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 12:06 am

      Ha ha! Do you write songs for fun? -or was it more that you wanted rock star fame?

      That’s a lot of jobs! You might could tell a story from each for your next book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Doug Jacquier June 10, 2022 / 5:37 am

        Haven’t written a song in 30 years but one did get recorded by a musician friend on a CD that disappeared without a trace. 😉 I have written a few stories set in jobs I’ve had but they always come out clumsy and self-conscious. Easier to write about crazy people (well, other crazy people). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 9:43 am

          🤔 Maybe your friend made millions and kept it a secret. I’m self-conscious about most of my creative endeavors.


  8. Ian Kay June 10, 2022 / 3:10 am

    Not including a paper round etc.? I was still at school but got a Summer job in the buying dept. of a wholesalers. At 16, I was the sole male member of staff. All the desks were arranged as in a classroom: facing the manageress’s desk. I was put at the back next to a young lady – still older than me – whose job was to microfiche – basically photograph – the paper invoices for archiving. So my job was to check her work on the microfiche – basically a very long roll of film run through a viewer. The manageress took a shine to me and offered to keep me on when the holidays ended, working three evenings and after all the staff had gone home; I was on my own – let the cat out when I left, sort of thing.

    Now, if you’ve ever read “A Confederacy of Dunces”, I developed the same office work ethic as its protagonist, Ignatius Reilly. He reluctantly got a job as a filing clerk and seeing the enormous pile in his IN tray, thought he could half his labour by throwing the top half straight in the trash. His boss, unaware of this, thought he was the best employee he’d ever recruited. I figured no one was ever going to look at these archives ever again. I figured there was about 500 images on each film and the probability of anyone wanting to see just one and that one being illegible was less likely than being trampled by a unicorn down Broadway. So I did the prize crossword in the wholesale trade magazines instead (and one week I actually won!).

    It’s not exactly a proud memory but it is an early rational one. I feel a lot of formal employment is pointless. I think I would’ve enjoyed being a field scientist; possibly botany because zoology is so overdone and most of the rest – physics – involves too much hypothesis and theory. In the evenings, I’d teach art.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 9:32 am

      😀 Funny you should tell such a story because I had a very similar job. I worked for two years doing quality control of scanned legal documents. The scanning and noting of important information (names, case, type of vehicle involved or specific town that had been irradiated) was all done at a sweat shop in the Philippines. Our department was you, checking every one in 500 of a batch to see if they’d done their job.

      So many on our team (myself included) were concerned about accuracy! Not missing a thing! Most jobs (legal especially!) are concerned with bits of paper moving around.

      Interesting about the botany and art. Did you get close to either of those in a job?


      • Ian Kay June 10, 2022 / 11:04 am

        Strangely, as a kid I was fascinated with ferns, mosses and grasses – all the prehistoric stuff that was around before flowers were invented!

        No, I was a mechanical engineer. And then in the last decade I downgraded to all new state of the art 3D computer aided modelling technician – same pay, less responsibility.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Ian Kay June 10, 2022 / 3:28 am

    I’m not sure I’d have enough faith for acupuncture but I’ve been watching a youtube channel with a young Vietnamese monk (though I think he’s practicing in the US somewhere) who demonstrates Qi-gong exercises for healing and health. Part of this includes acupressure stimulation – which sounds akin to acupuncture. He’s quite brutal with himself, poking himself in the shoulder joints and telling us it’s good for heart and lung health. And I’m like, how can that be?! I mean, supposing it’s true, for how long and by what process of suck-it-and-see did these people discover this illogical connection?

    For me, it’s a perfect example of cognitive dissonance: I’m half sceptical yet I want to believe in it. I mean, it looks reasonably harmless even if it’s all baloney. Unlike some quack wanting to stick pins in us, that is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 9:38 am

      Oh yes! That’s what I was referring to with my description of his touching one point whilst stretching another. I took it all with a grain of salt -but my supervisor was a true believer because it cured her fibromyalgia.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. masercot June 10, 2022 / 4:54 am

    I was sixteen and got a summer job blowing the dust off of cotton bales. The temperature would often top 110 degrees and it was a seventy-seven hour a week job. Almost every job after that seemed easy…

    Liked by 1 person

      • masercot June 10, 2022 / 12:26 pm

        Late in August they cut us back to forty hours a week and then football two-a-days started. The next year was a job at a cotton gin… ninety six hours a week…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. petespringerauthor June 10, 2022 / 5:36 pm

    Good stuff, Chel. We never forget our first job. My first real job as a kid was as a paper boy. A delivery driver would leave a bundle of papers for me each afternoon in the driveway. The paper person delivered the news in any weather, and we also had to collect the money for their bill. That was an awful lot of responsibility for a kid, and sometimes customers would not pay for months. If someone did not pay, eventually, the paper would cut them off. In the meantime, the paperboy ( I don’t remember girls delivering the paper in those days) had to keep asking the customer to pay. A paper boy made money each time people paid because we got a cut. I also remember being in customers’ homes with a bag of money when I was out collecting. I can’t imagine this happening now.

    When the paper switched to an early morning paper, paper carriers were out of a job. Who would want their child delivering newspapers at 5:00 a.m.? I remember writing a letter to the editor pointing this out, but the newspaper refused to print my letter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 10, 2022 / 7:21 pm

      Y’know, my sister and I (and basically the whole family) did a paper route. She intentionally picked a large one in order to make more money but it was too large for one carrier bag. We didn’t collect money and I’m pretty sure we were able to deliver them by 2 p.m.

      As routes and newspapers died out, I noticed the job postings for routes specifically asking for people with a car.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nitin Lalit June 12, 2022 / 9:45 pm

    I watch Chiropractor videos on YouTube. I was surprised to hear that you first worked for one. Did yours do the ring dinger or the Y strap?


    • Chel Owens June 13, 2022 / 2:24 am

      Ha! I didn’t know what it was called, but it looks like his specialty was the ring dinger.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Geoff Stamper June 13, 2022 / 5:05 pm

    Interesting topic. My first real job was in the cafeteria of large corporation, making coffee in 150 gallon vats, loading the food trucks for the factory, doing lunch dishes, and unloading returning food trucks. Besides $1.65 per hour, I got all the food I could eat. I dreamed about one day working in one of the nice offices. The dream came true but the cafeteria job was much less stressful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 13, 2022 / 6:01 pm

      I’ll bet you didn’t have the chance to hurt your back as easily at a desk job. I, too, enjoy jobs like the cafeteria; I enjoy being active with other people. And I like free food. 😀


      • Geoff Stamper June 16, 2022 / 12:20 am

        The desk jobs tended to occupy a place in my mind 24×7 but the cafeteria job was instantly forgotten the minute I clocked out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens June 16, 2022 / 9:53 am

          That’s a true point. I don’t know how psychiatrists leave it at the door.


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