When I was fifteen, I started working for the first time. This is not counting babysitting or getting paid by my parents to do stuff around the house, because I did lots of that. I was ready to start working the summer after I turned 15, but you had to be 16 to get a paying job in Texas, or something like that. So, I signed up to be a volunteer at the Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas.
I loved it! I had to wear a white button down shirt and white pants with a pink checked apron. I helped nurses out with patients and re-stocked items and answered phones. I enjoyed the atmosphere (although it is hard seeing sick kids) and it felt good to go somewhere and do something important. It was my first real experience working. I learned to wash my hands a lot and to sing "Yankee Doodle Dandee" slowly to make sure I had washed them long enough. Amazingly I knew the words to that song because I had to learn it when I took piano lessons. Now I think they recommend you sing "Happy Birthday" twice, which is better because everyone knows the words to that song.
Now, fast forward about 12 years or so, and I found myself once again volunteering at the Children's Hospital. This time I was a married 27 yr old college student with two kids. I had decided to go pre-med, and I wanted to be around medicine and make sure that's what I wanted to do. I worked in the pediatric ICU, and was mainly put to work answering phones. I spent free time studying flashcards for my medical terminology class at the University of Texas and just soaked up the medical talk around me. It was a very rewarding experience, even though I wasn't getting paid and I could only work for four hours, one day a week.
Two times volunteering, two different times in my life, and I'd do it again if I had the time.
What was your first job?