I was 14 and almost 9 months. I wanted a job real bad. I wanted money.
I went to the same High School as my Mum and my Uncle. I then started work at the same place my Uncle had his first job. Then, my mum worked with me there many years later. Funny that, actually even my best mate and my brother worked there as well!
I went in the Fruit Shop, owned by a well-known man of the Gully. Ken Dobson. I approached and asked for a job. I told him my name, knowing he would recognize my last name. Kind of like a Goodfellas approach I was hoping.
No jobs at the moment mate he said.
I went to Coles and did a test and interview. Never heard from them, guess I wasn’t Coles material.
I continued to look around for a job.
I lived across the road from my high school, I went to high school across the road from the fruit shop. This fruit shop was kind of perfect.
One night my Nan asked me to go do to said Fruit Shop to buy a loaf of Bread,
I approached the counter, it was Mr. Dobson. I never actually called him Ken for the 9 years I worked there. He asked if I had found a job yet, I replied no, still looking. He then told me to come in Thursday afternoon to see him.
One week later I started on a Thursday afternoon at 4:00pm. 9 years later I left on a Saturday. I actually still have some dreams where I work in IT and still work at the fruit shop on the weekend. They feel very real, and when I think about it right now, I truly do think I am working at the fruit shop this weekend. Weird.
My first year there was terrible, the guy that actually was in charge of me and the other guys was an ass-hole most of the time to me. They had a ritual where new guys would get thrown in the dumper (dump-master, dumpster) on the first Saturday. I guess I started the ritual of every week. Looking back I was a smart ass. I guess I was trying to be funny and he didn’t take it that way. Eventually I would take his position after many years. The go to guy, the organizer, the forklift driver. The experience of working there with an extremely strict boss at the time I thought was hard, but now I realise it has made me a better worker.
The philosophy of working at the fruit shops is, you can not be not doing something. You must be constantly moving, if you are standing around then you are slacking off. This is to get maximum productivity out of you, your being paid by the hour so you better work every moment of that hour. Working in an office these days, the philosophy has changed, that’s for sure. I have a lot of fond memories of my first real job, I will never forget the people or the ups and downs because I was there for so long!
I decided to move on because I felt that my body was tired, it was very physical work and I found my mind not being used.
My body was about 55 kg, but my mind was kind of on auto pilot.
Although I will never work in a fruit shop again, (although if I don’t save enough for retirement, then who knows! )the importance of starting work early in life, saving money and learning how to actually work has been extremely beneficial to my past and current job.
You can study all your life, but only real world experience and the ups and downs can prepare you.
In closing, someone said to me once that when you get an interview that means you have satisfied the minimum requirements they have asked, you are qualified.
When you actually get to the interview, all they are looking at now is your personality and if you will make a good ‘worker’.