Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My first job was picking tomatoes in a greenhouse

The summer that I was 13 years old marks my official entry into the working world. I was 13, I had nothing to do over the summer and I lived in a semi-farming community (I don't know, would it be called that? Hudsonville has lots of farms, but is it a farming community?), so finding work as a 13 year old was not difficult. There were actually many places to choose from - onion farms, celery farms, parsley farms and tomato greenhouses. My sister was already working at a tomato greenhouse, so naturally - as I always did as a little kid - I tagged along with my big sis. I'm pretty sure she wasn't ecstatic about that situation, but I'm not sure she had much of a choice.

We left early every morning. Got on our 12-speed bikes (12 speeds - not 10. We were special), and rode to the greenhouse. I don't remember much of any of it. I do remember that there were tomato vines lining the many aisles in the greenhouse and each of us would take an aisle and pick the ripe tomatoes off of the vine and put it in our bushel basket - carefully, of course. I also remember that if I picked a not-yet-ripe tomato I was terrified that I'd get into trouble, so I rolled it into one of the aisles next to me so it wouldn't be in my basket or on the floor of my aisle. I'm sure no one caught on to my trickery...


I think I worked there for 2 summers - I think. I don't remember. Maybe it was one summer and my sister didn't work there the whole summer with me. Cannot recall.

I used the money that I earned to buy myself a Razz moped (or as I have been corrected - a scooter). It was like $300 and it was so sweet to buy something that expensive with money that I earned by rolling green tomatoes through the greenhouse:) And really, isn't $300 a small price to pay for being cool and getting around town twice as fast as all of your friends on their 10 speed bikes?


What was your first job (besides babysitting)? How old were you? What was the first really nice thing that you bought with your hard-earned cash?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 3

18 comments:

NYC Taxi Shots 8:42 PM  

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Jen 9:02 PM  

Other than babysitting my first job was selling Guess acid-wash jeans at County Seat in the mall. I was SO cool. Just ask Kim.

Amanda 9:07 PM  

No way, Jen...you worked at County Seat??? I used to LOVE their southwest print shirt/sweater combos! Oh, and the matching earrings and scrunchies... GAG!!!
Jana, I would say Hudsonville isn't a farming community...it's definitely an ICE CREAM community...yummmmmy!!!
My first job, besides babysitting, was working at a small diner in my Michigan hometown. I was kind of a cook/stocker...it was nasty, and there was this really creepy guy that came in to do small jobs for the owner lady. I was SO glad to get out of there!

Missy 9:15 PM  

Have it your way! Burger King.... euwwwwww.... LOL

Most likely I bought clothes, ones my mom wouldn't buy.

Amy 10:03 PM  

My first job was delivering the Grand Rapids Press to two old age homes. I had this route for 4 1/2 years! I never saved up my money to buy anything cool - I always squandered it away. I did not learn how to save up for things until I met Rob!

one hot momma 11:59 PM  

I worked at a dry cleaners...still don't take my clothes to a dry cleaners...the smell brings back too many memories! I could never figure out how clothes actually got clean by putting them into a HUGE dryer like machine and adding chemicals that smelled absolutely horrendous. Still can't understand it. I too was a squanderer with my hard earned pennies, and then I met Bob and still squandered! (much to his dismay, I might add)

Mommy Brain 9:11 AM  

My first job was planting seedlings in a greenhouse. It was 90 degrees outside and 120 inside and if that wasn't bad enough I had a case of undiagnosed Mumps. My neck was as big as my head and so sore! My mom, teaching me about good work ethics, made me keep working, because "I gave this man my word that I would do this" Finally by the end the first week I begged to go to the doctor and by the end of the second week he had come up with a diagnosis. But by then I was getting better. Yuk!

I remember leading a children's choir after we first got married and saved all the checks(wouldn't cash them!) until we had enough money to buy a new living room set. A couch, love seat, chair and ottoman for the bargin price of $1000! I got to get rid of the horid orange hand me down we had...I was SOOOOO happy!

Amanda 10:20 AM  

Christine, did you go to CCHS?

one hot momma 10:35 AM  

amanda,
I cannot believe that the two of you might know each other! I can't wait to hear if this connection pans out!

Mommy Brain 11:23 AM  

Yes, I did go to CCHS...did you? Class of '90

Amanda 11:37 AM  

Would have graduated with class of 94, but moved to in 93. :( Did you have any younger siblings? I was friends with Kim there, then ended up being her suitemate at Calvin. :) That's where I met the beautiful Jana, too. :)

Amanda 11:41 AM  

Calvin, that is, not CCHS (for meeting Jana)

Mommy Brain 1:50 PM  

Ya, my brother is Doug Pruim...ring any bells? he was class of '93 I think. So....drum roll please....what is your maiden name so that I can look you up in the yearbook!

Amanda 2:41 PM  

No way!!! Doug is your brother?!?!?!? He was so hysterical! We were in Chamber Chorale together for 2 years, so I got to know him through that, plus some theater stuff. Crazy! What's he up to these days? My maiden name was Pierce, but I started the fall after you graduated (same year as Kim), so you won't find me in any of your books.
Sorry, Jana...we've hijacked your comments! :)

Mommy Brain 3:15 PM  

Too funny! I can't believe I've met someone online who knows my family! LMBO

Doug is a senior pastor in LaFayette, IN with a wife, 3 beautiful kids, and a big black lab puppy.

mom 4:45 PM  

I hate to tell you, but your first job was topping onions in the muck on either 36th or 40th street. You did that when you were 11. With Holly maybe?

Carol 3:52 PM  

First job when I was 16 was waitressing -- at Bakers Square (which might have been Poppin Fresh when I first started, but changed pretty quickly after that.) I, too, followed in my big sister's footsteps. She waitressed there, too. In fact, my sister was in a Poppin' Fresh commercial and she used that money to buy her first car. Being the frugal person I am (with my Dad pretty much insisting), I put most of my money away for college. I probably spent most of my extra money on clothes.
Hey -- JD -- did you know a Stuursma family in Jenison? I had a huge crush on Lyle (he lived on Lamplight in Jenison) and I wrote to him often when I was in 7th or 8th grade.
(This post's comments is all about finding connections!)

JD 3:59 PM  

Carol -
Stuursma sounds very familiar - what were the other kids' names? It seems to me that I may have worked with one at the parsley farm...

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