"What was your first paying job?"
I always tell people that I never really had a "typical" job as a teenager or in college. I never did fast food or waited tables at restaurants. I don't really have the personality for it. I think the first time someone would have said, "Hey, Miss... My coffee's cold," I probably would have told them where the coffee pot was located and what they could do with it when they found it. :-) The only time I ever attempted retail lasted about 4-6 weeks in college. I worked in the Children's Department at Mervyn's during Back-to-School season. If that's not enough to send a person screaming in the opposite direction, I don't know what is. Retail was not for me.
I think my first paying job was working at the dentist office with my Mom when I turned 16. They had me cleaning instruments, developing x-rays, sending out mailings, cleaning the office, etc. ...pretty much all of the stuff that no one else wanted to do... :-) I really liked it though (except for the part where I had to clean out the suction traps at the end of the day. All of those tooth bits and nastiness... YUCK!). But the best part was that I only had to work about 10-12 hours a week and made the same amount of money that all of my friends made at their 20-hour-a-week fast food jobs. (They didn't like me much. :-)
I worked there for about a year when my Aunt Linda asked me if I'd be interested in coaching gymnastics at the YMCA. Heck, yeah!!! That's a COOL job, and I was good at it. I ended up coaching from the time I was 17 all through my early college years. It's good money, that's for sure. At one point, I was coaching at a nearby club about 30 hours a week around all of my college classes. I was in awesome shape... I was very bendy too. :-)
Throughout the "early years," I had all sorts of jobs. I worked at the dentist office. I coached gymnastics. I helped my aunt coach PE at a private school. I did after school care at the YMCA. I worked summer day care. I did private tutoring. I gave beginning clarinet and flute lessons. I answered the phones and did some billing a couple days a week for my uncle's piano tuning/moving company. I've even worked in several libraries (It's easy to get on at a library if you've ever even been inside of one before. :-)
I think the busiest I ever was happened around the time I was 20 or so. I had about 15-20 hours a week of gymnastics classes in the mornings, some late evenings, and Saturdays. I did after school care at the YMCA another 15 hours a week. I threw in about 6-8 hours a week of private tutoring and clarinet lessons. And my aunt and uncle let me hang out at their house and answer phones for their company a couple hours a day in between my morning and afternoon stuff so I wouldn't have to drive back to the dorms (It was very nice of them to basically pay me to do my homework :-). Crazy busy, but again, the money added up. Especially because I didn't have any free time to spend it!
I love that I never had a "typical" job when I was young. I was certainly busy, but the variety made the time fly, and I love working with kids. I kind of miss it. :-( I'll definitely be one of those PTA moms. Shoot... I'll probably be the president of the PTA knowing me. I don't do anything half-way! :-)