The Troublemaker … and A Contest!

DSC00761.JPGHere she is. The Troublemaker. This dog has cost more time and money the past week than … well, than I don’t know what. 3 nights at the vets last week, an ultrasound today, plenty of $, and the upshot is that she’ll probably live forever after all this. Jeesh. (Yes, she’s feeling just fine now, for those of you who are feeling sorry for her. I won’t give you the laundry list of issues, but I know you’ll ask so the answer is she’s going to be fine.) Troublemaker.

Sneak Up list, right? It’s going to be a big one this week, and then we’ll have two to three weeks without a Sneak Up. 🙁 I don’t know if I’m actually capable of not doing a Sneak Up for 3 weeks, but WH is entirely capable of it and thinks it’s a marvelous idea. We will be leaving on vacation next week and gone the week of the Fourth of July as well – thus, no new products to go up. However, Sarah-the-housesitter will be here taking care of Zoe and The Troublemaker and bringing in boxes of yarn every day as it arrives, and Susan-the-Awesome-Assistant will be here packing your orders and getting them out to you while we’re gone. So you can still find plenty of fun things to satisfy your yarn cravings. Indeed, you may look at this week’s list and think spreading it out over 3 weeks is a good idea. Why three weeks if we’re only going to be gone for 2? Because the week we get back, WH will have to put some extra time in on his regular job to catch up from vacation, in addition to doing a lot of photography on all of the things that arrived while we were gone. So I’m guessing the next Sneak Up will be the week of July 16th. Of course earlier if it works. And I’ll be re-stocking some of the regular stuff as it comes in between now and then. (Shhh – did you see that we have ALL of the colors of Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in at one time? I’m sure it’s a fluke, and I’m sure we’ll sell out of something soon, but for a few minutes, they’re all here. And there is a lot of it.)

So on this week’s list for Sneaking Up….

For sure: The Knittery, Fleece Artist Sea Wool, Fiesta Boomerang, Chewy Spaghetti, Seacoast Merino, Duets, and Dream in Color. Also, more Kitchener Stitchmarkers, more Counting Bracelets, and more Loopy/Louise/Bart stitchmarkers. I have sock photos of Fiesta, Duets, and Dream in Color to share with you on Wednesday. I have loved knitting with each of them.

For maybe: Posh, Spritely Goods, and Scarlet Fleece (depending on how many photos WH can get done.)

New things coming in between now and when we do our next Sneak Up: The Plucky Knitter (from one of our very own Loopy Groupies!), Urban GypZ (with a cool twisted yarn base), Wollmeise (an indie dyer all the way from Germany and we’re so excited to get her beautiful yarn here), new fabrics in Mrs. Kwitty bags and needleholders, the Maruca Designs fall fabrics (oooohhhh), plus our regular monthly indie-dyer orders and a few other surprises. Lots of boxes to come home to after vacation to look forward to.

So – the contest for the month – tell me about your first job. It’s summertime and many of us had our very first jobs during the summer, right? (Besides babysitting, which I did often, too.) My first summer job was a Disaster with a capital D. I was 14 and I signed up to de-tassle corn. (I lived in Iowa. Everyone de-tassled corn in Iowa in junior high or high school. It was “good money”.) You dressed in long sleeves and long pants so that the cornstalk leaves wouldn’t cut your arms and legs, you walked down the rows of stalks that had grown over your head, and you plucked the tops off of the stalks and tossed them behind you as you went along. When you pulled the tassles out, you frequently got a shower of bugs on you. The aisles held in all of the heat and humidity that the summer had to offer. And it was downright awful. After an hour, my shoulders ached, my shirt was filled with bugs (ok – maybe I exaggerate a bit – but not much) and I was feeling nauseous from all the heat and humidity. So I quit. My very first job, and I got paid for a whopping hour of time. There – now don’t you feel better about YOUR first job? What was it? (Nobody quits after an hour. Your experience had to have been better!) Leave it in the comments and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a Loopy Loot winner this Friday.

Sheri Ihavestuckwithalltherestofmyjobsandworkedhardsincethen-ifonlytoprovethatIcould. 🙂

P.S. Email me if you have Q2 hats/mitts to mail and I will send you my addresss. I don’t want to list it on the blog!


  1. It doesn’t get any better than being a hostess at McDonalds!!!! A hostess you ask? I refilled coffee, hosted birthday parties, and walked around to talk to customers. Now obviously, this was a long time ago!! Late 70’s to be exact, so imagine red polyester pants, a white (poly) shirt with red and gold arches on it – with earth shoes on my feet!!!! I actually lasted there until I graduated HS, and moved on to work at Great Adventure for the summer!!

  2. Ok, I worked at a “fancy” restaurant as a hostess, my boss was a creep, he constantly asked me to go out on dates with him, he was at least 40, which isn’t old, but I was only 16! YUCK. He finally got tired of me saying no and cut my hours to two hours a week on Monday evening! I quit!

  3. my first job was in college…
    I was a “hostess with the mostest” at a now-closed mexican joint.
    Come to think of it- all 3 of the restaurants I’ve worked in have now closed.
    I HOPE NOT 🙂

  4. My first job (after babysitting) was with my dad at the annuity wholesale firm he worked at. I answered phones, filed and managed his mailing list database. I actually did that for three summers in high school. At the beginning of the fourth, my dad struck out on his own and his boss said it would be “uncomfortable” if I continued working there…I became a temp after that and had tons more interesting stuff to do! Dad bought me lunch everyday though, that was sure nice… =)

  5. Unofficially, my first job was helping my Dad out on job sites. He was a contractor who built custom houses so I would help him clean up after contsruction was done and that included sweeping, cleaning toilets (gets pretty gross after all the construction crew use it multiple times!), and scraping paint from windows.

    Officially, my first job at 16 was working as a “Block girl” at Western Sizzlin’ Steak House. I greeted customers, asked if they wanted a side salad or salad bar, took their meal orders, and sometimes I helped with food prep. All in all it wasn’t a bad job because I usually had nice managers and very funn co-workers. I did sustain an injury with a steak knife (I’ll spare the details) once and when I asked my manager (the one I hated) if I could leave 5 minutes early to go to the ER to stch up my hand, he said, “Sure, but can you check the salad bar first to make sure the muffins are full.” What an uncompassionate jerk he was! Uh, righto, I didn’t care about the dang muffins and I refrained from cussing him out. Lucky him. My hand is fine now.

  6. My first job was a lifeguard when I was fifteen. I worked at an indoor pool, watching people swim and teaching lessons most of the summer. Winter was just watching people swim. I loved at first it because of the authority. “NO RUNNING” but I soon grew to really enjoy teaching swimming lessons. I taught the youngest group and we always had lots of fun.

  7. My first real job was at the local medical school–I was a paid lab assistant. They did both biochemistry sorts of things and animal studies. At first I just worked with proteins and chemicals–that was fine, though my mom just about had a fit when she came to pick me up one time and saw the bottles marked “Danger! Neurotoxin!”. Then they wanted me to help with the animal studies: hold rats for injections, gas them (to kill them), cut them up–I was so horrified just watching somebody else gas rats, I started crying right in the animal studies room!

    (I had the job for two whole summers in high school, but they never again asked me to do anything with animals!)

  8. I got my first job at 14. I answered the phones at a funeral home. I’d go in, unforward the phones from the funeral director’s home, watch TV, run laps through all the rooms, play the organ in the chapel, basically just hang out, and then forward the phones back to his home and leave. i was paid $10 a day and worked one day a week (I picked up the shifts his daughter – also 14 – didn’t want.) Only once in two summers did the phone ever ring, and it was an old man wanting to know how much a pine box would run. I think he was just lonely. Only once did I share the building with a body, and it was my aunt-by-marriage’s mother, so she was almost related anyway.

  9. I was 13 when I had my first job as a “soda jerk”. That title still makes me cranky. Actually I did more than the fountain work. We also did short order cooking too. Remember what the waitress’ wore on Happy Days? Thats the kind of uniform we had to wear. And starched so stiff that your neck would get all scratched and sore. Best of all-a big fifty cents an hour plus tips! WooHoo!

  10. My first real job, after babysitting of course, was working at Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant in La Mirada, CA as a hostess/cashier. I remember practicing and practicing on counting change, to make sure I gave the correct change back…the cash register didn’t tell you in those days. After graduating high school, our family moved back to Illinois and I started working at a large insurance company. I’m still there after 30 years, but now live in Ohio.

  11. My first job was working on a Peach Farm in the packing shed when I was 14. I was one of the “cullers” picking out the bad peaches as they rolled down the conveyer belt to be put in the boxes to ship out all over the U.S. It was extremely hot and very itchy and boy did those belts run fast. It was hard work but fun too because all my friends worked there. I have fond memories of that summer and job because I saved my money to buy my very own pet–a miniature dachshund. She lived 14 years and was such a great pet. Your Troublemaker looks like a darling! So glad she’s doing good.

  12. My first job was actually pretty cool – esp for a Junior in High School! I worked after school for Musician Magazine (which was a national magazine, owned by Billboard). I started out doing odds & ends … everything from stuffing & mailing out CDs and other swag to data entry and telephone research. After I graduated, I was offered a full time gig there and thought I was on top of the world making $17,000 a year… WOO HOO… my how naive I was! It was a great gig though and I only moved on when they closed down the Massachusetts office and I couldn’t see any way possible to live on $17,000 in New York City if I had moved there to keep my job…….

  13. My first job… fabulous job! Summers working at a playground, watching neighborhood kids for three hours in the morning and evening, dabbling in random craft projects, coaching sports teams, playing other playgrounds around the borough (like a town in the suburbs of Pittsburgh). It was great! I was little more than a kid myself, and we had such fun! Not too much of any one thing, just lots of variety, lots of fun! Great way to enter the work force!!

  14. My first job (aside from baby-sitting and professionally baby-sitting) was as a Food Vendor at Fenway Park. Coolest job ever. I made some of my best friends and had some of the coolest boyfriends there. Took awhile to make any money, it was hard work and products were distributed by seniority. But I was one of five girls, so I did pretty good in tips alone. I also was the first girl to sell programs at Fenway. I was wicked loud.

    Oh, and there is no way to hawk without a Boston accent (you try yelling “Popcorn Here” with r’s), so even though I was born and raised in Florida till I was 14, by 16 I had a wicked Boston accent.

  15. Besides babysitting, I was a hostess at Perkins Pancake House. It wasn’t a bad job and I got to meet some interesting people. The people I worked with were nice. So no great story like some of the entries but an entry none the less!

  16. My first job was working at a library erasing pencil marks out of books. One summer, I spent 4 hours a day, 5 days a week going page by page and book by book erasing the pencil marks of disrespectful borrowers. This boring job wasn’t even the worse part. The $2.30 per hour pay was the worse part.

  17. Mother’s Helper. To the mother of one of my brother’s friends who had some illness that no one discussed, but that I suspect was either rheumatoid arthritis or MS. A lovely woman and a family that was very good to me. I helped with the cooking, cleaning and assorted other household chores. We cooked their entire weeks’ worth of meals one day a week, then they heated them up as the week went along. Totally exhausting. And they kept these *huge* lizards in floor to ceiling, wall to wall cages in the basement. Creeped me out totally. They used to feed them some type of worms that were kept in the frig. The worms got out & ate their way into the lining of the frig. They did get rid of the frig, but EW!

  18. first summer job I had I was living at Clark Air Base in the Philippines in 1962. I worked in the hospital lab. They taught me to draw blood and do slide stains, and basic blood counts, and also urine microscopy. I was 16. They were desperate for help. It was really interesting, but the corpmen that worked there were just awful, always teasing me (set up a urine slide with sperm in it to see how I would react, or if I would know what it was) The worst thing was they took me into the morgue to show me the bodies of some airmen that had burned to death in a plane crash in Vietnam. It was a shocking awakening and growing up.

  19. My first job was also when I was 14. Every summer the state fair is held for a week in my hometown and there are a bunch of concession companies who hire tons of people to work at it. I signed up and ended up the “owner” of a shiney new water cart. I sold bottled water for ridiculous prices out in the sun for about 10 hours a day. The best part of the whole thing was that when I got off work, I got to stay at the fair and ride all the rides! I also got to get into all the concerts for free (even though I was working). Not too bad, I don’t think!

  20. Glad to see that you hooked up with Ms. “Woolmeise”!!!! First job (I’m not counting babysitting for the evil twins around the corner fondly known as Denis and Denise Menace) was at an optical store when I was 15…helping customers get their glasses to fit again on their face and not look lopsided as well as pick out new frames. The job was pretty good except the owner was kind of a lech so I only worked an abbreviated summer. Just to be clear, he was a commenting lech versus one that actually carried through with anything.

  21. My first job was volunteering at a hospital when I was 14. My first PAYING job was as a cashier at a grocery store at 16. The funny thing was when I went back to college at 29, I did the same thing for the same chain. Circles, I tell ya! 🙂

  22. Well, babysitting, and a paper route, and my dad had a whole list of chores with specific dollar values stuck to the fridge (I think the best paying one was mopping and “futuring” the kitchen floor and back steps for $3.00), but my first real job was at this little shop that sold just three things: BBQ grills, ceiling fans and gas fireplaces. Working there I learned all manner of odd things that can go wrong with any of the above and marveled at how much money some people are willing to pay for a grill.

    I’m pretty excited about the Wollmeise, too!

  23. My cousin empoyed me for my first job at 15 yrs.old in Dominicks Grocery Store in their Floral Dep. I wasn’t so bad and I NEVER has o bring my own lunch becaseu I just walked through the store each da and picked out what I wanted to eat.


  24. My first real job (other than babysitting) was being a referee for the local rec soccer games. It was a lot of fun and I got $20/game (that’s per hour!!). Needless to say I did it for a while because it was good money and only took up about 3 hours on a Saturday morning.

    P.S. I am SO excited about the Wollmeise!! I am moving back to the States from Germany in about a month (about when your next update is) and I was thinking about how it would be a lot more difficult to get it. Now through you it should be easy! (if I can get to it before everyone else, hahah).

  25. My first job was in high school, typing from a dictaphone for our next-door neighbor, who was a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel. He was active in a bunch of organizations, largely involving political and tax reform, and I typed from a dictaphone on a REAL TYPEWRITER. OK, I’m not THAT old. Well, maybe I am. Remember White-Out?

  26. My first job was when I was 14 too. My mother thought it would be a good idea if I volunteered with the red cross as a volunteen. They gave us a cute uniform and everything. My first assignment was in a nursing home. What an eye opener for a sheltered child like me. Needless to say after having to help lock a helpless naked old man in his room so he wouldn’t go outside naked, that was it for me. Too bad that today the care of our elderly (which I’m quickly getting closer to) has not improved very much. We treat our animals better than we do our elderly. Anyway, after that I knew that the medical field (people, anyway) was not for me.

    Is the troublemaker an aussie? We had one who recently passed away. In the end she cost us $7,000 in medical bills. But she was worth every penny. But I know how you feel though.

  27. I worked as a telephone solicitor for a low-rent carpet cleaning company. I lasted about 5 days. It was not the dream job by any means!

  28. Hmm. I used to house- and pet-sit as my first “job.” One time a cat acted up and knocked over all the house plants. It totally freaked me out and I had to get my Mom to come and help me clean up.

  29. I worked retail. I hated it, but knew I could *not* work in Fast Food. It never even crossed my mind that I had other options!

    Retail clothes are mind numbingly boring. I rarely shop in malls to this day. When online came along I became very happy!!

  30. I was one of the lucky ones- my first job was as a ski instructor. It’s something I still daydream about when I’m logging 12+ hour days at my current job as a health care consultant (don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I miss the skiing. And the male ski instructors…)

  31. My first job that wasn’t babysitting was at the public library splicing broken films and repairing books. I got to run some complicated equipment that I recieved all of 15 minutes of training on and I wore these special white gloves. I loved it . Sitting by myself with shelves of much read books, going through them gingerly and searching for damage that I could repair.

  32. My first job was as a telemarketer. I only lasted two weeks. I was bored in 3 days and started playing a part and make up my name and tried to act out the script as different personalities. In the end, it wasn’t the making no sales part that bothered me but 1. questionable ‘charity’ that I was calling on behave of. 2. constant smoking environment. I had to quit after that. It was sad. But no more telemarketing for me.

  33. My first job was at our town’s mini golf / driving range spot. Not too hard – scooping golf balls into buckets and handing out putters. And if I was lucky enough to be scheduled to work in the snack bar, I could sneak a soft-serve cone between customers! I learned to make great big cones there (a bonus when I got to college and found the cafeteria had an ice cream machine – I definitely got the most out of my meal plan!)

  34. My very first job ever was at a pet shop. I cleaned bird cages, wiped down fish tanks, restocked, fetched mice for hungry snakes, and dealt with a number of creepy-crawlies for food. I also learned a ton about freshwater fish tanks, various reptiles and poodles (it was also a grooming center run by a lady who bred standard poodles). It had its ups and it had its downs. But not a half-bad first job. 🙂

  35. Mine was a perfectly ordinary fast food job and a little Mom ‘n Pop place in KCMO. What is interesting about it is that I ate there with my family as a kid growing up, and now, some 25 years later the place is still there. It’s an absolute anachronism, but still a great place to get a Tenderloin sandwich and Onion Rings!

  36. My first paying job was the summer before college when my 2 cousins and I manned the concession stand at the North Penn Twin Drive-In. We had a blast. Being from a small town in SE Oklahoma, working at a drive-in in OKC and even getting paid for it certainly was an improvement over cleaning the calf barn and working cows and NOT getting paid. All three of us went to different colleges in the fall but still have such good memories of the summer of music and movies and boys. We worked on our tans with baby oil and iodine during the day, then at dusk went to the drive-in. Ahhh those were the days.

  37. I did a lot of babysitting through my teenage years, but my first official job was after high school. We had just moved back to Indiana and I was 17. I worked at a Wendy’s for 6 years. Yep, I was a hamburger slinger. I was what they called an “opener”. Had to be there early in the morning to patty the meat , slice the onions and tomatoes, prepare the salad bar fixins for the day, get the chili going, sometimes do inventory. And then work the grill or most times the drive up window for the lunch rush. It was fun most of the time but I sure did stink like fried food every day (didn’t/don’t miss that at all after I quit to get married).

  38. Ah first jobs. Mine was at 17, high school senior and I worked at Bank of America. I was customer service. Answered phones, ran the mail. Put up the statements. Oh that was fun, counting the checks before folding them in the statement and putting in the envelope!! Met a ton of wonderful people. The branch was across the street from a hospital so got to see lots of cutie doctors too. Moved up to safe deposit boxes. Stayed for 2 years while I finished high school and went too business college. Actually, back then B of A was willing to accommodate school schedules. I worked 1-5:30 M-Th and 1-7:30 on fridays. During spring, winter breaks and summer I worked full time. I remember being the only one of my friends with a checking account (direct deposit in the 1970s don’tcha know) and credit card ($200 limit woo hoo). I did enjoy that.

  39. My first job was wrapping Christmas presents at JCPenney’s. I was just hired as Christmas help so I was only there a couple of months but I loved the discount.

  40. My first job (other than babysitting) was as a dental assistant to a children’s dentist. On-the-job training, holding my hand over kid’s noses and mouths till they stopped screaming — I was always afraid I’d get in trouble with the law over that!

  41. My first job wasn’t too exciting or exotic – it was just a clerk in a variety store – along the lines of a Walmart, but in 1965, so it was a lot smaller than the smallest of the walmarts is now. The good thing about it was that I always had a job to come back to during summers and vacations when I was in college. It helped a lot that I didn’t have to deal with finding a job every summer.
    It is hard to believe the $45 I made for full time work each week seemed like a lot of money then.

  42. My first job was working at Dog N Suds. It’s a fifty style drive in restaurant. I spent my first summer there as a fry cook and then went onto spend the next six (I think) summers as a carhop. No roller skates though, which is a good thing because there is no way I would have worked there if that was the case. My sister and brother also worked there at the same time I did and so did a bunch of our friends, so usually it was a good time!

  43. My mom worked for a company that sent out coupons when you had a baby. (I don’t think they do that anymore – we’re talking 40 years ago) She would keypunch the names & addresses on her keypunch machine at home. She got the list from me. I would receive 400 – 500 newspapers a week & would have to go through each one to find the birth announcements. I paid my brother & his buddy 2 cents a newspaper to open them all up for me (the skunks went on strike for more pay). The mailman brought them everyday in a big sack. I’d find the announcement cut it out & stack them all by state for my mom to enter in. You talk about a dirty job. Who would ever think going through newspapers would be so dirty – I’d have that ink everywhere!!! But hey the pay was good, I worked in our basement & I paid for my senior trip to NY!

  44. My first “real” job was at a catalog showroom, where the entire store was filled with jewelry, vases, lamps, knick-knacks, that sort of thing – customers would see something they liked, and we’d order it for them from the catalog. (A strange concept – the place went out of business about a six months after I started working there).

    I can’t tell you how many hours I spent polishing silver and brass items to get fingerprints off and keep things looking nice – the same items, over and over and over again. To this day I don’t own anything that needs polished for that very reason.

  45. My first job, other than babysitting, was yard work. We had a huge front yard, a couple of acres. Dad would tell me I could pick up pine cones, rake, etc. for $5, or do it for free. Guess which one I chose? I toed the line one afternoon after Dad had me picking up pine cones around the azaleas. I was looking at my arms thinking how dirty they were, when I realized the dirt was moving. I totally freaked out. I had to take a bath to get all the seed ticks off. I swore I would never enter that section of the yard again. Luckily, Dad believed me and my younger brother was getting old enough to help him out in the yard!

  46. My first job was blueberry picking. At my interview I was informed that only the girls on the farm were allowed to do this because they were much more gentle than boys. We worked usually 2 days a week for four hours and were paid by the pound, $2.39 per pound. It was hot, muddy, and your hands were blue all the time. The most ridiculous part was that each paycheck I got averaged around 48$ and we only got paid every two weeks.
    After that they moved me inside to produce (I stacked tomatoes), then to cashiering which I did until I left for college.

  47. My first job was working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home. I was 16. What an eye opener! My grandparents all lived on the east coast (I am from WI) so I never really got up close and personal with the aging process until that summer. The pay was better than what I would make otherwise, but I earned every penny! Also, the impressions that I took away stuck with me. I am currently an estate planning attorney and work with a lot of older adults.

    Thanks for making your site and store such an enjoyable experience!

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