I stocked shelves at a Fay’s Drugs part time in high school. Before that I mowed lawns here and there and filled in when my brother couldn’t do his paper route. After I turned 18, I was a McDonalds cook and did a summer as an overnight “maintenance man”- basically a full time mopper, then an usher at Hoyt’s Movie theater in Crossgates Mall, then worked at a couple Subways around the Albany area (first time I was trusted with the keys to a business) and then as a security guard for one summer.
My mother found the job for me. We'd just moved to North Carolina before my junior year. I got to muck horse stalls in exchange for ring riding for an hour or so. I had experience, but it was a lot hotter in the summer down south than in upstate NY where I was around horses at camp or school (different places). It was just as well that school started around the third week of August.
I did some lawn mowing, but I consider my first "summer job" a job I had in a bank. I sat in a small cramped room with no windows and tons of mortgages doing some repetitive mind-numbing task I can't even remember. I hated it.
That summer I had my first real girlfriend. I had been out with other girls, but I can't even remember them. This girl was a sweetheart who was totally into me and she loved to smooch.
I sat in that stupid vault all day dreaming about her, and I'd head right to her house as soon as I was off. We'd hang out all night, until like one in the morning, then I'd drive home and crash. It seemed like Fleetwood Mac's Dreams was always on the radio as I drove home. I can still see the dotted lines on the road going past to the beat of Mic's drum.
The next morning I'd wake up exhausted and do it all over again.
One time at 1:30 am, I ran out of gas in my Dad's car about 4 miles from home. Obviously I had no cell, I walked home and woke up him to drive me back up the road with a gas can in my mom's car. Man was he pissed.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Not Summer, but selling Christmas trees. 'Bout 9 or ten years old. Then a paper route. I put the route in my brother's name because I was too young. I remember this black and gray German Shepherd named Mickey. I thought he was cool until one day he got loose. I tried to bring him home, but he bit me in the ass. Bastard bit right through my bag and a few papers. Still had 4 tooth marks on my right butt cheek. He couldn't catch me on my Mongoose Supergoose though. Good times.
After sporadic yard work type stuff my first steady job was the paper route I inherited from my brother. In a way that led me to my first real job. I’d use money from the paper route to play Galaga on a table top machine in the front of a family Italian/pizza joint on Main St. in Brewster. Started as a dish washer and worked my way through the ranks to line cook/chef and manager. Ended up working with that family for 10 years, through college, then working nights and weekends there after putting in 40 a week at my career job. We took his big old house in Kent and converted it into a fine dining establishment that is going strong to this day.
Agway in Camillus, right across the street from my high school (West Genesee), where I restocked driveway sealer, fertilizer, weed killer, bird seed, garden tools, and Xmas trees. I assumed that Home Depot put the final stake in Agway's heart but it looks like the company still exists, including a half dozen locations down here in NJ.