As I begin my new job today (!!!), I was reminiscing about my very first real job - and just how far I've come. It was in Chicago, where once upon a time, I was as part-time nanny for a family in a very ritzy neighborhood close to my school. I was just excited to be working, so I probably jumped at the opportunity a little too quickly. But for the first few weeks, it was a great job.
There were lots of positives. It was only a short bus ride away, paid pretty well, and allowed me the opportunity to explore the city as I chauffeured the kids to their many activities (karate, tutoring, play therapy... you know, the usual). :)
But there were also some negatives. Like the fact that the way-too-old-for-this boys would walk around naked more often than not... eating sushi naked, playing video games naked, doing their homework naked. I mentioned it to their mom once, and she just brushed it off as not being a problem. Then there was the fact that I would shop for their groceries, make dinner while the mom sat in the kitchen playing computer games and critiquing my cooking, and I even had to hand wash her underwear from time to time. It was feeling less and less like a "nanny" position as time went on.
But it was a job. And like any job, it had its ups and downs. After about 9 months of this, though, I'd had enough. I was spending less and less time with the kids and more and more time in the kitchen and laundry room, even though they also employed a full-time housekeeper. And all the while, the mom would be soaking in a bubble bath or hovering over my shoulder. She never left. Not exactly my idea of a good time.
So I turned in my two weeks notice, confident I'd be able to find something better. There are always nanny jobs available in the city, and I had a feeling I could land a slightly better situation than this one.
At first, my boss was just angry. She let me know in very plain terms that there's no way I'd find another job where I was paid and treated so well. :) But after this initial outburst, things between us seemed to improve - and she even told me the next day, "We want to have a going away party for you."
I was slightly skeptical, but excited that she had even thought of such an idea on her own. She even mentioned that she would have my "favorite cake."
So the day of the party arrived and I was asked to come at 2pm. After knocking a few times with no answer, I let myself into a totally empty apartment. I walked into the kitchen to find a box of dark chocolate cake and a note saying that they would return at 4pm to make sure I had plenty of time to make my cake and decorate the apartment with the streamers on the table.
I couldn't believe it. But I went ahead and made my own cake anyway, which was not my "favorite" considering I don't even like chocolate. I left the streamers on the table, fearing that I would be obligated to stay after and clean up after my own party.
The family arrived half an hour later than expected and found me sitting at their kitchen table, staring at my own dark chocolate cake. They hustled into the kitchen and the mom hardly looked at me as she said, "Sorry, but we just don't really have time to celebrate today. Boys, say goodbye."
And I think I can officially say that was the most awkward moment of my life. Me, her, two distracted boys, and a freshly baked cake.
The boys said goodbye and we gave hugs, then I turned to her and said, "Thanks so much for everything," and put my arms around her to hug her. She remained stiff as a board, her arms hanging by her side as I hugged her. Awesome.
I put the keys on the table next to my own cake, smiled, and headed out the door with the hugest sigh of relief that I would never had to enter that building again.
So here's to hoping my new job will be nothing like my first! I mean, it can only get better from there, right? :)
Do you have any fun first job stories? I'd love to hear!
PS - Thanks to my sweet, sweet husband who was sneaky enough to break into the blog yesterday to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. I love him.