Starting in fifth grade, I always had a job. My first job was picking up golf balls at a driving range before school and on weekends. Then I worked at a funeral home tidying up before and after services. That job was kind of creepy. My next professional position was at a bowling alley right before automatic pinsetters came into vogue and got me automated out of work. I did janitorial and snow shoveling duties at the apartment complex where I lived. I was also a caddy and a paperboy. These careers all transpired before the end of my 8th grade year.
I wasn’t an exception. Many of my buddies at Saint Cecilia Grade School had all sorts of jobs. We learned to take criticism, mostly justified, from bosses who were not our parents. We were praised for jobs well done and experienced the thrill of getting cash that was often put directly into our hands.
High school years were more of the same. Jobs were fit in between classes, sports and, if we were lucky, brief romances.
Something tells me this phase of growing up has mostly departed. I wonder if there are lasting consequences?