I admit that I never had a job before graduating from high school My senior year in high school was filled with schooling as I took some preliminary college courses for a degree that I eventually earned, but didn’t really have a passion for.
Working for The Zoo
My very first job was directly after graduation and it was the closest I have ever come to working in the fast food industry. I got to work at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, which is one of the best zoos in America if not the world. I didn’t work in any of the good positions, like helping with the animals, or customer service, if you know what I mean. Serving people overpriced concessions became my job. I was hired mid-May 2007 and I left their employment that winter. Technically I didn’t leave until spring, but I didn’t work through the winter there.
This was a learning experience from since I now know that I don’t do well with food. I am an emotional eater. Couple that with my introvert and antisocial tendencies and whenever I had a free moment I was stuffing my face. Of course, the business I’m building now is a much better fit for me.
I was 18 and had been sheltered from the world to a degree. I had no financial accounting from my family, so had no clue what to do when it came to managing my bills. So, I had no clue what I would need in order to survive on my own. Trust me, it’s a lot more than I would have imagined. I’m telling you this since the zoo is a seasonal job. Concession workers aren’t in high demand in the middle of winter.
However I did get a discounted price for zoo membership, I believe. It has been so long for me that I can’t really remember. What I do know is that the aquarium concessions are boiling since the teller windows have to be open and they cook hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn there.
Thankfully shortly after training, I was moved from the aquarium to the concession stand down by the cat complex. This one was worse for my eating habits because it contained one of my absolute favorite snacks of all time: ice cream. It was easier since we had all prepackaged items. This included drinks. The only thing we mad ourselves was cotton candy and kettle corn and those were very easy to do.
I gained a lot of experience there. I even became the person who came in the mornings and opened up shop by myself. These times were precious to me as it was so quiet, and set up was very easy. I was required to drag the hose outside to spray down the walk right outside the concession stand to remove any leaves and debris that managed to accumulate overnight.
I also did a couple of days at the concessions by the aviary and next to the bears. They served ice cream, but the kind you had to scoop, as well as nachos. It wasn’t my favorite since it was more popular for everyone.
Also, during one of the first snowstorms at the beginning of winter, I did a single day working the petting zoo concessions. Anyone who has been there would also know them as the dairy farm. I worked all of an hour or 2 there before we were sent home.
Who Wants to Walk in the Snow?
However, time continues to move and before I knew it winter had come. Winter in Nebraska tends to bring lots of cold and a bunch of snow. No one wants to go traipsing around the zoo, so I get the odd hours at the Imax Theater concession stands. Yes, the zoo here in Omaha has their own theater that plays nature documentaries and such.
The hours there was so small since you had every single person from concessions trying to get hours for that post. There are roughly 40-50 people trying to get hours for a two-person post for 7-8 hours a day. The money was very tight, but I was still living with my mother at the time while attending college.
So, one thing led to another and I started looking for other work. I wish I had found what I’m working on now, which is my site and Wealthy Affiliate. I might be in a very different place than where I’m at currently. After this, I started my temp work and ended up at Marianna Beauty doing factory work.
So, this was the closest I ever came to working in fast food. It wasn’t a good fit for me. I learned a lot about myself, but I would never go back, at least to work. It’s a beautiful place to visit and my favorite when I do go there is the Lied Jungle.
What was your first job like? Have you ever worked in a place that wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t a good fit? Let me know down in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.