My first job in life was delivering the Edmonton Sun newspaper. I chose that paper as it didn’t deliver on Saturdays and thus gave me a morning off work. The way delivering papers works is that the more houses you have in a set area, the more you made. This was also back in the day when you would go out at night and collect the money owed for the papers – you would then pay the amount owed to the company and keep the balance. Usually it worked out to about $30 every two weeks. So yes… about $2 a morning! I would get up at 5 am to deliver the paper. Why so early? I had customers who would only subscribe if I could get it to them early enough for them to read before their own early departure to work. I would go back home, and sleep for another hour or two before getting ready for school.
So when I was finally old enough to get a ‘real’ job… I went for it. I had no method or strategy to applying for jobs. But somehow, and someway, I ended up at the old Brentwood DQ in Sherwood Park which was one of those landmarks people would reference when giving directions. A few weeks after putting in my application I received a call from the Wye Roads DQ which was all shiny and relatively new. I went for my interview and I met the manager Jamel. I was hired on the spot! I was so excited. What I didn’t realize is the journey I was starting. I ended up working at DQ for eight years of my life. I turned down another job a few years in to stay at DQ, and even during university I paid my way through school while working at the good ol’ DQ. I met some amazing people, I saw the good and bad of life, and I learnt a lot. So over the coming weeks I’m going to share with you some of the lessons I learned working at DQ. I think jobs for youth are important. Unfortunately there are more positions than workers in many places meaning if you’re not getting what you want, you can walk out and get a job across the street. It’s unfortunate in some ways, but it is the reality.
Over the years at DQ I had many people wondering why I stuck around there so long. Why was I there in university when I could maybe make more money elsewhere? Some may have wondered what was wrong with me. Others may have just been curious. Well hopefully this series of blog posts will share with you some of the experiences I had, and perhaps give you a glimpse into why I stayed at the good ol’ DQ.
So I hope as I share about my minimum wage job (or at least it was at the start!) that you will learn some things about me, but perhaps about life and work as well. I’ll try and post one or two blog posts a week for the next few weeks. Thanks for reading!