We Asked You, ‘What Was Your First Job and How Much Were You Paid?’

December 18, 2009
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The employment picture isn’t pretty.¬†National unemployment is over 10%. California’s percentage is about¬†12.5%.¬† The two inland counties that make up the Inland Empire continue to fare¬†poorly, following only the Detroit area in metro areas with the worst unemployment.¬† San Bernardino County clocked in at about a 14% rate, up from 13.6% the previous month, and Riverside County went from 14.7% to a whopping 15.1%.¬†

But people once had jobs, so La Verne Online went out to look for these special folks. We, however, didn’t ask them what was their last job. We wanted to know what their first job was¬†and how much they were paid. Here are their answers:

Theresa Macalino, Publicity Manager, David & Margaret Home: Hostessing at California Pizza Kitchen, before leaving to be a server at Maria Callender's, minimum wage plus tips.

Theresa Macalino, Publicity Manager, David & Margaret Home: Hostessing at California Pizza Kitchen, before leaving to be a server at Maria Callender's, minimum wage plus tips.

Maria Ortiz, owner of Little Kuts: A video store in Alhambra, making $6 an hour.

Maria Ortiz, owner of Little Kuts: A video store in Alhambra, making $6 an hour.

Cory Hanson, Ramona Middle School Counselor: Cleaning pools for whatever my dad gave me, but outside the family working as an usher at Edward's Cinema for $5.50 an hour.

Cory Hanson, Ramona Middle School Counselor: Cleaning pools for whatever my dad gave me, but outside the family working as an usher at Edward's Cinema for $5.50 an hour.

Terri Porter, interviewed at La Verne Heights: Burger King server, paid $5 or $6 hour.

Terri Porter, interviewed at La Verne Heights: Burger King server, paid $5 or $6 hour.

Nancy Elftman, interviewed at La Verne Heights: A server at a smorgasbord in Redlands, Calif., paid $4 an hour.

Nancy Elftman, interviewed at La Verne Heights: A server at a smorgasbord in Redlands, Calif., paid $4 an hour.

Shanda Nelson, interviewed at La Verne Library: A Wendy's associate, paid minimum wage in 1991.

Shanda Nelson, interviewed at La Verne Library: A Wendy's associate, paid minimum wage in 1991.

George Borst, int. at Community Center: Farmworker baling hay and working the combines, paid 25 cents an hour ("The worst part of it, I had hay fever.")

George Borst, interviewed at Community Center: Farmworker baling hay and working the combines, paid 25 cents an hour ("The worst part of it, I had hay fever.")

Miriam Freeland, interviewed at Community Center: Telephone keyboardist andn counter of food stamps for the Heinz Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio, paid $2 an hour.

Miriam Freeland, interviewed at Community Center: Telephone keyboardist and counter of food stamps for the Heinz Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio, paid $2 an hour.

Jeanine Borst, int. at Community Center: Newspaper delivery in Hamburg, N.Y. (outside of Buffalo), paid two cents for every 10 papers delivered. She delivered a total of 127 papers, from one end of town to the other, in the snow.

Jeanine Borst, int. at Community Center: Newspaper delivery in Hamburg, N.Y. (outside of Buffalo), paid two cents for every 10 papers delivered. She delivered a total of 127 papers, from one end of town to the other, in the snow.

Melissa Friedrichsen, int. at La Verne Heights: Food court cleaner at a mall in Ohio, paid $500 every two weeks. "It was an obscene amout of money for someone in the 10th grade."

Melissa Friedrichsen, int. at La Verne Heights: Food court cleaner at a mall in Ohio, paid $500 every two weeks. "It was an obscene amout of money for someone in the 10th grade."

Mary Ann Bushere, int. at La Verne Community Center: Clerk, at Grants variety store in 1953, pad $.50 an hour.

Mary Ann Bushere, int. at La Verne Community Center: Clerk, at Grants variety store in 1953, paid $.50 an hour.

Carol Hagman, interviewed at the La Verne Community Center: Worked at Vons in El Monte in 1960, paid $1.92 an hour.

Carol Hagman, interviewed at the La Verne Community Center: Worked at Vons in El Monte in 1960, paid $1.92 an hour.

Cindy McCune, interviewed at La Verne Heights: Hostess for Coco's in Pomona for $4.25 an hour.

Cindy McCune, interviewed at La Verne Heights: Hostess for Coco's in Pomona for $4.25 an hour.

One Response to “We Asked You, ‘What Was Your First Job and How Much Were You Paid?’”

  1. Hi Peter,
    I liked the interviews about the first jobs. Mine was at Mcdonalds in Azusa in 1970 I made $1.10 an hour & they took out .10 an hour for food but we could eat all the food we wanted. I got my moneys worth as I put on 15 lbs. in 6 months. I was also in the first group of counter girls they hired they always had only boys work for Mcdonalds. They hired like 6 girls to test it out. We all made our uniforms into “mini” which was the style they must have thought we did OK.

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