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The First 10 Jobs

February 12, 2017

Reminiscing on past part-time college jobs and full-time adult jobs, and how they make you what you are. 



I started working in my late teens and found that I liked it (and the money and independence that came with it). I then grew up to be a workaholic, at least according to the family. Because I started work relatively young, and also because I am your typical Gen Y, I have cycled through a number of pretty wacky jobs. 


Here are the first ten of them:


Job #0: Office Clerk


This one is numbered as ‘zero’ because am not entirely sure if it should count. After I completed my SPM (O-Levels equivalent), my father got sick of seeing me bumming around while waiting for my exam results to come out. In an effort to instil good values in his child, he declared that I would henceforth work in his architecture firm.


For RM50 (USD 15) a week, I did odd jobs around the office, like making copies and typing stuff up. I never had to do a coffee run, though. My father liked the idea so much that he made it a tradition for all of my siblings. The brother after me also had a stint in the firm, but the tradition faltered when our third sibling got bundled up and shipped to Egypt before he even completed his exams. It then died a swift death when the turn for our fourth and youngest sibling came around: he simply didn’t show up to work.



Job #1: Vinyl Record Cleaner 


I consider this my first official job, as I sought it out of my own free will. I was a first-year international student at Stanford University, in California, USA, and while my scholarship provided sufficient funds to eat and dress decently without embarrassing my country, it was not enough to do fun stuff, like visiting friends in New York City.


There is a tradition of Malaysian students celebrating their first New Year’s Eve in America at the Big Apple, which my friends and I felt we should uphold. While this was easy for my fellow first-year friends in the East Coast to do (as they were within driving distance and also had tons of other Malaysians to carpool with), I had no choice but to fly by my lonely self over from the other side of the continent, and that, ladies and gentlemen, required money.


Luckily, my university made it pretty easy for students to earn money, even international students, and being in California meant we benefitted from the relatively high minimum wage! The job was with the Music Library that needed to archive thousands of old music vinyl records (the massive, obsolete kind t