My First Job


Last week I confessed my undying love for daggy pop music.

I listen to some indy stuff as well, and a lot of alternative singer/songwriters…I listen to a lot of music. The only stuff I’ve never really been into has been the stadium acts…but that’s beside the point.

What is my point?

My first job…this weeks confession linky post. I actually remembered what I spent my first pay packet on more clearly than I recall the job.

The purchase was a seriously good “dubber”- one of those cassette players that allowed tape to taping. Just perfect for making the mixed tapes I loved. The job was in the accounts department at ACP (Aust Consolidated Press). More of a runner type of role, I’d be in and out of different departments all day. I loved it. I loved seeing how the magazines worked.

A holiday role (between finishing the HSC and starting Uni), I spent pretty well every cent I made- except for the board Mum made me pay…I suspect so that I wouldn’t spend every cent.

It was this job that also started my cookbook addiction. Each week I’d head down to the floor that sold the publications and pick up (at a decent discount) one of the Australian Womens Weekly Cookbooks.

I distinctly recall preparing a proper dinner party for my friends from one of the Dinner Party cookbooks. Dessert was black forest ice cream. I had to coat ice cream balls in dark chocolate and then serve them in this cherry sauce. It seemed so sophisticated. It was 1985…

Throughout Uni I refereed rugby league on the weekends (a woman rugby league referee? Yep, really…) and did the lunchtime shift at one of those shops that sells soft serve ice cream, fresh juices and fruit salads. To this day I avoid fruit salads…and soft serve ice cream…but reckon I could still dunk a cone in chocolate and not have the inside fall out- there’s an art to it.

My first real proper paying job was at Westpac- I moved to Canberra for it…there was a man involved.

I had no savings and had been sleeping on a borrowed camp bed, so with my first pay (after dealing with rent, food and bus fares) I bought a cheap pine bed, a Ken Done doona cover and…you guessed it…an album. It was Pet Shop Boys Actually.

Some things never change.

What was your first job?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

16 thoughts

  1. My first-ever paid job was at Boots the Chemists in Hammersmith, London, asa uni student at 17. Remember it well too. Working in the dispensary, racking up scripts, as i was studying pharmacy, but also working the register, and stacking shelves. My first paid job, and i loved making some money. So grown-up!
    And can seriously remember the Pet Shop Boys, they were something of the thinking girl’s crumpet back then…actually! Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Jo!

  2. I still love those chocolate coated ice cream balls with the cherry sauce and I still use that dinner party cookbook!! Oh and I’m with you and Zohra when it comes to the Pet Shop Boys – I have their album (on vinyl I might add). 🙂

  3. I loved the Pet Shop Boys, just couldn’t get into their new stuff though! My first job was thinning apples in an orchard, followed by working in the Cinema, it was great, free popcorn, one free flick a week, a nice bowtie and waistcoat – those were the days 🙂

  4. Oh, what a great holiday job! You were back in the writing industry even then. I worked on Saturdays and during holidays (at high school and before Uni) at Chandlers mainly on the video rental counter – though I also sold tapes and records (though records were so passé back in the mid 80s!).

  5. I would have happily swapped your ACP job for my service station one! And thanks for the Pet Shop Boys reminder – I will have to devote a Sunday Session post to them sometime soon. Thanks for linking up again Jo!

  6. That sounds like it would have been fun, working for ACP and collecting all the AWW cook books. Do you still have any old ones? That black forest ice cream thing sounds interesting….

    1. No, I don’t have any- I don’t think- I went through a stage & sold a heap on ebay…(I have 3 bookcases full of cookbooks oooops). If memory serve me correctly you scooped ice cream balls, froze them, dunked them in melted chocolate, froze them & then made a sauce out of tinned cherries. They tasted a bit like a frozen black forest cake.

  7. I started work at ACP as editorial assistant for Australian Business Magazine – somewhere in the rabbits’ warren near the Bulletin and Cleo … loved the world of magazines! Oh those AWW magazines and first editions of Travel & Leisure … strange I cannot remember music at that time, must be all the liquid luncheons …

  8. Oh yes, I LOVED my twin cassette player too – a very wise purchase with the hard earned cashola!! And a great strategy too for getting your AWW cooking library sorted 🙂 x

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