I was reading on Oprah.com about different celebs and their first jobs. It’s quite interesting if I do say so myself! And this got me thinking: when I look back on my first job once I’m successful, what will I say? Man, mine is pretty hilarious, especially if you know me well.
So, what was your first job?
Mine? I was a janitor. Yes. Kirbie used to be a janitor. But not just any janitor, one at the movie theater. They called us “ushers” but nobody’s fooling me – the lack of style, glamour and pizazz this job had made it loud and clear that I was glorified housekeeping.
I remember it very clearly. I had turned 16 and it was time to get a job for the summer. And boy was I trying hard to find a really smancy job at Abercrombie, The Limited or The Gap. Apparently hiring 16-year-olds wasn’t a top priority for these places so once it got down to it my mom demanded I get a job – and STAT. “We know the manager of Tinseltown. I’ll give him a call. I’m SURE you could get a job there.”
I wasn’t thrilled, but I figured it would be okay selling tickets in the box office. If anything I could get some free movies out of it, right?
I was so utterly and completely wrong. I walked in for my interview dressed to the nines. I looked like I was going on a casting call. Little did I know that my fair share of juvenile delinquents picked the movie theater to work at during the summers. I remember sitting in the little movie restaurant area for my interview and the guy asking me my work hours. “Um… like 20 hours a week?” “You’re hired.” He told me we had a uniform – okay, fair enough. Black slacks, black shoes and a tee shirt that he had given me promoting a movie. Mine was an XXL and it sported the movie “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” Girlfriend looked homeless in this outfit (I was 100 pounds). It was not my idea a first job. Also, I wasn’t aware I wouldn’t be in the box office. I mean, hello, I know the manager. Upgrade me!
What did this job consist of? You know when you see those kids running around the theater with a broom and dustpan after the movie? Yeah, that was me. We had a schedule of when each movie ended so we could go in and clean up other people’s crap. Trust me, I saw some disgusting things in those empty theaters. PSA: Movie theaters are not meant for sexual activity. WATCH THE MOVIE. Not to mention the worst part was emptying the trash in the hallways and taking it to trash chute. We had to throw it up and in the chute and I could barely lift the friggen bag – and it always smelled of popcorn and Diet Coke.
Sure, I got to see the end of several movies. And the shifts weren’t bad… and since I virtually went in and changed my schedule every week until I finally moved my hours down from 20 to 10 hours, it wasn’t terrible. If anything, I am a stickler for being nice to the ushers, concession stand attendants and box office kids and I downright refuse to leave any trash in the theater. If anyone I’m with leaves something I will ask them to throw it away.
The funny thing is is that this job turned into a family affair! My cousins both got jobs there and through hard work and persistence actually made a successful situation out of Tinseltown. Me? Not so much. However Ashley worked her way up the totem pole for awhile and Chase is pretty much owning the place. So put everything into your job and you’ll reap the benefits. (It should also be noted I got my first “real boyfriend” that summer so instead of spending time a the theater I was figuring out any way I could spend more time with him).
Frankly I love the fact I was a janitor, because maybe one day I’ll be able to say I went from working at the movies to being in them.