Monday, December 5, 2016

Day 2608 - I used to salt chickens ...

What was your first job?

Is this chicken flicking me the bird?
I didn't work while I was at school, but the moment I finished the HSC I went to work for my local Charcoal Chicken shop.  I used to salt chickens.

That job helped cement a work ethic in me that has not wavered.



I started out the back where nobody could see me.  My job was to chop up the chickens not sold the day before and make the chicken rolls.

I would also have to clean out the back and help prepare some of the salads.  I kept the fridge stocked with flavoured milk and soft drink.

A couple of times a week I'd be part of the chicken preparation process where the chooks got stuffed, salted and then loaded onto rotisserie poles in readiness for the charcoaling (it's possible I just made that word up).

Once I'd done my time away from the public eye I was able to step up to the counter and serve.

I took orders, worked the till, loaded chips into the fryer, cut up the chickens, served salads, cooked nuggets, prepared the Hawaiian Packs and Dinner Boxes.

When we weren't serving we were cleaning.  There was no standing around. Ever.  No matter how many times we'd cleaned the counter there was always time to clean it again.  Once the counter was done the windows would be cleaned.  Over and over and over again.

If there was one thing Mr [insert really long Greek name here] drummed into me, it was to always stay busy.

I worked there for around three months over summer.  It was bloody hot.  There was a thermometer behind the counter and there were days it registered over 50 degrees.  The rotisseries were relentless and it was on these days I would volunteer to do a drinks stocktake in the big walk in refrigerator.

I learned a lot in my first job.  I learned what work was.  I learned that standing around twiddling my thumbs was not an option. Even when I felt like there was nothing to be done, there was always something to be done.

I had a good coach.

The owner was short, sharp and to the point.  "Keep cleaning".  "Chop quicker".  "More salt."  He scared me.  However the shop manager was a great work place mentor.

She explained what had to be done and why we did it that way.  She showed me what not to do and the flow on effect mistakes could have.  She then showed me several ways to do things so I could choose what was best for me and the customers.  She explained why it was important for the business that we not stand idle.

I learned more than how to salt chickens. I learned how to be a valuable employee.

What was your first job?

Anyone else ever work in take-away?

How important do you think our first jobs are in shaping us as future employees?



This post topic was prompted by Denyse Whelan Blogs for her Monday linky.

11 comments :

  1. Mine was a telephone market survey caller - as a result I have to always try to do the surveys, as I know it's probably just some 16 year old on the phone and how disheartening all those hang ups can be...

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    1. You're a good chick. I try to do that as well. Or if I can't I'm always polite about it. Not so polite to the overseas call centres trying to sell me stuff though ... particularly when they don't even ask how I'm doing and if I've got time for a chat. They just launch right in ...

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  2. I loved this post, Leanne! It's thought provoking to reflect on first jobs and discover how many life lessons those jobs taught us.

    SSG xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks SSG. I actually didn't realise it until I sat down and wrote this post. I feel that whatever job my kids choose as their first job, it will be important to ensure they are working for good role models because it could actually stuff them up forever.

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  3. Did it turn you off chickens and chips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. Quite the opposite. Completely addicted and charcoal chicken is my fave. I could literally eat an entire chook in one sitting.

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  4. That's a great start to a career, firm but fair and the old "if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean!" rings true! My first job was a work for the dole scheme at a heritage site (disused gaol), I had to plant trees, repair stonewall and other labourer type tasks. Needless to say, hated it.

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  5. That was so good to read and learn what it taught you too. I see how hot it is in some takeaway food shops up here and wonder how people do it but like you they do! Great to read how this job guides you even now. Thanks for linking up #lifethisweek. Denyse

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  6. I worked in a service station/roadhouse on a highway so got a feel for food preparation, drink stocking and serving customers, as well as other things. Like you, it was a job where there was no fiddling your thumbs - there was always something to clean, tidy or sort through. Although I didn't really enjoy the job, it taught me many things and I;m grateful I got to have that opportunity at the time.

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  7. I worked in three different jobs while I was at school. Babysitting from age 12, Cut Price Deli from 13 and then KFC when I was 15. When I eventually left high school, I took on a trainee teacher position at a business college while I continued my studies. I've had a number of career changes over the years. To think all this online stuff wasn't even around when I was at school.

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  8. You would be able to sympathise with my Mr 22 then ... he is working as a kitchen hand at Red Rooster to support himself through Uni. When it's unbearably hot (their thermometer doesn't go any higher than 45 degrees and it hits that regularly) he likes to take his break in the freezer!

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