My first job taught me what I would never want to do for the rest of my life, or even a small part of it.
I started working at age 14 at Green Giant. I was told that if I played in the recreational bank, I would be able to get a job at Green Giant at an early age. In my day, it was all about being employed as soon as you can for some reason. Well, I started working the night shift on the conveyor belt, picking out snakes, worms, bugs, and other disgusting stuff. I got ill from the movement of the belt and just couldn’t do it. They almost let me go, but found me another job. Imagine getting fired from a low paying, horrible job. That would have been really degrading.
They then put me on a machine with about six other girls, stuffing beans in a can. Can you picture stuffing beans in a can for eight hours? We rotated until I got to the part of the job where hot steam was poured into each can. I swear it felt as if it was about 300 degrees. I said I couldn’t do this either. The head guy said I could go home then.
One of my classmates volunteered to do this job with no rotation. After thirty minutes, she got overheated and had to be taken to the nurses station. Well, to my enjoyment, we then began to again rotate.
Then we would go on break. Now, picture this. Hair in curlers (this was the sixties after all), sweating all night in grubby clothes. We would go on break and be propositioned by guys from another culture, so to speak. How degrading and absolutely disgusting.
I feel the kids of today should have such an experience. It was an opportunity where you definitely did not start working at the top. My only enjoyment during this adventure was a break with homemade cherry pie from the canteen with a big scoop of ice cream.
That summer I certainly learned what I would not ever want to do for the rest of my life!!!