At our last company happy hour, the conversation turned to first jobs. We thought it’d be fun to share with you what we learned about each other.
KMart before it was KMart
Ron Drake, our director of business development, began work life as typical employee in one of the first big box retailers, Kresge’s. Kresge’s would eventually go on to become KMart. The work wasn’t particularly interesting, but Ron had a good time horsing around with some of the other young employees. His ease making friends has never left, which ultimately led to his career as Mayor of Avondale. Here at On, he’s always interested in what other people in the office are up to, and has great conversations with our potential new customers.
Working before the Sun Rises and After it Falls
There isn’t much to do in Winslow, Arizona, which might be why our President, Ron Meritt, decided to work 2 jobs as youth. In the morning, he’d face the cold and darkness to deliver the paper to his neighbors’ homes. Then at the end of the day he did janitorial work at the local strip mall. One of the highlights of that second job was learning to drive a parking lot sweeper long before he was old enough to get a license. To this day, Ron is still a bit of a workaholic, frequently sending out emails after hours and on the weekend. He’s just that passionate about serving our clients!
Before Scott was a graphic designer, he was a jack-of-all-restaurant-trades. Scott cut his teeth at the Barnstormer, a Phoenix Steakhouse near Metro Center that has long since gone away. During his time there, Scott did practically everything, from bussing to cooking, and hosting to serving. Scott doesn’t miss the food service world, but he still insists that all his work looks “tasty.”
John, our CEO, has always liked to be the boss. Which might be why his very first job was as a little league umpire. John was so good, coaches would specifically request him for their games, because they knew they could trust him to be in the right place and make the right calls. Doing things right creates a good game atmosphere, and the same is true at work. John still focuses on making the right calls to create and maintain the awesome culture we have here at On Advertising. And he still likes to talk sports, too!
Long before Devin made beautiful websites, he made ice cream cones. Devin perfected the art of mixin in fixins on the granite slabs of Cold Stone Creamery. Unfortunately, he was robbed of the joy many teenage employees experience on their first pay day. Devin’s check bounced, and he was charged by his bank. Eventually Cold Stone got him a good check plus extra to cover the bank fees. These days, Devin’s work in digital is even sweeter than his work in the ice cream parlor.
Money For Sleepin’
Noah’s first job was strange in a lot of ways. First, he was making $10 an hour as a 14 year old, which was pretty great pay for the time. But it’s what he did that was really interesting. His job was to sleep next to an elderly man who would frequently fall out of bed, and lift him back into bed when that happened. Why didn’t the family buy bed rails? Noah can’t really say, but 80 dollars a night to be woken up a couple times was well worth it. Today, one of Noah’s main roles is still to make sure projects and campaigns don’t go off the rails, or off the bed, if you will.
Jeff grew up on an Oregon farm, and eventually got paid to be a farm hand. One day, his dad said, we’re gonna go fix the bulls. Jeff didn’t know what that meant, but thought it’d be funny to say, “What does that mean, like are we gonna cut their balls off ? Tee hee.” “Precisely,” was his dad’s simple reply. So yeah, Jeff has seen and done some unforgettable things. These days, he’s passionate about making sure the videos we make for our clients are also unforgettable, and hopefully a lot less disturbing!
What was your first job? What skills and attributes from you first job do you still use today? Feel free to let us know below!