Twenty-eight years ago today, I started my first job as a Goodwill Ambassador at Fiesta Texas.
Thinking back to that first day, I remember being chewed up and spit out of orientation and put out into the park with almost no direction or guidance. I remember meeting my leads, supervisors, and various other cast members throughout the day, but I wasn’t sure how all of these roles connected to me directly.
I remember also watching a kid come off one of our particularly devilish spinning rides, taking three steps into the walkway, and throwing up more food than I thought was humanly possible. I remember asking someone in a white shirt what we should do about it (supervisors wore white dress shirts at the time), and they sternly told me that they didn’t know and that it was my job “TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!”.
By the end of the day, I was physically exhausted, mentally drained, and didn’t think I’d ever have an appetite again. But I stuck with it. After all, $4.25 an hour was a lot of money to me back then!
Eventually, I’d figure it out with the help of so many of the folks I met that first day and hundreds of other friends I’d make over the next 10+ years. As crazy (and gross) as that first day was, in the long run, it wasn’t even in the top 500 of stories, experiences, and lessons learned from that first summer job that turned into my college job and then into my first job after college.
Every May 13th, I remember that first day, and as the years pass, it gets harder and harder to fathom that so much time has passed since I took my first stomach-churning steps into the world of work 28 not so long years ago.