My First Job - J & R Grocery
As a teen, getting a job wasn’t an option if we wanted to have a car. It was work or take the bus. The decision was an easy one. Work…
At sixteen, I got my driver’s license, my first car (Ford Mustang ’70 Mach I), and I needed a job. I’ll never forget going out to one of the smaller, family owned & operated, grocery stores in town called J & R Grocery, and asking if they needed help.
The timing was right because they were looking for another stock boy. The owner’s son (Doug) was the manager who was very easy going and wanted to hire me right away. But, I still needed to talk with the owners (John & Ruth) who were very cautious. Needless to say, they wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to rob them blind and that I would be a hard worker. After a bit of grilling by Ruth, they decided I was OK and started my first job that week.
The job was hard work because, in Michigan, they had the deposit law, so everyone brought their beer and soda bottles there to exchange them. I spent half my time sorting those bottles & cans (which was sometimes quite gross) and the other half, stocking the cooler, stocking shelves, working in the butcher shop, and cleaning the floors.
Over the course of my Junior, and Senior years, I worked at ole’ J & R Grocery all the way until the time I left for Oral Roberts University. It paid for the gas, the maintenance on my cars, and kept some money in my pocket. Most of all, it taught me the value of hard work and family because John, Ruth, and Doug all became like family to me and treated me like one of their kids.
Sadly, the store is gone today, but I’ll cherish the memories there. Sure, it wasn’t easy carrying those kegs out for people, picking up after the nasty beer bottles, and working in the cooler, but I learned some valuable lessons.
Having been financially without and financially blessed in my life, I can say that those early lessons of hard work have paid off as I’ve grown older. It wasn’t so much the job, but the reward for the work that mattered. It wasn’t just given to me. I earned the money and, by doing so, I learned self-respect and dignity. I learned responsibility and how to manage money.
John and Ruth (J & R) are no longer with us today but, one day, maybe I’ll get a chance to thank them in heaven for giving this dorky band guy a chance and for being so good to me. In the meantime, I’ll carry on the lessons I learned, hopefully, setting the same example for my kids to pass on as well.
Wishing you all a blessed week ahead. Thank you for taking a minute to read my blog today and, remember, you’re loved… always!