It’s Casual Friday again! I’ll do two more of these and then once the Seattle Seahawks do their scrimmages at CenturyLink Field on August 22nd and 26th, I’ll consider that the unofficial start to the season and it’s all football, all the time.
I have been writing for SB Nation since July 2012. My main role is as Associate Editor at Bloody Elbow, where I’ve blocked off umpteen Saturdays to write-up or do post-event podcasts about people hitting each other in the face. At Field Gulls, I’ve been a formal part of the staff since roughly the end of the 2016 season, when Kenneth brought me on board from Week 17 onward. It’s really a great feeling to do something you enjoy without having to go to an office or having your monotone boss get on your ass about TPS reports.
I’ve been very fortunate not to have worked any awful jobs for any lengthy period of time. I lasted two weeks as a grocery store clerk before I was let go, and in a way that proved to be hugely beneficial for me even having the time and opportunity to find the right landing spot to carve out a niche as a sportswriter.
But my very first job — to specify, a regular gig that paid me money — was as a dog walker for my elderly neighbor who lived on the other side of my apartment building. I was 14 years old and while I do love dogs I didn’t own one at the time (and don’t own one now), so my experience was nil. The dog’s name was Benji (yes, like the movie) and he was a Cairns Terrier mix who was a bit overweight, had a deep collection of toys, and had a considerable hatred of cats, squirrels, and any dog bigger than him.
Anyway, this job lasted just over a year until her health worsened and my neighbor was placed in long-term care. Her son in New York eventually took Benji.
I had a hell of a time. Benji lost weight thanks to turning some of those leisurely walks into jogs, playing fetch at the park, etc. For a 50-pound dog he had one hell of a pull on the leash and I found out the hard way when he saw a squirrel and I didn’t, so he crashed me straight into a tree. Another time he saw a cat underneath the car and literally pulled his head out of the leash and chased it up a tree, then sat and stared at it from a stranger’s patio. What a pain in the ass but what a joy to be with.
Alright I’ve shared my story. What are your memories of your very first job, whether informal or an actual professional environment?