“What was your first summer job and what did you learn?”

mowinggrassThe Primm team reflects:


Ron Primm, Chairman of the Board, Senior Creative Director

I was delivering milk to the military bases in the area, 20,000 half-pints here, 5,000 half-pints there, getting alternately rained on and broiled in the summer sun. I told my mom, “I want to work in air-conditioning,” and she sent me to art school.

Deborah Lawrence, Production Manager

My first summer job was working at a Nursing Home facility – in the food service department.  I checked in food orders, as well as fixed salads, made desserts, served the residents, and at the end of the day I cleaned up the kitchen afterwards.  I learned that no matter what the job was, it was important to do it well, and that sometimes when you greet people with a smile, it will brighten their day.

Tiffany Curran, President, Media Director

I sold women’s shoes at Fanfare Shoes at Pembroke Mall when I was 16.

I learned some things.

–The more pairs of shoes a woman tries on, the less likely she is to buy a pair.
–Women would rather stretch a brand new pair of shoes into oblivion, rather than squeeze into a size 9.
–Never climb up the ladder to get the shoes on the top shelf while wearing a skirt, no matter how many times your boss asks you to.

Steve Spencer, Art Director

My first summer job was working in a meat packing department of Wegman’s Grocery Store filling, cooking, and packaging hot dogs. Most people don’t know but in New York there are two different types of hot dogs, the normal red hots and then there are the white pork hots, my favorite.

Many people wonder what really goes into a hot dog but I have the privilege of really knowing what is in them. Don’t worry, everything is edible…I was told. Nah, it was the scraps from the butchers cutting the sides of beef. It taught me that if it tastes good and won’t kill you, don’t worry about what’s in it, just keep enjoying it.

Lucy Conn, Programmer/Developer

My very first job was definitely a learning experience. I was a cashier working the drive thru for Burger King and normally worked the late night shift with the worst hours. After being there for over a year I was “let go” because my cash drawer was $20 short after a shift.  My mistake because I asked a fellow co-worker to watch my drawer while I took a much needed break to the restroom. Well, I knew how much was in the drawer when I left and how much was in it when I got back…it was $20 short.

I sometimes wonder if that co-worker ever felt guilty about what happened.  I can only assume that like me she didn’t think that I would get fired over just $20. What did I learn? Next time you need a break, bring your cash drawer with you and be very careful who you trust when it comes to “watching” your money.

Tom Noffsinger, CEO, Interactive Media Director

I have two, actually, depending on what you consider first.

When I was in 8th grade I wanted a new backpack for camping (Boy Scouts) and got a job weeding for $2/hour.  It was miserable — outside, hot and lots and lots of weeds.  There was a house with land about a half mile away that had horses, so when I needed (wanted) a break I’d ride my bike down and pet the horses.

I learned the value of time management, setting priorities and the pain of procrastination. The weeds got taller.  The horses didn’t.

The first real summer job was in high school, filling the fruit-shaped “sippy drinks” that were sold at Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens.  It was an assembly-line with 4-5 stations filling the drinks, a supervisor checking the “brix” level of the drinks, which is basically the sugar content, and two people boxing at the end of the conveyor line and restocking.  My hands were constantly wet and the color of whatever drink flavor we were making that day.  Grape was especially bad.

It was all a bunch of high school and college kids, so we had a lot of fun singing, goofing off, throwing empty drink containers at each other, etc.  I can’t stand drinking that stuff, or any “kool-aid” like drink, though.

I learned the right team and work atmosphere can make even the most mundane, boring tasks more interesting.

Kylie Wheeler, Internet Marketing Specialist

The summer after my freshman year of college at a school in New York City I came home to Virginia Beach.  I soon learned that the money that financed my fancy free life in the city did not grow on trees, so I promptly got my first job as a hostess and server at a locally owned restaurant. As it goes with most summer jobs, I only intended to stay for the summer, but life told me otherwise and I finished my last three years of college here in Hampton Roads, during which time I worked at the same restaurant.

That summer job turned all-year job taught me several lessons: 1) Life doesn’t always align with your expectations.  2) Tip well and be gracious. You never know what kind of day your server is having. 3) If you’re fortunate enough to work at a place (especially in the service industry!) where people are kind, positive and hardworking, consider yourself lucky and stick with it! I’m thankful to still work at the local restaurant nights and weekends.

Janelle Person, Online Marketing Manager

My first summer job was working at the movie theater. I sold overpriced concessions, cleaned what people left on the movie theater floor, and went home covered in popcorn butter every night. And to top it off…most of my coworkers never bothered learning my name.

I learned to appreciate friendly coworkers, challenging work, and a clean office.

I also learned some awful songs by heart, because the company continuously played five songs on loop in the theaters. One of them was by Usher. That was funny for like a day.