Shaping Work Habits – High School Jobs Revisited – part 3

Part 3 of 3 – Treasury Drug

2020 has been a disruptive year for everyone. Like millions of others, I’m wrestling with furlough and career choices. While we rarely list high school jobs on our resumes, I’ve been thinking about the three jobs I had during my teenage years. They all had an impact shaping my future professional career. So, I thought it would be a good exercise to document what I learned from each position. The innocence of youth meets reflection and learning. 

The summer after high school graduation and before I went to college I worked at a Treasury Drug. My goal was to save a little cash before heading to college. I remember having a difficult time finding a job at local grocers and fast food. Treasury Drug store was the first place I found that was hiring. What hurt was they were only paying minimum wage ($3.75/hour) and I had made more than that years before at Winn Dixie and McDonald’s. I didn’t have a second offer and the clock was ticking, so for $150/week, I signed-on for stocking work. 

Similar to the work at Winn-Dixie, I worked independently while restocking shelves and cleaning the floor at Treasury that summer.  The smell of french fries from working at the Golden Arches was a distant memory. My job now was to unload the truck, restock the floor, set up promotional displays, and clean. At the time, it was my least favorite job of the three I think because I was ready to leave for college and time seemed to slow down that summer while waiting. But I found time to think and invent during my time at Treasury Drug.  

Here’s what I learned:

  1. How to merchandise –The corporate office would send promotional kits with truck deliveries that I had to assemble and install in the store. End caps, window clings, and ceiling hangers were the most common types. While I didn’t know it at the time, this was a good introduction into the 4Ps of marketing; price, product, promotion, and place
  2. How to create marketing ads – It was 1989 and I had an Apple IIC at home with a graphics software package for making personalized greeting cards and signs. The merchandising kits from corporate inspired me to go home and create signs for the store advertising special promotions. The graphics were very simple and the quality of the print was poor from the dot matrix printer.  But I took them in to show the store manager. To my surprise, he loved the signs and placed them throughout the store. He even showed them to the district manager when he visited the store. 

I didn’t make as much money as I hoped I would that summer. But the experience was valuable because it introduced me to concepts in marketing and merchandising. A few years later I found myself working in product marketing for eCommerce sites. Nice.

Onward and upward!

Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar via creative commons