I was 17 and I had an apartment of my own. I paid $235.00/month for rent, I went grocery shopping on my own, and I didn't have a car. I took the bus to school, and I got a ride to work afterwards. From there, I also got a different ride home.
McDonald's was my first job. I was the French Fry girl. I heated the oil, dumped the frozen fries in that huge net, then slowly watched the sizzle as they dipped into their torturous death. I loved the smell. I hit the timer, made a few soft drinks, then pulled the fries out when the alarm went off. Then I lifted them up and dispersed them under the hot lights, scooping them up into those red cardboard boxes for consumption. When the bag of frozen fries was empty, I walked around the back, past the grill where the guys were flipping hamburgers, and wondered if they ever spat on the burgers for a Customer that made them mad. I never asked, and I never saw them do it. I carried out the next 20 lb bag of frozen fries to my station, over and over again. I ate Fillet-of-Fish sandwiches for lunch just about every day, and I've never eaten one since. After about 3 months, I left McDonald's to go to Cosmetology School.
I never entered Cosmetology School to be a lifetime hairdresser. I did it so that I would never have to work at McDonald's again, and for the rest of my life. My day started at 7:00 am. I was out of the door and sitting in Cosmetology School by 8:00 am. Bill and Greg picked me up, and we were together in the car one morning when the radio blasted that Elvis was dead. The school smelled like perm solution, hair color, and it had an aura of the 1950's. I had my own mannequin that attached to the table, and I rolled her hair in perm rods so I could get credit for another perm. I had to do 500 of them to graduate.
The school decor was black and white flooring, and a hue of pink for the walls. Golden sconces dotted the walls, and I developed my own following of Customers that bought me gifts at Christmas. I stared at the walls when the teacher lectured, wondering what my life was going to be. I needed 1600 hours of schooling at at the rate I was going, it would take me 18 months to complete. Afterwards, I would sit for the State Board of California Cosmetology Exam, which was two parts. The first part was written, multiple choice. Too bad it wasn't an Essay, I thought. I studied all the muscles of the face out of my Cosmetology Book, and my instructor Mrs. Tanterra walked by and told me that they would never ask me questions on that for my Board Exams. I looked back down at my book and decided that I liked the muscles of the face anyway. I liked the Anatomy.
Cosmetology school was from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. I went straight from there to do telephone soliciting from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and have people hang up on me all the time. I was populating the San Fernando Valley with appointments for quotes on Central Air Conditioning, as the heat was scorching and lots of people were burning up. I was good at it. I made calls in The Tank, made full-time money for part-time work, tracked my Leads, and befriended a lot of Elderly people. It was a good experience. Even though some people blew a whistle in my ear.
So I worked and I worked and I worked. Time went by, and I was stayed in Cosmetology school. It felt good.