My first job was a great gig. I learned a lot about responsibility, customer service, work ethic and satisfaction in a job well done. I was a shoeshine boy.
In 1965 my dad gave me a corner of his barbershop and spotted me the money to buy Kiwi Shoe Polish, saddle soap and a few brushes. The pool hall owner, George, gave me a couple of strips of pool table fabric. I used the green felt to finish each shoe shine with a brisk buff.
The cost for a shine was 2 bits (that’s a quarter). Often times I would get a ten cent tip. I could finish a long Saturday with a pocket full of change, black fingers and the swagger of a workin’ man. (Oh the stories I can tell you about my years in the barber shop. Lord willing, I shall do so in posts to come.)
Of course you are wondering, “Hmmm, and just how do I get a cool job like that?”
Well, you don’t have to go to college or anything. In fact, I got my start when I was nine years old. I don’t even remember interviewing for the job. Continue reading Barbershop Theology Pt. 1: Relationship Before Rules