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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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Your first non-family job.

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  • sos2979
    Club Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 125
    • Lubbock, TX
    • Deep in the MCS zone.
      Currently have
      Gas: Weber Genesis 330
      Charcoal: Weber 22 Premium
      Smoker: PBC
      Toys: DigiQ, Thermapen thermometer, Lodge Griddle/Grill
      Looking to acquire: SNS, and one of everything else

    Started sacking groceries at a United Supermarkets...but eventually I moved to the meat market where my love of cooking began so I have no regrets. Learned a lot on selecting meats, trimming fat, and basic cuts. Not anywhere near a butcher level, but I picked up a few odds and ends.


    • Oak Smoke
      Club Member
      • Aug 2018
      • 458
      • Central Texas

      I was raised on a Ranch-farm. I did all the farm kid things, bail hay, build fence, feed cattle, haul hay at home. That payed room and board. My first jobs were doing the same thing for neighbors. I'll never forget the summer I turned 14, a neighbor gave me a dollar an hour. I saved enough to by a 52 GMC pickup that actually ran for $125.00. The only thing that I ever minded was sitting on a tractor going 2 mph plowing for mind numbing hours. Those were the pre airconditioned cab days, just a sun shade and the sound of a John Deere diesel.


      • klflowers
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 3702
        • Tennessee

        Had an uncle that had some rental houses and did work for the city of Toledo, so I worked on those houses and cleaned libraries with my cousins from around 12 until around 17 - those jobs were for food (when we got up the nerve to ask for money, my uncle would lecture us on how much food we ate, and if we protested too much, the razor strap would make an appearance. Not much complaining when that piece of leather was in sight. These days he would be up on charges...). First money paying job was a stock boy at the Crowley's Department Store in downtown Detroit at 16.


        • Cheef
          Banned Former Member
          • Oct 2015
          • 671

          My first REAL job was working weekends and summers on an OLD and I mean antique cable tool unit doing casing workovers.
          I was 14 years old. Had to work off the books but made BIG BUCKS because I stuck with it. That old cable unit took most of the fear of machinery away from me. They were kind of like monsters when it came to moving dead weight out of the ground. But also the most efficient shallow hole drilling methods around. Driven by a big old johnny popper engine.
          Last edited by Cheef; August 27, 2018, 05:19 PM.


          • Idleratchet
            Club Member
            • Jul 2018
            • 96
            • Allen Park MI
            • 22" WSM
              22" Weber kettle premium
              Slow n Sear
              Thermopro TP20

            Summer of ‘94 I turned 14 and began a weekend job at the local “50’s McDonald’s” I started out cleaning the dinning room and bathrooms. It didn’t matter to me. I was making a buck. It ended up being a great job for me at the time.


            • richinlbrg
              richinlbrg commented
              Editing a comment
              After my pizza joint dishwashing, I worked at McDs. Had a great time. Moved to night shift to avoid too much fun during the day and getting in trouble. Tough neighborhood. Got to know the local police quite well. GREAT folks, to a person! #respect!
          • Bumby
            Club Member
            • Oct 2017
            • 289
            • NYC

            When I was 15 years old, my father decided that I ready to gain an appreciation for hard, manual labor. So that summer, I worked at his wood treating plant literally picking up metal banding and wood pieces from the yard, re-stacking broken units of wood, “tagging” (i.e., stapling) each piece of wood with labels, painting fiberglass tubes and pipes and literally doing every other s*** job that that my father and his plant manager could dream up.

            That summer, I put a staple through my thumb, fell off a 42 foot truck (don’t ask), had a 6'' x 6'' x 8' timber fall on my wrist and found ways to put a splinter through just about every part of my body imaginable (even that one). Although I hated it, I kept at it all summer.

            That summer, I was called “junior” (because I looked like my father - still do) and “Gunga Din” (still don’t really get that one).

            I hated that job - I counted down the hours each week and the weeks all summer - but I look back and appreciate the heck out of it.


            • customtrim
              customtrim commented
              Editing a comment
              My father,grandfather,and all of my uncle's were landscapers and gardners. I hated anything to do with plants and taking care of them because it was forced on me by my dad. Today I'm still kicking myself for being a dumb stubborn ass of a teenager around him when I was growing up. The knowledge i have gained from him and my grandpa is priceless and am proud to have it

            • Bumby
              Bumby commented
              Editing a comment
              Cheers to that, customtrim!
          • JGo37
            Club Member
            • Apr 2018
            • 1576
            • the LOU
            • Cookers:

              22" Blackstone Griddle, with stand & hood
              CharGriller Portable Firebox - so modified you'll BLOL
              Kitchenaid #810 Charcoal Grill - highly modified
              Weber BI-code Black Performer w/Igniter
              Weber DE-code Red Limited - 'Lucille'


              Ancient heavy CI Propane Turkey Fryer, for lighting chimneys
              BBQ Dragon kettle shelves - 2
              Fyre Dragon Kettle Drippin' Ring, Burnin' Cone & Drippin' Pan - 2 sets
              Fyre Dragon Kettle Ribbin' Ring
              Fyre Dragon Kettle 2-Zone Smokin' Sheet
              OneGrill Rotisserie for the Kitchenaid
              Smoking Tubes: 2x12" & 1x6"
              Weber Gourmet Grill w/Griddle, Pizza Stone & Wok

              My Helpers:

              Anova 900W Sous Vide Cooker w/Radios
              Instant Pot 6Q Duo
              Nesco Tabletop Roaster
              & the PIT!

            My first real job was when I was 8, when I became the youngest paperboy the Cleveland Plain Dealer ever had. I had 27 customers out in the cornfields of the OH-PA border. Sometimes snow banks were taller than me - my mom made me get a savings account at the local 1-branch bank - she'd drive me 'into town'. The Sunday papers were so big, the last customer got his ~ 11:00 AM in the winter when I couldn't ride my bike. Me and my dad's shepherd Hank did the route till I was almost 12. My dad still lives there - his first house.

            Today if you let an 8 YO out of your sight, you get arrested. We never had a leash for Hank, not that I know of. I spent my riches on fishin' tackle.


            • richinlbrg
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 1892
              • Leesburg, VA. (Northern, VA)
              • We have two weber kettle grills (one LARGE and one small/average), the SnS and the Weber Smokey Mountain 18" smoker. We use both natural lump charcoal and KNB for smoking and measure our temps with a Maverick 733, thermopen and MK4. Favorite beer depends on what is cooking (alt answer is yes).

              This is a great thread! A lot of interesting first jobs! A lot of us grew up on or around farms it seems.


              • CaptainMike
                CaptainMike commented
                Editing a comment
                Great way to grow up. Back then we could strap our .22's or shotguns to our bikes, load up a pocket full of ammo and peddle off to meet up with friends.
            • Jfrosty27
              Club Member
              • Mar 2020
              • 1327
              • Muskego, WI
              • Current cookers:
                Rec Tec RT700 "Bull" pellet cooker
                Smokin-It model 2 electric smoker w/ Maverick 732 temp monitor and cold smoking kit
                Weber Genesis 3 burner gas grill w/ rotisserie
                Charbroil Grill2Go gas grill
                Weber 22" Performer Deluxe kettle grill w/ThermoPro TP-20S temp monitor
                Onlyfire rotisserie kit for 22" kettle
                Weber Smokey Joe
                SnS Deluxe
                The Orion Cooker convection cooker/smoker (two of them)
                Blackstone 17" griddle
                Joule Sous Vide circulator

                Favorite beer: Anything that's cold!
                Favorite cocktail: Bourbon neat

              My first paying job began when I was about 8 yrs old. My dad owned a fairly large Real Estate brokerage firm. My brother and I swept the floors and vacuumed the carpet in the offices for 25 cents per hour every Saturday. Had various other jobs during school. The usual stuff. Eventually I got my brokers license at age 19, dropped out of school, and sold property for about 7 years. Moved into medical equipment sales after that for the balance of my career. That it. The whole story really. 🤷‍♂️


              • TripleB
                Club Member
                • May 2017
                • 911
                • La Crescenta
                • Jambo Backyard Smoker
                  Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
                  Portable Kitchen 360
                  Portable Kitchen Grill
                  Pit Barrel Cooker
                  Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
                  Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
                  BBQ Guru ATC
                  Favorite Beer: Peroni
                  Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

                My first job I got when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I worked at a neighborhood pet shop for FREE. I'd go there after school and work for a couple hours (cleaning cages, feeding animals, stocking shelves, etc.) and then go home. I remember when I got the job I went home and told my mom and dad. Dad asked me how much they were paying me and I replied nothing. Years later I learned dad went right down to the pet shop and talked to the owner to discuss the job and to make sure they guy was not a bad guy (you know what I mean). Good old dad.


                • 58limited
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2018
                  • 1149
                  • SE Texas
                  • "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." ~Benjamin Franklin

                  Started as a prep cook at Grandy's Country Cookin' in Plano, TX at age 15 in 1985. They paid $3.85/hr when McDonald's was paying $3.25/hr. The location is still open.


                  • Michael_in_TX
                    Club Member
                    • Dec 2018
                    • 722
                    • Texas Gulf Coast
                    • Grills:
                      Weber 22" Kettle Premium w/Slow N' Sear 2.0
                      Pit Barrel Cooker
                      W.C. Bradley & Co. Char Kettle CK-115 ~1980s Vintage Grill (inactive)

                      Thermopop (Instant Read)
                      Thermoworks Smoke

                    Randall's Grocery Store, as a sacker when I was 16-17. I hated every minute of it.....just tedious, monotonous work. I did get known for a trademark line, though: "Would you like paper, plastic, aluminum foil, or saran wrap?"

                    My parents let me stop as it was becoming clear that the required hours and unremitting tedium were interfering with my school work. I didn't get another job until my junior year in college, as a research assistant (I was paid to read books, not a bad job....). I then decided that I liked school so much, I made it a career.


                    • latenight71
                      Club Member
                      • Feb 2021
                      • 272
                      • Long Beach, CA

                      I was always drawn to restaurants and started a 10+ year run of working in them at age 15. My first gig was as a host at the Jolly Roger Restaurant. After that I bussed tables and did some kitchen prep at a place called Taco Surf in Seal Beach, CA. worked a lot of pizza counters after that and a handful for restaurant kitchen lines before I exited the field in the 1990s.


                      • Attjack
                        Club Member
                        • Aug 2017
                        • 4626
                        • Primo XL
                          Weber 26"
                          Weber 22"
                          Weber 22"
                          Weber 18"
                          Weber Jumbo Joe
                          Weber Green Smokey Joe (Thanks, Mr. Bones!)
                          Weber Smokey Joe
                          Orion Smoker

                          DigiQ DX2
                          Slow 'N Sear XL
                          Arteflame 26.75" Insert

                          Blaze BLZ-4-NG 32-Inch 4-Burner Built-In
                          - With Rear Infrared Burner
                          - With Infrared Sear Burner
                          - With Rotisserie
                          Empava 2 Burner Gas Cooktop
                          Weber Spirit 210
                          - With Grillgrates
                          ​​​​​​​ - With Rotisserie
                          Weber Q2200

                          Blackstone Pizza Oven

                          Portable propane burners (3)
                          Propane turkey Fryer

                          Fire pit grill

                        Paper route.


                        • smokin fool
                          Club Member
                          • Apr 2019
                          • 2253
                          • Mississauga, Ont

                          My father owned a furniture company and my brother and I were forced labour for $5 a day.
                          At 18 worked nights slinging beer at the Islington House in the men’s room.
                          $3 an hour and you kept all your tips.
                          i made some really good money for the time just on tips alone.




                          2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

                          We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
                          See more
                          See less