I don't love to go to work but I do like to be at work. I've had two jobs for as long as I can remember. So in the name of doxxing myself with my employment history and admitting my income to ya'll and maybe the IRS - let's get into.
I started working at 14. I didn't have a reason to other than my parents encouraged a strong work ethic and I was NOT one of the kids given $20 for a Friendly's ice cream bike run with friends. I'm sure I was given money for movies or to help buy my siblings Christmas presents but overall, I was not handed cash as a teenager. I went to the school office with my paperwork and applied for my working card. I can't recall which is which but I had a blue and then a green or vice versa. One meant you could work X amount of hours a day/week, but no later than 10 PM and the other meant you gained more hourly freedom. 14 is the youngest age you can work in New York State so yeah, I jumped the gun on the money makin train. Oh - and my current role is the ONLY job I've successfully applied for. Everything else just fell into my lap, I'll explain..
14 in 2011 - I worked as a Junior Deck Hand on the Delta Lady. For lack of a better term, I was the low man on the totem pole on a party boat out of Captree. I cleaned bathrooms, stocked the bar, tied lines, served behind the buffet table, and cleaned the deck constantly. I was too young to dock the boat and was glad to not have that duty. I wore my nice white polo with Claire embroidered on the left chest. Yes, I know Clare is spelt wrong but it belonged to another employee that I looked up to so I didn't mind. I loved being given $100 or two in tips for a Saturday of parties, saying thank you, and having my mom pick me up. We know the family that owned the boat and they asked for extra hands. Working for a friend which made my first job a more enjoyable experience and what guided me into joining the work force so young.
15/16 in 2012/13 - I continued to work on the boat in the Summer but I was also taking Lifeguard Class so that the summer I'm 17, I could work at the village pool. It was a very popular employment spot and also a social scene. It paid horribly but it was kind of cool to be a village lifeguard. Plus, I could use the tan! I passed the exam August of 2013 and couldn't want to start making more money. Unfortunately, as we all know, I am not patient. I couldn't wait the nine or ten months. I got ASKED to work at Edible Arrangements. I went to a high school with an open campus - we were allowed to roam in 10th grade and beyond for the 45 minute lunch period. I would walk to Edible almost every day and take a free sample out of the fridge. Well one sunny day, the manager came out and asked 16 year old Clare if she wanted an after school job with all the chocolate covered pineapple she could eat. I obviously said yes.
17 in 2014 - I am a high school junior at this time. I have been working at Edible for a few months and now that I'm 17, I can legally use the prep knifes. I loved that job so much. I was a chocolate master. I could dip and swizzle an entire tray of berries in record time. I had a perfect technique for the salted caramel chocolate apple slices. I ran the phones like a pro and took so much pride in it. I would leave my high school doors at 2:30 PM and clock in by 2:31.
I also met a family November of 2014 and started babysitting a few days after school consistently and for date nights. It took me three years of working to jump into the two job hustle and I have no regrets. I stayed with this family for summers, working 9-5 two or three days a week too.
18 in 2015 - I am still at Edible (spoiler alert, I'm there five years - just less and less regularly). I'm rocking the holiday seasons and am a key holder. I used to open on Mother's Day at 6 AM to start the chocolate pots and prep and then lock up at midnight only to do it again the next day. Edible taught me more about perseverance than any other job I've had. You may know a current employee or former but we'll all tell you that December 23rd is the worst day of the year and we all still have flashbacks to it. It's the almost 24 hour work day in order to haul ass for all the Christmas and Eve orders. I remember coming home for two hours to watch Pretty in Pink and showering at 2 AM until 5:30 AM and then walking back to the shop to go again.
I'm still babysitting 9-5 in the summer and after school when I'm needed.
19 in 2016 - I'm a college freshman at this point; I didn't have a car or access to many jobs so I started working on campus. I was a Wagner College Tour Guide. Can you believe it? I think anyone who has spent more than a half hour with me can attest that it's obvious that would be my college job. I can rant on all about Grymes Hill and the history of how Wagner moved to Staten Island. Like I've stated before, I was a regular at Liberty Tavern. I quickly became a regular and transitioned that into a gig as a shot girl. I didn't ask for either freshman job, both were offered to me and how could I say no?
20 in 2017 - I am still hanging around as a Tour Guide regularly and a Shot Girl on occasion. I'm coming home some weekends to babysit and make extra money. But I'm a sophomore now and interning begins. I worked at Estée Lauder as a Finance Intern. I hateddddd it so much. I am not a 9-5 at a desk and looking at spreadsheets kinda gal. But I made (I believe?) $17 an hour and couldn't turn that down. How did I get said internship? Well remember that family I met in 2014 and babysit for? Friend of a friend knows a guy and bada bing bada boom I've got a seat at the table. I wasn't even looking to intern that early but when opportunity comes knocking you can't ignore.
21 in 2018 - I kicked it up ten notches during my junior year of college. I'm touring campus, involved in every activity under the sun, sitting on e-boards all over, still participating in D1 athletics, but adding in more internships during the school year instead of just the summer. I worked as a Bridal Stylist Intern at Kleinfeld for SP18 semester. I had to be there 9:30 AM to 7 ish PM two days during the week and one weekend shift. There was no job posting for this - just a girl, her email skills, and determination. I emailed Joan Roberts from Say Yes To The Dress and inquired. Apparently they only invite FIT and Kent State students to apply but my email broke through and I got an interview. I was quickly learning that the answer is to ask and go after it instead of just waiting around for the perfect chance. You can catch me on S19E1 of SYTTD (I think) smiling and nodding away while Randy talks. I loveeeed my time in the 'Disneyland of Bridal'. I couldn't survive being unpaid so I kept up with the bar, expect now I'm not a shot girl but a bad bartender for Thirsty Thursdays. I made basic drinks too strong, opened Bud Lights, and gave out green tea shots like they were candy. I don't regret it because making $85 in tips is still better than spending $67 at the bar the same night.
Summer 2018 came around quickly and I needed another internship for my resume. Once again a friend of a friend needed help and I was nudged in that direction. I ended up working at Starfish Junction Productions in beer festivals and live events as an intern. I fell in love with beer festivals and pretzel necklaces. However, I was unpaid. I was spending summers babysitting and working at Edible Arrangements but after half a decade of chocolate - I was done. I needed an evening job so I could intern and I didn't have much experience in food service but it's where I was headed. I applied countless places but no one wanted me due to my schedule of not being available until 5:30 PM. But one place said yes after my sad tour of applications. Hooters. I became a Hooters Girl in May of 2018 and represented the brand proudly. I worked 5:45 PM dinner rush until close. Shoutout to Edible for teaching me about being on my feet and wide awake all day because the 9-5 then 5:45 to close was not my favorite.
22 in 2019 - I'm a senior! I'm so close! But one 500 hour internship is standing in my way. I graduated from a program that requires all spring seniors to complete a full-time internship and I needed to secure one fast. It was a VERY stressful time for a lot of us. I was applying to countless internships off Indeed and LinkedIn but I guess my experience and voice didn't quite jump off the page like I think it does now. I took the reins in my own hands and started to email small PR and SMM agencies with a blurb and my resume. It worked. I got an internship with The Bromley Group on W26th and Broadway aka my favorite area of the city. I'm a slut for Madison Sq Park. I worked 9:30 - 6:30 PM for the entire semester. I passed the 500 hour mark and then some. I was so happy. I was making $15 an hour which was $15 more than most of my peers were getting. I was working for a Miranda Priestly type and I was playing Andy. I was calling messengers to deliver shoes to Editors at O! Magazine, face masks to BuzzFeed, and lingerie to Seventeen. I finished May of 2019 and was given a job offer. Although I declined, I will always be grateful for my time at TBG and pretending my life was Sex and the City. Oh - and I was still bartending on Thursdays during this time.
23 in 2020 - We're in the midst of Covid. But I was in grad school at Wagner. I was working at an Assistant Coach on the field hockey team in exchange for tuition and board. But I still needed cash so I worked at an Exam Proctor for $15 an hour. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep bartending because grad students couldn't be out with undergrad so it would be highly unprofessional to be the one serving them drinks. And then March 2020 came and boom...I was home and finishing school and facing the worst job market possible. But was that gonna stop me? Hell no, because you've learned I chase jobs. I don't wait for them to open up. I worked for Flagship Brewery as a Sales Rep for Long Island. As soon as bars opened again for outside dining that summer - I was out there with my cooler backpack and samples. I can't lie; I hated sales and being a beer jockey. But it was an experience nonetheless. I also went back to Hooters slinging Hoot Punches and wings.
24 in 2021 - I'm getting hopeless but I want to work. I like to work! I chase a few leads and eventually get two at once. I started freelancing at The Wave Agency and also MuteSix. I was so excited to work under a dentsu brand, it's huge for my industry. I used my experience in 2019 at TBG and launched my focus into influencer relations. You know #ad? I did the work behind that. I worked almost full-time hour wise while balancing both roles remotely.
May of 2021 - I forgot to mention this until now but I had also been working as a brand ambassador for Great South Bay Brewery since November-ish of 2020. I was doing samplings and such on weekends to make some extra money, as per usual. But I was itching for a full-time and the freelancing wasn't holding me over. I emailed the higher ups with my resume and inquired about creating a position. I struck gold and timing was right because I was brought in! I was the SMM and Events Manager. I was a busy bee and all over the place. I stayed until fall but then left for other opportunities.
25 in 2022 - I am in love with what I do now. I started at Secatogue Brewery as a beertender in December of 2021 and have been there ever since. I also work in influencer marketing for The Goat Agency - the job took three interviews and a task to earn. I went from creating my own positions at multiple companies to jumping through hoops for my current role. I have talked about both positions and tagged both companies in my public profile before so this is no shock. I love being a two-job-Tommy, and I love both my hustles. I'm happy. I wake up and enjoy what I put my time into, the people I work with, and the regulars and clients alike.
I am glad and excited to be where I am and to be doing the work I'm doing. Obviously, it was a long path coming...and an even longer read. But all good things take time, work, and a little bit of luck along the way.