My First Job

The Milk Barn

My first real job when I graduated high school was at The Milk Barn in Bellevue, Washington. I had enrolled at the University of Washington for the fall, and I desperately needed a part time job for minor things like food and lodging, not to mention gas, tuition, and books. I had to wait until October to get this job because I was not yet 18. It was the perfect job. My co-workers were full-time, and had families. That meant they didn’t like working nights and weekends. I went to school only on weekdays, so I could only work nights and weekends. I got all the hours I wanted.

The Milk Barn was a drive through dairy store. The owner had a dairy farm in Snohomish, Wa. We bragged that all the milk we sold was in a cow only a few days prior.





There were about 10 Milk Barn’s scattered around the Seattle area, but the Bellevue store was the largest. It was located across the street from the Puget Power Building, which at four stories was the largest building in Bellevue.

Customers would drive up and we’d take their “empties”, (our milk came in glass returnable bottles) and replace them with full bottles of fresh milk. They never had to get out of their car. In fact, there was no inside store, just a big walk in refrigerator and a small office.

That job got me through 4 1/2 years of college. It was hard work. We staffed with one to three employees working at a time depending on traffic. We had to work the line waiting on the customers as they drove up, and also stock the back during the slack times. The milk bottles were in metal racks on rollers so that as you removed an emptied rack, another rack of milk would roll forward. When the line of cars went down, we’d go inside to the huge walk in refrigerated room, and fill the roller with more racks of milk from the pallets of milk in the cooler. Each morning when we opened, and each night when we closed we counted all the inventory. In the morning, the manager would balance the books. 

The pay was decent (it was a union job), and I got paid extra for working Sundays and Holidays. Without that job, I never would have made it through college. What about you? Have a story to tell of how you started out? Tell us in the comments.

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1 Response to My First Job

  1. infomars1 says:

    I began my library career at centenary a small Methodist college in shreveport. my director charley harrington, after over 3 years said if you want to make any money in this career, you need a masters. he suggested i get a job at lsu and go to school while working. i thought well i’ll apply but they won’t hire me. they did. it was a huge step because id never been away from home. changed my life. charley smoked himself to death.


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