I would have done anything to be considered a ‘Cool Kid’ at school, now I’m thanking my lucky stars it never happened.
I got my first job at 14.
As soon as I hit 14 and 9 months, I
sprinted walked around my local shopping centre handing out my resume, containing lengthy details about the responsibility I held as second-in-charge of the school canteen (on Thursdays) and practically begged anyone who would listen to me for a job.
Finally, a manager at one of Adelaide’s finest restaurants (also known as the local ‘All You Can Eat’ diner) took pity on me and gave me a trial shift.
My parents begged me not to get a job, they told me that I was too young and that I had the rest of my life to slave away behind a cash register.
“Just concentrate on getting your homework done, putting your washing away and being a kid,” they told me, but I had an ulterior motive.
I needed cash and I needed it fast.
I needed it so that I could get my hands on Supres’ latest ‘rara’ mini skirt and call all of my girlfriends on the latest hot pink Motorola flip phone – of course.
I needed these things desperately because that’s what the ‘Cool Kids’ had – and when you’re 14 and 9 months old, being seen as a ‘Cool Kid’ is VERY important.
Actually, for years it’s all I thought about.
It’s not like I didn’t have friends, I did – great ones. But collectively we wanted to be included in with the ‘Cool Kids’. We tried using their lingo, we hung out at the same places they did on weekends (although they may not have seen us peeking at them from around the corner), we even dressed like them – but none of it worked.