‘The president brought you a rose on your birthday’: 1st Jobs, Starring Nicole & Parents

The Billfold is proud to present an ongoing feature about First Jobs, primarily focused on what they paid then and for comparison’s sake what they pay now, but also everything about them from the hilarious to the terrible. Today’s subject: our very own Nicole Dieker and her parents.

Nicole Dieker: I did all kinds of babysitting, church organist-ing, and retail working jobs in high school and college, but my first “real” job as an adult was working as a telemarketer. I’ve told this story on The Billfold before. When I got the job in 2004, it paid $9 an hour plus commission, which averaged out to about $11 an hour. I suspect it pays much the same today. (Editor’s note: The average median income of a telemarketer in 2014 is $34,000/year, or just over $16/hour.)

An Unreasonably Frugal Person Tries to Figure It Out

I used to be an unreasonably frugal. What were once rational, economically efficient decisions—limiting "impulse purchases" to the change at the bottom of my bag—became, on the aggregate, absurd.

My Life in Financial Advice

Age 5: Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Don't think you're hungry? Eat a candy bar just in case.