My first job having moved to Canada

We had no car, so one day walking down the main street Matt saw a sign in a restaurant window.
He knew enough English to be able to read what it said.
He told me that it said that someone was needed to work in the kitchen.
I had been introduced to another Dutch lady, so I asked her to come with me for the interview.

I didn't get the job.

A few weeks later, I walked by this place again, this time alone.

I recognized that same sign. I didn't know that the lady standing by the cash register was the owner.

I just walked in, pointed to the sign in the window, showed her my hands, opened and closed them, turned them around and over to show her see, they are working just fine! I must have said something in English as the lady said; "Now you speak English.” I told her that I was mad.

Mad because I didn’t get the job the first time. Now I did get the job. Lesson one, do your own talking no matter how bad it is.

Even learned how to dry dishes, no, no, not one plate at the time, a stack at the time! I also had to make French fries. They are put in large barrels with a chemical to keep them white. This was done in the basement of the restaurant.

The servers would come downstairs, to get things like syrup.

I found several dead mice stuck to the cans. I cleaned up that place in the hurry.

Two weeks later a woman came to me with a large smile. Thanking me for taken her place, as she could not have gone on vacation otherwise.

Comments (12)


Saw that story you posted it...reminds me of why I love history so much...keep on writing and sharing your past...

Living in the middle of the fruit valley there are lots of packinghouses. I was hired in one, and given large rubber boots and an apron.

Tomatoes were the job for me here. Steaming kettles were coming down the line the tomatoes just having been cooked so it was now easy to remove the skins.

A card was hanging on your apron and if the supervisor judged the pot full enough she would mark your card.

On my second day, my pot was 3/4 full when I was told to move over. I just stood there, as I had no clue what was meant by, moving over. Again, move!

The supervisor yelled it now. Move! I did not react I just stared at her.

She was now getting to look like the color of my tomatoes lol

A lot of the women had stopped working. Shocked at the audacity of this new girl not to move when told to do so.

All of a sudden my kettle gets grabbed and shoved down the line.

"Heh, that is mine and I want the credit for it."

So I went after that pot, and of course that had been the idea all along.

I had learned another new word. MOVE.........

If you did more than your quota, you were paid extra.

I was over my quota in three days so they moved me to a table with green beans.
The machine takes of the ends of the beans and it is your job, to find the ones the machine has missed.
Can you imagine staring at green beans streaming past you for 9 hours at a time?

Most of the people working there were foreigners. They would shake their heads at me, and tell me that I was a bad girl that I should still be in school. I told them that I had left school six years earlier.

Sorry but we need to go back to those beans.

I found an apple box and sat down on it. This was better by far!

The women were hissing at me that I could not do that. What do you mean I can't, I just did!

I was never told to stand up and not one other woman took my example. Why were these women so afraid of authority?

My thinking was if I lose this job, there would be others, for I know that I am a hard worker.

Next we had to do apples. I lasted one day there.
Rows and rows of apples pass you by, and you have to decide in a split second, what grade they are 1-7 different grades. The apples are then going down the line, to fall in a certain bin because of their size.

Then women wrap the apple in a tissue, to be put in a slot in a box, ready then for shipping.

I now was put in charge of weighting the apples and to keep score.

Up to 2 lb over was allowed but it was never to be under the weight it was supposed to be.
After the fruit was all done, I went to the employment office.

They told me to come back in two weeks. I was back the next day. They showed me on a calendar where it showed two weeks later.
I was back the following day.

This went on for another few days.
By now all the people in the office knew me. "You really want to work don't you?"
Of course that is why I was there wasn’t I?

I was send to the five-dime store. They put me in the hardware department, $25.00 a week would be my wages.

Hardware is difficult even when your English is good.

Well I just had to play at being “stupid” a little more often. One day a couple came in asking for ornaments. I did not have the foggiest idea what they were. I would go to another staff member and tell them that I couldn’t find
or na ments, trying to mimic the words as best as I could. “They are right there honey” Oh okay?
slapping myself on the forehead.
So “honey” would now knew what ornaments where, never to be forgotten!
At lunch time I had to float help out wherever.
Told one heavy lady that her head was to big, I meant the hat that she was trying on.
She said that she knew that...............
I stayed in that store about six months.

Next adventures in the Rocky Mountains rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing
Hi loulou Don't when I put these stories out before.
When I left the last time I deleted them all so then maybe? wave wave wave
Lovely to hear about your early life, but what impresses me is your English I thought it was your mother tongue.thumbs up
Hi BC, I am still in the process of reading your book thumbs up
Seems like that place was fortunate to get you, nothing like dead mice around your food uh oh
Hi Emmy, thank you for this compliment.
I left school in Holland when I was 13 years old in June. Would not be 14 untl September. I started to work in the beginning of October. (Grade 8)

I did take grade 10 English night school. It was not easy after having worked all day.
The teacher told me that I must have been good in the subject in Holland.
She would not believe me when I told her that I had never learned the grammar in Dutch.
I went 45 nights out of 65 ended up with a B Plus.
I believe what helped me a lot was common sense and being an analizer... :Reading a lot...........

wave: wave wave Jenny
Take your time Whenever, just as it says here "whenever" rolling on the floor laughing
There are only about 90 pages but I "jammed" a lot in.............

wave wave wave Jenny
Track, yes they were lucky to get me for I really cleaned that place up.

rolling on the floor laughing Would you believe me if I tell you that it burned down about 3 month later?

wave wave wave : Jenny
Having lived one year In Canada we moved to Jasper National park.
Right in the Rocky Mountains, inhabitants about 8,000 people.
What a privilege it was to be able to live there as not everyone could do so.
I would explore almost everyday, as there were brown bears, mountain goats
majestic mountain sheep, deer, elk, numerous other animals to see.
Having lived there 4 1/2 years, I would go to the dump as there were grizzly's.
Never managed to see even one.
Bears would get into our garbage cans so before you would go there, you through a
stone against the can.
You would see a mama bear chasing her baby into a tree, if it was not willing she would
smack them on the bum.
Mother in law was over from Holland for a visit and just then, an elk climbed up our 5 steps
in the front of our home and was ready to walk into our open door.
Mother run out of the room, as I barely was able to shut the door in front of this large beast.
She comes back and seeing the door now closed, is furious with me as she had gone to
get her camera.
I asked her what she was thinking that this elk would just post for a picture?
It would have demolished everything in it panic to get out again.
I did not fear deer, but elk was another story all together.

wave wave wave Jenny
Sorry but I now must get back to work now.
The largest hotel and motel in Jasper was the Athabasca hotel.
Having worked in the 5-dime store for $0.75 and hour, the year was 1961, I was now applying for a job as
One of the owners himself asked me how much I had been paid before.
With a straigt face I told him; One dollar.
Alriight he said; than I will pay you one dollar also
Good try, to weasel me out of 25 cents.

Soon learned that the guest who showed you their pictures, where the same who did not lieve you a tip.
Not a dime!............
Worked next in a bakery and then, lo and behold managed to get a job as cashier in our only department store.
Cashing the large cheques from the railroad workers.
"Oh hello Mr. Brown, would you like to take care of your bill today too?"
rolling on the floor laughing They could not very well tell me that they did not have the money could they?

I now moved to Vancouver leaving my husband to his girlfriends in Jasper,
I had met him at 14 years old, married and immigrated at 20 and left him at 28 years old.
Thanks to the experiences in that department store I managed to get a job in a large office.
That was amazing as i had not even a high school diploma, lied that I had grade 10
That will start a whole other story.

rolling on the floor laughing "Crime me nie" from now on I would just repeat the stories in my book. (Who are free) Jenny

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