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A teenager’s first summer job is a pivotal moment in his or her life. It is the moment of freedom. Their newfound feeling of importance – not to mention spending cash – gives that final push that turns awkward children into confident adults. Most of us remember those jobs better than they were. At the time, we gripe about being overworked and underpaid, but we still look back with nostalgia. There’s a reason so many coming of age films and country songs romanticize that time.

When I first asked my husband about his first job during that golden period of 15-16 years old, I got a very unexpected story. The first time I heard the tale, it was filled with exaggerated hubris. Over the years, I’ve pieces together the actual details.

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