Persistence Pays Off


Brent Cannon

Scott mentioned his first job the other day during our morning newscast and it reminded me of my first job. In case you missed it, Scott says he worked at J.C. Penney.

When I became old enough to get a job, I wanted to work at the restaurant at a local country club. It had become a hot spot, and friends from high school who worked there were thrilled with the tips they could earn. Somebody told me they were taking applications – so I went to the office – met the manager – and filled out an application. When I finished, he said they didn’t have anything now, but check back in a few days. So, I did. Two days later, I drove over, and asked if they had anything (note, I did not call by phone – and e-mail had not been invented yet). He said he didn’t have anything, but check back later. I think he was giving me the polite rejection – but I was new to the employment game and took him literally. I showed up a few days later. I eventually went back 13 times! The last time he said, “I really have nothing, but anybody who is as determined as you and wants to work as badly as you seem to, can work for me any day. I will create a spot for you.”

I started as a ‘stocker.’ Essentially, I was the bus boy’s bus boy. The bus boy helped the waiter, and the ‘stocker’ helped the bus boy. I was the lowest of the low. I received no direct tips. Instead, the customer tipped the waiter, the waiter tipped the bus boys, the bus boys gave a couple of their dollars to me. And you know what – I didn’t care. I was making money and having fun in one of the best restaurants in Denver at the time. I worked there into my college days – got promoted – eventually becoming the youngest waiter on the staff at 17-years-old. Keep in mind this is the kind of place where the waiter did a lot of tableside cooking, etc. They had to have special training. They also served alcohol, but since I was underage I had to have somebody else get the drinks for the table. I later moved to valet – parking cars – which was really cool. I once got 50 bucks to NOT park a Rolls Royce. The guy wanted me to leave it at the curb where he had pulled up. And after that I became a lifeguard at the club pool. By working at that country club I made good money – saved a little – and even bought my own car. I paid for it myself. I took out a loan and paid it off a year ahead of schedule. No help from my parents. I am still kind of proud of that. Overall, it was a great place to work. I learned a lot – earned a lot – and I am very glad I bugged that first manager to death.

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor


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