Mazzio’s Pizza Shirt

Every year on Labor Day I think about all my old jobs and how far I’ve come!

My first official job was at Mazzio’s Pizza in Yukon, Oklahoma. I applied for a job there two days after my sixteenth birthday and got hired at the end of the interview. This was all the way back in the summer of 1989. Minimum wage back then was $3.35 an hour, which was my beginning wage. By the time I left minimum wage had risen to $3.85, and I was making a whopping $4/hour.

I started off washing dishes and busing tables and quickly moved to the kitchen. Although I spent a lot of time making pizzas at the make table, what I was best at was working the cutting table. Whoever works the cutting table is responsible not only for cutting the pizzas but also assembling the orders. That’s typically the person who messed up if your delivery shows up without the breadsticks or with the wrong pizza in the box.

Later I learned how to work the front counter as well. By learning how to work several different positions I found that I could get a lot of hours on the schedule. Some friends of mine and I created the “300 Club.” To be a member of the club you had to earn $300 on one single paycheck. That wasn’t easy to do while making $4/hour and going to high school, but a few of us did it.

I have no idea why I kept this shirt, or more importantly, why I still have it. (God knows it hasn’t fit me in at least 20 years!) The Mazzio’s I worked at is still there although it’s quite different inside. The arcade that once held Tetris, Turbo and a Black Knight pinball table is gone, all of the people working there are now half my age, and all of the pizzas they sell there are now twice the size. Do you remember when you could get two medium price buster pizzas from Mazzio’s for only $9.99?

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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5 thoughts on “Mazzio’s Pizza Shirt

  1. Chris Ayers says:

    Rob, this is AWESOME. I have similar stories from my first job at Ryan’s Family Steakhouse in Rock Hill, SC…but I’d really have to hunt for my old uniform shirts…

  2. I believe my first paying job (other than babysitting some neighborhood kids) was as a Caddy at a country club near our house. But my first that I consider a real job is one that I cherish as an usher at Milwaukee County Stadium for Brewers games. Had many odd jobs over my younger years from picking pickles to selling salt water taffy. I think they all did a little to build me into what I became as an adult. Happy Labor Day!

  3. Chris Ayers says:

    You’re totally correct: all those jobs make us who we are as adults. Other than foodservice gigs (which were all great because I was able to eat constantly while working), my second favorite job was working at the old Record Exchange on East Blvd. in Charlotte, NC. I met maybe two customers whose musical preferences matched mine exactly, but I’ll always remember those two days and the very long conversations I had with those folks when we geeked out over great tunes!

  4. I lucked out with my first job in high school. I was a bench technician, fixing video game systems and boards for a regional service center of Tilt! arcades.

    No special uniform shirt required (not that I’d still fit in it anymore if I had one). The perks were amazing… access to a warehouse full of arcade games and pinball machines. :)

  5. Great story. Thanks for sharing. We have had some great employees over the years and still do. I started with Mazzio’s in 1982 and still work there today.
    David Chambers

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