RIP Mr. Baskin-Robbins

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There was a time in my life when I was very punk rock and cynical. I was young, jaded, and underpaid. My cynicism has its roots in my first job — a Baskin-Robbins store in Palatine, IL.

I was a sophomore in high school and lied about my age to secure the position behind the counter.

“You’re fifteen?” he asked.

“Uh huh,” I lied. That was it.

The owner paid me $2.85/hr for six months as a ‘training wage’ and then bumped me up to $3.85/hr for the rest of my tenure at the store. I learned how to decorate ice cream cakes, flirt with old men for tips, and I had awesome biceps & triceps in my right arm thanks to scooping ice cream

  • Co-founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores dies at 90 – Yahoo! News Irvine Robbins, who as co-founder of Baskin-Robbins brought Rocky Road, Pralines ‘n Cream and other exotic ice cream concoctions to every corner of America, has died at age 90. Robbins had been ill for some time and died Monday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., said his daughter Marsha Veit.

As a side note: several years later, while in college, I received a check for over $500 — representing back wages and fees. This was my first exposure to HR. Now that I’m old and wise, I understand that the owner was taking advantage of my age to pay me less than minimum wage. At the time, I was kind of thankful to spend 10-20 hours/week surrounded by Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!

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