i mowed lawns for old ladies. 5 a week when i was a tiny child. I got paid more then than i do now...
(ps. I think I got paid to talk to them after more than the lawn itself)
I think my first away job was at a video and book store doing whatever.
My first cool job, I worked for a guy who was a photographer, but on the side he was building a machine to print large scale (billboard sized) photos in one shot. So he was setting up a factory in his enormous garage. I pretty much installed everything. He liked me a lot.
I started off painting the garage, then wired up a full 3-phase electrical system (including drilling into a city culvert with a 6" diamond drill) - all fully unqualified to do any of it at 17 of course...and it all worked out and ran, and more importantly passed inspection by the city! (I havent thought much of electricians since, since I was 17 and did one of the hardest installs with 0 experience...lol.)
He was doing vacuum forming on a big press, and he had me make all the molds. Calcite plaster and then powdered aluminum resin with magnesium plate reinforcements. All in one summer. Life has been downhill since then pretty much.