My first job (9/10)

Delphine Nicolay: “I had to leave the job”

Delphine Nicolay’s first job was at Pizza Hut--she is now the secretary general of ALEBA. Photo: Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

Delphine Nicolay’s first job was at Pizza Hut--she is now the secretary general of ALEBA. Photo: Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

Delano and Paperjam have been asking personalities in Luxembourg about their first ever jobs and paycheques. This week: Delphine Nicolay, secretary general of the Luxembourgish Association of Banking and Insurance Employees (ALEBA).

What was your first student job?

My first student job was making pizzas at Pizza Hut. It was in a town near Strasbourg in France, must have been in 1994. I was 20 years old and needed some pocket money. It was the first time I encountered this American-style hierarchy, like at MacDonald’s, where you had to take an interest in the corporate culture in order to move up. It was quite interesting. But although the team was very nice and only made up of students at the time, we had a misogynistic and rude manager whom I couldn’t stand. I had to leave the job after only a few months.

How much did you make at Pizza Hut?

It was very little. It must have been around €150 a month, maximum. But I didn’t work many hours, either!

What was your first “real” job?

It was at Crédit Mutuel. I loved the contact with customers when I was at the counter! It was a real exchange. It’s a pity that this job is disappearing to make way for automatic tellers. Real, visual contact is precious for building relationships. Customers appreciated coming to the bank and having someone to talk to directly rather than on the phone!

How much did you make at that job? And what did you do with your first paycheque?

The salary was the minimum wage at the time! And to be honest, I can’t remember what I did with my first paycheque. I already loved shoes; I must have bought a pair with that first paycheque.

Today, what would you say to a young Delphine Nicolay handing out her CV?

I would tell her that she should believe in herself, but remain humble. Show that she knows how to “roll up her sleeves” and respect her colleagues, all her colleagues. Seriousness is appreciated (or should be) by the hierarchy and by peers. That’s what I’ve observed, even if sometimes injustices remain.