My First Jobs
It’s that time of year when all of the kids in high school start looking for jobs for the summer. I was fortunate enough to not start working until my senior year but my jobs were just as awful as everyone else’s. There has to be an unspoken rule that everyone has to have one awful job, no one gets completely luck. I decided that since its summer job time, that I would share with you what my first few jobs were.
My first job was working in an ice cream stand on the side of a highway. This stretch of highway went through my hometown and got traffic from the amusement park down the road. I hated this place. The owner would only let two or three of us on a shift at a time. They said the building wasn’t big enough to have more than that. We had a drive through and a walk-up window, so we couldn’t help each other when things got busy. The days felt never-ending and I had emotional breakdowns every time I had to go in. I hated it so much, I refused to work more than four hours at a time and eventually got let go for not being a team player. It was fine with me.
The next job that I had was as a cashier at our local grocery store. When I tell you that I got fired from that job in record time, I’m not kidding. There are four tiers of cash or register probation. Every shift your register gets counted and if you are over your ten-dollar buffer you get put on probation. If you are again missing more than ten dollars from your register before you get off of probation you move to the second level, so on and so forth. At level four you are suspected of stealing and get fired. I worked as a cashier for two whole weeks. I’m just that bad at counting change.
I came in for my shift after I had unknowingly hit the fourth tier, to my boss telling me I was now stocking fruits an veggies. This job was much better than the first but there were downsides. I had to be in and out of the freezer constantly so I was always too cold or too hot depending on my clothing. A lot of the boxes and bags the food were in were so heavy I often left with marks on my arms and exhausted muscles. My boss hated that we liked to make the time pass by talking. She specifically told us we were not allowed to talk to each other on the display floor. If we were on break, we were not allowed in the area to avoid distracting others.
Apartment Complex Secretary
The most recent summer job I had was the summer before I started grad school two years ago. People like to move in the summer and this apartment complex was looking for someone to answer phones and help out with summer activities since it was their busiest time. I had a blast at this job! The people I worked with were so entertaining and nice, everyone loved working there and it showed. I had the best summer of my life at that job.
Sometimes the old adage “it is what you make it” doesn’t ring true. There are things you can’t control and they can and will impact how you feel and think about things. If the boss at my first job would have allowed us to have three or four of us on shift maybe I wouldn’t have had a breakdown every time I went in. If my second boss would have let us talk to each other maybe I would have stayed a little longer. Bosses make or break your work ethic and environment. If your job sucks, look for a new one. You will find the place you fit eventually.