Daily Archives: March 2, 2012

The Necessary Evil of the Summer Job

My son is home from college next week—and hallelujah—he’s already looking for a summer job.  Now, let’s put this in perspective here:  while most kids were lining up their fake ID’s the first week of college, my son was signing up with a brokerage firm.  He’s been about the money since, well, kindergarten.  He’s actually been making money since kindergarten, hence the need for the financial adviser.  So, you’d think he wouldn’t be too picky about his employment for the summer.  Wrong.

It seems the typical summer job at the pool or flipping burgers or even wearing the red shirt at Target isn’t glamorous enough.  He’s done his share of lawn mowing, house painting, and camp counseling.  He wants a REAL job.  He wants to intern at some glamorous Fortune 500 Company or, better yet, an NFL team.  Dude, wake up and smell the coffee, you need a degree for those jobs.

Kids working during their college break are usually waitresses or hostesses at their local Ruby Tuesday’s.  Right?  Or, how about parking cars at the local outdoor amphitheater for over $10 an hour?  Not good enough.  Last year, my son worked for an ophthalmologist.  Here’s a scary thought, they actually let him operate the machines to perform diagnostic testing on patients.  An eighteen-year-old with no medical training!  The doctor’s all loved him and they have offered him a job after medical school.  Unfortunately, he has no desire to go to medical school.  He won’t wait that many years for a pay check.  I mentioned his love of money, right?

All this talk of first jobs got me thinking about all the summer employment I’ve had.  Babysitting was my first source of payola when I was 12.  I remember saving up for a bean bag chair for my room.  I think it was black and it never made it to my dorm room.  When I could drive, I got my first real job busing tables at Manny Moon’s Pizzarant.  (I’m noticing a pattern here of a series of jobs preparing me for motherhood.)  Then it was on to a local bakery where I sampled a little too much of the inventory.  (Sadly, this trend has continued.) I worked retail several summers.  To this day, I can’t leave an item in the dressing room.

While in college, I worked at the graduate library and the computer center.  I also worked in telephone sales one summer.  It was a good thing we weren’t paid on commission because I wasn’t pushy enough.  I did get a second telemarketing gig when a woman was so impressed with my spiel that she hired me over the phone to market replacement windows, and no, I didn’t sell a single one.

It was my summer job working for Congress that ultimately lead to a career.  Because I had worked there during the summer, I was the first one hired upon graduation.  Which, of course, is what my son is plotting.  Fortunately for him, he’s already secured a great campus job next school year which pays well.  He can afford to work for peanuts at something “fun” this summer.  And, yes, I’m jealous.  Especially if the Raven’s job pans out. 🙂

How about you?  Did you have any interesting summer jobs?

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