10 Commandments of the Summer Job

3677161984_686979cefcThe summer before I started college, I spent the summer working part-time at a local convenience store. From that experience, I wrote an article for my college blog called 20 Rules for the Convenience Store, which then went on to be published in the American magazine, Convenience Store Decisions.

Anyway, this summer I’m back at the same convenience store. And, to be quite honest, I think I’ve learned a few things. Following are 10 commandments to be followed by college students working ye olde summer job. Please add your own if you’re so inclined.

  1. Thou shalt not work too many hours. Having too many hours will usually affect how much the student loan folk hand out. Only go for a full-time job if you aren’t looking to get a student loan. (And, in that case, sucks to be you… right now. Not so much in 15 years when the rest of us are still trying to pay off our loans…)
  2. Thou shalt not work for a family member. Working for a family member can be either evil or great. It’s great when = you get to slack off and still get paid. But it’s evil when = they make you work and you try everything in your power to get fired because they’re being so mean and they won’t just go ahead and fire you already because you’re family. It’s a double-edged sword. Best thing to do is ask a former or current employee for their honest opinion of your relative as a boss. You might get lucky. Or, they might lie to your face so that you too are sucked into the Summer of Doom & Despair.
  3. Thou shalt not expect to be paid much over minimum wage. You’re only around for the summer and you suck at your job anyway. It’s laughable that you would even expect a raise after those first disastrous 2 weeks.
  4. Thou shalt not work at the same job as thy boy/girlfriend. We show a different side of ourselves at work. Besides, seeing too much of a person can be unhealthy for a relationship, especially in such close quarters. (Besides. Your co-workers don’t want to see you two making out in the broom closet. Gross.)
  5. Thou shalt probably have to wear a dorky uniform. Suck it up, kid. You’ve been assimilated into the collective.
  6. Thou shalt not spit into the hamburger of thy nemesis when they come to Wendy’s and you’re working in the kitchen. This should be fairly self-explanatory.
  7. Thou shalt not be caught smelling marshmallows by thy boss, co-workers or customers. I love the smell of marshmallows. But seeing the cashier shoving a package into her face and inhaling deeply seems to make people uncomfortable.
  8. Thou shalt pretend to love and not quit thy job at chic downtown coffee house. You may hate your job and have a knack for spilling hot beverages. But you still get tips and working as a barista looks a lot cooler than being a fry cook, so appreciate where you are and- more importantly- how you look while you do it.
  9. Thou shalt not get distracted from your job when your crush comes by. “Don’t mess up. Don’t mess up. Just try to look cool and attractive. Sure, you’re wearing a shirt with a fast food label on it but it’s cool. They respect you. It’s fine. Just don’t make eye contact and maybe they’ll go away… Crap, they’re coming over. Oh, crap. They just saw you. Don’t mess up… And there you go, spilling fries everywhere. Wow. Impressive.”
  10. Thou shalt make plans to have a kick-ass job next summer. This could include book store clerk, amusement park employee, summer camp counselor or, if you’re looking to be creative, lifeguard at a nude beach.

(Photo courtesy of quinn.anya.)

Again, I’d love to hear any suggestions for other summer job commandments. (Keep in mind, this article is meant to be humorous and not to be taken seriously. By all means, ignore what you’ve read here.)

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3 Responses to “10 Commandments of the Summer Job”

  1. […] here: 10 Commandments of the Summer Job […]

  2. […] 10 Commandments of the Summer Job (KillJill) – Here’s a great post.  Here are a few rules to live by when working a job for the summer. […]

  3. 11. Thou shalt not expect there will be no physical labor. I’ve worked in the same library for four summers in a row now (and one winter session since I went away to college), and I’ve never had to lift more than 20 lbs. of books when I was shelf reading. Now, because of budgeting problems and under staffing, it was up to me and two other employees to literally move the reference, periodical, and bound periodical section by ourselves. Without any help from the librarians (damn those fancy masters and doctorate degrees!), the project took about three weeks. The entire time, I kept asking myself, “isn’t there any way we can MAKE someone help us?” But the answer is no. When you’re a student worker, you’re hired with the expectation that you will do the brunt of the work for the lowest salary.

    Yippee-ay-yay!

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