On Starting School and Summer Jobs


School has started. 

I know this because:

A) people keep blogging about it
B) back-to-school sales 
C) there's noticeably more traffic in the morning on my way to work

Other than the third item on my list, school starting again doesn't affect me at all.... not until I have school-age children, at least. Let's face it: when you're working full time, summer just isn't as wonderful as it used to be. When I first graduated college, I thought, How am I going to do this!? I can't work all summer. This is so lame. 

But who am I kidding? I've had a summer job since I was 14 and became a swim instructor at our community pool.
This was by far my least favorite summer job. 

Because I repeated the nuances of "shark fin, rainbow" for four hours every day. 
Because I had to get wet in the early mornings when it was still cold (in Illinois isn't not immediately sweltering like it is in Oklahoma). 
Because of the children and his/her parent(s). 
Because every morning I prayed for rain that never came. 

And even when it did, we still had to sit in the cold and "wait it out." There was only one day all summer where I actually got to go home early.

After that, I swore I would never return to the pool.
Of course, I did return the very next summer, but it wasn't to be a swim instructor. It was to bring the kids I was nannying. 

I was a nanny for two consecutive summers for two different families, and I didn't like that either. My job mostly consisted of following the kids around to make sure they didn't get lost and/or hurt themselves, which was fine most of the time. But the main problem was that in both cases, the parents had requested a limit to the amount of TV the kids were allowed to watch each day. 

If you've never babysat, then you have no idea how hard it is to get children to stop watching TV. Next to impossible, I'd say. So it was mostly terrible, and I didn't get paid all that well, and every day I tried to time it so the dad would arrive home from work and see my playing or interacting with the kids. Because it's all about appearance, right? (Kidding...sort of.)

My favorite summer job was working at Color Me Mine. It's a paint-your-own-pottery place, and I just sat around, helping people with color suggestions. And when no one was in the shop, I painted display pieces. It was pretty great.

I was also an intern for two summers at a publishing company, and it was the most boring job ever. They didn't really need me, so I sat in a desk all day and cataloged stack after stack of books. They cleaned out their warehouse one summer, and I had the privilege helping to organize dusty boxes of books. That job rivaled the pool for sure, though I guess it looked good on my resume. 

The last summer job I had before I moved to Texas was as a waitress at a small Italian restaurant. I was a good waitress, if I do say so myself. But I had one downfall--the bar. If someone ordered a drink from the bar, I never had any idea what it was, and a lot of the time I forgot what had been ordered by the time I put the order in and had to go back and ask the person what it was they'd wanted. The owner scheduled me to work until close one night, which meant working until 2 a.m. in the bar. I was only scheduled the one time; I think they figured out pretty quick that that wasn't my area of expertise.

Waitressing wasn't that bad, although there was one customer who made me cry, and it comes to mind every once in a while and makes me feel bad all over again.

Looking back on all my summer jobs, I suppose they were just preparing me for the real work: 9-5. all. year. long. Where vacation time is treasured and I get excited about two days off for Christmas (remember 2 weeks Christmas vacation? I didn't know how good I had it).

So it's the end of summer, but really for me that just means an increased amount of morning traffic, which I didn't take a picture of like my mom did all those years of me for the first day of school.

I'm going home this weekend. My goal is to get arsenal for the next few Flashback Fridays. 
Including some awesome school pictures. 
Let's just say, middle school was not kind to me.
LHawk said...

Since we've had talks about your middle school days, I can't wait to see pictures!

Amanda said...

Haha. I've got a good one to show this week!