Thursday, May 08, 2014


The twins are debating summer jobs. Whether to get one, where to apply, schedules etc. All of this got me thinking of my work history as a teen.

I started detasseling when I was 12 and did that for 5 weeks every summer for 4 years. If you aren't familiar with detasseling - it's where you walk rows of corn and pull the top tassel out of the stalk so that it doesn't self pollinate. It's dirty, muddy, wet, painful work. Corn cuts are like paper cuts that cover your forearms and legs. Which are caked in mud by the end of the day so you have to scrub them clean- which is no fun. Walking through spider gross. Losing your shoe in the muddy rows...happened several times. Not fun work. But earning a hefty paycheck (at least for 12 year old) every week was pretty darn awesome!

I also worked at TCBY for a summer, waitressed at a few diners for a year, lifeguarded at the local water park and worked at Walmart. Usually these jobs overlapped, I took work when I had time to spare.Sporadically in the middle of these of jobs, I helped clean offices on the weekends for a family friend.

The craziest job: Cleaning rooms at the interstate Holiday Inn. Not that the job itself was crazy, but how I got the job. I wasn't even looking for work. I stayed the night at a friend's house. She worked out there and had to be to work at 7:30 the next day. She asked if I wanted to go help her. I didn't have much going on, so sure- why not. I get there and the manager says I have to fill out these papers if I'm going to help her. So I do. I help her clean ten or so rooms. And at the end of the day the manager tells me I'm on the schedule for next weekend and if I could come back tomorrow that would be really helpful. I was like "huh!?" And that's how I worked for maid service for a few months. It lasted a few months because I wasn't sure how to quit the job, since I hadn't really applied. It was really weird. But it taught me a few things, helped hone my cleaning skills and I got free lunch every day I worked. So it wasn't all that bad. :)

Best job: My favorite job was lifeguarding at the water park. Not the actual life guarding part because that was basically just babysitting and telling kids to walk. But as lifeguards we were also in charge of teaching the city swim lessons. I loved teaching swim lessons! The 4-5 year olds were always so eager and the older kids loved to race and challenge me. Little did they know I had been swimming competitively since I was they didn't have a chance. :)

Worst job: Waitressing. Ugh... I hated it. The part I didn't like was that someone would come in with a pissy attitude and absolutely nothing would make them happy. Not perfect service, smiles or kindness. And it would ruin my day. Put me in a funk. I didn't like it. I also didn't like that diner food made my hair and clothes stink. gross! Plus the family I worked for had serious issues with the drugs and crazy I didn't last long there.

Most tolerable job: Walmart. Believe it or not...I kind of liked it. I worked in the toy department with assistant coverage in the Pet department, Garden Center and Sporting Goods. So I was never bored. Holidays were always crazy, but still fun. I would occasionally get called to cashier. But mostly stocking shelves and picking my department. Not bad. Not a lot of work. No pressure or stress. Just work and go home. Plus they were really good about getting highschoolers out by 9 even though they closed at 10.

So that's my work history.

Part of me thinks- Jeez, these girls need to get a job! And the other part is like- eh, focus on school and you can work next summer. Good thing it's their decision! :)

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