Summer Jobs

Just thinking about jobs I had as a teen growing up. My longest held job was at a National Laboratory as a recreational attendant. That covered everything from lifeguarding to babysitting parties at the rec hall. Had some great perks, like while overseeing the parties, my friends and I had our own side parties using the booze my boss had stashed somewhere in the building. Don't remember much after 10pm. And there was a darkroom in the rec hall. I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that one.

As a lifeguard, not only did I patrol, but taught swimming lessons to all the scientist's brats. Most were from out of country and either didn't speak English well, or didn't understand what was expected. Like one poor little girl from India. Her mom fed her Reese's peanut butter cups for lunch every day. How did I know that, you ask? Because the poor little kid got so overwhelmed at lessons, so incredibly upset that she would grab her stomach and start to cry. I knew what was coming next........ yup. Barfed all over the deck. Every. Single. Session. And it stunk of peanut butter cups. SO, stop lessons, move everybody to one side, break out the fire house and wash down the decks. I felt so important, so useful, so wondering what the hell I was doing at an indoor pool in the middle of the summer while all my friends were soaking up sun, swimming, boating, girl watching on the shores of Long Island. ugh.

And there was one elderly scientist who came in to swim laps every noon. He tried SO hard, but just never got it. He learned to swim from books ( no internet back then) and had the mechanics down, but just never made it work. If you took a wind up toy and put it in the water, that's what he looked like. Mechanically good, but no connection to the water. No flow. My brother and I would look on in amazement, waiting for him to sink.

So, what was your teen summer job like?
 

mitzi

Well-Known Member
I worked at Woolworth's. I remember hoping to be trained as a Cashier. No, they put me in the back of the store in the Pets (they only sold fish) and Crafts area. It wasn't bad until something happened in the huge goldfish tank and all the fish started dying. I remember it being not so much fun scooping out all of those dead fish.
 
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Bonehead

Well-Known Member
I worked in Florida building gunnite (sprayed concrete) swimming pools, way hot and nasty work.
 

Grumpy

Well-Known Member
Worked at a golf course pro shop 12-14, being a gofer; shagging balls when the pro was giving lesson, sometimes caddy..etc; 14-15 pulled weeds in a strawberry field, horrible job, huge fields of strawberry plants, no shade..days like today were a killer. 16-18, gas station attendant during school, construction during summer.

Golf course - made anywhere between a dollar and 10 dollars a day
Pulling weeds - dollar an hour cash
gas station/construction - 1.50 to 2.00 an hour..
 

Ken King

A little rusty but not crusty
PREMO Member
13 - 15 worked tobacco fields, $5 a day. Nasty, hot, miserable, glad I just roll and smoke it now.
16 - 17 worked in an upholstery shop $1.65 an hour. Not bad, glad I just sit on it now.
 
At one point, before I got a real job, I grew oysters at an oyster farm. It was miserable in the summer, not only because you were working in full rubber coveralls in the sun, but also because you were covered from head to toe in anaerobic mud. It stunk. You stunk. Everyday. And I wasn't smart enough back then to find something else to do, so I worked the winter out there too. Water pumps frozen solid. You were wet and cold and still covered in anaerobic mud.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Paperboy - and not just summers - from age 11 to 15.
Drug store clerk from 16-17 (again, all the time, not just summers).
Once I started college at 17 - summer was lawn mowing crew in the projects. I learned to examine the grass VERY carefully before mowing or weed-eating - got stung way too often with flying glass and other things, not all of them inanimate.
 

mitzi

Well-Known Member
13 - 15 worked tobacco fields, $5 a day. Nasty, hot, miserable, glad I just roll and smoke it now.
16 - 17 worked in an upholstery shop $1.65 an hour. Not bad, glad I just sit on it now.
This thread made me search what minimum wage was back then. $1.65 So I made probably $30 for the week (part time).
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
When I was 15 I worked the summer in the scout camp kitchen. Did all 3 meals a day with some time off in between meals. Started work at 6am and often finished up around 7-8pm. We got off for Saturday lunch & dinner plus Sunday breakfast & lunch. With travel time it worked out to about 30-32 hours off a week. I stayed there all week, going home on the weekend to do wash.

I got paid $100 for the entire summer plus room & board. In the end they even took some tax money out of my $100. It was some hard work plus being low on the totem pole, there was the usual coworker grief you got from the more seasoned crew members.
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
PREMO Member
At 16 I worked for the local YMCA in the after-school care but it was held at the local elementary school. By the end of the school year, YMCA asked if I was interested in being a camp counselor for the summer camp, held at the local Y. Did that for 2 summers in a row, also bar-backing at a nearby bar in the evenings/weekends. It was brutal, in the heat all day every day...but also tons of fun. I also am amazed at the stupid crap we got away with as counselors. They used to rotate the counselors with age groups, but I'm really short, so all the 12-14 year olds were taller than me and stopped listening to me...I was hardly intimidating to them :ohwell: I was much better with the pre-k/k ages and most of my counselors were happy to get a break from the little tyrants, but I handled them just fine so I was almost exclusivly with the littles. I think I made $10/hour.

When I was 19/20 I sold ice cream on the boardwalk on one of the richer CT beaches. That was a fun job! I made better tips there than I did waitressing at night. Of course, doing it in a bikini and cute sun dress didn't hurt - I was outside all day and I didn't have the wear the uniform like the kids at the snack shack down the boardwalk did :razz: $9.??/hour plus tips. Waitressing in the evenings gave me $5.25/hour plus tips.
 
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