It’s a rite of passage for every teen, an often low-paid weekend job where you live by the clock, counting down the hours of your current shift until you can get home and spend the rest of the evening on Facebook moaning about how boring your day was, while tallying up your precious pounds for the latest computer game, pair of trainers or all-important concert tickets.
We’ve all done it, been yelled at by middle management, broken something and hidden the evidence, given back the wrong change etc. you name it. Yet, when we recall these seemingly agonizing times, we do it fondly. Friendships were made, skills were learned and who can forget receiving your first pay check then calling up your mates to treat them to a ‘wild’ night out down the local pub.
Here’s a brief and affectionate list of the most common part-time jobs that shaped who we are today:
The Call Center
One of the most sociable jobs around, teeming with youngsters and all their innocent pep, before they’re eventually ground down with the rigmarole and monotony of the 9 to 5 world. Call centers were all extremely busy, and quite exciting if you’re a teen stepping out into the real world, the smart headsets on the high-tech business phone system, the posh ergonomic wheel chairs and the ever-so-cute office kitchenette with personalized coffee mugs and labelled salads.
The Fast-Food Restaurant
Naming no names, your local fast-food joint was almost essential as a place of employment for your resume. They were fast-paced and dirty with long hours and a chance to really nail your customer service and communication skills. People joke about the McJob, but in fact this is a brilliant starting point for any young person and has proven to be invaluable for future careers. Just ask Andy Card, Chief of Staff for former US President George W. Bush!
The Corner Shop
Tabards aside, working at a local convenience store was actually rather cool. Career prospects were taken seriously and there were many opportunities for further development into management and beyond, plus you could wear casual attire and at the end of your Saturday evening shift, head straight out to town and meet your mates for a night out. Customer service skills were tested, as well as the fact you had to handle money, cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets, all the grown-up things you normally couldn’t even touch.
Newspaper Delivery Boy or Girl
You may have only earned a meager $7 per week and incurred frostbite while you were doing it but By Jove! did you relish in every penny. When the time came to be able to save up your own pocket money many of us jumped at the chance to take on such a huge responsibility as delivering local papers to our neighbors. The crazy dogs, garden water sprinklers and torrential rains didn’t stop us from enjoying every second of the job where we got to ride around on our bicycle for money.
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Bill Turner is a technology guru, dog lover and free-lance writer. He enjoys running marathon and training for the most extreme races.