If you are lucky enough to balance a part-time job with your class sched during the school year, you’ve got it made in the summer: you can pick up extra shifts and make bank, yet request days (or weeks) off to go on vacation without looking for a slacker. Unfortunately for many of us, when finals week rolls around, we’re stressing about how to land a job and start saving for next fall’s text books (and bar tabs). It sucks when you’re desperate, because you’re bound to accept any offer that comes your way.
Here are the ten worst summer jobs… which might just make bankruptcy look like the better option.
1. Amusement Park Attendant
You make minimum wage to stand in the blazing heat all summer, get lobster-red sunburns, and keep little kids in check as they anxiously await their turn on the water slide you’d sell your soul to go down. You deal with cranky parents demanding that you speed up the line (which you can’t, for everyone’s safety), and clean up puke when the little brats get sick off of the giant ice cream cone they inhaled right before getting in your line. Oh, and you have to wear a doofy polo with the theme park’s logo. PASS.
2. Landscaping and Construction.
These jobs are grueling no matter what time of year. But when it’s 90 degrees and there’s no shade in sight, you can really do some damage to your body. Sure, it pays well, but you’re going to constantly battle UV rays, dehydration, and straight up muscle exhaustion. If you’ve been relatively inactive sitting at your desk and studying all summer, taking on such a physically exhausting job will be brutal.
I wouldn’t include this if I hadn’t done it before, since most of you probably have no clue what “flyering” is. One summer, I took a one-day job hanging 1,000 door hangers advertising a new ice cream shop on residential doorknobs. It paid $250 for the day, so I thought it would be cool. However, that day was spent walking around on concrete for 9 hours (even in sneakers this gets painful), and being paranoid that residents would come out with a shotgun after I left shit on their doorknobs. Oh, I tried to wear sunscreen, but missed two strips of skin and wore a racer-back tank top. My sunburns left scars, which look like wings on my back. No lie.
4. Flyering- Part 2.
If you live in a big city, there are plenty of companies looking for promoters to hand out fliers advertising their product. Again, one of the sh*ttier jobs I’ve done in my life. You stand for hours in the blazing heat, trying to give people a deal… and they get MAD at you for it. They could just walk away and say “No thank you,” but these people feel like you’re targeting them. As a flyer-er, I’ve seen everything from people saying the product I’m promoting sucks (not my problem, just trying to make a deal), to strangers thinking that my handing them a piece of paper means they should immediately tell me their life story.
5. Ice Cream Scooper.
One of two things will inevitably happen. One – you build huge forearm muscles scooping ice cream for obnoxious tourists in plaid shorts and fanny packs. It’s crazy hot and the ice cream melts down your arms, so you retreat in a sticky mess every night. Plus, you can’t even eat any of the goods. Two – you CAN eat as much ice cream as you like, but you’re sedentary for the whole summer and can’t fit into your bathing suit two weeks after starting the gig. Oh, and after a shower, you have SPRINKLES clogging the drain.
6. Theme Park Mascot.
We’ve all heard the Disney horror stories, right? About the theme park characters who aren’t allowed to take their “heads” off, even if they get so overheated they puke on themselves? Need I say more…
7. Any office work that is totally unrelated to your future career plan.
Let’s face it: you need the money so you do secretarial work all summer and miss all of the beautiful summer pool parties and beach outings, yet get no career experience out of it. Settling for a desk job simply blows.
Like the office gig, you’re going to miss out on a lot of fun outings this summer. Babysitting as a part-time job isn’t so bad, but if you’ve somehow committed to wrangling the neighborhood brats every day for the summer, when you say “NO” to your BFF’s beach party road trip, it will feel like a dagger through the heart.
You live in a summer tourist mecca where jobs just sprout over the summer. EVERYONE’S taking their holiday there, and the restaurant and hotel jobs are flourishing. Yet, you get stuck as a housekeeper. Remember that scene from Blue Crush when the surfer girl freaks out over cleaning some drunk football player’s shit out of the bathroom? Yeah, picture that before you agree to be a housekeeper.
10. Lifeguarding at a Senior’s Center.
You’re not going to have the opp to do mouth-to-mouth on anyone remotely attractive. And you’re going to get depressed about the inevitable future when you see the wrinkled doing “water sports” in the pool each day. Yeah… need I even explain that one?
Hey, CC’ers, what jobs are you looking forward to (or NOT looking forward to) this summer? And what are the gigs you passed up on because all the money in the world couldn’t persuade you to punch in every day for three months?