When school lets out for the summer, hearts are set on hitting the pool, hanging at the shore, road-tripping, eating ice cream and of course, working. For students, working during the sunny months can be a great opportunity to earn some cash and gain experience, but summer jobs may not always be as good as they first seem.
This summer was one of the best ever for senior Francesco Banca, who worked in the construction business. Construction provided a lot of fun and experience, not to mention cash.
“You got, like, 10 grand in your pocket one month and you’re tan and ripped from working 12 hours a day after getting up at 5 a.m.,” Banca said. “Then you just go out with tons of money in your pocket and do whatever the hell you want.”
But for some students, the wage wasn’t worth the effort. That was the case for junior public health major Steven
Howell and sophomore criminal justice major Anneke Hayes.
Howell spent one summer making $9 an hour as a waiter at an assisted living home. Though Howell respected the elderly, he quit because he couldn’t tolerate his co-workers any longer.
“They were so ignorant,” Howell said. “They acted like we were building something important when all we were doing was serving food.”
While Howell enjoyed helping senior citizens, Hayes lived through a working nightmare.
Hayes once worked at a tutoring center, mentoring children from kindergarten through tenth grade. She became frustrated because she had trouble communicating with the young students.
“They got on my nerves,” she said. “I hated tutoring the kids. They were mean and I had to be nice. And they used to cuss me out.”
The tutoring center paid Hayes $6.50 an hour, but promised her $8. The expected wage was the only reason she accepted the job in the first place. When she failed to receive a raise, she quit. Although Hayes didn’t enjoy the experience of teaching children, she learned how to be patient while working.
Sacrifices must be made while trying
to earn some cash. And sometimes, you have to sacrifice the cash itself.”After you’re done, you have to go around chasing after cash. It’s kind of like the nature of the job,” Banca said. “People are very disinclined to give you the money they owe you when the job is finished. I don’t know why.”
Junior chemistry major Karli Sartorio and her friend Jessica Ranalli, a student at Weidner University, both fell victim to a similar crime. They worked at a bar in West Chester and made $2 an hour and about $100 in tips every night. But there was a fraction of that money they never saw.
“[Sometimes] there’s a really big bill and the customer walks out and we have to cover it,” Ranalli said. “That was, like, my whole night’s pay and they left,” Satorio said. The most expensive bill she had to cover was $85. Because they worked at night, they also surrendered their social lives to money. They couldn’t go out as much as they would have liked because they couldn’t find people to cover for them.Sophomore film and media arts major James Dalton couldn’t agree more.
For the last three summers he worked as a cook at an Ocean City, NJ restaurant. Although he didn’t have to deal with any customers, he spent his nights slaving away in a sweltering kitchen. Some of the aforementioned positions sound a few degrees slight of exciting, but junior finance major Hikoomi Chin felt boredom to a whole new extreme.
His job: gathering, sorting, writing and replying to e-mails – all day long. Chin worked for an organization in Tokyo that helps send students abroad as workers and interns, and he played the role of the middleman.
“[I] acted like a mailman,” he said. “It was boring and repetitive.” Because it was originally an unpaid internship, Chin took the position in hopes of gaining some valuable office experience. However, they gave him $500 for the entire summer. Chin walked out of the company with the vow of never doing a repetitive, monotonous
job ever again.
Anne Ha can be reached at