Greetings, Monday. I hope you had a lovely long weekend. Mine was a bit of a mixed bag but glad to have had some time to recoup and regroup.
So was watching CNN's movie special last night which looked at movies from the 80s and 90s, with many sitting squarely in the teen genre. As a child who grew up on a steady diet of those, I loved the look back. And as they were showing a clip from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", I began to think about something. Whatever happened to the Summer job?
Back before college, I had many Summer jobs. There was my Summer as a telemarketer. That was a bit of a bust but I was a high performer and actually talked to someone from Def Leppard on the phone, who flirted with me incessantly. It was, of course, possible he was not with the band, in case you were wondering.
Then I worked in a few clothing stores, though my favorite Summer job was most definitely my BS guard duty at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. That was a weekend-long music event where you camped and drank and smoked and enjoyed. If you "worked" the weekend, you could get in for free. So my friend Bev and I had a really difficult job. Guarding the gate to enter the campgrounds. By gate, I mean small footbridge. And by job, I mean drinking beer and smoking Marlboro Reds all day and Lord knows what else. That's a true story, We sucked at that job. Who knows the number of ruffians that got in for free on our dime.
But I digress. Because shows like "Stranger Things" are showing what it was like yet again to be a kid in the 80s. And we all had Summer jobs. Most of my dude friends delivered pizza. One girl my sister's age cut Flashdance sweatshirts at the local record and jeans shop. A few of my friends worked in restaurants as hostesses (that, ps, was my college gig straight through to graduation). Some of them were camp counselors (never my jam) or mother's helpers (summerish nannies who would accompany a family to the shore). And of course, if you were lucky enough to be "down the shore" all Summer, you'd get a job at the amusement park or water ice stand or on the beach. None of these jobs were high paying. But they offered a sense of purpose and socializing and that was all good. I think about the kids of today and wonder where their work ethic went, or whether their parents thought such jobs were beneath little Atticus or Persephone.
Not the case.
Because as I was getting dressed this morning, I was listening to NPR, who had a story on about this specific thing. Summer jobs. The fact is, after the recession, a lot of kids stopped looking for work in the Summer. And many ended up focusing on academics by engaging in school programs to get extra credit or a better shot at getting into a good college.
But for me, I loved having some pizza fry pocket money in the warmer months. And I still got to work on my tan because the time commitment was not insane. There's just something about your first few jobs in life that really mean something. They're not indicators of any career path most likely. But they do give you a sense of what it's like to deal with people, be responsible, and even brush (phone) shoulders with a maybe rock star. And now that I think about it, it seems a pretty good idea to open a record and jeans shop now. Who's with me?
Anyway, I was just thinking about this particular rite of passage and was wondering if it's reached extinction. Apparently, companies like McDonald's and Taco Bell are accepting applications aka "snaplications" on Snapchat, so I guess it's still around or a scant workforce is making it so as employers struggle to fill open jobs. What were your favorite or most miserable Summer jobs and why? Reach out and tell me.
Summer summer jobs it wouldn't be Summer without them. Cause that's what's up this odd job kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in seasons past. XO