Editor’s Note: Every Friday afternoon from now until Labor Day, we will be dropping a new summer themed blog to close out your work day and take you into the weekend. 14 weeks, 14 topics, 14 chances for you to have something interesting to talk about at a pregame. If you’re new, go check out our previous Summer Fridays blogs. If you want to write or have an idea for a Summer Friday topic, shoot me a DM on Instagram @WorkRetireDie.
School is out and that means one thing – the teens are back on these streets. Hopefully, they are out in the world doing dumb jobs that only exist in the summer for a reason, and not breaking into people’s homes to smoke weed and drink margaritas. For this week’s installment of Summer Fridays, we thought we’d honor this tradition by breaking down the pros and cons of the most common summer jobs.
If you’re one of those people who didn’t have a summer job and just spent the summer ‘relaxing’ and ‘going to camp,’ all I’ll say is congrats. Must be nice sucking at the teet of society while the rest of us sweat in the hot sun for minimum wage. This is not for you, listless elite. The site is called Work, Retire, Die not Relax, Retire, Die. AM I RIGHT PEOPLE.
Summer jobs – the pros & cons
One of the time honored traditions in America is having shithead 16 – 20 year olds be entirely responsible for children who are only 3 years younger than them. I was counselor at a baseball camp for 2 summers (shoutout Mott Leeney) so I am qualified to speak to all counselors from all walks of life.
Pros: You basically play sports or do like water-coloring all day long. You have a group of other counselors that you get to have cool inside jokes with and party with on the weekends and exclude your other friends who aren’t counselors (not bitter that this happened to me at all.) You are much smarter than the campers, so you can trick and manipulate them very easily. All you have to do is learn 1 magic trick and they will think you’re cool. People think you’re a good person for working with kids.
Cons: You get paid essentially $0. You have to hang out with literal children in the hot sun all day long. An absolutely brutal job to do hungover. You have to wear the same stupid shirt every single day.
This is basically being a counselor but at night and for like 2 kids.
Pros: You get paid basically at the same hourly rate as a Bain consultant. Once you put the kids to sleep, you can eat all the food in the fridge and watch TV. Having videos of the kids you’re babysitting is tremendous content for Snapchat and Instagram stories and will get very strong engagement.
Cons: If the kids suck, you are in for a horrible night. The 12 year old you’re babysitting could catch you crying while you watch Bridge to Terabithia together. He will make you a tuna sandwich so you feel better, but still tell his parents, who are close family friends of yours. You will still get mocked for it 14 years later and blog about it to release the pain.
I worked for a caterer the summer after I graduated high school as ‘guy who held out platter and offered you hors d’ouveres.’ The absolute highlight was when I was working a graduation party for another high school in my area and people at the party recognized me. If you are reading this, girl from Millburn whose name I forget, I wish you hadn’t asked me ‘why are you here?’ so loudly.
Pros: For the rest of your life, you can hop on your high horse and tell people that you worked in the service industry and truly understand the experience. Your coworkers are probably pretty fun. You can make decent money depending on the place. You either get free food or can just eat the scraps of rich people, which is arguably even better.
Cons: You usually have to work weird hours and can’t go out at night with everyone else. People you serve are generally awful human beings. You’re on your feet all day long. If it’s a bad night, you make like $4 total.
office job / INTERNSHIP
Internships are worthy of a whole new post, but realistically I wouldn’t recommend getting one until you’re a sophomore in college. I had one after my freshman year and honestly, it sucked ass. Your friends are fucking around all day and you’re riding the NJ transit and making Excel sheets. You have your whole life to be miserable, don’t feel like you need to get a head start.
Pros: Air conditioning and free Internet access all day long baby. You can get ahead and add something to your resume before a lot of your classmates. You make very good money. You understand early on that life is meaningless and you have a future of bleakness and flourescent lighting.
Cons: You have to hang out with adults all day long. You miss out on having a dumb, meaningless job with your friends. Honestly, just wait to have an internship as long as humanly possible. Maybe never get one. I don’t care.
landscaping / construction
Did this one for a few summers. It’s cool and all, but it basically sucks. Nothing is more motivating to get your life together and get a real job than a summer of doing manual labor in 90 degree weather.
Pros: You get tan (burnt) and frickin’ ripped from doing manual labor all day. You can talk down to your friends who are don’t use . You can send cool Snaps to girls of you doing badass stuff like weed-whacking or taking out the trash and they think you are rugged. You can listen to podcasts or music all day long and no one cares. You actually learn how to do various odd jobs and tasks that will help you when you’re an adult.
Cons: You’re completely exhausted every single day. The worst job ever to do while you’re hungover and borderline dangerous. You will probably give yourself lifelong spine issues from lifting entirely with your back and not using your legs ever.
I never had this job and it’s the biggest regret of my life. And I’ve done some pretty unspeakable things.
Pros: You make a million dollars for doing absolutely nothing. You get tan. You can wear cool sunglasses and stare at hot people all day without them noticing. Free pool access.
Cons: There is a world where someone is truly drowning and needs your help. You think you’ll be a hero and save them, but realistically, you’re someone who shrinks from big moments and is ultimately a coward. Your failure will lead to the death of an innocent stranger, most likely a father of 5 who fought in the Iraq War, volunteers his free time at the animal shelter, and is unquestionably the nicest person alive. Having this death on your hands will haunt you for the rest of your life and manifest itself in a variety of horrible, damaging ways that impact everyone you care about.
working on the maintenance staff at your high school
God’s work. Only future leaders of America can swing this gig.