Volume 95, Issue 2
Thursday, May 31, 2001
Does your summer job suck?
A wily student's work is never over, even the summer dawns. When school is through, next comes the question of how to bankroll yet another year of this costly academic adventure.
The answer, we all know, is the summer job.
It's a matter of economic necessity. Those fat cats need a low man on the totem pole to serve their coffee, flip their burgers, deliver their pizzas and aerate their golf greens. Combine these factors with your own pathetic financial woes and the resulting desperate need for cash. And you have the basis of the student-based slave economy that fuels the local market every summer.
But, is your job right for you? Do you feel like you're being used or abused? If so, you might need to change jobs. The following questions should help you decide whether it's time to move on or to stay put.
Do you have a bad boss? Does he force you to listen to his ever-worsening Scott Bacula impression, or make you sort her National Lawn Bowling League trading card collection? Understand your rights in the workplace. If you feel you're not being treated fairly, it could be time to move on or start stealing.
How's the pay? You need to know if the pay is adequate for you. Here's a handy formula: If you are paid according to, or better than provincial labour standards – that's good. By contrast, if you are paid in lemons or small rocks that sort of look like Gary Coleman (if you squint just right) – that's bad.
Is there any room to move up? Not that you're going to make a career of it, but you may want a promotion before you land that really big job in the future. Leave battered and, to a large extent, dog-eared copies of any or all of the following books around your workstation: Kathy Lee Gifford's autobiography, Going Postal for Dummies, or the Mr. T Almanac. They'll become so afraid of you, you'll be Toilet-Scrubber-in-Chief in no time. Or, they'll fire you.
Are there better opportunities out there? You could start your own business. People are always looking for new products. Here are some ideas: Mike's Hard Tapioca, Chien no. 5, the cologne for dogs, or Protester the children's game based on pepper spray. These products-in-waiting are only the tip of the iceberg – there are a million and one ideas out there just waiting to be plucked out of the air.
In the end you may find that although your job isn't ideal, it's the only thing that prevents you from putting a pistol in your mouth when you think about your mounting student debt.
Enjoy your summer job – it's an opportunity to understand and remember
what it's like being the little guy in case you become a manager one day.
Plus, it will give you money for beer.
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